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Sights - Top 5 Kiev’s show places

Kiev is not just a lively and fussy Ukrainian capital, but also a very picturesque city located on the river Dnieper’s bank. Treasures of art and architecture of Kiev are acknowledged in the whole world, though many of them were eliminated during the World War II. The modern center with remained parts of the old city is situated on hills, on the right bank of Dnieper. This steeper bank of the river is fully covered with trees and parks. Residential and industrial districts of Kiev are mainly of the left bank.

With its show places actions Kiev attracts many tourists. Well, what can you see here?

From ancient times Andrew's Descent is the shortest way between the aristocratic Upper city and trade part of Kiev, the old Podol. It begins from the Church of the Dime and St. Andrew’s church and goes down to the Kontraktova square. The name ‘Descent’ appeared already at the end of the 19th century and was preserved the same. Since the times of the last restauration the street is considered to be a part of the ancient Kiev. Among local population and tourists this place is also known because here lived a famous Russian writer Mikhail Bulgakov, the author of such famous works as ‘Master and Margaret’, ‘The White Guard’ etc. In the house number 13 there is a memorial museum of Bulgakov.
The Andrew's Descent is often called Kiev’s Montmartre, as many artists and sculptors hire their flats and studios here. In the early summer morning they hang out their pictures on the walls of houses and exhibit their sculptures on green lawns. On weekends many people gather here, and they buy souvenirs, sit to artists, enjoy improvised speeches of actors and musicians. On the way to Kontraktova square (the oldest square in Kiev) various shops, cafes, small theaters and museums can be found.

The Cathedral of St. Sophia was considered the main capital’s church of Kiev Rus. Up to the 17th century one can tell that the Cathedral was constructed in the Roman style. The church’s frontispieces weren’t plastered and were decorated with decorative niches, ornaments, and drawings. The interior was a harmonious combination of mosaic and fresco paintings in a style more like the Byzantian one. After invasion of Tatar-Mongol troops in 1420 the Cathedral was very much ruined.
In the 16th century Greek catholic priests started conducting their liturgies here. During 1630-40 years Kiev’s metropolitan founded a friary in the Cathedral.
The Italian architect Manchini reconstructed the church’s building. In 1685-1707 the Cathedral of St. Sophia was reconstructed in Ukrainian Baroque style. This sight of Kiev is considered to be a masterpiece of world’s architecture.

The Cathedral of St. Vladimir A construction of the Cathedral of St. Vladimir located in Taras Shevchenko Boulevard took about 30 years. Three architects in turns took part in its construction. This church with seven cupolas has little similar with other buildings of ancient Ukraine. Its walls are rich with decorative details. The main frontispiece outstands with a doubled-up door made of bronze decorated with pictures of Princess Olga and Prince Vladimir. A group of outstanding artists such as Vasnetsov, Nesterov etc. worked at the Cathedral’s interior during 11 years. Despite eclecticism felt in the whole Cathedral’s decoration, it’s one of the most significant and characteristic examples of monumental art of the 19th century.

The Golden Gate ‘The Golden Gate’ is one of the main buildings of Yaroslav the Wise. It was built by him in 1037 and was the main entrance to the city. ‘The Golden Gate’ got its name due to its triumphal appearance and a golden cupola of the Annuntiation Church located over the Gate. During invasion of Batu Khan this architectural monument was fully destroyed. Travelers who visited Kiev in 16-17 centuries left their descriptions and schemes of the half-destroyed gate. Due to this data, as well as archeological diggings ‘the Golden Gate’ was erected again in 1832. In 1893 during celebration of 1500th anniversary of Kiev in the building of ‘the Golden Gate’ a museum was opened.

Kiev Pechersk Lavra, Kiev Monastery of the Caves This Ukrainian orthodox monastery was founded in 1051 by monks Anthony and Feodosia. As well as many other historical buildings of Kiev, Lavra was destroyed by Batu Khan troops. Up to the middle of the 18th century it was reconstructed and finished.
The noble name of Lavra was given to the monastery at the end of the 16th century as a very big and significant residence of orthodox belief. After caves in which the first monks lived were found on the territory of the monastery, Lavra became to be called ‘Pechersk’ (which means cave). An especially beautiful and magnificent silhouette of Kiev Pechersk Lavra can be seen from the side of Dnieper. The territory of the monastery complex is very big and includes several buildings, such as the Cathedral of the Dormition, the Big Bell Tower, the Holy Trinity Church, the Blessed Virgin’s Birth Church, Near and Far Caves etc.
Kiev Pechersk Lavra suffered very much during the World War II. For example, the Cathedral of the Dormition exploded at that time was reconstructed only a short time ago.
Besides, in Kiev there are many other interesting show places one should necessarily see: the Mariyinsky Palace, Khreschatyk, Maydan Nezalezhnosti (the Independence Square), the Museum of historical treasures, the House with chimeras.

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