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Ukraine’s rich heritage under threat | Daily Express Online

Ukraine’s rich heritage under threat

Published on: Wednesday March 16, 2022


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Historic center of Lviv. (Photo: imago images)

PARIS: Ukraine’s rich religious, artistic and natural heritage is increasingly threatened by intense Russian bombardment. Seven of its wonders are listed as UNESCO World Heritage Sites and the United Nations agency has called for their protection.
Hagia Sophia

kyiv’s most iconic building is Saint Sophia’s Cathedral. With its golden onion towers, mosaics and icons, it was listed by Unesco in 1990. The huge Pechersk Lavra (or Cave Monastery) in the capital and the Savor Church in Berestove enjoy equal UN protection. Hagia Sophia dates from the 11th century but was rebuilt in the Baroque style from the 18th century.

Saint Sophia Cathedral. (Photo: Brendan Hoffman/Getty Images)

The cathedral is highly symbolic not only for Ukrainians but also for the entire Slavic Orthodox world. Designed to rival Hagia Sophia in Constantinople (modern Istanbul), it is a symbol of the 11th-century Christian principality of kyiv, the cradle of modern Ukraine and Russia. It celebrates the evangelization of the region after the Byzantines baptized their Norse saint, King Vladimir the Great, in 988.
Lviv historical center
The historic center of Lviv, in western Ukraine, has been on the UNESCO list since 1998.


The layout of this town of 700,000 inhabitants, formerly called Lemberg, remains “preserved almost intact” from the Middle Ages. While beautiful Baroque buildings now dominate, traces of the patchwork of ethnicities that once inhabited it remain. The vast monumental religious complex of the Residence of the Metropolitans of Bukovina and Dalmatia, in the beautiful western city of Chernivtsi, is also on the Ukrainian Unesco list.
wooden churches
The beautiful wooden churches of Tserkvas in the Carpathian Mountains are also protected by Unesco. Eight are in Ukraine and the others in neighboring Poland.

Tserkvas wooden church. (Photo: Serhii Hudak/Ukrinform/imago images)

The Unesco list also includes the Struve geodetic arc, a chain of survey triangulation points stretching from Norway to the Black Sea.
Virgin forests
The primary beech forests of the Carpathian Mountains also have a higher status.


So does the ancient city of Tauric Chersonese in Crimea, home to the remains of a settlement founded by Dorian Greeks in the 5th century BC. The site, on the northern shore of the Black Sea, was annexed by Russia in 2014. Ukraine has proposed 17 other sites to UNESCO for protection. They include the historic center of the 19th-century Black Sea port city of Odessa and the medieval historic center of Chernigiv, a city about 150 kilometers (90 miles) north of kyiv, which has suffered heavy Russian bombardments. .
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