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Mstislav I of Kiev - Mstislav I Vladimirovich the Great was the Grand Prince of Kiev, the eldest son of Vladimir II Monomakh by Gytha of Wessex. He figures prominently in the Norse Sagas under the name Harald, taken to allude to his grandfather, Harold II of England.

Holiday in Ukraine

Kiev

Kiev (also spelt Kyiv or Київ ) is the capital of Ukraine and one of the biggest cities in Europe. It has been standing on the hills overlooking the Dnipro River for more than 1,500 years. Since Ukraine’s Independence Kiev has developed into a valuable centre of East Europe attracting foreign businesses and investors to its economic and natural potential.

Kiev is genuinely one of the most splendid capitals of the world, in this City there are some of the most stunning and oldest churches of the world, wonderful cafés and restaurants, as well as some of the most hospitable people. Within the city there are more than 2,000 entities that are either historical, cultural, or architectural monuments.

The center of Kiev is packed with hundreds of cafes, restaurants and three shopping malls.

The main street Kreschatik has wide sidewalks with one side of the street layered with two tiered sidewalks that has hundreds of old chestnut trees and thousands of people romantically walking or sitting on benches. Kreschatik really comes to life at weekends and on public holidays,when the busy road is closed to traffic and becomes the home of street performers and musicians. Every night, even in the cold weather, you will see hundreds of couples walking arm in arm down the main streets long into the night.

This is the city to have a romantic walk and enjoy the thousands of beautiful and wonderfully dressed people strolling and enjoying the architecture and sites of Kiev Ukraine.

 

The focal point of Khreschatyk and the most popular meeting spot is  Independence Square.  Dominating the area is the Monument of Independence, a huge pillar erected in 2001 to celebrate 10 years of Ukrainian separation from Russia. Ironically, just a short distance away, the Friendship of the Nations monument celebrates the 1654 integration of Ukraine and Russia.

Churches and sites.

You will have to spend a week to see all of the fantastically preserved Orthodox churches.  In the very center are the complexes of Saint Sophia Cathedral molded after the great Sophia Cathedral in Constantinople, and the huge Saint Michaels Cathedral, and do not miss the Perchera Lavara, a entire complex of churches that occupies an entire hill with underground catacombs of mummified priests.

Here are some of the popular places visited by tourists and I hope you begin to appreciate the beauty of the city

St. Sophia's with its thirteen gorgeous golden domes nicely blending 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!

 

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.

 

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.

The funicular (cable car) was built in 1905 and 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 the City 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

Andreevsky-Spusk The oldest street in Kiev, Andriyivsky Uzviz, is a favorite place for outdoor fairs, festivals and concerts.  Art galleries, shops and studios make this street the best place to shop for Ukrainian crafts and art works. Cultural museums located here reveal the history of the legendary street and of the whole of Kiev. If you are looking for souvenirs to take back home, Andriyivsky Uzviz is the place!

National Opera House The theatre is located near Khreschatyk Street. 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. 

Monument Rodina Mat (Motherland) Monument is part of the memorial complex, the National Museum of the History of the Great Patriotic War of 1941-1945

Rodina Mat has become a symbol of Kyiv and her position above the city means she dominates the skyline , set on a picturesque backdrop of rolling hills, located south on the outskirts of Pechersk, a district of Kiev , is the memorial complex in honor of the Great Patriotic War. It was ceremonially opened on the 9th of May 1981 by the Soviet leader, Leonid Brezhnev. 

 These are just a few places in Kiev that are worth visiting and I am sure you will see them. However I have included a few 'gems' that are rarely visited by the 'tourist'  

 

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