Protecting and Preserving Ukraine's Cultural Heritage

20 years of U.S. support

Wall Paintings in St. George's Church in DrohobychCultural Heritage Center, U.S. Department of State

Ukraine is home to centuries-old historic sites, architectural landmarks and artifact collections that speak to the unique cultural identity of Ukrainians. 

Between 2002 and 2022, the U.S. provided more than $1.7 million to support cultural preservation projects in Ukraine. In early 2023, it committed an additional $7 million to protect and preserve Ukraine's cultural heritage from damage by Russia's war of aggression.

Explore some of the heritage the U.S. has helped Ukraine preserve...

St. George's Church, Drohobych

Dating from the mid 17th century, this site is an exceptional example of the traditional wooden churches called tserkvas that are unique to the Carpathian region of Ukraine and Poland.

Mid-17th-Century St. George's Church in Drohobych (17th Century) by U.S. Embassy KyivCultural Heritage Center, U.S. Department of State

Added to the World Heritage list in 2013, the St. George tserkva features the most advanced wooden dome construction technology of its time.   

Conservation of Wall Paintings in the Mid-17th-Century St. George's Church in Drohobych by U.S. Embassy KiyvCultural Heritage Center, U.S. Department of State

The U.S. helped document and conserve some of St. George's surviving wall frescoes and supported installation of new electrical and fire prevention systems.

18th-Century Old Academic Building at the National University of Kyiv-Mohyla AcademyCultural Heritage Center, U.S. Department of State

The National University of Kyiv-Mohyla Academy

This architectural landmark in Kyiv’s oldest district is the first building in Ukraine designed and continuously operated for educational and cultural purposes.  The building is of such national significance that it appears on Ukraine's 500 Hryvnia banknote.

18th-Century Old Academic Building at the National University of Kyiv-Mohyla Academy (18th Century)Cultural Heritage Center, U.S. Department of State

With U.S. support, Ukrainian cultural heritage professionals reinforced walls and restored the monumental exterior facades of the Old Academic Building, including the section of the building housing the 18th-century Church of the Annunciation.

Old Academic Building at the National University of Kyiv-Mohyla AcademyCultural Heritage Center, U.S. Department of State

Conservation of the 18th-Century Vyshnivetsky Palace in Western Ukraine (18th Century)Cultural Heritage Center, U.S. Department of State

Vyshnivetsky Palace, Ternopil

This symbol of Ukraine’s independence was  originally built in the 15th century. It was an important site for the first Rada, or congress, of free Ukrainians. The site is central to Ukraine's long history of statehood.

18th-Century Vyshnivetsky Palace in Western Ukraine with statue and traditional garmentsCultural Heritage Center, U.S. Department of State

Nicknamed “the little Versailles,” Vyshnivetsky Palace is a touchstone of Ukrainian independence and identity. The U.S. helped restore the palace’s Hall of Mirrors (above) and the reinforced its southern retaining wall.

12th-Century Mosaics in the Collection of the National Preserve of St. Sophia in Kyiv (12th Century)Cultural Heritage Center, U.S. Department of State

St. Michael’s Mosaics

These mosaics, dating from the 12th century, were removed from St. Michael’s Cathedral before it's demolition in the 1930s by the Soviet Union--part of many Soviet attempts to suppress Ukrainian language and culture.

The mosaics are now in the collection of the National Preserve of St. Sophia in Kyiv.  The U.S. helped with the stabilization, preservation, and display of the mosaics. 

Ancient Cossack Naval Vessels by U.S. Embassy KyivCultural Heritage Center, U.S. Department of State

Cossack Naval Vessels, Zaporizhia

The U.S. supported preservation of two rare Cossack vessels from the 18th and 19th centuries. Such vessels gave the Cossacks tactical advantages over their larger and more powerful neighbors at a time when Ukrainians were free to govern themselves.

Zaporizhiya Cossacks MuseumCultural Heritage Center, U.S. Department of State

From their "sich" (fortress) on Khortytsia Island, the Zaporizhyan Cossacks played an important role in the historical and democratic development of the Ukrainian state by electing its first Rada -- or congress -- of free Ukrainians.

Conservation of 16th-Century Alberti Black House on Rynok Square in L'viv by U.S. Embassy KyivCultural Heritage Center, U.S. Department of State

Black House, Lviv

Black House is one of the most prominent buildings in Lviv's historic city center, which was inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1998. Situated on Rynok Square, Black House is an exceptional example of Renaissance design in Ukraine.

Black House is now a museum with exhibits on Ukrainian resistance movements, including the Orange and Maydan revolutions.

In 2016, the U.S. helped restore the building. In 2022, the U.S. partnered with World Monuments Fund to add a strong external structure to protect the delicate restored façade from damage from Russian attacks on Ukraine. On September 15, 2023, the UNESCO World Heritage Committee added Lviv's historic city center, including Black House to its List of World Heritage in Danger, due to the threat of destruction the Russian offensive poses.

The United States is deeply committed to helping Ukraine protect and preserve its important cultural heritage -- from archives, libraries, and museum collections to historic sites, including historic places of worship.

Ukraine National University by U.S. Embassy KyivCultural Heritage Center, U.S. Department of State

In recent months and years, the courage and strength of Ukraine’s people has been extraordinary.  They are doing whatever it takes to protect their own lives and liberty as well as to preserve their communities, history, and culture.  The United States is unwavering in its support for the Ukrainian people and their cultural heritage. 

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