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Kiev

Excursion tour in Kiev. Top architecture - monuments, castles, temples and palaces

Saint Sophia Cathedral, St. Volodymyr Cathedral, Golden Gate, Olimpiyskiy Sports Complex, and St. Nicholas Cathedral are the next landmarks in the review. Just like in the beginning of the review, we have prepared a collection of historic facts and some awesome photographs for each of these top architecture monuments of Kiev. Don’t forget to admire the look of these sights from a bird’s eye view. This view is available in the flyover video of the architectural skyline of Kiev. After such a guide, it won’t be a hassle to make up a great plan of a real-life excursion tour in Kiev. Ready, steady, go!

Saint Sophia Cathedral, Kiev

» Yaroslav the Wise is believed to have ordered the construction of the religious institution. According to the encrypted wall inscription discovered by researchers, it was founded in 1011 which proves that the prince could not be the founder of the construction.
»  God's house was built by architects from Constantinople.
»  The building has several pear-shaped domes. The number of domes symbolizes Jesus, his 12 disciples, and the evangelists who preached the teachings of Christ.
»  The dome ceilings, arches, vertical columns are all decorated with colored inserts preserved from the day the temple was founded. A separate 1x1 square was pressed into plaster thus creating a complete canvas with a pattern. 177 color shades were used while creating the mosaics.
»  The interior has lots of frescoes picturing the scenes from saints’ lives. They cover an area of 3,000 square meters.
»  There are revered relics in the hall. Monomakh’s Cap, the crown of the tsar power, is one of them.
»  The underground crypt has 100 graves.
»  “Sophia” in the name is associated with a concept of Christianity – divine wisdom.
»  In the past, princes used to be crowned, foreign ambassadors were received here, and public gatherings were held outside the cathedral.

St. Volodymyr Cathedral, Kiev

» The cathedral is named for Prince Vladimir. In 1862, to commemorate the wise ruler, the first stone was laid in the foundation of the holy place. The construction of the major Orthodox church took 20 years and was finished in 1882.
»  Lots of famous artists took part in its decoration. Viktor Vasnetsov alone frescoed 2,000 squares.
»  Colored marble stone was used for facing the iconostasis and floors. It was brought from Italy, France, Belgium, and Spain.
»  The church has seven cupolas which make the construction 49 meters high.
»  The massive entrance doors are made of bronze. There are faces of Princess Olga and Prince Vladimir on them.
»  Craftsmen from Venice were invited to decorate the mosaic interior. Ceremonial utensils were made to order by a jewelry company.
»  The interior walls form one composite canvas of biblical scenes. The pictures demonstrate the history of Russian Orthodoxy.
»  The relics of Saint Barbara were brought here from another cathedral.
»  People from all over the world contributed money for the construction of God's house. The metropolitan himself contributed 7,000 rubles. The Kiev Pechersk Lavra provided a million bricks.

Golden Gate, Kiev

» The entrance to the city was blocked by the fortification. A part of the fence remained intact. Guests and foreign ambassadors were received here. The prince’s troops left from here to defend the borders.
»  Its name – the Golden Gate – was chosen to emulate the Golden Gate of Constantinople. Russian rulers thus wanted to show the importance of the state.
»  The arch was constructed in 1037.
»  The wide entrance had a spacious area where the Church of the Annunciation was located. The white stone construction situated above the military tower showed that a Christian settlement was laid there.
»  The entrance opening is almost 8 meters wide and 12 meters high.
»  Both time and people were merciless to the ancient relic. The ruins of the Golden Gate were covered with earth. The new one appeared next to it.
»  During excavations, mosaic fragments, ceramic dishes, fresco plaster were found under the hidden layer of ground. The artifacts helped identify the interior of the church.
»  The driveway was freed again, and the masonry was restored (1832). Today, the historical site is enclosed by the cast-iron fence.
»  There’s a museum in the extension near the gate. It displays the surviving details of the fortress wall. Here you can discover the detailed history of the ancient monument.

Olimpiyskiy Sports Complex, Kiev

» A German company was asked to renovate the old building. A part of the stands was set aside for individual seats. There’s a separate doping room where first aid is given if necessary. The guest box is designed for 1,500 guests and media representatives. Commentators sit in separate television studios. The style of construction used to build the sports arena is called elite.
»  The complex has a security system.
»  A glass canopy is installed over the stands. It removes the sun glare that can distract players from competing.
»  The renovated stadium can hold 70,000 spectators.
»  The Olympic Stadium was built for the 1980 Olympic Games.
»  The core of the stadium consists of a football field, running tracks for athletes, and two-tier stands for spectators.
»  It hosts not only sports events but also music festivals. The acoustics in the arena are unique.
»  Besides, it’s the home ground of the local football team.
»  There are two hotels where visitors can stay: Park Inn by Radisson and Royal Olympic.

St. Nicholas Cathedral, Kiev

» The Roman Catholic Church of St. Nicholas is easily recognizable because of its high spires resembling arrows. Above the entrance, there is a large round rose window divided by curly mullions. The wall panels are decorated with stucco patterns. The soloists of the Kiev House of Organ and Chamber Music organize concerts in the hall.
»  It took ten years to build the cathedral (1899-1909). The delay was caused by lack of funding. But for private donations, the construction works would have been ceased.
»  The church has characteristic strict lines. All parts of the building – turrets, spires – “stretch” into the sky. The exterior is decorated with lots of statues. There is a window with a complex weave above the portal. The side alcoves contain images of Polish emblems. The noblemen were interested in the construction of the cathedral.
»  Multiple sculptures of strange creatures and monsters are not typical of religious institutions and catch the eye. All chimeras serve as a defence against dark forces.
»  Two 64-meter bell turrets form the silhouette of the building. 40 colored-glass window openings complete the decor.
»  The Church of St. Nicholas is owned by the government, and religious organizations do not have rights to it.
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