Cathedral of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, also known as the Assumption Cathedral, is the oldest Orthodox Church in Kharkov, erected in honor of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary. The cathedral is located in the heart of the city on the banks of the river Lopan on University Hill.
The Assumption Cathedral was first mentioned in the report by the voivode Ofrosimov in 1658. According to this document, the construction of a wooden church dates back to the year 1657, and the very structure had one altar. There were not many of the liturgical books, and icons were not made of wood, but of paper.
Rapidly having fallen into decay, the wooden Assumption Cathedral was replaced with the stone one in the years 1685-1687, the construction of which was conducted under the personal direction of Colonel Abdi Grigoryevitch. The new temple was cruciform shape, and had five domes.
In 1733 the Assumption Cathedral was badly damaged by a large city fire. Everything inside the temple burned: the roof was completely burned, and the stone walls survived, but a year later the temple was restored by the incredible efforts of the Archpriest Grigory Alexandrov.
In 1770 it was decided to build a new church, because in the walls of the old one there were found the cracks, which could not be eliminated even by means of major repairs. The erection of the new cathedral began in 1771 and lasted more than 10 years. The new church was a square shape, crowned with its five domes.
After the victory of the Russian army over the forces of Napoleon Bonaparte, there was made the decision to erect a bell tower in honor of Alexander I. At the time of construction, the bell tower was the highest in the Russian empire, surpassing even the bell tower of Ivan the Great in Moscow. In honor of the great victory on the bell tower there was made the inscription: «Богу Спасителю за избавленіе отечества отъ нашествія галловъ и съ ними двадесяти языкъ» (To God, the Savior of the Fatherland of the Gauls invasion and 20 languages with).
During the widespread closure of churches in 1920 there were taken all valuables from the Assumption Cathedral, including wooden iconostasis of XVIII century, and in 1929 there have been destroyed all five domes and decorative elements of the facade.
The repair works at the temple began in the late 50-ies of XX century: the roof was closed, the walls of the façade were plastered and painted, the Alexander bell tower was partially restored. The foundation, the walls have been also strengthened, and there have been erected all over five domes.
The first service in the cathedral after the long repair and restoration works has been conducted in 1990 and since then has never stopped.