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Kiev

Culture of Kiev. Places to visit - old town, temples, theaters, museums and palaces

Cathedral of the Dormition (back view) Among the spectacular sights of Kiev there are religious sites, unique monuments of architecture, and a variety of museums, so every traveler could choose an interesting cultural program. Church of St. Andrew is a true sample of the baroque; it was constructed in the second half of the 18th century. The church is located on a high hill. Today this famous religious monument is converted into a museum.
Kyiv has a lot of interesting shopping malls. Dozens of product categories are presented in Globus Shopping Center. It houses clothing and footwear stores of various price categories, elite … Open
Another interesting historical site is the Kiev Pechersk Lavra. This monastery was founded in 1051; it is one of the oldest monasteries in the world. Kiev Pechersk Lavra is a world-class attraction; in the territory there is the tomb of Peter Stolypin and a lot of religious artifacts.
One of the most unusual and famous monuments is the House with Chimeras. Its construction began in 1901 and lasted for just over a year. The author of the Art Nouveau original is Vladislav Gorodetsky. Another world-class monument is Sophia Cathedral built in the 11th century. Few centuries after the discovery the cathedral was rebuilt; today visitors can see a building in the Baroque style, which has been existing since the 13th century. The cathedral preserved frescoes and mosaics that attract numerous visitors. Copyright www.orangesmile.com
Discovering the architecture of Kiev from bird's eye view! Kiev Pechersk Lavra, St. Andrew Church, Monument of Independence , St. Michael Golden-Domed Monastery, Kiev Fortress, Church of the Saviour at Berestove, all those monuments are defining the image of Kiev … Open
St. Vladimir's Cathedral, opened in the late 19th century, is also an important religious site. The work under its construction lasted for almost 50 years. Cathedral features a refined decoration; its walls keep many important religious artifacts. Among the cultural places of the city we should mention Museum of Folk Architecture and Life of Ukraine. This is a large-scale open air museum complex with an exhibition that features more than 300 exhibits. There visitors can see ancient windmills, crafts and household items of indigenous people.
Ucraina, Kiev An unusual sight is the Pharmacy Museum, which first welcomed its visitors in 1986. Its collection includes a variety of exhibits related to the pharmacy business, from pharmaceutical instruments and bottles to crabs and snakes preserved in alcohol. The most famous monument of defensive architecture is the Golden Gate, which had served as the main entrance to the city until the 17th century. The powerful fortress tower with a wide thoroughfare has preserved perfectly. Near the gate there is a small museum dedicated to the history of the edifice.
Saint Sophia Cathedral, St. Volodymyr Cathedral, Golden Gate, Olimpiyskiy Sports Complex, as well as many others, they all become the world's cultural heritage objects and remain as iconic monuments for Kiev … Open
The Kyiv National Academic Theater of Operetta is definitely worth visiting, and not only for its wonderful theater performances. The interior and exterior are striking with their splendor so much that it seems as if this is not a theater building but a royal palace where nobles once lived. However, this does not negate the fact that once tsars indeed attended performances to enjoy the architecture, the interior, and the show. It is worth noting that the theater is a historical site - the 3rd Prime Minister of Russia Pyotr Stolypin who attended "The Tale of Tsar Saltan" together with Tsar Nicholas II and his family was once hilled here. Another cultural institution attractive with its rich interior is the National Organ and Chamber Music Hall of Ukraine that occupies the Roman Catholic Church of St. Nicholas. The construction of this masterpiece of neo-Gothic architecture was completed in 1909.
Zolotie Vorota (Golden Gate) The National Bank of Ukraine building is a great example of Empire architecture. It was built in 1839, and its main pride is griffons installed on the corners of the building. Sightseeing in Kyiv cannot be imagined without exploring Syrotkyna Apartment House - one of the most beautiful buildings in the Ukrainian capital. Facades with baroque, Art Nouveau and neo-renaissance elements, windows in the style of early Art Nouveau, relief details and sculptures - all this boggles the imagination and makes the heart of every visitor to Kyiv beat faster. A masterpiece of Stalinist Empire style is the Expocenter of Ukraine National Complex where interesting exhibitions are often held. It is also worth noting that this complex was once visited by famous figures such as Margaret Thatcher, Charles de Gaulle, Broz Tito.
In order to get acquainted with all notable places of Kiev you will need more than one day of long walks. However, you will not need any transport as all main sights of this city are located … Open
A wonderful architectural landmark is the Castle of Richard the Lionheart, so named for its resemblance to castles built during the reign of the king famous for his bravery. All its towers and spires make the castle look like a British Gothic building. By the way, some famous Ukrainian artists lived here at different times. Quite unusual for Kyiv is a French-style quarter with a miniature replica of the Eiffel Tower in its center. Well, those who wish to see not France but Japan would be happy to visit Kyoto Park with its wonderful peaceful atmosphere.
Ucraina, Kiev Yagimovskiy House that is often referred to as "House With Cats" is another brilliant architectural creation. It is called so because its main pride is magnificent cat-shaped bas-reliefs. However, the palace had another name - once it was called the “House of Koschei” since the architect's last name was Bezsmertnyi (translates as "Immortal", just like Koschei in Slavic folklore). The building with Art Nouveau elements was completed in 1909 and immediately began to attract the attention of those looking for aesthetic pleasure. Another interesting building in Kyiv is the so-called "Chocolate House", which got its name for a facade resembling the chocolate texture. Built in an eclectic style in 1901, the mansion draws the attention of all connoisseurs of architectural art.
The selection of entertainment for holidaymakers with children in Kiev is simply wide. They should definitely visit the Kiev Zoo. In this large zoo, you can see animals from all over the … Open
The famous Mariyinsky Palace, the pearl of the eponymous park, is no less remarkable for its architectural composition. The palace was built by order of Elizaveta Petrovna, the architects were Bartolomeo Rastrelli, Ivan Michurin and Vasily Neyolov who chose Baroque as the dominant architectural style of the building. The palace was often visited by members of the royal family - for example, by Catherine II and Maria Feodorovna. Later the building served as a revolutionary committee headquarters, a museum, and an agricultural school. Nearby is the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine building designed by Volodymyr Zabolotny and completed in 1939. Classicism was chosen as the main style. It must be said that the building is attractive for its accuracy and precision - that's how any government building should look like.
Arch of International Cooperation, Kiev Equally interesting are sculptures located throughout the city. These are monuments to great people - Bogdan Khmelnitsky, Taras Shevchenko, Volodymyr the Great, Princess Olga, as well as memorials in honor of Afghan soldiers and people affected by the Chernobyl nuclear disaster. The Motherland Monument, which is a permanent symbol of the unity of Ukraine and its capital's hallmark, is worthy of at least a cursory inspection. Beautiful parks are ideal for walking in Kyiv. This can be the already mentioned Mariyinsky Park, Shevchenko Park or Natalka Park.
It’s not easy to choose the best one among hundreds of Kiev restaurants. Let’s start the story about most attractive gastronomic points of interest with the review of national … Open
Kyiv is famous for its unique museums. Besides such an original cultural institution as the Toilet History Museum (by the way, it is among the most interesting museums in the world), here you can find the Museum of Dreams with its impressive works of art that arose as if from the subconscious, as well as Mykola Syadristy Microminiatures Museum with its superbly executed and detailed works. It is quite possible to see all Kyiv's attractions in one place - the Ukrainian capital has a unique museum called “Kyiv in miniature” (situated in Hydropark, another great place to walk). Amazing sights created with attention to the smallest details - not only tourists but also locals love this place.
Ukrane. Kiev. Church of Pyrohoshcha Get acquainted with the traditional way of life of local residents' ancestors in two museums: the first is the Museum of Folk Architecture and Life (Pirogovo) and the second is "Mamaeva Sloboda". This is a great opportunity to get to know the local culture, learn about the country's traditional craft, visit a mini-zoo, ride a horse-drawn carriage, watch performances of folk groups, buy some authentic Ukrainian souvenirs, and, of course, have a good time. Children would probably be interested in the State Museum of Toys where they can find out what kind of toys children who lived at different times played with. Those who'd prefer to learn more about the tragic milestones in the history of Ukraine are recommended to visit the Ukrainian National Chornobyl Museum and the Museum of the Great Patriotic War.
In the section below, you can get one of our excursion, activities or city discovery tours over Kiev and surroundings. Our website offers 10-30% lower ticket prices, when compared to the offline purchase on the spot.

City tours, excursions and tickets in Kiev and surroundings

Plan your own excursion through Kiev: churches, museums and castles

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. Andrew Church, Kiev

» The stone Orthodox church was laid on the site of a former fortress bastion on top of a mountain in 1744.
»  The builders had to construct a 15-meter-high ground part under the base of the building to make it stronger and prevent it from being destroyed by groundwater.
»  It had been intended to be built by the time Empress Elizabeth I came to the area as part of her pilgrimage to Kiev.
»  The shape of the 47-meter house resembles an elongated cross. The church is covered with a huge dark green dome. It is decorated with gilded garlands. There are turrets rising on four sides.
»  Stucco molding and cast iron were used to decorate the walls of a religious building for the first time.
»  Turquoise walls contrast with snow-white colonnades and decorations in the form of unfolded scrolls. All items are gilded.
»  The interior is as picturesque as the exterior. All frescoes picture biblical themes. Their distinctive feature is thoroughly painted details in the characters’ costumes, their poses, still lifes, nature pictures. Such painting is not typical of cult asceticism.
»  39 icons for a 3-tier carved iconostasis had been created by a Ukrainian artist for 3 years.
»  The church is named for Andrew the Apostle.

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.

Monument of Independence , Kiev

» The 42-meter triumphal column is located on the square in the center of the city. An architect from Kiev worked on its construction.
»  The vertical structure is faced with light Italian marble brought from the Mediterranean.
»  To make it more stable, a reinforced concrete frame was installed inside the stela. A 1.5-ton counterweight was also placed there so that the monument could resist the forces of nature. It can hold back the flow of a hurricane wind and ground movements. There are spiral stairs leading to the top.
»  The elevation resembles a temple.
»  A statue of a girl in a long shirt rises in the middle of the monument. It is a symbol personifying the Mother of God with open arms. Her all-embracing gesture means intercessory prayer. The guelder rose branch in the hands, embroidery on the dress, and headdress ribbons are painted in gold leaf. Guelder rose has always been considered a symbol of Ukraine.
»  The statue of Berehynia itself is cast in bronze. It weighs about 20 tons. The sculptor’s daughter served as a model for the female figure.
»  Three projects were selected by the jury of the competition. They formed the basis of the design.
»  The monument commemorates the independence of the state and was built on the occasion of its 10th anniversary.

St. Michael Golden-Domed Monastery, Kiev

» The church complex consists of a cathedral, refectory, church, and a bell tower.
»  According to legend, the monastery was founded by the first bishop of the city. The temple dedicated to the archangel was ordered by the grandson of Yaroslav the Wise (1113) as the evangelist was the heavenly patron of the townspeople.
»  The facade cladding mixes flat brick masonry and rows of stone.
»  It was the first time in the history of architecture when a dome was gilded on a religious building, which is why it is called ‘Golden-Domed’.
»  Princes of Kiev rest in this place.
»  The interior of the hall is lined with mosaic panels. There were times when such images stretched along all the walls.
»  Only 45 square meters of the original several-century-old mosaics remained intact. The pictures are called flickering as the patterns were selected in such a way that it seems the shades are opalescent.
»  The community was presented with a gift from Emperor Alexander I. He gave the icon of St. Michael into their possession. The frame is made of pure gold and decorated with diamond inserts.
»  There is an altar canopy in the monastery courtyard. It has a stone fountain bowl from where a spring comes out. It is furnished with picturesque columns and adorned with frescoes. The bowl is covered with a gilded coating.
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What to visit during two-day excursion in Kiev

Independence Square
Where: Maidan Nezalezhnosti, Kiev;
Kreshchatyk
Metro: Kreshchatyk;
Kyiv Pechersk Lavra
Where: Sichnevoho Povstannya, Kiev; Telephone: +380 44 290 3071; Metro: Aresenalna;
Andriyivsky Uzviz
Metro: Ploshtova Ploscha;
One Street Museum
Where: Andriyivsky decent 2-B, Kiev; Telephone: +380 425 0398; Opening hours: Tues-Sun 12.00-18.00;
St Sophia Cathedral
Where: Vladimirskaya 24, Kiev; Telephone: +380 44 278 2083; Opening hours: Mon-Sat 09.00-18.00 Closed at Thursdays;
Museum of Russian Art
Where: Tereschenkovskaya St. 9, Kiev; Telephone: +380 44 224 6107; Opening hours: Fri-Tues, 10.00-17.00.; Metro: Teatralna;
St Mikhayil’s
Where: Mikhailivska ploscha, Kiev; Telephone: +380 44 278 8956;
Babi Yar
Metro: Dorohozhychi;
Reference information
Map of all palaces
Public palaces near Kiev
♥   Palace 'Klovsky Palace' , 1.5 km from the center. On the map   Photo
♥   Palace 'Royal Palace' Lviv, 2.2 km from the center. On the map   Photo
Map of all art museums
Art galleries in Kiev and around
♥   Art museum 'Museum of Western and Oriental Art' Kiev, 0.9 km from the center. On the map   Photo
Map of all churches
Cathedrals and basilicas near Kiev
♥   Patriarchal Cathedral of the Resurrection of Christ, Kyiv (Київ), 5.4 km from the center. On the map   Photo
Car rental on OrangeSmile.com Rentals in Kiev

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Photogallery of cultural heritage of Kiev

Landmarks of culture on Kiev map: art-galleries, monuments, palaces, etc

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Excursions over cultural sights of neighbours of Kiev

Culture guide to Kiev. Which fascinating sights to visit once you are in Kiev: temples, churches, museums, theaters and castles. Recommendations (with addresses, phone numbers and links) on the places 'must visit' in Kiev. Plan your own city excursion by using this page info!
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