KYIV — HISTORICAL AND CULTURAL OVERVIEW (JUST IN CASE YOU STILL KNOW A BIT ABOUT CAPITAL OF UKRAINE)
So, you might have heard something about Kyivan Rus. Haven’t you? Here is a hot spot of the deepest contradiction between Russia and Ukraine. Actually, Russia stole the title, the name — Russia — Rus, from Ukrainian people who are originally the direct heirs of Kyivan Rus people and state. But, if you dig deeper you will find out that Russia has stolen so many things from different countries, cultures, and people, that plagiarism is a typical way of Russians’ acquiring the world and there is no reasonable suspicion that they are going to regret it. So, let us just skip and take as granted that modern Ukraine is a consequent stage of an old state Kyivan Rus with the capital located on both banks of the Dnipro river.
According to historical chronicles, the city was founded in 482 by Prince Kyi, his brother Shchek and Khoryv, and their sister Lybid. The golden age of the city lasted during the rule of Volodymyr the Great (980-1015) and his son Yaroslav the Wise (1019-1054). Christianity was adopted as the official county’s religions, arts and sciences were developed under the umbrella of these masters of Rus.
By the middle of the 12th century, the city blossomed as a major hub for crafts and trade. The population was near 50,000 residents. later the perdition and annihilation fell over Rus and Kyiv — the Tatar-Monol Horde conquered lands over the state and depleted the capital.
Historical documents lead us further into the mid-14th and mid-16th centuries when Kyiv was a part of the Great Duchy of Lithuania and later — of Poland.
As a matter of fact, Kyiv Rus lost its statehood till the period of Bohdan Khmelnytskyi (united country, fought against Poland, established new independence and statehood, ruled the country in 1648-1657 years)
But after this boosting of independence, Kyiv again became a part of a strange country — the Tsardom of Muscovy. As a part of the Russian Empire (after Moscovian Tsar decided to change the name of the state by taking it from Kyiv’s history) the Kyiv Governorate was set up in the 18th century.
During the 19th century, Kyiv was filled with different civil constructions, such as university, Opera House and many other unique architectural and engineering infrastructures. Kyiv was one of the most progressive cities in the whole empire as there were first streetcars and funicular already in 1905.
In 1934 the city again became a capital, this time the capital of Soviet Ukraine (after a short period of Kharkiv’s owning of this title).
The 1930s were severe and hard years for Ukrainians. Holodomor and repressions broke the people down. Fears spread like a plague across both banks of the Dnipro. The «red terror» of the 1920s was substituted by Stalin’s atrocity. New ideology and order were set on blood.
Between fall 1941 and 1943, Kyiv remained under Nazi occupation, as well as the major part of Soviet Ukraine.
Retreating German army blew the downtown up, leaving ruins of the heroic city.
The thing to mention and to remember is that one of the tragic episodes of Jewish people during World War II took place in Kyiv, near modern Dorogozichy district and subway station. Babi Yar — the place of the mass execution of the civil Jewish population of the Kyiv region. Babi Yar Holocaust Memorial Center
So, decimated during the war, Kyiv was bein rebuilt till the 1950th.
The modern history of the city starts with the independence Ukraine gained in 1991.
Two big-deal events stressed the city and the country correspondently: Orange Revolution in 2004 and the Revolution of Dignity in November 2013.
Despite its copious industry, Kyiv prides itself on being a perfect tourist destination and vacation spot. There are two airports in the city, a marina and a railway network that connects it to East Europe.
Over the last years, the city has hosted such prominent international events as Euro 2012, 2018 UEFA Final, and the Eurovision song contest (twice, in 2005 and 2017)
A few awesome facts about Kyiv
- If you look at the relief of the right-bank part of Kyiv, you will find an amazing thing: the outlines of the city resemble a human profile. Is it just a chance coincidence or secret sign — nobody is sure.
- 2. St. Andrew Church.
There are no bells in this church. According to the legend, in ancient times, underground rivers flowed at this place. They left when St. Andrew put the cross on the hill. He predicted the appearance of a great city and church in this place. When the locals built the St. Andrew’s Church, they did not begin to hoist the bells: they believed that underground water could return from the chime.
- Arsenalnaya metro station.
It is the deepest metro station not only in Kyiv but throughout the world. It is located at a depth of 105 meters. Rumors say it has some secret tunnels for the members of the ruling elite (the Government House and Parlament are located pretty close to this station) that have been built in tunnels near the station during the Soviet period (well, it was a period of Cold War and a treat of atomic war, so, it sounds reasonable to construct such tunnels)
- Kyiv waterfall. The waterfall has an artificial, but this does not make it less beautiful. It is located in the industrial and economic zone, and on the way to it, there are many picturesque places. You can get to it on foot from the Vydubychi subway station. It will take you half an hour: just keep the direction towards the Dnipro river.
This is just a tiny piece of fascinating facts about Kyiv.