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History of conservation area

History of conservation area

The initial conditions for the creation of the conservation area emerged in 1919, when the nationalized buildings of the former Sophia Monastery were partially transferred to the All-Ukrainian Historical Museum of Religious Cult. These buildings also housed various institutions, including Sophia Commission of All-Ukrainian Academy of Sciences. In 1929, famous Ukrainian scientist and monument guardian Fedir Ernst first proclaimed the idea of ​​declaring the manor of St. Sophia Cathedral as a conservation area.

The Consecration area was established in 1934 by the Resolution of the Council of People’s Commissars of the Ukrainian SSR, as a department within the Museum Township (Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra), under the authority of the People’s Commissariat for Education. In May 1935 the Conservation area was opened for visitors.

According to the Resolution of the Council of People’s Commissars dated back to March 7, 1939 No. 217, the Sofia Branch of the Museum Township was transformed into an independent museum, which included the Sophia Cathedral and the bell tower. St. Andrew’s, St. Cyril’s Churches and the Church of the Saviour at Berestovo were included as branches of the Conservation area. The name Sophia State Architectural History Museum-Conservation area was approved.

In 1944 according to the Resolution of the Council of People’s Commissars of Ukrainian SSR and the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Ukraine dated back to March 27, 1944 No. 281 Sophia Conservation area became a part of the Ukrainian branch of the Academy of Architecture of the USSR. The entire territory of the former Sofia courtyard with all its buildings and units was assigned to it and was renamed to the State architectural and historical Conservation area “Sophia Museum”.

In 1945, after the reorganization of the Ukrainian branch of the Academy of Architecture of the USSR in the Academy of Architecture of the Ukrainian SSR, the Conservation area was left as the part of it. In 1956 it became a part of the Academy of Construction and Architecture of the Ukrainian SSR. Due to the fact of liquidation of the Academy of Construction and Architecture of the Ukrainian SSR in 1963, the Conservation area was subordinated to the State Committee of the Ukrainian SSR affiliated to the Council of Ministers for Construction (the order of the State Building of the Ukrainian SSR, dated back to August 31, 1963 No. 236).

During the 1950s-90s the following departments were attached to the Conservation area:

  • in 1958 – the Sudak Fortress in Crimea (the order of the Ministry of Culture of the Ukrainian SSR, dated back to May 22, 1958 No. 354 and the order of the Academy of Construction and Architecture of the Ukrainian SSR, dated back to June 28, 1958 No. 178). The museum was opened for visitors in 1962.
  • in 1962 – St. Andrew’s Church in Kyiv (the Resolution of the Council of Ministers of the Ukrainian SSR, dated back to July 10, 1962 and the order of the Ukrainian SSR State Building, dated back January 10 No. 4). The museum was opened for visitors in 1968. Since 2001, it has been used jointly with the Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church;
  • in 1965 – St. Cyril’s Church in Kyiv (the order of the Council of Ministers of the Ukrainian SSR of April 9, 1965, No. 360 and the order of the State Building of the Ukrainian SSR of May 7, 1965, No. 133). The museum was opened for visitors in 1967. Since 1996 it has been used jointly with St. Cyril’s Parish of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church;
  • in 1983 – the Golden Gate in Kyiv – the ruins of the XI century with a pavilion-reconstruction above it, which was opened for visitors back in 1982 (the decision of the Kyiv City Council of People’s Deputies of January 81, 1983 No. 81).

Currently, National Conservation Area “St. Sophia of Kyiv” is a museum complex that combines 77 architectural monuments. The monuments of the Conservation area are the main objects of the tourist routes of Kyiv and Crimea.

The activity of National Conservation Area “St. Sophia of Kyiv” has been highly praised by the world public: in 1987 the International Jury of the Hamburg Foundation (Germany) awarded the Reserve the European Gold Medal for Historic Monuments Conservation. In 1990, Saint-Sophia Cathedral and related 18th century monastic buildings were inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List.

By Decree of the President of Ukraine dated back to October 11, 1994 No. 587, the Sophia Reserve was granted the status of a national cultural institution of Ukraine and the name “St. Sophia of Kyiv” National Conservation Area was defined.

In accordance with the Decree of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine dated back to June 09, 2011, No. 552, the integral property complex of the Conservation was transferred to the sphere of management of the Ministry of Culture of Ukraine.

The archive collections of the Conservation comprise more than 80,000 storage units. These are archaeological collections, objects of applied and decorative arts, unique architectural projects of different years, a large collection of photographic materials and more.

The main activities of the Conservation are: conservation, restoration, rehabilitation, science, research, methodology, archive, exposition, education and more. The Conservation is conducting strategies related to the nomination of monuments – St. Cyril’s and St. Andrew’s Churches and the Sudak Fortress – in the UNESCO World Heritage List.