The annals say that the construction of Cathedral of St. Sophia in Novgorod began on February 15, 1045. Great Prince Yaroslav the Wise and his wife Irina came to the city from Kiev to take part in this event. The cathedral was being built for about 5 years. Now it is the most ancient of temples constructed by Slavonic people on the territory of Russia. The plumbic pigeon on the cupola was installed much later. The legend says that a pigeon sat on the cross of the cathedral in 1570, when Ivan the Terrible was brutally punishing the residents of Novgorod. Having seen the terrible slaughter, the bird petrified with horror. During the Great Patriotic War, the Cathedral of St. Sophia was damaged and plundered, but fully restored afterwards.
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