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Kiev Kiev is the capital and the largest city of Ukraine, located in the north central part of the country on the Dnieper river. As of 2005, Kiev officially had 2,660,401 inhabitants, although the large number of unregistered migrants would probably raise this figure to about three million.

Kiev is a national-level subordinated municipality, independent from surrounding Kiev Oblast. Kiev is an important industrial, scientific, educational and cultural center of Eastern Europe. It is home to many high-tech industries, higher education institutions, world-famous historical landmarks.

Kiev has an extensive infrastructure and highly developed system of public transport, including a Kiev Metro system.

During its history, Kiev, one of the oldest cities in Eastern Europe, passed through sev eral stages of great prominence and relative obscurity. The city is considered to have been founded in the fifth century as a trading post in the land of Early East Slavs. It gradually acquired eminence as the center of the East Slavic civilization, becoming in the tenth to twelfth centuries a political and cultural capital of Rus', a medieval East Slavic state. Completely destroyed during the Mongol invasion in 1240, the city lost most of its influence for the centuries to come. It was a provincial capital of marginal importance in the outskirts of the territories controlled by its powerful neighbors: first the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, followed by the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth and, finally, Russia. The city prospered again during the Russian industrial revolution in the late 19th century. After the turbulent period following the Russian Revolution of 1917, from 1921 onwards Kiev was an important city of Soviet Ukraine, and, since 1934, its capital. During World War II, the city was destroyed again, almost completely, but quickly recovered in the post-war years becoming the third most important city of the USSR.

It now remains the capital of Ukraine, independent since 1991 following the collapse of the Soviet Union.

Kiev is located on both sides of the Dnieper river, which flows south through the city towards the Black Sea. Its geographic co-ordinates are 50¡i27¡iN 30¡i30¡iE. Geographically, Kiev belongs to the Polesia ecological zone (a part of the European mixed woods). However, the city's unique landscape distinguishes it from the surrounding region. The older right-bank (western) part of Kiev is represented by numerous woody hills, ravines and small rivers (now mostly lost due to urbanization). It is a part of the larger Prydniprovska (near-Dnieper) upland adjoining the western bank of the Dnieper. The city expanded to the Dnieper's left-bank (to the east) only in the 20th century. Significant areas of the Dnieper valley were artificially sand-deposited and are protected by dams.

Kiev is one of the most ancient and important cities of the region, the center of the Rus' civilization, survivor of numerous wars, purges, and genocides. Many historical and architectural landmarks are preserved or reconstructed in the city, which is thought to have existed as early as the fifth century. With the exact time of city foundation being hard to determine, May 1982 was chosen to celebrate the city's 1,500th anniversary. During the eighth and ninth centuries Kiev was an outpost of the Khazar empire. Starting from some point during the late ninth or early tenth century, Kiev was ruled by the Varangian nobility and became the nucleus of the Rus' polity, which became known as Kievan Rus' during the Golden Age of Kiev. In 1240 Kiev was compeletely destroyed by the Mongol hordes of Batu Khan, an event that had a profound effect on the future of the city and the East Slavic civilization. From 1362, the area with largely diminished city, became part of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania and from 1569 a part of Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, as a capital of Kiev Voivodship, transferred by then to the Polish Crown.

Since Soviet times, the publicly owned and operated Kiev Metro system remains the fastest, the most convenient and affordable network that covers most, but not all, of the city. The metro is permanently expanding towards the city limits to cover the growing demand,while the other kinds of once public-only city transport have suffered the partial collapse. First of all, this regards the public bus service that operates the weared-out units and fails to maintain schedules. Public electric trolley bus and tram lines are more reliable but also technically obsolete and underfunded. The trams (once a main and densely-developed kind of transport) are now being gradually phased out.

Railways are Kiev's main kind of outer transport connection. The city has a developed railroad infrastructure including 6 major train stations, depots, repairing facilities etc. However, this system still fails to meet the demand for passenger service. Particularly, the Kiev Passenger Railway Station is city's only long-distance vokzal (passenger terminal). There is construction underway for a new Darnytsia Vokzal on the left-bank part of Kiev, which may ease the tension of the central station. Bridges over the Dnieper River are another problem restricting the development of city's railway system. Presently, only one of two rail bridges is available for an intense train traffic. So contsruction of the new combined rail-auto bridge is a part of Darnytsia project.

Passenger airlink to Kiev can be made through two of its arports: the Boryspil International Airport, which is served by the most major international airlines from all parts of the world, and a smaller Zhulyany Airport mostly serving local flights. There is also a cargo airport in Kiev's north-western suburb of Gostomel.

Generally, Kiev is one of the centers of world aviation industry. But low demand for passenger lines limits the influence of such a legacy on the city's own transportation.

Kiev is known as a green city, with two botanical gardens and numerous large and small parks. Notable among these are the World War Two Museum, which offers both indoor and outdoor displays of military history and equipment surrounded by verdant hills overlooking the Dnieper river; the Hidropark, located on an island in the river and accessible by metro or by car, in which an amusement park, swimming beaches, and boat rentals can be found; and Victory Park, a popular destination for strollers, joggers, and cyclists.

Boating, fishing, and water sports are popular pastimes. Since the lakes and rivers freeze over in the winter, ice fishermen are frequently seen, as are children with their ice skates. However, the peak of summer is when masses of people can be seen on the shores, swimming or sunbathing, with daytime high temperatures sometimes reaching 30 to 34 C.

Kiev's noteworthy architecture includes government buildings such as the Mariyinsky Palace (designed and constructed from 1745 to 1752, then reconstructed in 1870) and the sweeping Ministry of Foreign Affairs building, several Orthodox churches and church complexes such as the Kiev Pechersk Lavra (Monastery of the Caves), St. Sophia Cathedral, St. Michael's Cathedral, St. Andrew's, and St. Vladimir's, the recently reconstructed Golden Gate, and others such as a nineteenth-century Lutheran church.

The cylindrical Salut hotel, located across from Glory Square and an eternal flame at the WWII Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, is one of Kiev's most recognized landmarks. Its windows command views in all directions from one of the highest points in the city.

Among Kiev's best-known public monuments are Mikhail Mikeshin's statue of Bohdan Khmel'nyts'kyi astride his horse up the hill from Independence Square and the venerated Volodymyr the Great, baptizer of Rus, overlooking the river above Podil.

The Center of Kiev (Independence Square and Khreschatyk Street) becomes a large outdoor party place at night during summer months, with thousands of people having good time in nearby restaurants, clubs and outdoor cafes.

This article is licensed under the [GNU Free Documentation License]. It uses material from Wikipedia

External Links :

Kiev cameras and accessories
KIEV/USA Website
International State airport Boryspil in Kiev, Ukraine
Google Images of Kiev

Tags: capital, ukraine, dnieper

Date Added: 21 April '06

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