17 Kostyolna St, Kyiv

About the place

St. Alexander’s Kostel is not only the oldest but also the main Roman Catholic Cathedral in Kyiv.

In 1814 the Roman Catholic community of Kyiv took a decision to erect their own kostel. The money for the construction of the cathedral was collected from the Polish gentry. The festive laying of the foundation stone of the kostel took place in 1817. The author of the design was architect Visconti from St.Petersburg. The construction of the cathedral was completed only in 1842. In it in 1879 the future artist Kazimir Malevich was baptized.
The kostel was designed in the forms of classicism – the style that was very popular at that time. The edifice is square in plan and is crowned by a dome and two towers. The main entrance to the kostel is adorned with portico. The basic relics of the cathedral are: The Crucifix which was brought here from Italy, and a wonderfully executed replica of Raphael’s Madonna of Foligno. The kostel was named in honour of Russian Tsar Alexander I.
In 1937, the Soviet authorities arrested and executed the last priest of the Alexander's Church – Sigismund Kwasniewski, and since then the parish has ceased to exist. Initially, the communist government turned the building into a dormitory, and in 1952 – on the planetarium of Kyiv University. In 1991, it was returned to the Roman Catholic community in Kyiv in an emergency. The first worship, even before his return to the faithful, was carried out just on the steps and in the portico of the temple.
During 1990-1994 there was an intensive restoration of one of the most beautiful constructions of our glorious city. Restoration has returned to it the former appearance. A symbolic cross with the text in Polish is set up next to the temple: "Faith, Hope, Love" and dedication: "Memory of Victims for Faith and Homeland, 1917-1991".
On October 7, 1995 the church was consecrated the second time. It belongs to the diocese of Kyiv-Zhytomyr of the Roman Catholic Church. On June 25, 2001, the temple was visited by Pope John Paul II during his visit to Kyiv.

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