This weekend residents and visitors of the Ukrainian capital are celebrating Kyiv Day. It’s estimated the city is 1534 years old. To learn more about Kyiv, we’re taking a look at some of the key events in its history.
It’s believed that nearly 20,000 years first settlers began arriving in the Kyiv region. The city itself was founded much later, at the end of the 5th century, by three brothers, Kyi, Schek and Khoryv, and their sister Lybid.
988 A.D. – Prince Vladimir introduces Christianity as the main religion in the region. Later this was instrumental in establishing political and cultural relations with the Byzantium Empire and Bulgaria.
By 11th century Kyiv was one of the largest centers of civilization in the eastern Christian world. Population: 50,000 people; there were about 400 churches and 8 markets
1240 A.D. - Kyiv was destroyed by the Mongol ruler Batu Khan.
1362 A.D. - Great Duke of Lithuania invades Kyiv. The city is then ruled for nearly one hundred years by Lithuanian and Polish monarchy.
Nearly two hundred years pass before Ukraine begins to seek its independence.
1648-1654 A.D.- Cossack armies led by Hetman Bogdan Khmelnitsky, begin several wars to liberate Ukraine.
In 1648 Kyiv for a brief period becomes the center of the Ukrainian State.
In the 17th and 18th centuries the Russian Empire seizes Kyiv and manages to preserve and enjoy its rich economic, cultural, and religious achievements.
1918 - After the fall of the Russian Empire Ukraine finally becomes its own state - the ‘Ukrainian National Republic’.
During the Civil War the Bolshevik Party seized power and expanded their sphere of control into Ukraine. This is when Ukraine became part of the Soviet Union.
Kiev severely suffered during World War II, when many unique architectural and artistic treasures were destroyed.
During the 1930s, Soviet authorities systematically destroyed many churches. Extensive restoration in the 70s and 80s revived much of Kyiv's historical and cultural heritage.
On August 24, 1991, after the collapse of the Soviet Union, Ukraine became an independent state. That day marks the beginning of a new chapter of the country’s history as well as its beautiful capital.