The initial design was prepared in 1853 by architect I.Shtrom, the final – by Academician A.Beretti. The cathedral is a traditional Old Russian six-pier triapsidal temple in the Russo-Byzantine style, crowned by seven domes (initially it was planned to install 13 cupolas).
The wall paintings were carried out under a general direction of Professor A.Prakhov. The celebrated V.Vasnetsov painted The Eucharist, The Prelates, and The Prophets on the chancel walls; Christ Pantocrator in the main dome; The Logos, God the Father, and The Crucified God the Son in the middle pace vault; The Last Judgement on the west wall; The Baptism of Prince Volodymyr, and The Baptism of Kyivites to the right and left of the entry; The Bliss of Heaven, and The Fall of Man at the choir loft (3,000 square metres of murals in all). The icons of the one-tiered iconostases, made of Carrara marble, at the main chancel and the side-altars of St. Olga and Sts. Boris and Gleb on the upper tier were painted by V.Vasnetsov and M.Nesterov. The talented and poetic M.Nesterov is also the author of the compositions The Nativity of Christ, The Manifestation of God, and The Resurrection. The murals on the evangelic subjects of the lower tier and the six plafonds The Creation of the World are the works by well-known Polish painters, V.Kotarbinski and P.Swedomski. Some of the fanciful ornaments were painted to the drafts by the brilliant M.Vrubel. The period inscriptions in Slavonic type were executed by Ukrainian painter V.Zamiraylo. Another Ukrainian artist, M.Pimonenko, painted two images in separate icon-cases. In general, the pictorial design of the cathedral strikes by the skill and lofty spirituality of the painters and produces a bright, festive and unforgettable impression.
A solemn consecration of the cathedral took place in 1896.