Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Use My Camera Classic : Visiting the Ukrainian Village in Chicago

**In this series of posts, I revisit interesting locations and sites that I never got around to posting about when I originally visited them.**

While I was up in Chicago taking part in the National Sports Collectors Convention a couple weeks ago, I had to stop by Ann's Bakery and Deli to pick up some pelmeni to bring back home to Decatur. The deli is located in the heart of the Ukrainian Village in Chicago and it reminded me I never got around to posting the photos from our initial visit several years ago. 

The village is located on the westside of Chicago and it grew to prominence in the 1910's and 20's as many Ukrainian immigrants moved to the city. 

The district saw many eastern European groups move there, most famously Ukrainian Catholics who built several churches in the area including three central ones, St. Nicholas, Saints Volodymyr and Olha, and St. Volodymyr. 

Our first stop was at St. Volodymyr. Volodymyr or Vladimir, as the stone in front of the church reads, was Vladimir the Great, the leader of the Kievan Rus from 980 to 1015. He fully Christianized the Rus and became one of Ukraine's ultimate folk heros. He is considered a saint in both the Roman and Orthodox religions and you can find Vladimir on the one hryvnia bill.

The cathedral is a beautiful tall red brick structure with oxidized copper trim. Originally a German Lutheran church, it features gothic architecture and an interior that was remodeled into the Orthodox style.

The next stop was St. Nicholas Cathedral which was built from 1913 to 1916 in the Byzantine Revival style. It went through a renovation in 1976 and I really like the white brick.

The third church was Saints Volodymyr and Olha. We have already been introduced to Saint Volodymyr but not Saint Olha or Saint Olga. She was the grandmother of Vladimir the Great and was the first Rus leader to introduce Christianity.

This cathedral is the newest of the three as it was constructed from 1971 to 1973.  The intent was to create a structure with a look of Ukrainian churches from the 11th-13th century and the cathedral features a large gold dome at its center.

After spending the better part of a year in Ukraine, it was nice to re-enter the world a little bit. 

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