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Welcome to Kiev, Ukraine’s Capital City

15. January 2010 by Gregg 0 Comments

Kiev, also known as Kyiv is Ukraine’s Capital city and an important cultural and historical city in Eastern Europe. Supposedly founded in ancient times by three legendary brothers – Kyi (the brother the city was named for), Schek and Khoryv and their sister Lybid. The Schekavytsia and Khorevytsia mountains bear the names of the two other brothers and Lybid’s namesake river flows nearby.

 

 

 

The city of Kiev developed around various Slavic settlements in the area as early as the 6th Century and by the 8th or 9th century was a fully formed city under the Turkish Khazars and the Slavs. By the end of the 9th Century, the city had become the Capital of the first Eastern European state – Kievan Rus. It reached a new level of prosperity and power under Prince Vladimir the Great and Prince Yaroslav until it was destroyed by the Mongols in 1240 during their invasion of Rus and then captured by the Lithuanians in the 1300’s. It continued under the rule of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth until the 17th century where it was transferred to the Russian Empire.

 

The city remained under Russia through the early 20th century until the Russian Revolutions of 1917, where Ukraine initially attempted to break ties with the newly founded USSR, and successfully held off the Red Army for a few years with the assistance of Germany, but after finding themselves in the middle of three separate wars and having ownership of the city change 16 times between 1918 and 1920, Ukraine capitulated and joined the USS, initially with the city of Kharkov as the Capital, but later moving it to Kiev.

 

During the fall of the USSR in 1991, Ukraine declared its secession and has remained an independent state ever since. Ukraine’s Declaration of Independence was drafted and signed in the city, which remains Ukraine’s capital.

 

Having sustained heavy damage during the Second World War, Kiev had been rebuilt heavily and so today featured a mix of architecture from many different periods of history.  The city features many museums including The National Museum of History of Great Patriotic War, an extensive museum of Ukraine and the USSR’s involvement in World War II and The Museum of Russian Art. The Golden Gate, an enormous gateway to the city originally constructed under the order of Prince Yaroslav the Wise in 1037 can still be visited today.