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Pokrova Church Kyiv

Saint Pokrov Church (Parkhomivka village)

Saint Pokrov Church (Parkhomivka)
Saint Pokrov Church (Parkhomivka)

Church of the Protective Veil of the Most Holy Mother of God (Pokrova Presvyatoyi Bohorodytsi) in Parhomivka village, Kyiv oblast, Ukraine is one of the best known churches in Ukraine. It was built in 1903–1906, and consecrated in 1908. In the early twentieth century, this little village was a big estate that belonged to Victor Holubev, who was a rich industrialist and landowner. Holubev commissioned Volodymyr Pokrovsky to design and build a Pokrova Presvyatoyi Bohorodytsi Church (Pokrova) at his estate. Pokrovsky decided to decorate the church with mosaics. Nicholas Roerich, one of the leading Russian artists of St Petersburg of the time designed these mosaics, and later they were shipped from St. Petersburg to Ukraine. Mosaicist Frolov was hired to actually execute Pokrova mosaics.

Saint Pokrov Church (Parkhomivka)

Parhomivka village is away from the main roads of Ukraine. It is about half-hour drive from the regional centre of Volodarka. It is possible to see Pokrova Church from a distance. It is built in the architectural style usually described as “Russian Modern,” a variation of the art nouveau. The church is quite big, 40 by 20 meters (120 by 60 feet). Its bell tower, which is architecturally a part of the church is even taller, reaching 50 meters (150 feet). In fact, it is a whole big complex, done in one style. It includes a small chapel with a burial vault, a house for the priest and a lodge. There is also a fence around the church, which fits the overall pattern.

The mosaic on the facade of the Pokrova Church is one of the biggest of its kind in Ukraine. It's size is 4 by 6 meters (12 by 18 feet). In spite of all difficult times the construction has been through, including revolutions and wars, it is preserved well. In 1929 the Church was closed. In 1941, after the German troops had left the village, its work has been resumed until 1950s. In the middle of 1950s Pokrova Church has been used as a storage house to keep seeds and grains. In 1987 - 1988 the Church has been restored.

Pokrova Church

The graceful and majestic figure of the Mother of God makes a very strong impression. You could see that Roerich was inspired by the images of the Virgin Mary from the Holy Sophia and St Michael’s Cathedral in Kyiv. There are little emotions on the faces of the Angels and Saints in the mosaic, but groups of people in mediaeval dresses are shown animated and gesticulating. The dominating colours of the mosaic are light green, yellow and blue.

The whole church complex stands out as a remarkable combination of old traditions and twentieth-century innovations. All the architectural details create an overall vibrant impression. The doors, window frames, stairs, benches carry ancient symbols, derived from pre-Christian, pagan times, but later used in Orthodox churches (wavy lines, wheels, stars, tridents, etc.). Pokrova Church is not a museum and functions as just a regular Orthodox Church. But its artistic and architectural merits are so high that it is worth to have a little trip from Kyiv to enjoy it.

All photos are taken from Please, feel free to see more pics there.

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