The only church in the world entirely decorated with Petrykivka paintings, an ancient style of folk Ukrainian decorative painting included in the UNESCO intangible cultural heritage.
The Cathedral of St. Petro Mohyla in Mariupol is the only church entirely decorated with Petrykivka paintings in the world. Petrykivka is an ancient style of folk Ukrainian decorative painting included in the UNESCO intangible cultural heritage. In addition, this place was also a cultural and educational hub, with a library containing rare Ukrainian books.
The church was erected in the early 20th century in the Art Nouveau style. Since the building was located next to a strategically important city port, it was not intended for church services at first and served only administrative functions. For the same reason, the German occupation forces established a commandant’s office here during World War II. After the de-occupation, the building housed the personnel department of the Mariupol port until the restoration of Ukraine’s independence in 1991.
The city community began to convert this place into a cultural and spiritual centre in the 1990s. The two-storey house was rebuilt into a three-storey asymmetrical one with two avant-corps. The in-built church with a three-level bell tower opened its doors to parishioners in 1998.
The newly established church was named in honour of Petro Mohyla, the Metropolitan of Kyiv, an outstanding politician and educator of the 17th century. Soon, a social canteen serving up to 300 people daily with hot meals was established there. Over time, numerous free clubs emerged on the two upper floors: a school of bandura playing and Ukrainian painting, a Ukrainian embroidery course, pysankarstvo (decorating Easter eggs with a wax-resist method), icon painting and singing, as well as an exhibition of Ukrainian national clothes, Ukrainian musical instruments, and household items of Ukrainian Cossack warriors. Additionally, English and Italian classes were offered here. Public activists, volunteers, and the city community initiated and implemented all these projects.
In 2020, the community conducted a fundraising campaign to adorn the cathedral with a 500-metre-long Petrykivka painting. Olha Cheromushkina, a Lviv artist, realised this idea. The artist decided to eschew the traditional red and yellow colours in favour of blue, the colour of the sea next to the church.
The library, named after the Ukrainian writer and dissident Vasyl Stus, became the heart of the cultural space at the cathedral. Vasyl Stus was illegally convicted and killed by the Soviet authorities in the 1980s. Thanks to the efforts of volunteers and benefactors, the library collected about 2,000 books in Ukrainian, including unique editions.
When Russian troops captured Mariupol and established an occupation regime during the large-scale invasion of Ukraine in 2022, the Cathedral of Petro Mohyla, the embodiment of Ukrainian cultural heritage, fell into ideological disfavour. In the same manner as the Nazis once burned books that contradicted their ideology, so now Russian troops apparently destroy everything that contradicts the myth created by Russian propaganda. Thus, the Russian army burned the library named after Vasyl Stus, which was evidence that Ukraine has its own historical path, unique language, and culture.
As for the church itself, the occupiers received an order from above to either remake it according to the standards of the Russian Orthodox Church or to demolish it, Ukrainian local authorities say.
The site that once held memories may now turn into a memory itself.
Formerly Palace of Culture of the Azovstal plant. The building of the former Continental hotel (1887–1910).
A unique monastery complex of the XVI–XIX centuries with natural caves.
Historical buildings reflecting the Mariupol architecture of the late XIX and early XX centuries before the Bolshevik Revolution.
Donbas Arena is the home stadium of the Ukrainian ‘Shakhtar’ football club, which became the first of the ‘elite’ category in Ukraine and in all of Eastern Europe.
An ancient building of 1902 in the Northern Art Nouveau style, which comprised under its roof the works by respected Ukrainian landscape painters, as well as world-famous marine and realist artists.
Invaluable monumental artworks, created by a group of Ukrainian monumentalists led by Alla Horska, a dissident artist and one of the Sixtiers movement’s founders. These panels incorporated elements of Ukrainian folk tradition, contemporary world trends, and Soviet art.
Formerly prospering trade and then a metallurgical centre of Ukraine that has become the symbol of the bloody Russian invasion of Ukraine and the genocide committed by the Russian army and government.
The museum was established at the Faculty of History of Mariupol State University. It has become an important cultural and educational site bringing together students, professors, and citizens around the native land’s history.
The manor of Mariupol City Council’s mayor, having more than 150 years of history behind. Its architecture incorporated elements of the Stalinist Empire, Neoclassicism, and Baroque.
One of the oldest and largest Ukrainian museums, which collection comprised over 180 thousand exhibits, including the monuments and artefacts of world importance.
One of the biggest steam mills in the German Mennonite colony that existed in the Donetsk region at the turn of the 20th century. Built in 1903, this mill had been feeding people of New York and all of its suburbs for decades.
The central church of the Sviatohirsk Lavra’s convent, erected in the neoclassical style with baroque elements in 2005 in the site of a stone church of 19th century dismantled by the Bolsheviks.
The house was built in the constructivist style in 1929. It has been the centre of the city’s creative life for almost a hundred years.
Former State Bank’s building, constructed at the turn of the 20th century. In 2019, this site housed the city library, which history began back in 1904. An intellectual and educational centre of the city.
A two-storey manor in the classical style with a neo-Gothic tower, built in Mariupol 125 years ago. The state was a property of respected doctors.
Part of the Sviatohirsk Lavra. All the skete’s buildings are made of massive pine trunks. The All Saints Church, the main skete’s sanctuary, used to be the biggest wooden church in Ukraine.
The Azovstal plant in Mariupol was one of the largest iron and steel producers in Europe. In 2022 it became a symbol of resistance to brutal Russian aggression and the incredible courage of Ukrainian fighters.
Educational institution with more than 140 years of history where many generations of Mariupol citizens studied.
Center of spiritual life of Muslims of Donetsk region.
Two buildings are a monument to an entire era. They were the last buildings in Mariupol designed in the Stalinist Neoclassicism style.
One of the oldest theatres in the Left-bank Ukraine.
The mosque was built in 2007 on the site of a mosque built in 1906 and destroyed by the Bolsheviks in 1936.
St. Demetrius Church dedicated to the holy martyr Demetrius of Thessaloniki is one of the oldest in the region.