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Kiev travel guide



     
Kiev
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KIEV

 

Kiev history begins since the middle of 9 century. Ever since Kiev was the capital of Kiev Russia, underwent through numerous destructive attacks, Tatars tried to defeat it and Polish-Lithuanian state to conquer. After Ukraine and Russia unification in 1708, Kiev became the centre of Kiev province, during Soviet period the capital of USSR, and now, Kiev is the capital of Ukraine - the independent state.

Once Kiev was considered the greenest city in the world - so great was number of parks, squares, green plantations. Unfortunately, the city loses its former glory now. Kiev total area is 836 sq. km, about 43 % of them are built up, and, probably, this fact impels to active cutting down of parks and squares, construction of new buildings. Not only townsmen love and admire their native city. Almost everyone, who once visited Kiev, keeps the warmest memories about it and enthusiastically tells about Dnieper green slopes, Kiev panorama of numerous gold domes and Dnieper bridges, lush-blossoming chestnuts of Kreschatik and Andreevsky spusk colour. It would be wonderful, if Kiev historical part always remained untouched, so that the spirit of history, felt in St. Sofia cathedral, in St. Michaels cathedral, at every ancient small cobbled street of Kiev, was saved. Standing at Vladimirskaya gorka, one can recall, that exactly here Prince Vladimir began Christening of Kiev Russia more than a thousand years ago. Uniqueness of all Kiev places of interest and historical monuments is that they are seen not as museum exhibits, little connected with reality, but as live mutes of the past, direct participants of old time events, that tell us their stories without pathos and arrogance.

A lot of industrial enterprises and financial structures are concentrated in Kiev; here there are most important Ukrainian academic institutions and most prestigious educational institutions. But this information hardly will be useful for travelers. Information on Kiev places of interest, interesting places, entertainment centers and shops, theatres and museums of Ukrainian capital will be more useful.

One of the most known Kiev sights, a place of believing people and tourists pilgrimage, is Kievo-Pecherskaya Saint-Uspenskaya Lavra. Throughout many centuries Kievo-Pecherskaya Lavra was a spiritual and cultural centre, an education stronghold. During different periods of its existence Lavra was on the verge of destruction, as well as many Christian monuments of Kiev, but now it is a national park, where there are ancient monastic cells-caves, ancient churches, and also a considerable quantity of museums.

Even if you are not an admirer of dramatic art, Kiev Opera theatre is worth visiting. Connoisseurs of opera and ballet will delight in fine music, vocal, choreography, and others will surely like fine scenery, rich vestibule interiors, foyer, wide marble stairs and huge mirrors. Kiev drama theatre of I. Franko and Russian drama theater of Lesia Ukrainka are known far outside Ukraine.

Those, who have enough time for acquaintance with Kiev, can spend day or two for tour round Kiev museums. Museum of Ukrainian Decorative Folk Art, National Art Museum of Ukraine, Natural history museum of NAS of Ukraine, Museum of East and West Art, Museum of Water and Museum of Miniature, Ukrainian Museum of Historical Treasures they can not be count, and in each has something interesting, whether old Ukrainian costume, Rubens and Velasquez paintings, ancient decoration of Scythian tsarinas, or fossil mammoths remains. It is possible to combine cultural program with nice rest. It will be interesting to spend a fine warm day in Museum of Folk Architecture and Rural Life located in Pirogovo. Here tourists will meet with national Ukrainian colour, various historical monuments of folk culture, pure air and picturesque landscape. On holidays and days off merry fairs and concerts are held in Pirogovos museum, and comfortable small restaurants, offering to taste dishes of Ukrainian cuisine, always work at museums territory.

Great number of various sports and fitness complexes, pools, covered skating rinks, operating all year long, roller rinks, gyms, bowling-clubs and billiard clubs work in Kiev. Preferences of all tourist categories are taken into account. Kiev night life yields to none of European capitals. Numerous entertaining centers, night clubs and casino provide their service to townsmen and visitors of the city.

Kiev restaurants deserve detailed discussion. As is known, all people have their own opinions and tastes. As concerns gastronomic tastes, whatever contradictory they are, they can be pleased by Kiev chefs. On menu of Kiev restaurants you can find tasty traditional dishes of Ukrainian cuisine, exotic viands of Japanese, Chinese and Latin American cuisines. Dainty French or, the most widespread, European cuisines are also presented.

It is pleasant to bring a souvenir from journey, something useful and necessary, or simply a beautiful trinket. Kiev shops and shopping centers offer huge assortment of goods. Brand-name products are displayed in Kiev shops as well as democratic goods oriented to all public levels.