We even do not know which words to use describing Kiev (Kyiv) truly, briefly and in details. One can speak about tourist Kiev for hours, as it is a magic city. It has a rich thousand-year history. The city shows the beautiful old historical and architectural monuments to its visitors. To see everything a few hours excursion won’t be enough. To feel Kiev you will need at least a few days. Sightseeing, museums and show-rooms, parks, gardens and squares, temples and small churches – find the time to walk not only famous tour routes of this city but to find out the secrets of the magic and unknown Kiev, which has been keeping a lot of legends and secrets for many centuries…
According to the legend Kiev (Kyiv) was founded in 5th-6th centuries on the right bank of the Dnieper River by 3 brothers – Kiy, Scheck and Khoriv and their sister Lybid. The city was named in honor of the eldest brother Kiy, but some streets and blocks in Kiev still have the names of the other founders. A small river was named after sister Lybid. This river flows through Kiev and has a lot of heads and streams like the city blood vessels.
The first written annalistic mentions about Kiev are dated by 862 year, but the archeologists think that the inhabited settlements at place of Kiev existed in 5th-6th centuries. Gradually Kiev became the capital of Kievan Rus – the largest and powerful European mediaeval state which was flourishing in 11th-12th centuries. If you have a few hours to walk around Kiev, first of all visit Kiev Pechersk Lavra founded in 1051. It is still one of the main Orthodox sacred places of Ukraine. It a complex of templates and cathedrals, monastic caves and museums where you will learn about Lavra and Kiev history and many interesting things about the outstanding Ukrainians who have contributed to the Christianity and world culture development for many centuries. Visit Saint Sophia Cathedral which is located in the heart of Kiev, not far from the Golden Gates – the main gates of the old Kiev. There the chronicles were written, the first Rus library and school were opened and receptions of the foreign ambassadors were conducted. It is the greatest sight of the monumental painting and architecture of Ukraine.
During the city tour around Kiev visit Mikhailovsky Cathedral, Andreevsky descent and Saint Andrew's Church. If you have time, do not miss and visit the Museum of One Street and Bulgakov museum which is located in Andreevsky descent. You will feel the unforgettable atmosphere of Kiev of the end of the 19th – beginning of the 20th century. Today Andreevsky descent is a museum street where outstanding scientists, artists, writers, composers and sculptors lived and worked. We would call it Ukrainian Montmartre but the spirit and color here are different. There are exhibitions, galleries, works and theaters, souvenir shops and craftsmen who are working outdoor and picturesque coffee shops there. However it is one of the most expensive places in Kiev.
Choosing the tourist tour around Kiev visit the house with chimeras on Bankovaya street, Mariinsky Palace and observation site at the Dnieper River, botanic garden and Svyato-Troitsky Monastery in the garden territory, Saint Vladimir Cathedral (the greatest sight of sacral painting of 11th century). Walk along the main Kiev street – Kreschatik – one of the shortest main streets in the world (its length is only 1200 meters). If you have kids we recommend you to visit the zoo – a place interesting for adults too.
Kiev Museums – they fit every taste! Archaeological Museum (B. Khmelnitskogo st, 15, tel.: +38 044 35-62-86), Museum of Ukrainian History (Vladimirskata st, 2. tel.: +38 044 278-65-45), reserve “Ancient Kiev” (Andreevsky descent , 5. tel.: +38 044 425-02-70), Museum of the Ancient Kiev (Kreschatik st, 2, tel.: +38 044 278-12-40), Museum of Toys (Klovsky spusk, 8, tel.: +38 044 253-54-00), Museum of Books and Book Printing (Yanvarskogo Vosstaniya st, 21, tel.: +38 044 280-52-56), Museum of Decorative Arts (I. Mazepy st, 21, tel.: +38 044 280-13-43), Drug-store Museum (from 9 am till 4 pm, except Sunday, Pritisko-Nikolskata st, 7, tel.: 425-24-37), Russian Art Museum (Tereschenkovskaya, 9, tel.: +38 044 234 62 18), Hetmanate Museum (Spasskaya st, 16Б, tel.: +38 044 462-52-90), National Museum "Chernobyl" (Khorevy proulok, 1а, tel.: +38 044 417-54-22), Pyrohiv Open Air Museum, and many more – museum of apiculture, museum of water, museum of circus art, museum of money, museum of historical values, museum of cultural inheritance, art museum, museum of theater, museum of bread...
The main square of Kiev and Ukraine is a famous Independence Square where originally there was a bog, later a fortress and then a market square where shows and circus performances were conducted. In 1876 the Municipal Duma was built there and the square was named Dumskaya. Since then the central square history became even richer and believe us – it is very interesting!
The local zest for the gourmets is a ‘Kiev’ cake. Its recipe was invented 50 years ago (in 1956) and patented in 1973. Today it is baked by an old recipe which is kept in secret. Typical design of the box is a visiting card of any person living in Kiev. It is not a good idea to visit someone not having a ‘Kiev’ cake with you. The cake consists of the airy white shortcakes, hazelnuts and butter. It is worth to taste!
One more local dish is chicken Kiev – Russians, Ukrainians, French and Americans argue about author's rights for this dish. Whatever the case, name chicken Kiev was given to the chicken cutlets with the butter inside. You'd better believe it – they are real in Kiev!
The leaves of the chestnut trees are the symbol of Kiev. There are more than million chestnut trees growing in every central street of the city. Kiev is the most beautiful in spring when the chestnut trees dress on the thin candles and look like the brides.
There are many interesting tourist tours around Kiev (Kyiv). Mysterious places of Kiev (separate topic), monuments and compositions, the shortest 100-meter street of the city, the oldest cathedral of the country, the longest 13-kilometer avenue and the tallest tower. Or may be you would prefer just to walk around the quiet streets of the city? It is up to you... However, visit our city, enjoy our capital and feel the special atmosphere of Kiev which will enchant you!
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