Kyiv is famous for the beauty of its nature, its sacred places, invaluable relics of the past, and historical events associated with them far beyond Ukraine. Nobody remains indifferent to the majestic golden domes of Kyiv's numerous churches, its picturesque hills buried in greenery, its inimitable architecture, simple and grand at the same time, the blue Dnipro expanses and magilificer it landscapes.
A chronicler called Kyiv "the mother of all cities of Rus," emphasising its vital importance for Kyivan Rus, the powerful medieval Old Rus state.
St. Sophia Cathedral with its marvellous frescoes and mosaics, the remains of the Golden Gate, the Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra, and other monumental structures testify to the high standards of architecture and building technique o+ that time. Kyiv grew rapidly and was built up with stone houses decorated with mosaic panels and frescoes, majolica and marble Solid fortification walls, ramparts and stone watch-towers were,erected around it. Its central part enlarged and the Kyivan citadel, or "the town of Volodymyr," came into being. The Podil quarter was the centre of handicrafts and trading. It was the site of the city assembly square, stone cathedrals and the main trading centre - the market place.
In the reign of Prince Yaroslav the Wise there was built a new city, the so-called "city of Yaroslav." That epoch left
us several outstanding architectural monuments. They aroused admiration of contemporaries and those who saw them many ages later. Not without reason Adam of Bremen the German chronicler of the late eleventh century, called Kyiv a rival of Constantinople and a glorious adornment of the entire Orthodox world.
Once chroniclers put Kyiv on a par with such world centres as Rome, Antioch, and Alexandria. Unfortunately, during more than a millennium-and-a-half history, it lost a lot, but we are happy with the fact that after the declaration of Ukraine's independence the Kyivites turn to their spiritual sources. It is evidenced by the re-creation of St. Michael's Cathedral of the Golden Domes, the Dormition Cathedral of the Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra, the Church of the Dormition of Our Lady Pyrogoscha, and other ecclesiastical structures.
At present, it is difficult to imagine Kyiv without its beautiful parks and forests, Dnipro beaches, poetical lakes ■of Koncha-Zaspa and Puscha-Vodytsia. The city's name calls other associations as well: airplanes, state-of-the-art engineering tools, excavators, and complex electrical appliances. There are dozens of plants and factories, experimental shops of scientific and research institutions within the city limits. The motifs of the urbanistic development are balanced by the poetic melody of the Kyivites' solicitous attitude to nature and environment.