St Volodymyr's Cathedral (Патріарший кафедральний собор св. Володимира; also known as the Volodymyrsky Cathedral, Vladimirsky Cathedral, or St. Vladimir's Cathedral ) is a cathedral in the centre of Kiev. It is one of the city's major landmarks and the mother cathedral of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church - Kiev Patriarchy, one of two major Ukrainian Orthodox Churches.
In 1852, Metropolitan Philaret of Moscow suggested a large cathedral should be built in Kiev to commemorate the 900th anniversary of the baptism of Kievan Rus' by prince Vladimir (Volodymyr) the Great of Kiev (St. Vladimir). People from all over the Russian Empire started donating to this cause, so that by 1859 the cathedral fund had amassed a huge sum of 100,000 rubles. The Kiev Pechersk Lavra (Monastery of the Caves) produced one million bricks and presented them to the cathedral as well.
The design was executed in neo-Byzantine style initially by the architects I. Schtrom, P. Sparro, R. Bemhardt, K. Mayevsky, V. Nikolayev. The final version of the design belongs to Alexander Vikentievich Beretti. It is a traditional six- piered, three- apsed temple crowned by seven cupolas. The height to the cross of the main dome is 49 m (161 ft). The entrance door is adorned with relief bronze sculptures of St. Olga (Princess Olga of Kiev) by sculptor R. Bakh and St. Vladimir (sculptor H. Zaieman) against a blue background.
The iconostasis is carved from the white marble brought from Carrara. The cathedral was completed in 1882, however, the paintings were fully completed only in 1896. After the dissolution of the Soviet Union, St Volodymyr's Cathedral ownership became an issue of controversy between two denominations that both claim to represent Ukrainian Orthodox Christianity - the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, a church with an autonomous status under the Moscow Patriarchy, and the newly established Ukrainian Orthodox Church - Kiev Patriarchy, which, ultimately, won the control over the cathderal.