The Transfiguration Cathedral in Odessa is the Orthodox Cathedral in
Ukraine, dedicated to the
Transfiguration and belongs to the
Ukrainian Orthodox Church (Moscow Patriarchate).
The first and foremost church in the city of
Odessa, the cathedral was founded in 1794 by
Gavril Bănulescu-Bodoni. Construction lagged several years behind schedule and the newly appointed governor of
Armand-Emmanuel de Vignerot du Plessis, Duc de Richelieu, employed the Italian architect
Francesco Frappoli to complete the edifice.
The cathedral was designated the main church of New Russia in 1808 and was continuously expanded throughout the 19th century. The
belltower was built between 1825 and 1837, and the refectory connecting it to the main church several years later. The interior was lined with polychrome
marble, and the
icon screen also was of marble.
Several churches in the region, including the
Nativity Cathedral in
Chişinău, were built in conscious imitation of the Odessa church. The cathedral was the burial place of the bishops of
Tauride (including Saint
Innocent of Kherson) and Prince
Mikhail Semyonovich Vorontsov, the famous governor of New Russia.
The original structure was demolished by the Soviets in 1936. It was rebuilt starting from 1999. The new cathedral was consecrated in 2003. The remains of Vorontsov and his wife were subsequently reburied in the cathedral. There is a statue of him on the cathedral square. The cathedral
bells are controlled by an electronic device capable of playing 99 melodies.