Top 8 sights worth seeing in Kyiv
Lonely Planet lists some of the most interesting places in the Ukrainian capital
Lonely Planet is a popular site in the world of travelers, which is also known for its guide to dozens of countries. The site can provide detailed information about popular tourist places based on the reviews from users and various institutions.
Here you can find 8 featured sights of Kyiv according to Lonely Planet.
Rebuilt after a fire in 1811 and having survived the Second World War, Podil district is a cozy place in the center of Kyiv, with the original architecture of the early twentieth century as opposed to "Stalinist" Khreshchatyk.
7. Desyatynna Church
Up Andriyivsky uzviz past St Andrew's Church, look for a dense cluster of vendors selling Dynamo Kyiv & other sports paraphernalia on the right. The fenced-off archaeological site behind them covers the foundations of the Desyatynna Church ruins. Prince Volodymyr ordered the church built in 989 and devoted 10% of his income to it, hence the name (desyatyn means 'one-tenth'). The church collapsed under the weight of the people who took refuge on its roof during the Mongol sacking of Kyiv in 1240.
Today the Moscow and Kyiv patriarchates of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church are fighting over the fate of the site - the latter wants to rebuild the church.
6. Bohdan & Varvara Khanenko Museum of Arts
Kyiv's most impressive collection of European art boasts Bosch, Velázquez and Rubens among the many masters represented, but they are only part of the attraction. The house, with its frescoed ceilings and intricately carved woodwork, alone is worth the price of admission. All the better that it's packed with priceless antique furniture, ancient Greek sculptures, porcelain ceramics and dazzling paintings, such as a version of Hieronymus Bosch's Temptation of St Anthony . The museum's climax is on the top floor: four rare religious icons from the 6th and 7th centuries. Even if icons aren't your thing, it's hard not to be moved by these primitive Byzantine treasures. And we've only described the 'Western' wing. The 'Eastern' wing has Buddhist, Chinese and Islamic art.
5. Babyn Yar
On 29 September 1941, Nazi troops rounded up Kyiv's 34,000-strong Jewish population, marched them to the Babyn Yar ravine and massacred them all in the following 48 hours. Victims were shot and buried in the ravine, some of them still alive. Over the next two years, many more people of all ethnic, religious and political backgrounds lost their lives at Babyn Yar when it was turned into a concentration camp, called Syrets after the Kyivan suburb it was located. The total number of people buried here is estimated at 100,000.
4. Museum of the Great Patriotic War
While the Museum of the Great Patriotic War was built belatedly in 1981 to honour Kyiv's defenders during the 'great patriotic war' of WWII, it seems to be straight out of the 1950s, with gloomy lighting and huge display halls covered in creaky parquet flooring. This is a sombre and sometimes even macabre exhibition, such as in Hall No 6 where you find yourself looking at a pair of gloves made from human skin.
3. Maydan Nezalezhnosti
Independent Ukraine has a short history and pretty much all of it was written here. Popularly known as Maydan (pronounced 'my -dun'), the square was the site of pro-independence protests in the 1990s, when nationalist students pitched tents here for the first time, copying China's Tiananmen protesters. During the Orange Revolution of 2004, this vast fountain-filled space flanked by Stalin-era buildings was transformed into a huge tent camp and the scene of a never-ending rally.
But all of that was eclipsed by the Euromaidan protests in the winter of 2013–14, when the square turned into the camp of an urban guerrilla army with massive camouflage tents, soup kitchens, stacks of firewood and tires to burn if the police goes on the offensive.
Ukraine is dotted with 'open-air' museums like this, full of life-size models of different rustic buildings. However, the Pyrohovo Museum of Folk Architecture, 12km south of Kyiv, is one of the most fun and best maintained. Throughout the year Pyrohovo hosts various festivals – the biggest is during the countrywide Ivan Kupala festival. Ukrainian musicians play on weekends.
1. Kyevo-Pecherska Lavra
Tourists and Orthodox pilgrims alike flock to the Lavra. It's easy to see why the tourists come. Set on 28 hectares of grassy hills above the Dnipro River, the monastery's tight cluster of gold-domed churches is a feast for the eyes, the hoard of Scythian gold rivals that of the Hermitage in St Petersburg, and the underground labyrinths lined with mummified monks are exotic and intriguing.
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