Yanka (Anna) Vsevolodivna

XII pageKyivan RusPrincely times Kings and Queens

Yanka (Anna) Vsevolodivna (ca 1068–03.11.1112) – daughter of Grand Prince Vsevolod Yaroslavych of Kyiv and Byzantine Princess Maria-Anastasia from the Monomachos dynasty, saint of the Orthodox Church.

Was betrothed to Prince Konstantios, son of Byzantine Emperor Constantine X Doukas, in his young years declared a co-emperor together with his brothers. As a rival in the struggle for the throne, he was forced to become a monk.

Brought up by her parents as a zealous Christian, Yanka also took the veil. At the instance of his daughter, Prince Vsevolod built the Church of Saint Andrew the First Called and a convent attached to it, called later Yanka’s convent. The former bride of the Byzantine Emperor became its Mother Superior. The Rus first school for girls was established at the convent, where girls were taught reading, writing, singing, and embroidery. Hundreds of school leavers spread throughout Rus beliefs of the Christian Church, mastery in fancy-work, and glorified the wise and highly-educated preceptress Yanka. In 1088, she went to Constantinople to worship Christian relics and draw on experience in development of ecclesiastical educational establishments. She returned to Rus with the next Rus Metropolitan Ioann III.

The Princess was buried in Yanka’s Convent built by legend near the Tithe Church, which was a burial place of Vsevolod’s descendants for a long time.

Portrait (imaginary) of Yanka Vsevolodivna.

By A. Orlionov. Oil on canvas. 90×70. 2008