Kyiv-Mohyla Academy (Brotherhood Monastery Ensemble) (17th-19th cc.)

Kyiv-Mohyla Academy (Brotherhood Monastery Ensemble) (17th-19th cc.)

The history of one of the oldest educational institutions of Ukraine began in 1615, when the Kyiv religious-artisan brotherhood was founded on Podil. One noble resident of Kyiv – Galshka Gulevychivna presented for brotherhood a plot of land for the construction of a school and an Orthodox monastery. On October 15, 1615, the school started its activities, which became known as the Kyiv Brotherhood School, an antecedent of the Kyiv-Mohyla Academy.

 The Brotherhood school received great support from Hetman Petro Sahaidachny, who understood very well the importance of national education and enlightenment. In 1620 Hetman Sahaidachny joins the Kyiv Brotherhood “with all the Zaporozhian Cossacks Army”. Thus, the Brotherhood and the school received powerful protection, and the Cossacks became a force for supporting the national interests, in particular, the education and science that was absolutely necessary for the establishment of Ukrainian statehood. In the Kyiv Brotherhood school studied philosophy, history, mathematics, astronomy, rhetoric, pique and music. As to the languages, except for Ukrainian, taught Greek, Latin, Church Slavonic and Polish.

 During the time of the Kyiv Metropolitan Petro Mohyla the school turned into a College in 1632  and on the monastic territory a two-story Church of the Annunciation was erected. Recently it was renovated and its silhouette is highlighted from all monastic buildings with a high brown-colored dome. When Petro Mohyla was dying, he bequeathed to the College all his property, funds and values as well as ordered to preserve this institution as a pledge of his earthly life. For the great merits of the Metropolitan before the College, it began to be called Mohylyanka.

Since 1701 it had received the status of the Academy. The graduates of the Academy made a significant contribution to the world science and culture. Here a whole pleiad of outstanding people was educated: H. Skovoroda, M. Lomonosov, P. Hulak-Artemovsky, V. Kapnist, F. Prokopovych, A. Vedel, A. Bezborodko and others.

The Academy had its own traditions: poetic competitions of teachers and students on recitation of verses in different languages of different epochs, including their own poems. The most skillful poets were honored with laurel wreaths and they received the title of “laurential poet” (laureate).

 The Kyiv-Mohyla Academy was the all-state institution. According to the Statute of the Academy, everyone who wants had the right to study in it. The children of the Ukrainian aristocracy, the Cossacks, the burghers, the priests and the peasants studied there.

During the time of the hostile policy towards Ukraine on the part of the Russian Empire, the Academy was closed in accordance with the order of the Synod of August 14, 1817. Instead, in 1819 the Kyiv Theological Academy was opened in the premises of the Kyiv-Mohyla Academy. However, later on according to the anti-religious policy of the Soviet government, it was closed in 1919.

With gaining the independence of Ukraine in 1991, the Kyiv-Mohyla Academy was revived and received the status of the National University.