Most people, when they think of interesting cities to visit, wouldn’t put Kiev at the top of their list. The city probably wouldn’t make the list at all, in fact. However, the Ukrainian capital is well worth visiting. With a history dating back to the fifth century, it’s one of the oldest centers of civilization in Eastern Europe.
A city with such a long history usually has many interesting sights to visit and Kiev is no exception. The following five places are must-sees and will give you an overview of Kiev’s and the Ukraine’s history.
1. Kiev Pechersk Lavra
One of Kiev’s two UNESCO World Heritage Sites, the Kiev Monastery of the Caves was founded in the eleventh century. Its founder was Saint Anthony, an Orthodox monk.
The complex consists of different structures. The most prominent is the Great Lavra Belltower, a four-tiered, free-standing structure built in the first half of the eighteenth century. If you look out over Kiev’s skyline, you will see this 96.5 meter high belltower’s golden dome from afar, holding fort over the Dnieper River.
There are several churches and a cathedral on the grounds too, but probably the most fascinating part is the caverns. When Anthony founded the monastery, he moved into a cave. Others followed and over time dug out more caverns to form an underground complex. They even built an underground church. This complex became the burial ground for monks, saints, other notables and the head of Pope Clement I. Today you can see some of the mummified remains, although they are covered in cloth. If you visit the site, remember that women should cover their hair and wear a skirt. Also bear in mind that this is still an operational monastery.