The Pyrohoshcha Dormition of the Mother of God Church (12th , 20th centuries)

The Pyrohoshcha Dormition of the Mother of God Church (12th , 20th centuries)

 In the northwestern part of the Kontractova Square, at the crossroads of the streets Prytysko-Mykilska and Florivska, the Dormition of the Mother of God Church is located, better known as the Pyrohoshcha.

According to the chronicle this church was founded in 1332 by the Great Prince of Kyiv Mstyslav, the eldest son of Volodymyr Monomach. The construction had been continued for four years and was completed in 1136 during the reign of Yaropolk, Mstyslav’s brother.  Peculiarity of this church that it was the first building of Kyiv’s principality had been built from brick without using stone.

There are some hypotheses as to the unusual name of the church. Some researchers consider that Pyrohoshcha was built on funds of merchants, who were engaged in trade by bread and grain.  Hence the name of the church, because the ancient Slavic word «pyro» means millet or washed and «hoshcha» comes from the word «guest» that at the time of Kyiv Rus often associates with a merchant.  However, the majority believes that the name of the church comes from the Byzantine icon of the Mother of God «Pyrgotissa» («Pyrgos» from Greek Πύργος means “tower”). It was brought from Constantinople, where there was a tradition to place the same icons in the monastery towers or above the gates of the city towers.

During the centuries Pyrohoshcha was the main cathedral church of merchants, burghers and artisans as well as the center of public life of Podil. At the church there was a school, an orphanage, a hospital for the poor, a city archive and a meeting of townspeople took place nearby.

The church was destroyed during the invasion of the hordes of Khan Batu in 1240.  The temple was later restored in different styles of the corresponding epochs: in the 17th century – in the Renaissance ( architect Bracci), in the 18th century the church had acquired the Baroque forms in interpretation of  architect Hryhorovych-Barsky and in the 19th century architect Melensky constructed the church in Classicism.

In 1935 on the order of the Soviet authorities the church was destroyed. The researches that scientists have managed to do before destroying, found that the church had preserved the main part of its authentic construction in spite of numerous rearrangements and destruction.

In 1998 «Ukrprojectrestavratciya» Corporation restored the church in its hypothetical authentic forms. Pyrohoshcha became the first temple in Kyiv that was reconstructed in forms of the 12th century.