The church of St. Andrew The First-Called. M. Sazhyn.
The St. Andrew’s Church in Kyiv is a world’s significance monument of history, architecture, and applied arts of the 18th century.
It was constructed in 1747–1762 in Baroque style under the project of the prominent architect F.-B. Rastrelli.
Among sacred monuments constructed under the project of the architect F.-B. Rastrelli, where interiors have preserved partially, and their initial finishing either has not survived at all, or has preserved in insignificant fragments, the St. Andrew’s Church has not only preserved its authentic architectural forms, the largest share of the exterior’s decoration, but has preserved its full interior which is a perfect example of the Orthodox church interior in Baroque style.
Joint work of the great architect F.-B. Rastrelli, handiwork and nature gave rise to the unique monument which, thanks to its composition’s lightness and refinement, harmonious fusion of all its parts into an entity, and connection with the environment became a masterpiece of the architecture of Baroque epoch and served as a consummate example for imitation when constructing religious edifices.
The world community has inscribed the edifice of the St. Andrew’s Church into the 1000 Wonders of the World catalogue. Humankind Masterpieces of Five Continents was edited in Germany in 2002.
Taking into account extraordinary value of the monument our state has made a motion as to inscription of the St. Andrew’s Church on the UNESCO World Heritage List.
The St. Andrew’s Church was constructed by the order of the Russian empress Elisabeth as a part of Kyiv Tsar’s Residence which consisted of the Tsar’s Mariyinsky Palace and a Palace Church.
On September 9, 1744 a Church’s stone laying ceremony took place during which the empress put with her own hands the three first bricks into the temple’s foundation as a symbol of the future construction.
The St. Andrew’s Church was built quite far from the Tsar’s Palace, on a steepy spur of the Starokyivsky plateau serving as a kind of pedestal for the edifice of the Church. On that place, according to the Tale of Bygone Years chronicle, the St. Andrew, the First-Called Apostle, the first Christianity preacher within the lands of the Kyivan Rus, fixed a cross and proclaimed appearance of a great city in the Ist century AD. Starting from the 11th century, one after another, here were constructed and with the time went to ruins wooden and stone churches in honor of the St. Andrew, the First-Called.
A head-architect at the emperor court F.-B. Rastrelli was entrusted with designing of the St. Andrew’s Church.
Francesco Bartolomeo Rastrelli (1700–1771) was born in Paris in a family of Italian sculptor Carlo Rastrelli who at that time worked at the court of the French king Louis the 14th. In 1716 Peter the Great invited Carlo Rastrelli to Russia, where the latter moved with his assistant — son Francesco. Young Rastrelli acquired architectural and construction experience in Russia. Being a highly talented person, with incredible capacity for work, and high professional skill, F.-B. Rastrelli is known in the history of architecture as a consummate master of Baroque style. In its creative work the architect has highly successfully combined the best features of Russian and Western and European Baroque, thus creating a singular style, so called Rastrelli’s or Elizabeth’s Baroque, the style in which the St. Andrew’s Church is constructed. Within his creative activity the architect founded around seventy edifices, which already during his life brought him fame and recognition. The most well-known of them are Winter Palace and ensemble of the Smolny Convent in St. Petersburg, the Catherine Palace in the Tsar’s Village, the Grand Peterhof Palace, and palatial complexes in the Baltic States.