KYIV TOURISM PORTAL

Official Website of the City of Kyiv

From Kyivan Rus to Euro Maidan

Tour duration: 1-2 days

Route: St. Sophia Cathedral - Monument to B. Khmelnytskyi - Golden Gate - National Opera of Ukraine - St. Volodymyr’s Cathedral - Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv - Taras Shevchenko Monument and Park - Bessarabskyi Market - House with Chimeras - National bank of Ukraine - Khreshchatyk Street - Maidan Nezalezhnosti - St. Michael’s Golden-Domed Cathedral - National Historical Museum of Ukraine - Landscape Alley - St. Andrew’s Church - Castle of Richard the Lionheart - Andrew’s Descent - Pyrohoshcha Church of the Mother of God - Funicular - Volodymyrska Hill and Monument to Volodymyr the Great - Ukrainian National Philharmonic - Mariinskyi Palace and Park - Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra - Mystetskyi Arsenal - National Museum of the History of Great Patriotic War

Route map

    

   

St. Sophia  Cathedral

The breathtaking St. Sophia Cathedral is one of the city’s best known landmarks and the first patrimony on the territory of Ukraine to be inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List.

The cathedral was founded in the early 11th century by Volodymyr the Great. It is one of the oldest churches of  Kyivan Rus that has survived to present days. Aside from its main building, the cathedral includes an ensemble of supporting structures such as a bell tower, the House of Metropolitan, and others.

Monument to B. Khmelnytskyi

This is one of the most famous monuments in the city. It was erected in the center of Sophiyska Square in 1888 to mark the 900th anniversary of the Christianization of Kyivan Rus. B. Khmelnytskyi was a Cossacks’ leader, who headed the liberation struggle of Ukrainian people against the Republic of Poland (Rech Pospolita) in the middle of the 17th century. The history behind this monument is somewhat complicated.

Golden Gate

Golden Gate is a historic defensive fortress of Kyivan Rus of the 11th century. During the ancient times it formed a strong link of fortifications at front entrance of the city.

National Academic Theatre of Opera and Ballet n.a. Taras Shevchenko

To keep up with the Moscow and St. Petersburg theatres, Kyiv organized its first opera troupe in 1867. The original building of the theatre was destroyed by fire in 1896. The new building was erected in 1898. The National Opera House named after T. Shevchenko can now seat 1,650 spectators. It enjoys a high reputation for the high class of its performances.

St. Volodymyr’s Cathedral

Built in 1862–1882, it has the exterior in the old Russian and Byzantine style, while the interior is lavishly decorated with paintings by well-known Russian, Ukrainian and Polish artists. Russian Tsar Nicholas II attended its consecration in August 1896.

Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv

It is considered to be the most prestigious university in Ukraine and a major centre of advanced learning and progressive thinking. It was founded in 1834 and named after St. Volodymyr. There are various explanations for the red colour of the facade. There is a legend that after students riots, Nicholas I ordered to show that the University was ashamed of its students. However, the colour is likely to correspond to the red and black stripes of the order of St. Volodymyr.

Taras Shevchenko Monument and Park

The park was opened to the public in 1889. Initially, it was decided to erect a monument to Tsar Nicholas I in the territory of the park, but lately it was removed and in 1939 a monument to Taras Shevcneko was placed on the same place. Today, park is a popular place among residents and guests of Kyiv.

Bessarabskyi Market

In its modern style the indoor market was built in 1908-1912. It was constructed on the money bequeathed by Lazarus Brodskyi, famous owner of sugar plants.The place where the market stands was formerly an open trading area where peasants from Bessarabia (Moldova) brought their agricultural commodities.

House with Chimeras

Designed by architect V. Horodetskyi in 1903 for his own use, this unique building was decorated with sculptures of mythical creatures. The house stands on a steep slope and has three floors and the basement that are viewed from the street side and six floors on the opposite side. It has been used as a presidential residence for official and diplomatic ceremonies since 2005.

National Bank of Ukraine

It is the central bank of Ukraine. The main building of the bank originally had two floors. During the Soviet era, the old state bank building turned out to be too small. In 1934 two additional floors were constructed. After that the building became even grander. The department museum with a rich collection of materials about the currency of Ukraine was also created within the bank’s building.

Khreshchatyk Street

It is the main street and the most popular place in the city all year round. The overall length of the street is 1.2 km. During World War II the entire street was completely destroyed by the retreating Red Army troops and rebuilt in the neo-classical style of post-war Stalinist architecture. It was also renovated during the modern period of Ukraine's independence. Today, there are administrative buildings, plenty of shops and offices, but people also come here just to relax and sit in one of the cafes.

Maidan Nezalezhnosti

It is the central square of the city. The current name, which means Independence Square, was given to Maidan in the framework of celebration of Ukraine’s Independence in 1991. In the recent years, numerous singers performed in open-air concerts on Maidan, among them were Elton John and Paul McCarthy. In addition, it is a traditional place for political rallies and revolutions (Orange Revolution, Euromaidan).

St. Michael’s Golden-Domed Cathedral

The cathedral was built in the early 12th century under Prince Sviatopolk Iziaslavych. When constructed, St. Michael’s was the only church in Kyiv with a golden dome, hence earning its “Golden” name. For centuries, the Monastery, dedicated to Archangel Michael, continued to expand with especially significant changes occurring in the 17th and 18th centuries. In the 1930s, St. Michael’s was destroyed by the Soviet authorities. In the 1990s, it was restored and officially reopened in 1999.

National Historical Museum of Ukraine

The museum was founded in 1899 and now it contains over 800,000 items that date from all the periods of Kyiv's and Ukraine's history. The museum's collections include those of archeological artifacts, ethnography, decorative and applied art, paintings, drawings and other items. As far as its collections are concerned, it is one of the biggest museums in Ukraine

Landscape Alley

Opened in May 2011, this park immediately became a must-see attraction to residents and visitors of Kyiv. The park consists of creative, imaginative and artistic pieces, created by the most famous and successful Ukrainian designers. Unique, absurd, and symbolic are only some words that could describe the beauty of the park.

St. Andrew’s Church

Erected in 1747–1762, St Andrew’s Church was designed in the Rococo style by the architect Bartolomeo Rastrelli. Its elegant exterior is as equally beautiful as its interior design. St Andrew’s has preserved its graceful elegance to the present days. It is one of the most attractive architectural landmarks in the city of Kyiv.

Castle of Richard the Lionheart

Named after King Richard the Lionheart, the castle was built in the 19th century in English-Gothic style. The castle stands on the grounds below St. Andrew’s Church. Legends say that it is shrouded in evil spirits.

Andrew’s Descent

One of the oldest streets in Kyiv, Andrew’s Descent (Andriivskyi Uzviz) connects Kyiv’s uptown with the historically commercial Podil. The descent was likely originated in the 18th century after St. Andrew’s Church. Today, it is widely known for exhibiting and selling paintings and folk art. Andrew’s Descent is also popularly called Kyiv’s Montmartre.

Pyrohoshcha Church of the Mother of God

The church was built in the Byzantine style in 1132–1136 during the reign of Prince Mstyslav I Volodymyrovych.In the first half of the 17th century it was the metropolitan church of Orthodox Kyiv. During the period of the Magdeburg Right, the magistrates’ ceremonies took place in the church and the City Archive was kept here. The ancient church was rebuilt several times.

Funicular

It was opened in 1905 and connects the Kyiv’s uptown with the commercial district. The two-rail loop system annually transports 2,8 Mio. passengers.

Volodymyrska Hill and Monument to Volodymyr the Great

This 10 hectares park was founded in the 19th century on the upper and middle terraces of Mykhailivska Hill. In 1853, the Monument to Prince Volodymyr, who christianized Kyivan Rus, was placed on the Western grounds. From that time the hill was named Volodymyrska Hirka (Hill), the same name was given to the park. Today, it has become a favorite place to walk for citizens and guests of Kyiv.

Ukrainian National Philharmonic

The National Philharmonic was established in 1863. During the 20 years of independence, the Philharmonic has aided Ukrainian cultural development and help Ukraine be an integral part of European arts.

Mariinskyi Palace and Park

The Palace was constructed in 1755 upon the request of Empress Elizabeth II. The Park, founded in 1874, was modeled off the gardens of Peter the First. Until 1917, the place was the residence of members of the royal family. Today, it is used for official government ceremonies and commemorative public events.

Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra (Caves Monastery)

The monastery was founded in 1051 by monks Antoniy and Feodosiy who were later canonized. The monastery, the first of its kind in Kyivan Rus, began in the caves, and later churches and other buildings were erected on the surface. There are 40 buildings in the monastery’s territory: churches, museums, and libraries among them. One of the most elaborate buildings is the Bell Tower. The Assumption Cathedral of the monastery was built in the 11th century, but destroyed in 1941. It was rebuilt in 2000. The Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra is one of the main spiritual centers of the Orthodox Christendom.

Mystetskyi Arsenal (Art Arsenal)

The building of Mystetskyi Arsenal (Art Arsenal) was erected in 1783-1801. It was the first building in Kyiv designed in the Classical style. Today, it is a cultural complex where exhibitions of modern art and other cultural events are regularly held.

National Museum of the History of Great Patriotic War

It is one of the largest museums in Ukraine (over 300 thousand exhibits) that covers 10 hectares. The memorial complex was opened in 1981 to commemorate the German-Soviet War of 1941-1945. Some of its popular exhibits include “The Flame of Glory”, a site with World War II military equipment, “Alley of the Hero Cities”, and the statue of the Motherland (62 meters high). 

 

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