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Kiev


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Kiev (also spelled Kyiv) is the capital and largest city of with over 3 million inhabitants (see map). It was the birthplace of Kievan Rus, the Russian mother-state ofKiev map a thousand years ago. Here Christianity was introduced to the Eastern Slavs . Old Kiev was built on the high right bank of the Dnipro river, and the city has many hills, parks, and open areas. With a good guidebook one could spend many days walking around Kiev sightseeing.

To foreign visitors Ukrainians' lifestyle may be just as interesting as the sights. In Kiev one can find all possible combinations of cosmopolitism and provinciality, secularism and spirituality, and capitalism and communism.

Kiev is one of the biggest cities in Europe . It is a bustling capital of independent , its administrative, economic, scientific, cultural and educational center. This scenic city with population of over 3 million people is located on the shores of the Dnepr River .

Kiev is a city of invaluable historical and cultural monuments, a city of great events and outstanding people. Everyone will find there something especially interesting for himself.

The art and architecture of Kiev are considered world treasures. Many famous artists, poets and writers estimated the unique beauty of this city. The most renowned landmarks include: Cathedral of St. Sophia with outstanding mosaics and frescoes dating back to the 11th century; Kievo-Percherskaya Lavra featuring several monasteries and cathedrals; Golden Gate of Kiev, which date back to 1037; Ukrainian Baroque Church of St. Andrew; the magnificent 19th-century Cathedral of St. Vladimir; and many other attractions. Kiev is often referred to as "the mother of all cities" by Russians and Ukrainians. It is one of the oldest towns in Europe . In the historical center of Kiev you can feel the spirit of the past everywhere. Kiev is distinguished for its rich cultural life. Theater lovers will find many theatres offering various theatrical programs. Most performances are held in Ukrainian or Russian. The recently renovated Kiev Opera House presents very good opera as well as a broad repertoire of ballets. Ivan Franko Theater is a center of Ukrainian drama, comedy, and musicals. A lot of various exhibitions are carried out in the city's numerous museums and art galleries.

Kiev is also a scientific and educational center of independent . Various universities and science academies including famous Kiev-Mogilyanskaya Academy , which is one of the first scientific establishments in Eastern Europe , are located there. Being the largest city of , Kiev is a leading industrial and commercial center of the country. Kiev 's major industries include: food processing (especially processing of beet sugar), metallurgy, manufacture of machinery, machine tools, rolling stock, chemicals, building materials, and textiles. The development of Ukrainian economy gave impulse to business activity of the city. There are a lot of new office centers, banks, trade exhibition centers and other commercial enterprises appearing in the city nowadays.

Take a walk through the ancient streets of this scenic city, feel its unique beauty and the spirit of its past. For sure your stay in Kiev will become one of your most memorable experiences.

History of Kiev Kiy, Shchek, Khoryv and their sister Lybid

According to the ancient legend, Kiev, the capital of Ukraine, was founded by three brothers, Kyi, Schek and Khoryv, and their sister Lybed, at the end of the 5th-beginning of the 6th centuries. The city was named after the eldest brother Kyi. Kyiv means the city of Kyi . Kyiv is a Ukrainian spelling and Kiev is Russian, more known worldwide since the Soviet times.

Many ancient tribes gathered around Kiev, and at the end of the 9th century the city became the political center of the Eastern Slavs . In the year 988 Christianity, introduced by Great Prince Vladimir, became the official religion of the Kievan Rus. This helped to establish political and cultural relations with such states as the Byzantium Empire and . At that time almost 50,000 people lived in the city; there were about 400 churches and 8 markets. When Vladimir Monomakh died in the year 1152, the mighty Kievan Rus began to decay. In 1240 Kiev was demolished by Baty-khan. Only in the 14th century Kiev began to revive. But in 1362 Great Duke of Lithuania captured the city. For more than one hundred years it was under the command of Lithuanian and Polish dukes. People's liberation war of 1648-1654 against the Lithuanian-Polish Yoke led to liberation. But Cossack armies, headed by Hetman Bogdan Khmelnitsky, couldn't manage to conquer the enemy without help from . As a result, plunged under a long period of domination by the Russian Empire. Since that time the history of and Kiev was closely connected with Russian history.

Golden GateArcheological excavations show evidence of the first settlements on the territory of Kiev 15,000 to 20,000 years ago.

The early settlers of Kiev built their citadel on the steep right bank of the Dnepr River to protect themselves from Nomadic tribes. Later, Kiev 's Grand Dukes built their palaces and churches on Starokievskiy Hill, while artisans and merchants settled next to the wharf on the Dnepr. By the end of the 9th century, when the Grand Dukes of Kiev united scattered Slavic tribes, Kiev became the political center of the Eastern Slavs . The city maintained wide foreign and commercial trade links due to its favorable position in the middle of trade routes between the Vikings and the Greeks (strict way from Northern Europe and the Baltics to the Mediterranean ). Kiev`s development accelerated during the reign of Grand Duke Vladimir the Great (980-1015). In 988 Vladimir established Orthodox Christianity as the official religion of the realm in order to strengthen the power of Kiev on the broader international arena. During that time the first stone temple in , Desyatinnaya church, was constructed.

During the 11th and 12th centuries ancient Kiev Rus reached its greatest period of ascendancy. By the 11th century Kiev was one of the largest centers of civilization in the Eastern christian world. At that time, there were about 400 churches, 8 markets and more than 50,000 inhabitants in Kiev . For comparison, at the same time the population of London, Hamburg and Gdansk was about 20,000 people. Kiev was among the most prospering craft and shopping centers of Europe . After the death of Kiev`s great Prince Vladimir Monomakh in 1125, Kiev Rus became involved in a long period of feudal wars. Foreign powers were quick to take advantage of this situation. In the fall of 1240, the Tatar-Mongols headed by Baty-khan, captured Kiev after series of long and bloody battles. Kiev fell into a prolonged period of decline. The Tartar-Mongols ruled for almost a century. Despite a foreign rule, Kiev retained its artisan, trade and cultural traditions and remained an important political, trade and cultural center. In the 14th century, the Kiev region became the cradle for the modern Ukrainian nation.

In the 15th century Kiev was granted the Magdeburg Rights, which permitted greater independence of the city in matters of international commerce. Until the 14th century Kiev paid tribute to the Golden Horde. Then it passed under the control of Great Lithuaninan Duchy, which in 1569 was united with . With the establishment of the Kiev-Mogilyanskaya Academy in 1632, the city became a center of Ukrainian learning and scholarship.

The long road to the independence of began with Cossack military campaigns. In 1648-1654 Cossack armies, headed by Hetman Bogdan Khmelnitsky, 's Cossack leader, waged several wars to liberate . In 1648, when the Ukrainian Cossacks rose against , Kiev became for a brief period the center Bohdan Khmelnytskyof the Ukrainian State . But soon, confronted by the armies of Polish and Lithuanian feudal lords, Bogdan Khmelnitsky sought the protection of the Russian Tsar in the Treaty of Pereyaslavl. After 's union with in 1654, however, the city was acquired by Moscow . During a long period of domination by the Russian Empire Ukraine in the 17th and 18th centuries managed to preserve and enjoy some of its rich political, economic, cultural, and religious achievements.

In January 1918 after the fall of Russian Empire, the independence of was proclaimed and the Ukrainian National Republic was established. During the Civil War that followed the October Revolution Bolshevik Party seized power and expanded their sphere of control into . becomes a part of the Soviet Union .

Kiev suffered severely during the World War II, Vasilkovska Streetwhen many unique architectural and artistic treasures were destroyed. Earlier, in the 1930s, the Soviet authorities systematically destroyed many churches. Extensive restoration of the after-war days has revived much of Kiev 's historical and cultural heritage. Despite repressions, suffering, political turmoil, and ecological disasters, 's spirit and national identity have never died. On August 24, 1991, after the collapse of the Soviet Union, proclaimed its independence. This was the beginning of the whole new period in the history of and its beautiful capital.


Kyiv, Palace of Culture and Arts
Kyiv, Palace of Culture and Arts
Kyiv, Independence Square
Kyiv, Independence Square
Kyiv, Askoldís Grave
Kyiv, Askoldís Grave
Kyiv, view on the Left Bank of Dnieper
Kyiv, view on the Left Bank of Dnieper
Kyiv, Kyiv-Pechersík Lavra
Kyiv, Kyiv-Pechersík Lavra
Kyiv, Sagaydachnogo Street
Kyiv, Sagaydachnogo Street

Tours (Kiev):

Weekend in Kyiv 4 days
Historical Kyiv 5 days
Ancient Kyiv 5 days
Kyiv - Chernigiv (5 days)
Kyiv - Lviv (5 days)
Kyiv - Odesa (5 days)
Kyiv - Lviv - Pochaiv (8 days)
Tour to West Ukraine (9 days)
Carpathian mosaic (7 days)
Grand Tour of Ukraine (9 days)
Kyiv - Crimea (6 days)
Kyiv - Odesa - Crimea (9 days)
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