Kiev has plenty of great tourist attractions — parks, museums, streets and other. Also, as the city is many centuries old, it has many old, fascinating and even mysterious buildings. We decided to make a list of the most famous ones. Here they are.
Kievo-Pecherska Lavra is a complex of churches which, by themselves, are architectural masterpieces. It was founded in 1051 as the cave monastery. Today, Kievo-Pecherska Lavra contains cathedrals (the most famous is Cathedral of the Dormition), bell towers (the most famous is Great Lavra Belltower, 96.5 meters high) and the system of caves. The Dormition Cathedral was destroyed during the World War II, and was reconstructed in the recent years.
The Kievo-Pecherska Lavra underground cave system consists of narrow corridors and underground chapels. Foreign travelers of the 16th–17th centuries indicated that Lavra caves stretched for many kilometers reaching as far as Moscow and Novgorod. However, there is no substantiated evidence if that is true or not. Today Kievo-Pecherska Lavra, together with Saint Sophia Cathedral, belongs to the UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
St. Sophia Cathedral
As we have already mentioned, St. Sophia’s Cathedral, together with Kievo-Pecherska Lavra, belongs to the UNESCO World Heritage Sites. It was founded in the 11th century as a burial place for the rulers of Kiev. Today it includes the cathedral itself and supporting buildings (bell tower, House of the Metropolitan, Consistory, gate and so on).
Horodetskyi Building or ‘Dom s Khimerami’
The building is known for its unusual architecture: it is decorated with the fantastic sculptures of maidens with elephants, frogs, lizards, eagles, snakes and other creatures. ‘Dom s Khimerami’ was build at the beginning of the 20th century as a private residence. It is one of the most fascinating historic buildings and a must-see for tourists. The building is located not far from the Ukrainian President‘s office at Bankova Street. Since 2005 it has been used as a place for official and diplomatic ceremonies.
The gorgeous palace was built in the 18th century. It was designed by the famous Italian architect Bartolomeo Rastrelli. Mariyinsky Palace was used as a residence of the Tsar family in Kiev. Today the building serves as a place for presidential meetings. In the nearby you will find Mariyinsky Park, one of the oldest parks in Ukraine with the history of more than 100 years.
National Opera House of Ukraine
It was built in the middle of the 19th century. The National Opera House in Kiev is a well-known building, as well as Odessa Opera and Lviv Opera. It is situated not far from Zoloti Vorota metro station. For upcoming operas, ballets and concerts, open the link.
Red Building of Taras Shevchenko National University
It was built in 1843 in Russian Classicism style. Today it is the symbol of the university and the Ukrainian education system. The Red Building is located at 60 Volodymyrska Street (L’va Tolstoho or Universytet metro stations). In the nearby, you can find a botanic garden, one of the oldest in Ukraine.
The National Circus of Ukraine
It is one of the oldest circus buildings in Ukraine. It is situated between Vokzal’na and Universytet metro stations.