The medieval state of Kievan Rus'
incorporated parts of what is now modern Ukraine
, and Belarus
, and was centered around Kiev
. Its architectural style
quickly established itself after the adoption of Christianity
and was strongly influenced by the Byzantine
. After the disintegration of Kievan Rus'
followed by Mongol invasion
in the first half of 13th century, the architectural tradition continued in the principalities of Novgorod
and eventually had direct influence on the Russian
, and Belarussian
The great churches of Kievan Rus', built after the adoption of Christianity
in 988, were the first examples of monumental architecture in the East Slavic lands. The architectural style of the Kievan state which quickly established itself was strongly influenced by the Byzantine
. Early Eastern Orthodox
churches were mainly made of wood with the simplest form of church becoming known as a cell church
. Major cathedrals often featured scores of small domes, which led some art historians to take this as an indication of what the pagan Slavic temples should have looked like.
The tenth-century Church of the Tithes
in Kiev was the first cult building to be made of stone. The earliest Kievan churches were built and decorated with frescoes
by Byzantine masters.
Another great example of an early church of Kievan Rus' was the thirteen-domed Saint Sophia Cathedral in Kiev
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