Kyiv (also known as Kiev), a scenic city of close to 3 million people situated on the Dnipro River, is the bustling capital of Ukraine. Ancient Kievan Rus, which reached its greatest period of ascendancy during the 11th and 12th centuries, was a center of trade routes between the Baltic and the Mediterranean. The city of Kyiv and the power of Kievan Rus were destroyed in 1240 by Mongol invaders and the lands of Kievan Rus were divided into principalities located to the west and north: Galicia, Volynia, Muscovy and later, Poland, Lithuania, and Russia. Once a powerful force on the European scene, Ukraine`s fate in modern times has been decided in far-off capitals. As a result, modern Ukrainian history, for the most part, has been defined by foreign occupation.
Kyiv suffered severely during World War II, and many irreplaceable architectural and art treasures were destroyed. Earlier in the 1930`s the Soviet authorities systematically destroyed many churches. Extensive restoration has revived much of historic Kyiv. The city hit the headlines in April 1986, when the nuclear reactor at nearby Chernobyl exploded, but scientists generally agree that the city is now safe from radiation effects.
Despite repressions, suffering, political turmoil, and ecological disasters, Ukraine`s spirit and national identity have never died. On August 24, 1991, after the aborted coup in Moscow, Ukraine proclaimed its independence. As of 1994, Ukraine has diplomatic relations with over 135 countries and close to 60 diplomatic missions are established in Kyiv. News correspondents, business representatives, and students from all over the world reside in Kyiv, and the flow of foreign tourists and official delegations is heavy year round. The resident American community consists of Embassy personnel (including dependents), correspondents, business representatives, clergy, professors, and students.
The art and architecture of Kyiv are world treasures. The Cathedral of St. Sophia, where the princes of Kyiv were crowned in the years of Kyiv`s grandeur, has outstanding mosaics and frescoes dating back to the 11th century. Overlooking the old section of Kyiv, Podol, stands the Ukrainian Baroque church of St. Andrew, much beloved by Ukrainians. The Pecherska Lavra, the Monastery of the Caves, a short trolley ride from the center of town, has two 11th-century cathedrals on its grounds, in addition to its world-famous catacombs, bell tower, and museum collections. Close to the center of town stands the Golden Gate, a structure which dates back to 1037. This recently reconstructed remains of the former fortified wall of the city defined the limits of the city in centuries past. Several blocks away, stands the magnificent 19th-century Cathedral of St. Volodymyr.
Theater buffs will find much to choose from here. Most performances are in Ukrainian or Russian. The recently renovated Kyiv Opera House presents very good opera as well as a broad repertoire of ballets. The Kyiv Young Theater is very popular and stages innovative plays in Ukrainian or Russian. The Ivan Franko Theater is the center of Ukrainian drama, comedy, and musicals. This repertoire has just opened its 75th season and includes brilliant versions of Aeneid and Teve Tevel, the original version of Fiddler on the Roof.
The modern center with surviving parts of the old city is on the hilly west, or right bank, of the Dnipro River. The main street, Khreshchatik, runs between two steep hills. Parallel about half a kilometer west is vulytsya Volodymyrska, the main street of the Old Kyiv area (Staryj Kyiv). From the north end of Khreshchatik, vulytsya Hrushevskoho rises southeast along a ridge to the Caves Monastery at Perchersk. Woods and parks cover most of the steep right-bank slopes. The capital`s newer sections stretch out on the flat left bank. These are characterized by large housing developments and industrialized neighborhoods.
Ukrainian pottery, embroidery, and handicrafts are available throughout the city, particularly in shops on Andrievsky Uzviz, at Percherska Lavra, and St. Sophia`s church. Quality and quantity vary from shop to shop. A growing number of hard currency stores stock Western food, alcohol, clothing, and electrical appliances. Most prices, in hard-currency stores, are higher than those in the West, and availability of stock is unpredictable.
Video of Kyiv
Must see in Kyiv
Khreschatyk – the main street of Kyiv. Two hundred years of Khreschatyk`s existence – a small period for ancient Kyiv, but this street by length some 1300 m anytime remains the most popular revenge of our city – its Broadway, its Champs Elysees, its Nevsky avenue. Khreschatyk is praised by bards and poets, retained by artists and cinematographers; he is expressed on postcard and post stamps. Shady chestnuts in time of its blossom at May contend the beauty with ensemble of old-time and post war buildings. In spite of abundance of the offices and shop, many here brings not business interest, but desire to repose, sit in one of the uncountable cafe, breathe special, truly capital air, which in recently became more cleanest because of that on holydays Khreschatyk becomes especially pedestrian.
Maidan Nezalezhnosti (Independence Square) -the main square of Ukraine and loved place of the rest of kievants and guests of the capital. There are monument to Independence of Ukraine, Kyiv conservatory, main post office, monument of the architecture – Lyadski Gates with gilded sculpture of Archangel Michael – a protector of Kyiv. Enormous underground “Globe” Trade-Entertainment Center invites you to walk on its boutiques and shop, sit in cosy cafes and fast-food restaurants.
Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra (Cave Monastery) – the main saint place amongst European Byzantium orthodox shrine. The Cave priory was founded in XI v. by monks Antoniy and Feodosiy. Architectural-artistic complex and museum borough united here with sedation of the imperishable powers of God`s sycophants on Near and Distant caves. Full name of the priory points to its main of the shrines. The Miraculous image of the Blessed Virgin`s Assumption formed the temple icon of the Assumption Cathedral on territory of Upper Lavra. The oldest and the most honouring Lavra on Rus is Kyiv`s. Architectural ensemble of Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra is contributed in UNESCO list of the worldwide heritage. Also on territory of Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra you will be able to visit the museum of the History valuables of Ukraine, State museum of the book and typographies of Ukraine, State museum of Ukrainian public decorative art and State museum of theatrical, music and cinema arts of Ukraine.
Pirogovo Museum of the Folklore Architecture and Life. This museum – a splendid open air exhibit ensemble – is situated on picturesque Kyiv fringe, near Holosiivskyi wood on territory beside 150 ha. Museum was opened in 1976. Over 320 museum constructions become authentic making the public wooden architecture, carried from different areas of Ukraine. Museum is divided into thematic zones: “Average Pridneprovie”, “Podolie”, “Poltavschina and Slobozhanschina”, “Polesie” and “the Carpathians”. Museum is a largest institution of this sort in Eastern Europe.
St. Sophia’s Cathedral – the most known and the most majestic cathedral amongst ancient temple of the East Europe, worldwide known masterpiece of the architecture, fresco painting and mosaic art. Erection in 1037 of Kyiv`s St. Sophia was for Grand duke Yaroslav the Wise act of the statement state earthy remains Kyivan Rus brown. In token receivership beside citadels of the orthodoxy – Byzantium – Kyiv metropolitans cathedral was named into the name of St. Sophia, either as main shrine of Konstantinopol. St. Sophia cathedral is contributed in UNESCO list of the worldwide heritage.
St. Michael’s Golden-Domed Monastery, (a short distance and easily visible from St. Sophia’s cathedral). A working monastery that goes back to the 12th Century. Destroyed during the Soviet era, with many of its art works hastily removed, some of which were transferred to the museums in Moscow and St Petersburg, some were moved to St Sophia Cathedral. Some mosaics housed in St Sophia subsequently fell into the hands of the Nazis but were returned… to Hermitage in St Petersburg. Rebuilt in 1997-98. Impressive gold domes best visited on a sunny day. Behind the complex is a pleasant park with views of the Dnieper and, to the left, the entrance to the funicular.
Andriivskyi Uzviz(St. Andrew’s Descent) – the most picturesque Kyiv`s street. Amazing landscape, inimitable St. Andrew church, peculiar “Castle of Richard – a Lion`s Heart”, Bulgakov`s relics and come alive sale souvenir and works of art. Today scenic Andriivskyi Uzviz for its tempestuous artistic life possible to compare to Monmartre in Paris.
St. Andrew’s Church. Built in the honour of St Andrew (Apostle of the Kievan Rus), the Church broke ground in 1744. According to the chronicle The Tale of Bygone Years, Saint Andrew came to the Dnieper (Dnipro) river’s slopes in the 1st Century AD and erected a cross on the current location of the church. He prophesied that the sparsely inhabited area would one day become a great city. His prediction turned out to be correct: that “site” became the city of Kiev, a centre of the Eastern Orthodox faith.
Chimeras House. On the street Bankova is located house number 10 built in the beginning of 20th century for the architect Vladislav Gorodetsky. The facade of the Chimeras House is decorated with images of mythical animals, in hunting and plant motifs. The structure is made in the style of “modern”.
Golden Gate is the main gate of ancient Kiev. They were reconstructed during the construction of St. Sophia Cathedral. In the late 17th century the front gate had still parts of the fortifications, but in the middle of the 18th century they were destroyed and covered with earth. The gates “came to life” for the first time in 1832 during excavations, and were completely renewed in 1982.
Podil – the oldest part of Kyiv. It is rightfully considered one of the most popular regions of Kyiv. Podil – an entailment of the democratic spirit in our city. Here toiled the handicraftsmen, traded the merchant, met in magistrate “fathers of the city”, but afterwards they properly were prayed in multiple churches of Podil. Simultaneously possible was meeting the temples of the other communes – Polish, Jewish, Armenian, Greek, German, Tatar on Podil. The glorified Bratska School – a future Kyiv-Mohyla academy was created on Podil. Podil is ravines of ancient handy crafts Honchari-Kozhumyaki-Dehtyari, this is Brodskyi mill and old-time power station, bicentennial plumbing and sundial, the first drugstore and car in Kyiv, the first in Russian empire tram, this river fleet, Kontraktovyi fair and Zhytniy market… Podil was ravaged by hostile tribes. It was going to liquidate by the order of Catherine II. Majority of Podil constructions were burned to ashes by grandiose fire in 1811. Dnipro bottling swamped Podil streets. But region immortal.
Museum of the II World War (Mother Motherland). Its territory occupies 20 ha. Idea of this gigantic memorial has offered shortly before its death to sculptor E. Vuchetich. The main building of the complex became the museum premises, terminated by high cone-pedestal, on which is installed statue of the Homeland-Mother with weight 530 t. Height of the whole building from foot of the building before tip sculpture`s sword is 108 m. There are thematic sculptural compositions, gigantic chalice, in which Fire of Immortal Fame fires at Victory Day, exhibition of the military materiel on the memorial`s territory. Pecherskyi Landscape Park verges to the memorial`s territory. The flowers exhibitions regularly settle down here. There is equipped the Singers field for mass open air concerts near the memorial.
Babyn Yar – a ravine which was the site of massacres of Jews, Gypsies, and other civilians by the Nazis and their puppets during World War II. Approximately 60,000 civilians were executed at this site during the war (over 34,000 Jews in the first two days alone). Now a memorial to “Soviet citizens” murdered by the Germans, the park can be reached via the metro.
You can visit this site booking our tours upon request.
Dnipro boat trip. Boat trip will leave the unforgettable impressions from stay in capital of Ukraine. You will be able to see the Kyiv bridges, splendid landscapes of the Right bank and modern constructions of the Left bank. Night cruise let you to observe Kyiv at night, herewith dining in floating restaurant under sounds of calm romantic music.
You can visit boat trip booking our tours upon request.
FC “Dynamo” Kyiv. One of the visiting cards of Kyiv is one of its soccer clubs – “Dynamo”. Club created in 1927 and is a 13-times USSR National champion and 9-times owner of the USSR Cup. For time of its existence “Dynamo” Kyiv has won the UEFA Cup Winners` Cup in 1975 and 1986, as well as UEFA Super Cup in 1975. Presently club – 14-times champion of Ukraine and 10-times owner of the Cup of Ukraine. “Dynamo” Kyiv players Oleg Blokhin and Igor Belanov became the owner of Golden Ball, which is delivered to European Footballer of the Year. In 2004 owner of Golden Ball became the FC “Dynamo” Kyiv alumnus Andriy Shevchenko, player of Italian AC “Milan”. We invite you to visit the matches with participation of the glorified club, presently emerging in UEFA Champion’s League, other UEFA Cups, Championship and Cup of Ukraine. Matches are conducted on stadium “Dynamo” and Olympic Stadium.
You can visit matches of FC Dynamo Kyiv booking our tours upon request.
Kyiv TV Tower (Televiziyna vezha) is the tallest lattice tower in the world (385 m). It is not accessible for tourists.
You can visit this site booking our tours upon request.