The Assumption or Dormition Cathedral was the main Orthodox church of Kharkiv, Ukraine until the construction of the Annunciation Cathedral in 1901. The cathedral stands on the University Hill by the bank of the Lopan River and dominates the entire downtown. The Neoclassical cathedral bell tower, built in the 1820s and 1830s to a height of 90 meters, remained the tallest building in the city until the 21st century.
The original Dormition Church was built in the Kharkov Fortress in the 1680s. It was completely rebuilt after a fire to a Late Baroque design loosely based on St Clement's Church, Moscow. The cathedral was consecrated in 1780 in the presence of Ukraine's governor, Pyotr Rumyantsev. The church boasted a gilded icon screen, carved from limewood to Rastrelli's Rococo design.
The free-standing Alexander Bell Tower was built in the aftermath of Napoleon's expulsion from Russia "to express the people's gratitude to Alexander I". It used to be the second tallest building in Ukraine after the Great Lavra Bell Tower. The seat of the local bishop was moved from the older Intercession Cathedral to the Dormition Church in 1846. A large French clock was installed in the bell tower in 1856.
The Soviet authorities closed the cathedral and had its domes torn down in 1929. The belfry was further damaged by a tornado in 1975. The cathedral was restored in the late 1970s and reverted to the Ukrainian Orthodox Church in 2006. The local bishopric shares it with a philharmonic society which had a Rieger–Kloss organ installed in the building back in 1986.