ATTRACTIONS

CATHEDRAL OF ST. SOPHIA

St. Sofia Cathedral is the world famous historical and architectural monument of the first half of the 11th century. The name of the cathedral comes from Greek word "sofia", which means "wisdom". Built in the times of Yaroslav Mudry, the cathedral served as a social, political and cultural center of Kiev and Russia, where foreign ambassadors were received, chronicles were recorded and the first Russian library, founded by Yaroslav Mudry himself, functioned. Yaroslav Mudry's ruling was the time when art, education and culture prospered. As of Kiev, it became one of the most beautiful cities in Europe and Asia. Construction of Sofia cathedral played an important role in Kiev's look formation.

The auditorium is in the style of Louis XVI, with a chandelier that weights almost two and a half tons, surrounded on the ceiling by frescoes depicting scenes from Twelfth Night, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, A Winter’s Tale and As You Like It. The architects, remembering a fire in a Viennese theater, provided the foyer with twenty four exits. We strongly recommend every visitor take a tour or visit a show at this magnificent structure.

INDEPENDENCE SQUARE

The Independence Square, or Maidan Nezalezhnosti, is the central square in Kiev, the main and the most beautiful one. Parades, concerts, festivals and other city arrangements and holidays take place on this square. It contains six fountains, Independence Column and artificial waterfall. The Independence Square has much to offer: the huge building with the tower and chimes, the Trade Union Association Office and other attractions. The left side of the Independence square is covered with granite. The splendid panoramic view of Old Kiev opens from the upper floors of the square buildings. One can see the domes of Sofia Cathedral built in the 11th century, Andreevskaya Church built in the 18th century, City Parliament, the Central Mall, and a lot of administrative buildings. A great amount of shops, hotels and cafes are situated on the Independence square. Kiev's most famous square is probably the most recognizable image of this great city, as it was eternalized in thousands of magazines and newspapers during Ukraine's 2004 Orange revolution.

KHRESHCHATIK STREET

Kreschatik is the most famous and one of the busiest streets in Kiev. It is a wide boulevard with plenty of chestnut trees. Kreschatik got its final modern shape in 1837. It stretches from European Square till Bessarabia Square and contains many important trade buildings, bank departments, luxurious restaurants, hotels and exchange house. It is also the street which frequently boasts various protests and has been made famous with Orange revolution when it was home to hundreds of thousands of protesters. The citizens of the city adore this street, and the guests of Kiev try to visit it and feel its charming atmosphere before exploring the rest of the city.

UKRAINIAN BAROQUE CHURCH OF ST. ANDREW

Dominating the property of the St. Andrew Center is the unique edifice of the St. Andrew Memorial Church. Soaring skyward, the church is a monument to Ukrainian Cossack Baroque architecture. A result of years of planning and the sacrifices, labors and donations of countless faithful, the church is dedicated to all who perished in the Stalinist famine of 1932-33 and who have given their lives for the cause of freedom and justice.The interior of the church reflects the mystery, beauty and splendor of Eastern Orthodox Christian spirituality. Those who visit the church on Sundays or feast days have the opportunity of witnessing the worship of the Ukrainian Orthodox church in all its splendor.

ST. VLADIMIR CATHEDRAL

Saint Vladimir Cathedral is one of the most beautiful temples in Kiev. It was built in the 19th century to commemorate the 900th anniversary of Russian baptizing. Russian Emperor Nicolas I himself approved the project of the cathedral and ordered to collect money all over Russia. By 1859 more than 100,000 rubles were donated by people of different regions of the country. Kievo-Pecherskaya Lavra donated one million bricks for the cathedral construction. Original design of the cathedral was elaborated by Saint Petersburg architect Strom and Kiev eparchy architect.

KIEVO-PECHERSKAYA LAVRA

On the high hills of the right bank of the Dnepr River magnificent Kievo-Pecherskaya Lavra topped with gilded domes is situated. According to the legend, Apostle Andrew, while preaching the Word of God in the Scythian Land, blessed the hilly bank of the Dnepr River.The history of Kievo-Pecherskaya Lavra started in remote days and is closely connected to the Far and Near Caves. According to historical chronicles, in 1051 Reverend Anthony settled in one of the Varangian caves that is a part of the Far Caves nowadays.Gradually Kievo-Pecherskaya Lavra became the largest monastery on the territory of Russia: its' total area reached 30 hectares (1 hectare is 10,000 square meters). On the lands of lavra there were about 100 constructions, 42 of which were considered to be unique. On the territory of lavra 23 temples were erected, including 6 cave temples, with 36 altars.

BABIY YAR MEMORIAL

Kiev was captured by the Twenty-ninth Corps and the Sixth German Army on September 19,1941. Of its Jewish population of 160,000, some 100,000 had managed to flee before the Germans took the city. Shortly after the German takeover, from September 24 to 28, a considerable number of buildings the city center, which were being used by German military administration and the army, were blown up; many Germans (as well as local inhabitants) were killed in the explosions. BABI YAR, ravine, situated in the northwestern part of Kiev, where the Jews of the Ukrainian capital were systematically massacred. At the southern end of the ravine were two cemeteries, one of which was Jewish. For political reasons an official memorial was not built at the site until 1976. The first memorial did not mention that most victims were Jews. It took a further 15 years before a new memorial (Menorah) was built which today serves as a place for commemorative ceremonies.

ANDREEVSKY SPUSK

Andreevsky Spusk is one of the oldest streets in Kiev. In ancient days it was the shortest way from the Upper Town to the Podol, or the Lower Town, where merchants and craftspeople used to live. Nowadays this steep and meandering street is a traditional place for arranging concerts, art festivals and city holidays. On Andreevsky Spusk there are many interesting picture galleries and souvenir stores. This street is often called Kiev's Montmartre, as any time one can see here artists displaying their works. It is also the place where singers and actors give their performances. When visiting here, make sure to walk around to get a sense for the market price of various souvenirs as it is common for tourists to buy crafts right away, only to discover the incredible array of arts and crafts Andreevsky Spusk has to offer.

KIEV OPERA THEATER

Established in 1867, Kiev The Taras Shevchenko Ukrainian National Opera House in Kiev is the third oldest in Ukraine (after Kiev and Lviv). On February 4, 1896, after a morning performance of Eugene Onegin by Tchaikovsky, a fire erupted from the un extinguished candle in the theatre. The fire consumed the whole building within several hours. One of the largest musical libraries in Europe along with numerous costumes and stage props of many performances were lost during the fire. After the fire, the City Council had announced the international competition to design a new building for the Opera Theatre in Kiev. The winning proposal was by Victor Aleksandrovich Shreter. The exterior was designed in Neo-Renaissance style and had accounted for the needs of the actors and the spectators. The interior was redesigned in a classical style and called Viennese Modern. However, his greatest achievement is considered to be the stage - one of the largest in Europe designed to the latest engineering standards. Today the Kiev Opera Theatre is considered to be one of the most prestigious in all of Ukraine and Russia.

VICTORY PARK (PARK POBEDI)

Located near Hidropark, this collection of Soviet military equipment will make any history buff blush like a school girl while in Kiev. If an array of Soviet tanks does not get your juices blowing, then step inside into a well preserved Soviet paratroopers plane. The park is a favorite for late summer strolls and occasional concert exhibitions. The center is marked by a Rodina Mat (Mother Motherland) statue which is impossible to miss. The park and exhibitions are a celebration and preservation of the Soviet triumphant victory of WWII.

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