Kiev is the capital and the heart of Ukraine. It’s been situated on the both banks of the Dnieper river for more than 15 centuries, and it is a mind-blowing spot for tourists. Different places of interest for all age groups and people of different tastes attract tourists from all parts of the world. Kiev is perceived as one of the biggest and most eye-catching cities in Europe.
To get acquainted with our city we invite you to take the “Kyiv is the capital of Ukraine” tour.
We offer you a nice opportunity to make a journey in the ancient city of Kiev. You will see the place, where the city was founded, observe historical architectural monuments of the 10th, 11th, 13th, 18th, and 19th centuries, and of course explore a modern Kiev.
Our excursion with a professional guide-interpreter starts from the Old Kiev Hill (Volodimir’s Hill, named in honor of Prince Volodimir, the baptizer of Kievan Rus), the place, where according to the chronicles, the first settlement was established by 3 brothers: Kiy, Shcheck, Horiv and their sister Lybid in 482 A.D. On the Vladimir’s Hill you will see the duplicate of the basement of Decytinnaya Church (the 10th century), which was completely destroyed in 1240 during the tatar-mongol invasion. A nice example of Old Rus architecture rises over the Volodimir’s Hill (an architect Rastrelli).
From the epoch of Volodimir we proceed to the epoch of Yaroslav the Wise, the son of Volodimir. The historical monument, preserved up to our days, is the St. Sophia’s Cathedral (1037). It is an outstanding architectural monument of Kievan Rus. Today it is one of the city’s best known landmarks and the first Ukrainian patrimony to be registered on the World Heritage List. The cathedral’s name comes from the 6th century’s Hagia Sophia cathedral in Constantinople. The first foundation was laid out in 1037. There is a nice view from the Sopia’s Square on the St. Michael’s Golden Domed Cathedral, which is a still functioning monastery in Kiev. The monastery is located on the Western side of the Dnieper River on the edge of the northeast of the St. Sophia’s Cathedral. Originally built in the Middle Ages by Sviatopolk II Iziaslavych, the monastery comprises the Cathedral itself, the refectory of St. John the Divine, built in 1713, the Economic Gates, constructed in 1760 and the monastery’s belfry, which was added about 1716-1719. The exterior of the complex was rebuilt in the Ukrainian Baroque style in the 18th century, while the interior remained in its original Byzantine style. The cathedral was demolished by the Soviet authorities in the 1930s, but was recently reconstructed after Ukraine had gained its independence.
Continuing our tour of the city, we can not overpass the famous Golden Gate which is a historic gateway in the ancient city walls of Kiev, the capital of Ukraine. This gateway was one of the three constructed by Yaroslav the Wise, Prince of Kiev, in 1037. The stone fortifications stretched for only 3.5 km. It was intentionally modeled on the Golden Gate of Constantinople, from which it took its name. In 1982 the gate was completely reconstructed for the 1500th anniversary of Kiev, although there is no solid evidence as to what the original gates looked like. Some art historians call for this reconstruction to be demolished and for the ruins of the original gate to be exposed to the public view. In 1989 with the expansion of the Kiev Metro, a station Zoloti Vorota (the Golden Gate) was opened nearby to highlight the landmark. What makes it unique is that its architectural ensemble is very much based on the internal decorations of ancient Ruthenian churches. In 1997 the monument to Yaroslav the Wise, who founded churches and monasteries and issued statute regulating the legal position of the Christian Church and the rights of the clergy, was installed at the Gate. With the help of Byzantine architects and craftsmen, Yaroslav fortified and beautified Kiev along Byzantine lines. He built the majestic Cathedral of St. Sophia and the famous Golden Gate of the Kievan fortress, so his figure holding the cathedral was unveiled near its west end facing the Golden Gate.
From Kiev of Old Rus time we proceed to a modern Kiev: the famous Opera House (1901) and the Kiev National University (1837-43).
The Kiev National Opera House is considered to be one of the most prestigious in Europe. It was designed by Victor Aleksandrovich Shreter. The exterior is performed in Neo-Renaissance style, while the interior in a classical style called Viennese Modern. The stage is appraised as one of Shreter’s greatest accomplishments. It belongs to the largest theatres of Europe, and meets the highest standards of theatrical engineering. Shreter designed the building completely appreciating the needs of both performers and the audience. He incorporated architectural ideas ranging from the medieval time of the Kievan Rus up to the modern 20th century.
The Kiev National University is the first national university of Ukraine. Currently, its structure consists of fifteen Faculties and five Institutes. It was founded in 1834 as the University of Saint Vladimir, and since then it has changed its name several times. During the Soviet Union era, the Kiev University was one of the top three universities in the USSR, along with the Moscow State University and the Leningrad State University. It is ranked as the best university in Ukraine in many rankings. Throughout the history, the university has produced many famous alumnus including Nikolay Bunge, Mykhailo Drahomanov, Mykhailo Hrushevskyi, Nikolai Berdyaev, Mikhail Bulgakov, Viacheslav Chornovil, Leonid Kravchuk, Oksana Zabuzhko, and many others.
Also you will drive along the main street of Kreshchatik which is the most famous and one of the busiest streets in Kiev. Nowadays Kreschatik ranges among the major attractions of Kiev. The citizens of the city adore this street, and the guests of Kiev try to visit it and feel its charming atmosphere first of all. Such Kreschatik buildings as the Kiev City Council, the Central Department Store, the National Philharmonic, as well as other administrative constructions, stores, hotels and underground stations deserve special attention of Kiev’s guests.
Next to Khreshchatik along the Dnieper there is the Tsarsky (Royal) Park, where there the Mariyinsky Palace, built in 1752 at the request of the Empress Elizabeth and originally used for ceremonial and festive occasions, is situated. The palace has two storeys and large wings which form a large yard. The ensemble of palace included gardens, greenhouses and a confectionary. Many extravagant balls were held in the palace when nobles came to visit. Damaged by fire in the early 19th century, it was restored between 1868 and 1870. The interior of the palace contains numerous art works and luxurious decorations.
Near the Arch of the International Friendship one can find a magnificent view to the Dniper river and one of the old regions of Kiev, Podol.
The Arch of the International Friendship, dedicated to the unification of Russia and Ukraine, was constructed in Kiev in 1982 by the sculptor A. Skoblikov and the architect I. Ivanov and others. There are two statues underneath the Friendship Arch: one made of bronze and depicting Russian and Ukrainian workers holding up the Soviet Order of the International Friendship, and the other one made of granite and depicting the participants of the Pereyaslav Council of 1654.
You will also visit the Museum of the Second World War with the exposition of the military ammunition. Founded in 1973, the complex combines the Museum building and the 62 meter high Motherland statue. The exposition of sculptures commemorates the heroes of the battlefields and the rear. The Glory Cup, which is 16 meters in diameter, and an exhibit of the various weapons used during the war are also on display. The main exposition is located in a 5,000 meter area with the total number of more than 12,000 relics.The museum also has numerous exhibits of documents of military commanders, participants of the war, collection of orders, medals and letters, documentary evidence of the war witnesses, and unique things of the occupation and the liberation which are sure to keep the visitors interested.
Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra means "monastery", and Pechersk is a name derived from "pechery", meaning "caves". That and more you will find out visiting the most significant sightseeing point in Kiev. It is the oldest Orthodox monastery of Ukraine that attracts thousands of pilgrims and many monks. The buildings were destroyed by fire and later during the Nazi occupation, but they were always reconstructed. Nowadays it is a UNESCO heritage with lots of tourists visiting. The caves are small and narrow, stretching several hundred meters and up to 20 meters under the ground. Some of the monks dug their caves and decided to stay there forever with just a small hole allowing food and water to be transmitted. Once they died, they were left and buried there - you can see the embalmed bodies in glass coffins in the caves. The caves are a very holy place and you have to dress appropriately to get in, women need to cover their head with a scarf (own or borrowed or bought on the spot). Apart from the caves you can climb up the Bell Tower for a beautiful view, visit different churches, the Uspenski Cathedral, cemetery, tombs and several museums.
We are sure that Kiev will give you an unforgettable impression!
Duration of the tour – 3 hours.
Duration of the tour – 3 hours