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Zhitomir Sights | Transfiguration Cathedral
Individual and group tours to Zhitomir

Ukraine Zhitomir Sights - Transfiguration Cathedral
On 26th of June 1804 by decree of emperor Alexander I Zhitomir was approved center of Volyn province. In Zhitomir were only two very old wooden Orthodox Churches - Trinity Cossack Church on Castle Hill (built in XVII century) and Assumption Church at Podolsk mountain (built in 1700).

The bishop and diocesan administration were in Ostrog Transfiguration Monastery which in 1821 suffered a devastating fire. In 1825 the bishop's administration was in the Palace of Prince Yablonovsky in Annopol, since 1831 in Pochaev Lavra and on 1st of October 1840 - in Zhitomir. That time Cathedral in Zhitomir was in a wooden building of post office.

Emperor Alexander I in October 1821 in his conversation with the Reverend Stephen (Romanov) confirmed that he will help in new cathidral building in Zhitomir. But the conversation had no significant effects. Indication of the construction of Transfiguration Cathedral in Zhitomir gave the Emperor Alexander II. The construction of Transfiguration Cathedral in Zhitomir chosen "Trade" square. In its center it was Basilian Greek Catholic Church built in the second half of the XVIII century.

The initial project of the cathedral was made in St. Petersburg in 1844 with the inclusion of old walls of Basilian church. Transfiguration Cathedral began to build in 1851 and in 1853 had almost finished building suddenly collapsed. Due to errors in the calculations and weakness in local raw bricks - the bell tower fell down and destroyed the building.

It had to re-build Transfiguration Cathedral. As a temporary cathedral in 1858 built a wooden Illarionovska church. The second time the cathedral was built from 1866 to 1874 by the project of architecture academician Charles Raha, architecture professor Ernest Gibert and the famous Petersburg architect Vladimir Shalamov. This time the chosen spot on the area slightly south of the former.

Have designed Transfiguration Cathedral as five-domed and in Russian-Byzantine style with the characteristics of ancient architecture XI-XII centuries. The cathedral designed in the form of a cross with double rows of granite pillars inside. In the cathedral there are three throne: the Transfiguration, St. Prince Vladimir and St. Alexander Nevsky. Cathedral is rated for 3 000 worshipers.

At this time the construction was attended by experts who built the St. Isac's Cathedral in St. Petersburg in 1818 - 1858 years. Field supervision during construction were Carl Rachau and Ernest Gibert. The construction cost of Transfiguration Cathedral in Zhitomir was 336 865 Russian Empire rubles without counting the church plate and icons. In 1874 Transfiguration Cathedral was consecrated.

In 1871 there was a decision of the provincial government of Volyn about closing shops near Transfiguration Cathedral and built around it the city park. Anyway the city park was founded only in 1886.

In 1930 during USSR times due to Master Plan of Zhitomir planned to demolish the Transfiguration Cathedral and on its place build House of Red Army. Implementation of this barbaric ideas prevented by World War II.

You could visit Zhitomir Sights - Transfiguration Cathedral with Ukraine Tour West Ring

Pavel Korsun | Ukraine tours travel guide

Pavel Korsun
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