Interesting facts about Kiev


Kiev is the capital and most populous city of Ukraine.

It is located in the north-central part of the country on the Dnieper (one of the major rivers of Europe).

As of April 2019, the population of Kiev is almost 3 million people.

The city covers a total area of 839 square kilometers (324 square miles).

The highest point in Kiev is 179 meters (587 feet) above sea level.

The name Kiev is translated as belonging to Kyi, who was one of four legendary founders of the city, along with brothers Shchek and Khoryv, and sister Lybid.


During its history, Kiev, one of the oldest cities in Eastern Europe, passed through several stages of great prominence and relative obscurity.

The city probably existed as a commercial center as early as the 5th century.

A Slavic settlement on the great trade route between Scandinavia and Constantinople, Kiev was a tributary of the Khazars, until its capture by the Varangians (Vikings) in the mid-9th century.

Under Varangian rule, the city became a capital of the Kievan Rus’, the first East Slavic state.

kiev history

Completely destroyed during the Mongol invasions 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 neighbours; first by Lithuania, followed by Poland and ultimately Russia.

The city prospered during the Russian Empire’s Industrial Revolution in the late 19th century.

It was severely damaged during World War II, but by the mid-1950s it had been restored, and in the second half of the 20th century it enjoyed a well-developed economic and cultural life. [photo below Kiev before WW2]

kiev before ww2

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

Kiev is an important industrial, scientific, educational and cultural center of Eastern Europe. It is home to many high-tech industries, higher education institutions, and world-famous historical landmarks.

Kyiv Pechersk Lavra or Kyivo-Pechers’ka Lavra, also known as the Kyiv Monastery of the Caves, is a historic Orthodox Christian monastery which gave its name to one of the city districts where it is located in Kyiv. Since its foundation as the cave monastery in 1051 the Lavra has been a preeminent center of Eastern Orthodox Christianity in Eastern Europe. Together with the Saint Sophia Cathedral, it is inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

kyiv pechersk lavra

Saint Sophia Cathedral in Kiev is an outstanding architectural monument of Kievan Rus’. The cathedral is one of the city’s best known landmarks. Aside from its main building, the cathedral includes an ensemble of supporting structures such as a bell tower and the House of Metropolitan. In 2011 the historic site was reassigned from the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Regional Development of Ukraine to the Ministry of Culture of Ukraine.

saint sophia cathedral

The Saint Andrew’s Church, a masterpiece of rococo architecture in Kiev. It was designed for Empress Elizabeth I by Bartolomeo Francesco Rastrelli and built under the direction of I. Michurin in 1747–53. Its site on the crest of the steep slope to the river makes it a striking landmark.

saint andrews church kiev

St Volodymyr’s Cathedral is a cathedral in the center of Kiev. It is one of the city’s major landmarks and the mother cathedral of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church – Kiev Patriarchy, one of two major Ukrainian Orthodox Churches.

st volodymyrs cathedral

The Golden Gates of Kyiv was the main gate in the 11th century fortifications of Kyiv, the capital of Kievan Rus’. It was named in imitation of the Golden Gate of Constantinople. The structure was dismantled in the Middle Ages, leaving few vestiges of its existence. It was completely rebuilt by the Soviet authorities in 1982, though no images of the original gates have survived. The decision has been immensely controversial, for there were many competing reconstructions of what the original gate might have looked like.

golden gate kiev

The Motherland Monument is a monumental statue in Kiev, the capital of Ukraine. The sculpture is a part of the Museum of The History of Ukraine in World War II, Kiev. The stainless steel statue stands 62 m (203 ft) tall upon the museum main building with the overall structure measuring 102 m (335 ft) including its base and weighing 560 tons.

motherland monument

Maidan Nezalezhnosti is the central square of Kiev, the capital city of Ukraine. One of the city’s main squares, it is located on Khreshchatyk Street in the Shevchenko Raion. The square has been known under many different names, but often it is called simply Maidan (“square”).

maidan nezalezhnosti

The shortest main street among all capitals in a world, and in the same time one of the widest and most beautiful is Khreschatyk street in Kyiv. It’s length is 1225 meters (4,019 feet).

khreschatyk street

Arsenalna Metro Station located in Kiev is the deepest in the world (at 105.5 meters (346 feet)). The station was built in 1960,very close to the House of Parliament. According to some reports, the tunnels near Arsenalnaya house secret shelters built specially for the political elite.

arsenalna metro station deepest in the world

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

Kiev retained through centuries its cultural importance and even at times of relative decay, it remained the center of primary importance of Eastern Orthodox Christianity.

The city is home to some 40 different museums.

Kiev has a moderately continental climate.