Few monuments have survived in modern Kyiv since the Hetmans’ era, and Hetman Ivan Mazepa contributed to most of them: no wonder we use the term ‘Mazepa’s Baroque’. Hetman was one of the most revered donators of the Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra: his money built stone defensive walls around the monastery, restored the Trinity Gate Church, constructed the Church of All Saints in Lavra and gilded domes, and decorated the Dormition Cathedral. Mazepa also financed the construction of the belfry of St. Sophia. Another project dear to the hetman was the Kyiv-Mohyla Academy and the associated Brotherhood Monastery.
In 1632, the Kyiv and Pechersk fraternities merged into a college, which later became an academy, whose history is, without exaggeration, the golden page of Ukrainian culture, as education and science figures, artists, and clergy gathered around the academy. The activities of Petro Mohyla, Feofan Prokopovych, Lazar Baranovych, Mitrofan Dovgalevskyi are connected with Mohylianka, and Hryhorii Skovoroda was its graduate.
The Kyiv-Mohyla Academy originated from the Kyiv Brotherhood, which was cared for by Ukrainian hetmans. In 1615, the Epiphany Monastery, also known as the Brotherhood Monastery, was founded on a plot of land donated to the fraternity by the Kyiv noblewoman Halshka Hulevychivna. In 1620, with the help of Hetman Petro Sahaidachnyi, the Kyivan Brotherhood received stauropegia, i.e. direct subordination to the Patriarch of Constantinople, and Patriarch Theophanes of Jerusalem ordained local bishops. Sahaidachnyi joined the fraternity with the entire Zaporozhian Army.
In the 1690s, Mazepa financed the construction of the Epiphany Cathedral, designed by architect Osyp Startsev. It was the primary church of the Brotherhood Monastery, a majestic building in the Baroque style. At the same time, in Pechersk the construction of a kindred-church was under way – St. Nicholas Cathedral, also Baroque and designed by the same architect. Among the relics of the Epiphany Cathedral, the most valuable was the miraculous icon ‘Brotherhood Mother of God’, an example of the skill of the Kyiv icon-painting school of the end of the 17th century. Both cathedrals were destroyed by the Bolsheviks in 1935, and the icon is now preserved in the National Art Museum of Ukraine.
In 1704, the Old Academic Building also known as Mazepa’s Building of the Kyiv-Mohyla Academy was built at Mazepa’s expense. Initially, the building was one-story, and in the 1730s the second floor was completed according to the design of Johann Gottfried Schädel. From the time of construction to the present day, this building is used exclusively for higher education.