The capital of Ukraine is an exciting city, where Russian and Western influences intersect. Since independence, there reigns the atmosphere of a city in full renewal. Effervescent and dynamic, Kiev is the new Eldorado for adventurers and wheeler-dealers: Russian style casinos, luxury shops for all tastes... But also, many historical and religious buildings, because it was in Kiev that the baptism of Rus took place. Besides its heritage and wide avenues, Kiev has a pleasant atmosphere, encouraging you to linger a few days in this still little known capital...
Kiev and its history
Kiev is one of the oldest cities in Eastern Europe, dating to the 5th century. In the early 13th century, the city experienced its golden age and became the capital of the first Ukrainian State (Kievan Rus). Long under Russian rule, with brief periods of independence, Kiev was able to join the ranks of major European capitals just after the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, when the country regained its independence.
Discover the emblematic sights of the city
History lovers, do not hesitate! Discover the history of the city through its architecture and its museums. That's not all. Kiev is also one of the greenest cities in Eastern Europe. There are two botanical gardens and more than a dozen parks. The must-not-miss monuments include the Castle of Richard the Lion Heart and the Church of St. Andrew's located on Andriyivskyy Descent, one of the most famous streets of Kiev (often compared with Montmartre) or the Museum of World War II, better known as the Museum of the Great Patriotic War, dominated by the huge statue of the Motherland.
Ukrainian cuisine is what is called "country cuisine" in tune with the seasons, consisting of cereals and vegetables such as potatoes, cabbage, beetroot, mushrooms, carrots and squash. This trip will be an opportunity for you to taste the different dishes, such as: Borsch, a beetroot and tomato soup to which potatoes and cabbage may be added, cabbage rolls stuffed with meat, called Galoubtsi, ravioli stuffed with pork or other ingredients such as chicken, beef, mushrooms, potatoes and cheese, called Pelmini.
Calendar of major events in Kiev
March: Docudays, International Documentary Film Festival, at the Kiev Cinema House.
March: Ukraine Fashion week is held every year in Kiev. A major fashion event that attracts designers, stylists, stars and fashionistas.
October: Molodist , the film festival organised each year in Kiev that showcases the work of young film-makers: shorts and feature films as well as student films.
September: GogolFest, a multidisciplinary contemporary art festival (theatre, visual arts, music, literature and cinema) which is hosted at Kiev's International Exhibition Centre. A major event in the Kiev calendar, it attracts more than 100,000 spectators, young and old.
From August to September: Flower Exhibition, in the landscaped Pechersk park in Kiev. Every year there is a special theme that florists must follow for their floral designs. Following this, a competition is held to designate the florist who has submitted the most original work.
Must-sees in Kiev :
Maidan Nezalezhnosti square (Independence Square) adorned with a column in honour of Berehynia, the Patron goddess of Slavic mythology.
The lively city centre of Kiev and its main street (Khreschatyk)
the main museums:
Chernobyl museum houses many objects and pictures around this catastrophe such as fire protective clothing, mutant animals, works of art by the victims.
The Museum of the Great Patriotic War, a complex commemorating the Eastern Front during World War II.
St. Sophia's Cathedral (the oldest in Kiev) and the Kiev-Pechersk Lavra, (monastery), major sites of the Orthodox religion (UNESCO World Heritage)
The Statue of the Motherland, on top of the Museum of the Great Patriotic War, carrying a sword and shield with the Soviet arms (hammer and sickle),
Babi Yar memorial to the largest Holocaust shooting massacre by the Nazi Einsatzgruppen in the USSR, on 29 and 30 September 1941 near the Babi Yar ravine,
The Kiev television tower.
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