Kiev (or Kyiv) is the capital and the largest city of Ukraine, located in the north central part of the country on the Dnieper River. The name Kiev is derived from the name of Kiy, one of four legendary founders of the city.
By the ancient legend Kiev was founded by three brothers Kiy, Schek, Khoriv and their sister Lybid. They were surprised by the beauty of Dnieper’s hills, stopped to settle here and called the town in honour of the eldest brother-Kiev. A monument to the founders was erected at the Dnieper embankment in our days. The town’s place was chosen succesfully, the high Dnieper’s slopes were perfect protection against the raids of nomad tribes.
Kiev stretches for the space of more than 20 km along the picturesque banks of the biggest Ukrainian river — Dnieper. Its square consists 827 sq.km. The population of Kiev is about 3 millions people.
Kiev is one of the oldest Slavic centres, "Mother of Russian touns” so it was called in olden times, its age is more than 1500 years. The first settlements on the territory of modern Kiev appeared from 15000 till 20000 year ago.
During the time of Vladimir the Great (980-1015) government our city begins to develop especially rapidly. In order to consolidate Kiev Russ and to increase its international influence the prince Vladimir baptised the Russ in 988. Christianity and became that impulse for further development of written language and culture.
Today Kiev is an important industrial, scientific, educational and cultural centre of Eastern Europe. It is home to many high-tech industries, higher education institutions and world-famous historical landmarks. The city has an extensive infrastructure and highly developed system of public transport, including the Kiev Metro.
The capital of Ukraine has got great cultural potential. There are more that 30 museums, about 200 unique architectural monuments, 33 theatres, enormouse quantity of constant active art exhibitions. Kiev is one of the greenest cities of the world, it has more that 60 parks. In spring and summer the city resembles one huge park.
There are many historical places in Kiev. For example, St Sophia Cathedral, which was built in the 11th century, Kievo-Pecherskaya Lavra that was founded in the 11th century, St Michael’s Golden-Domed Monastery, which was ruined and recently completely restored, St. Andrew’s chirch in baroque style?
The monument to Taras Shevchenko, the great Ukrainian poet, is in front of the University, named after him. The monument to Bohdan Khmelnitsky, famous hetman of Ukraine, stands in the square opposite to St Sophia Cathedral.
Kiev is the centre of cultural life of Ukraine. Fans of theatre, cinema, music, painting and other arts can find there many interesting for themselves. There are lots of museums in Kiev: the Museum of Ukrainian Arts, the Historic Museum, the Taras Shevchenko Museum, the Lesya Ukrainka Museum, the museum of M. Bulgakov and others.