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Ukraine’s capital – Kiev

Ukraine’s capital – Kiev

“There is no city in the world more beautiful than Kiev.”

(Mikhail Bulgakov)

Ukraine’s capital – Kiev – a city of the Dnepr full of priceless monuments of history and culture, a city of great events and outstanding people.

Kiev is an old center of Slavism. According to the Russian Primary Chronicle, the city’s foundation was in I century predicted by the apostle Andrew who preached the gospel in these places by erecting on the Dnepr’s hills a cross saying, “A great city will be here, and God will raise many churches.” Appearance of the first old Slavic settlements dates back to those times. A tradition has it that Kiev was founded by Kyi in VI-VII centuries A.D. The official date of the foundation is believed to be 482 (Kiev’s day is celebrated on the last Saturday and Sunday of May). According to a legend, Kiev was founded by three brothers: Kyi, Shek and Horiv and their sister Lybid on the right bank of the Dnepr River and was called Kiev after the oldest brother, Slavic prince Kyi. Since IX until the beginning of XII centuries, Kiev was the capital of Kiev Russ. The city’s geographic location facilitated its rise: very important commercial roads went through this place – from the Varangians to the Greeks, to Tsargrad (Constantinople), to Asia, to Don, to Novgorod. Kiev reached its bloom in XI century during the time of Yaroslav the Wise, having become one of the mightiest cities of Europe. Throughout its centuries-long history, Kiev repeatedly changed hands of different countries and nations until in 1934 it became the capital of the Ukrainian Socialist Soviet Republic. During the WWII years, the city was seriously damaged. On August 24, 1991, the Act of Independence of Ukraine was announced and Kiev became the capital of the new independent state of Ukraine.

Today’s Kiev is one of the biggest European cities, the administrative, economical, scientific and cultural-educational center of Ukraine. More than 2.5 million people live here. The Dnepr divides Kiev into the left and right banks. The old city and all the main local places of note are concentrated on the right bank. The Borispol airport is located 40 kilometers south-east of Kiev’s center. The railway station is 3 km from the old city; the central bus station is on the southern outskirts. Metro bridge is 4 kilometers south-east of the old city; it connects the right and left banks of the Dnepr.

Today’s Kiev dynamically develops; it gets restored and recovered and, thus, attracts more and more tourists. Everybody will find in Kiev something they like. Kiev possesses a rich cultural resource – more than 30 museums, around 2,000 unique monuments of architecture, 33 theaters, a great number of constantly operating art exhibitions are here. The main sights of the city that became its “visitor’s card” are Kiev Pechersk Lavra, the Sofia Cathedral, the Golden Gates, the Andrew’s church, the Vladimir Cathedral, the home museum of Bulgakov and Andrew’s descent, Kreshatik and the Independence Square, museum of Chernobyl, WWII museum, Pirogovo (outdoor museum of architecture and traditions) and many other museums located both in Kiev and in its vicinities.

Kiev Pechersk Uspensk Lavra is the oldest Orthodox Monastery in Russia; it was founded in 1051 by Yaroslav the Wise. The monastery originally was in caves, which afterwards became a place of burial of the late brethren. Almost right after its foundation, the Kiev Pechersk Lavra became a big medieval cultural center. A chronicle was written in it; outstanding old Russian chroniclers including Nestor, icon and mosaic painters worked here; it had a big library of its own. In the beginning of XVII century the first printing house in Kiev was opened at the Lavra. None of the Russian Tsars neglected the Kiev Pechersk Lavra: Alexei Mikhailovich, Peter the Great, Anna Ioannovna, Elizabeth, Catherine the Great, Pavel, Nicholas I, all Alexanders, Nicholas II – they all made rich contributions.

Each epoch left its own trace in architectural appearance of the monastery. Today it consists of three groups different by volume: on a relatively even plateau there is the Upper Lavra; on the slope of a mountain there are facilities on the territory of the Close Caves; further, on a high plane there is a group of buildings on the territory of the Far Caves. The Upper Lavra is the oldest core of the complex that appeared above the caves, in which the first monks lived. To get into it one has to go through the Holy Gates, above which the Trinity Church with carved frontons and rich molding decorations rises. The Big Lavra’s Belfry (1741-1745) is still one of the highest buildings in Kiev and the highest of all belfries of the Russian Empire standing separately (reaching with the cross a height of 316.60 feet). The Lavra’s heart is Uspensky Cathedral (1073-1089); according to tradition, it was built by architects from Constantinople. Since then the temple has been rebuilt many times; in XVIII century it was crowned with seven gilded domes. For a long time it was used as a sepulcher: the first metropolitan of Kiev, Saint Mikhail, saint protopope Feodosy, saint metropolitan Pyotr Mogyla, Ukrainian scientist-encyclopedic Pamva Berinda and others. Miraculous image of the Assumption of the Holy Virgin – the main icon of the central Cathedral of Assumption – is the most valuable sacred item of the Lavra. Numerous pilgrims who wanted to worship the relic went to the Lavra in an endless stream; sometimes people would travel to it for months. At that time a saying came into existence, “A tongue will lead to Kiev.” After the Cathedral was blown up in 1941, the icon disappeared. One can get into the territory of the lower Lavra through the territory of the Upper Lavra and from the side of the Dnepr descent, but in this case one would have to climb the mountain all the way up. The seven-domed Church of the Holy Virgin’s Birth (1696) on the territory of the Lower Lavra is of note as well as an arcade adjoining it, octagonal two-level belfry of the Far Caves (1761), the Church of the Erection of the Cross (1700), the belfry of the Close Caves (1763) (there is a gallery under it leading to the Close Caves). The architectural ensemble of the Lower Lavra is concluded by the one-headed hipped roof church of Anna’s Conception (1679).

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Один комментарий

  1. В славянских языках значительно варьирует вторая гласная в названии этого города, что в некоторых случаях обусловлено особенностями образования прилагательного от имени Кий . Например, в русском языке город называется

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