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Catherine's Church (Ukrainian: Катерининська церква) is a functioning church in Chernihiv, Ukraine.

St. Catherine's Church
Свято-Катерининська церква
St.Catherine Church 2.jpg
AffiliationEastern Orthodox Church
DistrictUkrainian Orthodox Church
of the Kiev Patriarchate
LocationChernihiv, Ukraine
Geographic coordinates51°29′13″N 31°18′19″E / 51.48694°N 31.30528°E / 51.48694; 31.30528
StyleUkrainian Baroque

The snow – white temple with five gold domes in the Ukrainien Baroque style meets guests at the entrance to Chernihiv. It is one of the tourist objects of the recerve “Ancient Chernihiv“. St. Catherine's Church was built in the cossacks period. It has its own story based on real events. The temple was erected in honor of Chernihiv regiment of Cossacks who had shown the heroism and bravery during the storming of the Turkish forteress of Azov.

Architecture and HistoryEdit

The church is made of bricks, it is cross - shaped, nine - fraction, five – dome. The composition is centrical, pyramidally built with the highest central dome and lower ones – over the faceted sleeves of architectural cross. So its composition reminds a wooden. Ukrainian church with five octahedral capacities – octahedrons each crowned with dome combined in on plastic unity. Thanks to such pyramidal construction the church looks tender, elegant and solemn. The facades are a characteristic feature of the church. The main role in their decoration is played by portal and windows margins: triangular pediments, frames, shallow – cut cornices. Modelled ornamentation is not used in the church, common and circle brick which replaced plinth is used both as building and ornamental material. The facades are plastered and limed The characteristic feature of the interior is its opening upwards. It is a five – chamber pillarless temple crowded by five domes. The top is designed in traditional Ukrainian style – with fractures. The walls are white washed. The domes and crosses are gilded.

This monument to the past is located in the central part of historic town near the Dytynets and Kyiv – Chernihiv motorway. It is one of the leading architectural dominants of the city. It was built in honor of heroism of Chernihiv regiment Cossaks showed up during the assault of Turkish fortress Azov in 1696 under the commandment of Chernihiv colonel Yakiv Lyzohub. The church was sacrified in 1715 in honor of St. – Catherine, who had been respected in Ukraine for a long time. St. Catherine's Church hasn't had great changing. In 1837 the narthex was built to the western façade of the church and the bell tower was erected in 1908 and both were taken apart during the restoration. It suffered losses in 1941 – 1943 ( roofs and tops of domes were burnt ). The restoration works were conducted into 2 phases : 1947 – 1955 and 1975 – 1980.

St. – Catherine's church in Chernihiv is the greatest monument of Ukrainian (Cossack) renaissance of the 17th – 18th centuries, which has authentically remained, it produced a decisive influence on the development of Ukrainian church architecture of the 18th century and it still plays the role of city building dominant of the historical party of the town.

In spring 1990 the group Cossacks, Chernihiv inhabitants, full of initiative renewed their activity suppressed by the Soviet authorities in 1933. 

In 1992 the Cossacks orthodox community of St. Catherine’ Church was officially registered by the State and in 1994 recognized as “a successor of the appropriate right and duties“ of the previous community (art. 1 of Community Status). On April 2, 1995 the Cossacks orthodox community was taken under the protection of the most holy patriarch of Kyiv and all Rus–Ukraine Volodymyr (Romaniuk), (art. 1 Community Status).

According to the order of the Chairman of the public administration of Chernigiv region M. Lavrik from April 5, 2006, the cult building was transferred to the possession of St. Catherine’ s Church Cossacks Orthodox community.

On May 22, 2008, Saint Nicolas’ Day, according to the decision of the Supreme Court of Appeal of Ukraine, the legality of transferring St. Catherine's Church to the believers of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of Kyiv Patriarchy was confirmed.

On July 19, 2008, the Cossacks Orthodox Community with the chairman of the parish council and the Bishop of Chernihiv and Nizhin at the head of, entered the Church and renewed the public worship after 75 years of prohibition. From then on, Church has become the Cossacks Cathedral of Chernihiv eparchy.

The solemn canonization of the Reverend Mercury, Father Superior Bragynski took place in St. Catherine's Cathedral on December 7, 2011. The ceremony was headed by the most holy Patriarch of Kyiv and all Rus - Ukraine Filaret. The relic shrine of saint's body has become one of the sacred objects. The Cathedral parishioners actively supported the Euromaїdan in 2013, the Revolution of Dignity 2014 year and volunteer movement helping to regenerate the Ukrainian Army. The names of more than one hundred donators who had rendered material and financial assistance, participated in person were entered in the cathedral synodic list. With a direct participation of the archipriest Eugen (Orda) and the Chairman of parish council the help was rendered to the Kyiv Maїdan and the zone of hostilities (antiterrorist operation).

A vivid page has been written in the life of the Cossacks Parish which Ukrainian warriors and volunteers fought against Russian aggressors. On June 26, 2014 in the ATO zone not far from the town of Lugansk, Mykola Bruy. Cathedral parishioner, found his death. parting and burial service took place in the Cossacks Cathedral. By decision of the parish council, the name of Mykola Bruy was entered for ever in the synodic list.

On May 15, 2015 by decree of the President of Ukraine, Mykola was decorated with the third degree Order “for the personal courage and great professional skill displayed in defending the nation’s sovereignty, territorial integrity and allegiance to oath“.

By Ukrainian tradition and ancient Cossack custom, there have been entered in cathedral synodic list 134 names of heroes Chernigiv region – countrymen including 24 from Chernihiv who died for the liberty of Ukraine.

Conflicts around ChurchEdit

Apart from Kyiv patriarchy, the Russian Orthodox Church in Ukraine had a claim of the Cossacks St. Catherine's Church. So far as the premises were transferred exactly to the community of Kyiv Patriarchy, the representatives of the Russian Orthodox Church in Ukraine set up “ a camp church “ in the shape of a tarpaulin marquee at the walls of the building. After the Revolution of Dignity the marquee was dismantled on February 21, 2014 by the believers of the Russian Orthodox Church in Ukraine under pressure of Chernigiv community.


  • “Churches of Ukraine”, Mistetstvo Kyiv 2000, ISBN 966-577-021-7

External linksEdit