Journey deep into the heart of one of Europe’s oldest towns: “the Jerusalem of Russia,” Kiev. A holiday here in the capital of the Ukraine, and the hub of its trade and industry, unveils historic and cultural sights.
Kiev was the first centre of the Greek Orthodox Church in Russia, and many old cathedrals have retained their splendour through the ages. The seven-domed Cathedral of Saint Volodymyr is constructed out of bronze, enamel, and marble, and houses masterpieces of Russian religious art in the form of mosaics and frescoes. The Saint Andrew Church is another impressive building. Built with gold, within lie the relics of the disciple Andrew, and a Gospel set in diamonds.
Witness to centuries of Ukrainian history, the Golden Gate is a fortification built in 1017 and reconstructed in 1970. On top of this is the Annunciation Church, a fulfilment of the Grand Prince of Kiev’s promise to the Virgin Mary. There is also a museum which houses the artefacts found during the archaeological excavations here.
Public gatherings usually occur in Independence Square, the centre of Kiev. There is a waterfall, six fountains, and a towering column with the patron saint Archangel Mikhail perched on top. The old and new collide here, with modern hip boutiques mingling with ancient landmarks.
Enter the bizarre world of the House with Chimeras during your holiday in Kiev. It was designed by local architect Vladislav Gorodezhkii, believed by many to have been a sorcerer. Outcroppings of cement elephants, rhinoceroses, stags, frogs, and snakes greet visitors to this wonderland, which is crowned by maidens sitting on giant fishes.
End a day of touring in one of the local restaurants. Some Ukrainian dishes to try are Borshch, vegetable soup with beets; Kyshka, blood and buckwheat sausage; and Holubtsi, cabbage rolls. Have some Horilka (vodka) to go with it.