St. Vladimirís Admiralty Cathedral
The history of the Cathedral began in 1825, when chief commander of the Black Sea fleet admiral Aleksey Greig solicited the Emperor’s approval to construct a monument in ruins of ancient Chersonesus, where baptism of Vladimir the Great took place and from where the spread of Orthodox religion in Rus’ commenced. In 1829 a design competition was opened aimed at choosing the best one. In result, a design by Konstantin Thon (1794-1881) was approved. This was a five-dome temple in Russo-Byzantine style, which combined peculiar elements and forms of Old Russian architecture with those of Byzantine one.
According to solicitation by admiral Mikhail Lazarev, who was worried by a deficient amount of Orthodox churches in Sevastopol, a decision was taken to build a cathedral in central part of the city. Preparation works commenced in 1848. But admiral Lazarev died in 1951. He was the chief commander of the Black Sea Fleet, and it was decided to honor his merits by way of burying him in a specially built burial vault in the foundation of the future cathedral. The cathedral was laid as religious temple on 15 July 1854, during the Crimean War. It was planned to build the cathedral within 3 years, but by the time the Siege of Sevastopol commenced, the only ready parts of the building were foundation, walls and arcs of basement together with its pedestal. Combat operations in Crimea and particularly in Sevastopol interrupted construction. During the Siege of Sevastopol, disciples and brothers-in-arms of admiral Lazarev were also buried in this vault – these were admiral Vladimir Kornilov, Vladimir Istomin, and Pavel Nakhimov.
And so, this yet not constructed cathedral turned into a burial vault for admirals and became a monumental landmark of the Defense of Sevastopol in 1854-1855.
Construction of the cathedral was resumed in 1858 and it was entirely completed in 1888. The initial design was changed by architect Aleksey Avdeev (1818-1895) and was highly approved in 1862. Instead of a five-dome building, a decision was taken to build a single-dome temple, whereas dimensions and elements of Russo-Byzantine style in architecture were preserved. The height of the Cathedral together with its cross is 106 ft., its width is about 65 ft., and length with its church-porch and altar is 95 ft.
St. Vladimir’s Cathedral became a burial vault also for those officers who participated in Defense of Sevastopol: I.Shestakov, P.Karpov, S.Tyrtov, P.Pereleshin, M.DeFabres, V.Schmidt, I.Deekov. Commanders of the Black Sea Fleet of late 19th – early 20th centuries are also buried here – S.P. Tyrtov, G.Chukhnin, M.Sablin, and also Ivan Shestakov, who was head of Naval Ministry in 1880s.
During the Great Patriotic War St. Vladimir’s Cathedral was severely damaged. After restoration which took place in 1966, it was given under jurisdiction of the Museum of Heroic Defense and Liberation of Sevastopol. Exhibition which is open in the upper part of St. Vladimir’s Cathedral, will tell you about history of Sevastopol and the Cathedral itself, as well as about those glorious admirals, who were buried here.
On 19 September 1991 consecration of the Cathedral took place. Extremely rare and world famous icons of Theotokos (Mother of God): “Majesty” and “Inexhaustible Cup”.
Internal walls of St. Vladimir’s Cathedral feature lead-letter inscriptions on marble plates, listing names of the 33 heroes who took part in Defense of Sevastopol of 1854-1855 and were awarded Orders of Saint George.
3, Suvorova St.
Open hours: from 09:00 a.m. to 03:00 p.m.