“Tsarevna Anna had a tremendous influence on the fate of Kievan Rus’, both in connection with her baptism and with the construction of churches – in particular, the Church of the Tithes and Sophia Kievskaya,” head of the department of scientific and historical research at the Sophia Kievskaya National Reserve and doctor of historical sciences Nadezhda Nikitenko said in an interview with Analitika.at.ua.
As Nadezhda Nikitenko said, St. Sophia Cathedral is an ancient temple completely preserved on the territory of the East Slavic lands. In 2018, its millennium was celebrated.
“Based on the 20s of the 11th century, the cathedral’s consecration dates that were generally strictly fixed in the church tradition should have been on Sunday. Thus, the temple’s foundation can be dated to November 4, 1011, and the completion of its construction to May 11, 1018.
That is, the cathedral was founded and almost finished by Prince Vladimir, the baptist of Rus’, in 1011-1015 and completed by his son Yaroslav in 1018,” Nikitenko emphasized.
Studying the paintings of the cathedral, Nikitenko was shocked by how clear the glorification of Prince Vladimir and his wife Byzantine Princess Anne were. Anna belonged to the Armenian (Macedonian) Byzantine dynasty and was the sister of the Byzantine emperors.
Vyacheslav Kornienko, specialist at the Sophia Kievskaya reserve, discovered 4,000 graffiti, among them Armenian ones. As of today, less than half of the cathedral has been studied. Some of the graffiti contain direct dates that shed light on the origin of the cathedral.
Recall that the Sophia Kievskaya reserve houses about 50 architectural monuments, including the 11th-century St. Sophia Cathedral which is the central building on the territory of the reserve. St. Sophia Cathedral is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Earlier, it was reported that a lecture on the history of Armenian Christian culture was held in the Sophia Kievskaya National Reserve. The event was held as part of a joint project of the employees of Sophia Kievskaya and the “Armenian Society of Cultural Connections – Ukraine” under the patronage of the Ukrainian Diocese of the Armenian Apostolic Church.
According to the Chairperson of the “Armenian Society of Cultural Connections – Ukraine” Yelena Oganesyan, the audience had the opportunity to get acquainted with unique facts related to the history of Christian Armenian culture.
According to the deputy director general for scientific work at the National Reserve and Doctor of Historical Sciences Vyacheslav Kornienko, the wife of the great Kyiv prince Vladimir the Baptist Princess Anna was of Armenian origin, and the walls of Sophia Kievskaya retain her portrait and graffiti in Armenian.
“Thanks to the influence of Princess Anna, Christianity spread in Kievan Rus’. She introduced Christian traditions into Kyiv’s life. Along with her, artists, architects, priests, artisans, and teachers came to Kyiv from Byzantium. Anna gave birth to Saint Boris and Gleb, the first local Kyiv saints,” said Irina Margolina, candidate of historical sciences and honored cultural worker of Ukraine at the event.
The lecture program also included a documentary about the site.
Read also: The Armenian Trace In Sophia Kievskaya