Cathedral of the Holy Transfiguration
Built as the main Orthodox church on Volyn', Zhytomir’s Cathedral of the Holy Transfiguration is rightfully considered to be the town’s symbol. Its construction began in 1851, on top of an ancient Basilian church. However, soon after the construction finished, the temple collapsed. The reason for the catastrophe turned out to be the frailness of the brick, from which it was built.
The Cathedral’s new building was finished in 1874. This time, experts who built the Isaac Cathedral in St. Petersburg were involved in order to avoid previous mistakes. With the help of preeminent architects, they built a marvelous temple in the Russian-Byzantine style, influenced by the vivid details of the Old Russian architecture. Despite its enormous size – it reaches up 53 meters (174 feet) - the Cathedral looks graceful, almost airy. The spherical domes on the top of the church and the lacy patterns that decorate its facade create this outward lightness.
The interior of the temple is as impressive as its exterior: the walls are luxuriously decorated using granite and labradorite, oak iconostasis, and original paintinds. The main shrine of the Cathedral of the Holy Transfiguration is the ancient icon of St. Vasiliy Velikiy. According to legend, the Old Russian prince Volodymir Velikiy took it from Greece after he converted Kyivan Rus.
The four-story bell tower finishes off the architectural assembly of the temple. It is said that the ringing of its bells is heard up to 20 kilometers from the Cathedral!