National University of "Kyiv-Mohyla Academy"                           

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Old Academic Building


Old Academy (Mazepa) Building is considered to be the one of the most beautiful and valuable building in Podil for more than three centuries.

It has the highest national cultural, historical (2009) and architectural (1963) status. It is included to the list of cultural objects of National importance (Protection no.260025-H). It also Kyiv local historical status (no.159 from 27.04.1970 and no.840 from  21.08.1975) being a memorial building where Ukrainian phylosopher and poet H.Skovoroda studied in 1744-1750, and M.Lomonosov studied in 1734.

1. Building History

2. Images

3. Interiors

4. Selected  bibliography in English

The Old Academic Building is connected with the name of Ivan Mazepa, the Ukrainian Kozak Hetman, who paid for the construction of this building in 1703.

The building is an integral part of Ukrainian education and culture.  The 17th and 18th century glory days of the Kyiv-Mohyla Academy gave the world the founders of scientific schools, renowned architects, artists, and politicians. Some of them:

Skovoroda  Vedel    

Hryhoriy Skovoroda,                 Artemiy Vedel,                     Ivan Hryhorovych-Barskyi,         Ivan Nechuy-Levytsky

phylosopher                             composer                              architect                                    writer

This building was depicted on the 17-18th century Kyiv-Mohyla Academy seal. Its image is also featured on the logo of the Harvard Ukrainian Research Institute, the Ukrainian National Academy of Sciences Hrushevskyi Archeography and Source Studies Institute, as well as Ukraine’s 500 hryvnia banknote.


Among the notable feagures of the Kyiv-Mohyla Academy are Metropolitan Petro Mohyla, Dymytriy (Tuptalo), Ioann (Maksymovych), Hetmans Ivan Vygovskyi, Petro Doroshenko, Ivan Skoropadskyi, Pylyp Orlyk, Pavlo Poluboto and Danylo Apostol, Moscow Slavic-Greek-Latin school reformer Stefan Jaworskyi (this was the first higher education institute in Russia), Ukraine’s greatest philosopher Hryhoriy Skovoroda, composers Maksym Berezovskyi and Artemiy Vedel, cossack chroniclers Samiylo Velychko and Hryhoriy Hrabianka. Many of these Mohyla figures are honored on bronze plaques on the building’s Kontraktova square façade.

The Old Academic Building has a complex history of renovations and improvements, both functional and decorative.  Since 1870 it housed a library collection of volumes from the 17th and 18th centuries.  It was considered the largest scientific library in Eastern Europe, containing about 158,000 volumes, including 2,130 books in many different languages from Petro Mohyla’s first academic library. A large part of this library remained in the building throughout Soviet rule. Currently the building houses the Kyiv-Mohyla Scientific Library, the Academy’s Doctoral School and art gallery.

Within the Old Academic Building there are several 17th and 18th century frescoes.  Only a small handful of other buildings contain such frescoes, the Kyiv Monastery of the Caves and the St. Sofia complex, both of which are UNESCO heritage sites.


With the renaissance of the Kyiv-Mohyla Academy in its historic Podil location, the Old Academic Building in its prime, welcomed prominent U.S. statesmen, the leaders of many European countries, the most renowned intellectuals from the United States and Europe during their visits to Ukraine. Important academic meetings and the festive presentations take place here. NaUKMA Graduate Library here is home to rare and valuable books and book collections.


The Old Academic Building is genuine pearl of Baroque art and architecture, a unique building that has preserved its primary purpose as an academic building and library to the present day.


The budget of the Old Academy (Mazepa’s) building restoration amounts to 165 million UAH for : 

·         Preparing designs and budgets for Mechanical Systems (HVAC, Plumbing, Electrical, Communications), restoration and upgrading (lighting, life safety, handicap/access compliance) work, scopes and schedule of the project.

·         Renovation work is to include:  Reinforcing and waterproofing walls, foundation and roof.  Replacement of deteriorated wood construction within the building.  Finishing work to include plastering, painting, flooring and hardware repair and replacement.  New mechanical systems to be installed include HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning), plumbing, electrical and communications.  Restoration is to include:  Exterior façade, Congregation Hall ceiling and roofing;  all within the scope and intent of the original Baroque design and construction.

·         The library is to be equipped with state of the art facilities and technology. Library restoration is to include original bookstands for the unique library collections.

With funding secured, the project can be completed within five years.

The charity reception and silent auction were held on January 19, 2011, on the Epiphany Day.

In 2017 the first stage of building restoration was done with state and university funds: reinforcing and waterproofing walls and foundation; preparing designs and budgets (stage P) for overall restoration of the building.

Designs and project papters (stage Working documents) were prepared in 2018 with limited state and unversity funding.

10 million UAH are allocated in state budget for 2019. This will partially cover expenses for the roof.

Preparations to relocate the library, archives and to restoration have started:



НаУКМА 2011 - 2017

Latest News

10 August, 2019

We have started new big step in Mazepa building...

30 December, 2017


6 August, 2017

First stage of Old Academic (Mazepa) Building...


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