Vydubychi Monastery

Vydubychi Monastery (Ukrainian: Видубицький монастир Vydubyts'kyi monastyr) is an historic monastery in the Ukrainian capital Kyiv. During the Soviet period it housed the NANU Institute of Archaeology.

Vydubychi Monastery
Видубицький монастир-3.JPG
Vydubychi Monastery is located in Ukraine
Vydubychi Monastery
Location within Ukraine
Monastery information
DioceseUkrainian Orthodox Church - Kyiv Patriarchate
Controlled churchesCollegiate Church of Saint Michael
St.George Cathedral
aviour Church and refectory
Founder(s)Vsevolod Yaroslavich
LocationKyiv, Ukraine
Coordinates50°25′00″N 30°34′03″E / 50.4168°N 30.5674°E / 50.4168; 30.5674Coordinates: 50°25′00″N 30°34′03″E / 50.4168°N 30.5674°E / 50.4168; 30.5674


The monastery was established between 1070 and 1077 by Vsevolod, son of Yaroslav the Wise. It was a family cloister of Vsevolod's son Vladimir Monomakh and his descendants.

The monastery, and the neighbourhood in present-day Kyiv where it is located, was named after an old Slavic legend about the pagan god Perun and the Grand Prince Vladimir the Great of Kyiv. The word "Vydubychi" comes from the word VydobychiVydobychVydobech (Ukrainian: Видобичі → Видобич → Видобеч) which means "to swim up", "emerge from water".

The legend has it that Vladimir ordered the wooden figures of Perun (the Thunder God) and other pagan gods dumped into the Dnieper River during the mass Baptism of Kyiv. The disheartened Kyivans, though accepting the baptism, ran along the Dnieper River calling for the old gods to emerge from water (Перуне выдуби!). Accordingly, the area down the river stream where Perun emerged was named Vydubichu or Vydubychi in modern Ukrainian.

The monastery operated the ferry across the Dnieper River and many of the best scholars of that time lived and worked there. Among them, chroniclers Sylvestr of Kiev and Moisey made a great contribution to writing the Tale of Bygone Years.

From the 1596 Union of Brest the Monastery was an official seat of the first three metropolitans of the Greek Catholic Church in Ukraine - Mykhajlo Rohoza, Ipatii Potii and Yosyf Rutskyi. In 1635 it was returned to the Ukrainian Orthodox Church.[1]

Vydubychi Church Choir in 1996

The monastery was continuously protected by Ukraine's hetmans and aristocratic families. Hetman Ivan Mazepa in 1695 forbade the Vydubytskyi Monastery's neighbors to "do injustice to the monastery" and placed it under the guard of Starodub Regiment Col. Mykhailo Myklashevskyi, who established the Baroque-style Church of St. George and new Transfiguration Refectory. Hetman Danylo Apostol subsidised construction of the monastery's bell tower. In the 18th century the help of Hetman Kyrylo Rozumovsky's ensured the new properties for the Vydubychi.[1]

Since the late 1990s, the monastery is administered by the Ukrainian Orthodox Church - Kyiv Patriarchate. The Vydubychi Church Choir was among the first choirs in newly independent Ukraine to reinstate singing of the Divine Liturgy in the Ukrainian language.[2]

Buildings and structuresEdit

St Michael Church in Vydubychi, as depicted by Taras Shevchenko

Only a few churches of this monastery have survived over the centuries. One of these is the Collegiate Church of Saint Michael, which was built on behest of Vsevolod I and partly reconstructed between 1766 and 1769 by Russian architect M. I. Yurasov. The Ukrainian baroque structures include the magnificent 5-domed St. George Cathedral, Transfiguration of the Saviour Church and refectory, all dating from 1696-1701. A belltower, commissioned by the Hetman Danylo Apostol, was erected in 1727-33 and built up in 1827-31.

  • Saint Michael Church
  • Saint George Cathedral
  • Refectory with Savior-Transfiguraton Church
  • Chapel of the Saint Michael Church
  • Fraternity building
  • Building of the abbot
  • Necropolis


Many distinguished individuals are buried there, including:

Vydubychi Monastery in Art and LiteraturyEdit

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b The Vydubytskyi Monastery: A Kyiv landmark worthy of attention, Ukraine Weekly
  2. ^ Vydubychi Church Choir

External linksEdit