Kiev Places of Interest. Kyiv is the capital of Ukraine and one of the biggest cities in Europe. It has been standing on steep hills overlooking the Dnipro River for more than 1,500 years. According to the ancient legend, Kyiv was founded by the three brothers Kyi, Schek and Khoryv and their sister Lybid, and it was named after the eldest brother Kyi. Since then, Kyiv has developed into a valuable center of East Europe attracting foreign businesses and investors to its economic and natural potential. As an important administrative center, Kyiv is a place for Ukrainian Presidential Administration, Verkhovna Rada, Parliament, and nearly all ministries and governmental departments. Its financial part consists of the National Bank of Ukraine around the world, as well as investment companies and funds, representative offices of foreign financial institutions, exchange markets, and more than 220 commercial banks. In Kyiv, more than 2,000 objects belong to historical, cultural, and architectural monuments.
Kyivo-Pecherska Lavra. The Dnipro hills are dominated by the greatest monument of Kyiv, the Kyivo-Pecherska Lavra, built almost nine centuries ago. A complex of churches, masterpieces of architecture by themselves, has been a holy place of worship for devoted Christians. Famous for its catacombs with the saints' relics, Lavra is also called the Monastery of Caves. Museum collections of miniatures and church treasures amaze visitors from all over the world. National Opera House The theater is located in downtown Kyiv, near the Khreschatyk st. The beautiful exterior of the building is supported by the majestic interior design. Much of the theater's creative efforts are concentrated on productions of classical Ukrainian and Russian operas and ballets. Professional actors, creative lighting, and bright decorations leave the most memorable impression about Ukraine's dramatic art. Volodymyr the Baptizer On the slope of the Volodymyr Hill stands the imposing monument to Prince Volodymyr who is also called the Baptizer of Rus. He converted Kyivan Rus to christianity in 988. The bronze statue was erected in 1853. St. Nicolas Catholic Cathedral The cathedral was built in 1899-1909 by the architect Horotetskyi. The building is placed on one of the central streets (Chervonoarmiyska st.), and it can be easily recognized by its distinctive Gothic style and a pair of beautiful needle towers. It was restored in 1980 and now is used as both the concert hall for organ music and the church where Roman Catholic services are held. Golden Gate This fortified wall, defining the limits of the city and serving as a protective barrier from invaders in the centuries past, dates back to 1037, the reign of Prince Yaroslav the Wise. The place was restored to its present condition in 1983, and it now serves as the Golden Gate historical museum. The structure is located in downtown Kyiv, just outside the Zoloti Vorota metro station.l. St. Sophia Cathedral. St. Sophia's thirteen gorgeous golden domes nicely blend with the city skyline. The grandiose ensemble was built by Prince Yaroslav the Wise in the XI century in commemoration of the victory over the Pecheneg tribe. The cathedral became a major cultural and political center of Kyivan Rus and a site for receiving ambassadors from many countries. St. Sophia is famous for its outstanding mosaics and frescoes dating back to the eleventh century. Popular Places Visited by Tourists:
Mariyinsky Palace. The gorgeous blue-and-cream palace designed by Bartolomeo Rastrelli was built in 1750 under the supervision of Russian architect Ivan Michurin and is located on top of the hill in a beautiful park. The magnificent building was used as Kyiv residence of the Tsar family. Today the palace is used for official state receptions such as presidential meetings and international conferences. It is open to tourist groups by appointment as well. Andriyivsky Uzviz (Andriyivsky Descent)The most ancient and steep street in Kyiv, Andriyivsky Uzviz, is Kyivites' favorite place for outdoor fairs, festivals, and concerts. Art galleries, shops, and studios make Andriyivsky Uzviz the best place to shop for Ukrainian crafts and artworks. Cultural museums located here reveal the history of the legendary street and of the whole Kyiv. Overlooking Andriyivsky Uzviz and Podil, the old section of Kyiv, stands the Ukrainian Baroque church of St. Andrew designed in 1754 by the Italian architect Bartolomeo Rastrelli. This five-domed church remains the major adornment of the upper city. The Castle of Richard in the modernized Gothic style built in 1902 is Andriyivsky Uzviz' another distinctive feature. The building is currently being reconstructed into a hotel. Funicular. The funicular (cable car) was built in 1905 and until now it offers quick, exciting, and inexpensive rides from Podil (Lower City) up to Mykhailivska Ploscha (Upper City). The ride is short (about 2 minutes), but it is worth seeing a magnificent panorama of Kyiv and the Dnipro River that uncovers from the Funicular. The cost is the same as the fares in city transport. Children under 7 can have a free ride. Horodetskyi Building. One of the most interesting buildings in Kyiv is located in a very quiet and peaceful part of the downtown. A well-known architect Horodetskyi built the house as a private residence in 1902-1903. The walls and the roof of the structure are decorated with intricate sculptural ornaments of mythological and hunting themes. The building is considered one of the most fascinating architectural creations in Kyiv. Volodymyr Cathedral. The structure of this Russian Orthodox Church which was built in 1882 reflects features of the Neo-Byzantine style. The murals of the church interior done by famous Russian painters present considerable artistic significance. The mosaics of the authorship of Venetian masters and the choir music performed in the cathedral are not to be missed. The building is located on one of city's central streets, Tarasa Shevchenka blvd. Khreschatyk. Khreschatyk is the main street in Kyiv. It was recently renovated into one of the most scenic and beautiful places that combines the features of a busy business center with the historical architectural design of buildings. The street leads to Maidan Nezalezhnosti, the city's main square and one of the most popular places of meetings. On weekends, the traffic is blocked on Khreschatyk, and visitors can enjoy a nice walk right in the middle of the street