They said Kyiv was founded three times. According to the ancient chronicles, once upon a time there were three brothers named Kyi, Shchek and Khoriv who founded the city on the hills above the Dnipro River.
It was a legendary foundation (recent archaeological excavations have revealed evidence that suggests that there might be a grain of truth in this legend). The other legend says that one of the Apostles, St. Andrew, St. Peter's brother, arrived at the place where Kyiv was to spring several centuries later, erected a cross on the top of a hill and announced in advance that a mighty city would sprawl over several hills and dales along the river boasting many beautiful churches.
Historians doubt whether St.Andrew really did travel from the far away Palestine to the hilly banks of the Dnipro.
The foundation of the city took place sometime in the 5th century AD. The ancient chronicles say that the cross erected by St. Andrew was preserved and was seen as late as 13th century when a wooden church was built on the hill where this cross had once stood. The church was called Vozdvizhenska (the Church of the Erection of the Cross).
The place was - and is - indeed marvelous. The top of Starokyivska hill with some clinking springs. The Dnipro river is in the bottom, as well as Podol.
In the centuries that followed, full of wars and fires, the Vozdvizhenska Church perished. In 1744 the Empress of the Russian Empire (of which Kyiv was a part then) visited the ancient city. Kyiv needed a new church - for Her Majesty.
The plan of the church was made by the genius architect of the 18th c. - the Italian master Bartolomeo Rastrelli which is famous by his palaces in St.Peterburg and its suburbs. The construction took place in 1747-1753 under the direction of Moscow architect I.F.Michurin.