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Where to go in Kyiv

Kyiv is the largest city in Ukraine and has plenty of interesting places for sightseeing. Below we have collected must-see Kyiv attractions that one should not miss to feel the spirit of this old city.

Saint Sophia’s Cathedral

The majestic Cathedral of St. Sophia was built in the first half of the 11th century. This is one of the oldest cathedrals of the Kyivan Rus, which continues to be preserved today. This masterpiece of medieval architecture occupies the first place in the world by the amount of the conserved mosaics and frescos from the 11th century. The St. Sophia complex is included in the UNESCO World Cultural Heritage List.

It is located at the intersection of the four leading roads in Kyiv, climb to the cathedral’s bell tower and you’ll be rewarded with a magnificent view from the top.

Saint Michael’s Golden-Domed Monastery

The cathedral was founded in the early 12th century. It is named in honor of St. Michael – the protector of Kyiv. Its nickname, the Golden-Domed Cathedral, comes from the fact that it was the first and the only church with such extravagant domes in ancient Rus. St. Michael's Cathedral is famous for its unique mosaics and frescos, which are rightfully considered to be the greatest creations of the Kyivan Rus monumental painting.

Today, the St. Michael's monastic complex includes, along with the rebuilt cathedral, a refectory with the Church of St. John the Divine and a bell tower, created in the 18th century. A museum dedicated to the history of the St. Michael's complex operates inside the bell tower. Fantastic views of the Ukrainian capital open up from the bell tower of the monastery.

Kyiv Pechersk Lavra monastery (Kyiv Monastery of the Caves)

Built in 1051, the monastery serves as a historical and cultural symbol of Kyiv, which creates spiritual and cultural value for the Ukrainian nation, as well as a spiritual center of the Christian world. Over centuries, the monastery has transformed into a cradle of biblical and evangelical traditions, enriched with works of literature, architecture and art.

The Lavra architectural structure is included in the UNESCO World Cultural Heritage List. Being famous for its ancient churches, beautiful territory and network of catacombs, the complex has served as a calling card of Kyiv for many years.

Saint Andrew’s Church

St. Andrew’s Church in Kyiv is one of the most striking Baroque buildings. Its architecture and location are genuinely unique. The church is built on an artificial hill, overlooking one of Kyiv’s oldest parts, and the foundation for it is the terrace of a two-story building, with a cast-iron staircase. It has been twice hit by lightning, but the church is still flourishing and is open to the public for services and sightseeing tours.

Andriivskyi Uzviz (Andriivskyi descent)

This unique and picturesque place is called "The Monmartre of Kyiv" for being the center of folk craftsmen, painters and antiquarians. On this street, you can also see a masterpiece of architect Rastrelli – the St. Andrew's Church. But the most interesting legends of Andriivskyi Uzviz are connected with people who lived here. Among them was Mykhailo Bulhakov, a famous writer whose museum is located on this street at house number 13. There are plenty of surrounding museums, galleries, antique shops, gift stores and art studios.

Uzviz is a favorite street to stroll for the Kyivans and city guests. Here you can also purchase beautiful souvenirs from all over Ukraine.

The Golden Gate

The gate was built in 1037 by Prince Yaroslav the Wise. The construction was crowned by the Holy Blessed Virgin Annunciation Church. After the attack of Batu Khan in 1240, the Golden Gate began to deteriorate gradually. Nevertheless, the gate continued to serve as an entrance to the city for about another five centuries.

In 1982, for the celebration of Kyiv 1500th anniversary, the Golden Gate was reconstructed to its original form. Visitors can see the ancient ruins of the original gate inside the gate structure as well as visit its museum.

Saint Nicholas Roman Catholic Cathedral

Saint Nicholas Roman Catholic Cathedral is considered a true architectural masterpiece. It attracts attention with a stylized Gothic form and spectacular exterior decoration. The facade of the building has two bell towers, 64 metres (204 feet) high. Nowadays, it functions as a concert hall for the House of Organ and Chamber Music.

The House with Chimeras

This architectural masterpiece in modernist style is the product of the imagination of Vladyslav Horodets'kyi, Kyiv's architect and experimenter. At the beginning of the 20th century, the house challenged architectural norms with its new style and latest technologies used in the construction.

The famous architect, called "Kyiv's Gaudi", created a fantasy world with figures of mythical creatures on the front-side of the house. Some of his most celebrated works are a compilation of rhinoceroses, antelopes, lizards, frogs and mythical maidens riding a fish.

Mariyinskyi Palace

This beautiful palace is located next to the Parliament building and is the ceremonial residence of the President of Ukraine. The Mariyinskyi Palace was built in 1744 by the Italian Baroque architect Bartolomeo Rastrelli. Today, it hosts various events of national importance such as receptions, summits and awards, as well as meetings of official delegates from all over the world.

Kyiv in miniature

The park “Kyiv in miniature” was opened in June 2006 and features Ukrainian capital city. All 48 miniatures were created with such love and attention to details that one can hardly find difference between real buildings and their copies. This is great because you can explore attractions of Kyiv in several hours and then choose which of them you would like to see in real size.

The Motherland Monument

The height of the sculpture reaches 102 metres (334 feet), which is even more than Statue of Liberty, and this monument can be seen from almost any part of the city. The sculpture of a woman holds a sword in one hand, and a large shield in the other. This huge monument is part of museum of Great Patriotic War. Its exhibitions will lead you through Ukrainian story in World War II, Nazi occupation and liberation of our country.

Museum of the History of Ukraine in the Second World War

In the complex of the museum, in addition to The Motherland Monument, there is an alley, dedicated to all the people who fought in World War II and a museum displaying over 15,000 exhibits, including official documents, personal belongings of the soldiers, their weapons and photographs, awards, fragments of military correspondence and personal diaries.

Pyrohiv Open-Air Museum

The Pyrohiv Open-Air Museum of Architecture and Life of Ukraine is located in the outskirts of Kyiv. The territory of the museum is divided into traditional Ukrainian regions and the old houses are decorated in accordance with local traditions. The samples of wooden constructions and everyday life of the 16th and 19th centuries have been brought from all over the country.

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