The mother city of Ukraine
Kyiv, which was founded in the fifth century, has managed to survive Mongolian invasions, fires, urban planning during Communist rule and the destruction of World War II. It is the mother city of Ukraine, Russia and Belarus, which developed from Kievan Rus’, a Slavic polity in existence from the ninth to the eleventh centuries.
The Old City of Kyiv
The Old City of Kyiv can be reached on foot from the centre. It is concentrated around the (vùlitsa) Volodimirska road where Kyiv’s historic monuments can be found. The most important building here is the Cathedral of Saint Sophia (eleventh century), which houses valuable mosaics and frescoes. The main street of Kyiv, Khreshchatik, is lined with shops, and the famous “Bessarabski”market is teeming with fruit and vegetable sellers.
Andriyivski vzviz (descent) is one of the most interesting places in Kyiv with old art cafes, characteristic restaurants, open-air painting exhibitions, shops selling local handicrafts, theatres, art galleries and the famous Church of St. Andrew, built according to the design of the architect Bartolomeo Rastrelli between 1749-54.
The descent ends in the Podil district, a historic market area and site of the river port. Here is the square, Kontraktova ploshcha, famous for the House of Contracts dating back to 1817, which today houses restaurants, galleries and offices. Alongside stands the Chernobyl Museum displaying photographs, documents and items related to the nuclear disaster of last century.
To the west, the Church of Mykola Pritisko, from 1631, has a green roof and façade in early Ukrainian Baroque style.
Pecherska Lavra Monastery
The Pechersk district extends along the River Dnieper, to the south of the historic centre. This is an ecclesiastical centre with Pecherska Lavra (Monastery of the Caves), founded in 1051. The monastery consists of a church with golden domes, underground tunnels and monastic buildings housing museums. The eleventh-century Cathedral of the Dormition is part of the monastery complex.
Ukraine is a unique place to visit. Nature and culture fill the spirit of visitors who arrive from all over the world. It is an agricultural country, with good production and exports, but also industrial, with metalworking, mechanical, chemical and, above all, aeronautical and space industries. The cultural traditions of the Ukrainians are seen at numerous events: feasts, exhibitions, festivals, wine and food events, theatre performances and concerts. Interesting architecture, abundant with masterpieces of different styles and eras, is everywhere and particularly in Kyiv. Ukraine’s tourist offer is attractive in any season, with culture in the city, sea and beaches (Black Sea and Azov Sea), thermal spas, and the resorts in the Carpathian mountains for skiing, snowboarding and trekking. After Russia, Ukraine is the largest country in Europe, being slightly larger than France.
Text by Enzo Cuppatri
Avion Tourism Magazine
Photos: Sisterscom.com, Shutterstock
Photos: Sisterscom.com, Shutterstock
Copyright © Sisterscom.com
Copyright © Sisterscom.com
Where to sleep in Kyiv
Kyiv Photo: Copyright © Sisterscom.com, Shutterstock
Kyiv is a welcoming city and offers different possibilities for accommodation.
To find the ideal hotel and the best offers you can do a search for the stars but also for districts or landmarks.
WHERE TO GO in kyiv
Monuments in Kyiv
SAINT ANDREW'S CHURCH
With a rare beauty, the Saint Andrew's Church sits on a hill in the historic centre of Kyiv and is one of the best known Orthodox churches in the Ukrainian capital. It is considered a work of art and one of the city’s landmarks. It owes its origins to the Russian Empress Elizabeth who wanted to make Kyiv her summer residence and ordered the construction of the church. Built in 1754 by the architect Bartolomeo Rastrelli, the building has five domes, one of which is in a Baroque style. The temple is in the shape of a cross and decorated with ornamental towers and is distinguishable by its unusual elegance, luxury furnishings, the lightness of its form, refinement, and interior decoration. The church also houses a museum with a collection following the history of this architectural masterpiece.
ST. SOPHIA CATHEDRAL
The St. Sophia Cathedral in Kyiv is known for its beautiful architecture. To see the Bell Tower, ornamented in white stucco molding and a brilliant turquoise background.
The tower is complete with 20 bells and the most famous of these being is the Mazepa Bell, commissioned by Hetman Ivan Mazepa, located on the second tier of the tower and weighs 13 tons.
ST. VOLODYMYR’S CATHEDRAL
Built between 1862 and 1882, the St. Volodymyr's Cathedral in Kyiv has the exterior in the old Russian and Byzantine style, while the interior is lavishly decorated with paintings by well-known Russian, Ukrainian and Polish artists.
A historic fortress built between 1017 and 1024, the Golden Gate of Kyiv is the only monument that has survived to the present day. It was built as a main entrance to the city of Kyiv and has witnessed many important historic events. It currently displays objects related to daily life and discoveries made during archaeological digs in the Golden Gate area. The main tower houses the Church of the Annunciation, with its characteristic golden dome, which was invoked to defeat enemies.
KYIV-PECHERSK LAVRA (CAVE MONASTERY)
The Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra (Cave Monastery) was founded in 1051 on the high hills on the right-hand bank of the Dnepr River. There are 40 buildings in the area of the monastery, including churches, museums and libraries. One of the most elaborate is the bell tower, erected in 1731-1744. The Cathedral of Assumption was built in the eleventh-century, but then destroyed in 1941 and rebuilt in 2000. Today it is a sacred location and a pilgrimage site for Orthodox Christians around the world.
NATIONAL ACADEMIC THEATRE OF OPERA AND BALLET
The original building of the theatre was destroyed in 1896 and the new building was erected in 1898. The National Opera House of Kyiv, named after Taras Shevchenko, can seat 1,650 spectators and offers beautiful performances.
Museums in Kyiv
KIEV NATIONAL ART MUSEUM OF UKRAINE
Founded in the nineteenth-century, the National Art Museum of Ukraine in Kyiv was created to grant access to all those who wanted to view the collections of art. It was built in a neo-classical style and has around 20,000 works in its collection and is the largest museum in Ukraine.
MUSEUM OF MINIATURES
In the Museum of Miniatures you can see the masterpieces of Mykola Siadrystyi. Siadrysyi was able to create fine-scale miniatures, some smaller than a poppy seed, with incredible detail. The most popular work of Ukrainian master is a shoed flea which is made of gold, to see only with a microscope.
Excursions in Kyiv
The Dnipro River is also a place for relaxation and recreation. Explore Kyiv on a boat trip or with a canoe, relax while swimming or fishing and enjoy the unique beaches of the Ukrainian capital.
KYIVAN RUS PARK
The Kyivan Rus Park is a reconstruction of one of the most famous and mysterious medieval cities of Eastern Europe (Ancient Kyiv of the 5th-13th centuries). It offer shows, battles of knights, traditional music, local cuisine, horse riding and hot air balloon flights.
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