Kiev: history of the city and its architecture
Kiev is the ancient center of the Slavs, the capital of the mighty Kievan Rus. Since ancient times, Kyiv has played an important state-building role for the East Slavic tribes
The glory of Kiev spread in Europe and Asia, in the countries of the West and the East.
In the territory of modern Kiev, the man first appeared about 20 thousand years ago (the end of the ancient Stone Age). This is the famous Kirillovskaya parking lot, which was located in the northwestern part of the city (59-61 Frunze St., formerly Kirillovskaya Street).
Also known are settlements of Mesolithic (10-8 thousand years ago), Neolithic (5-3 thousand years ago), copper-bronze and early Iron ages, in particular, the settlement of Trypillian culture. Remains of early Slavic settlements, in particular settlements of the so-called Zarubenets culture, were found in a large territory of modern Kiev.
The problem of the origin of Kiev has constantly attracted the attention of historians. According to legend, in the late V – early VI century. Three brothers Kyi, Shchek and Choriv and their sister Lybid founded the city on the steep right bank of the Dnieper River and named it after their older brother Kiev. Archaeological excavations have uncovered dwellings and outbuildings of “Kiya town” dating from the 5th-6th centuries on Starokievskaya mountain. The date of founding of Kyiv is officially accepted – 482. Around the Ancient Kiev united meadows, Drevlyans, coal, northerners, Tivertsi, and the city of Kiev became a large political center of the East Slavic tribes.
In 988, Prince Vladimir introduced Christianity in Kievan Rus as the official religion. It facilitated the establishment and development of political and cultural ties with the Byzantine Empire, Bulgaria and other countries in Europe and the Middle East.
In the XI century. Kyiv is becoming one of the most famous centers of civilization in the Christian world. The city had about 400 churches, 8 markets, more than 50,000 residents.
After the death of Prince Vladimir Monomakh in 1125, the process of disintegration of a unified state “Kievan Rus” began. Several principalities have been created in its territory, which alone could not withstand foreign invasions. This took advantage of Mongol-Tatar Khan Baty, grandson of Genghis Khan. In 1240 Kiev was destroyed and devastated by its hordes. This delayed the development of Kiev for almost a century. Only very scanty information about Kiev of the end of XIII century is preserved. The administrative center at this time moved to Podil. Here craft quarters were rebuilt and fortifications were erected around them.
In the XIV century. Kiev began to revive, the Ukrainian nation began to emerge. In 1362, the Grand Duke of Lithuania’s army seized Kiev.
In the XV century. Kyiv was granted the Magdeburg Right. Now all the city affairs were managed by the magistrate. Magdeburg law gave Kyiv much greater independence in international trade. Colonies of Greeks, Armenians, Genoese appeared in the city; Turkish, Moscow, Polish merchants had their yards. In Podil there was a market square, which became the main square of the city.
In 1569, Lithuania and Poland united in the Commonwealth. According to the Union of Lublin in 1569, the Polish feudal lords began to control much of the Ukrainian lands, including Kiev. The period of hard desecration of the Ukrainian population began. At the end of the XVI century. and in the first half of the seventeenth century. there was a socio-cultural determination of the Ukrainian people. At the same time, the uprising of the Ukrainian people against enslavement began.
In the years 1648-1654 the people’s liberation war against Polish oppression continued. On December 23, 1648, Hetman Bohdan Khmelnytsky, headed by the Cossack army, solemnly entered Kiev through the Golden Gate. However, Bogdan Khmelnytsky had to wage war on several fronts – with Poles and Lithuanians, with the Crimean Khan and the Turkish Sultan. I had to seek military assistance from the Russian tsar. In 1654 an alliance with Russia was concluded in Pereyaslav. Ukraine has long come under the rule of the Russian Empire.
Despite the enormous pressure from the tsarist government, in the XVII century. Kyiv was the main economic and cultural center of Ukrainian lands. Ukrainian culture developed around such centers as the Kyiv-Mohyla Academy.
In the XVIII century. Kiev is becoming a symbol of Orthodoxy throughout the vast Russian Empire.
After the social reforms of 1861 (the abolition of serfdom) changed for the better cultural and social life of Kyiv, the number of hospitals and educational organizations increased. The industry quickly began to develop.
After the October Revolution of 1917 (the fall of tsarism), power in Kyiv changed several times. Between 1917 and 1921, three governments of independent Ukraine changed under the burden of the Civil War. On January 22, 1918, the Ukrainian Central Council, headed by renowned historian Professor Mykhailo Hrushevsky, declared Ukraine’s independence. Soviet Russia was one of the first to recognize Ukraine’s independence.
In 1919, the Ukrainian People’s Republic, led by Simon Petliura, solemnly united with the Western Ukrainian People’s Republic. But unfortunately, it wasn’t for long. After the defeats of the West Ukrainian and East Ukrainian armies, captured by the troops of Soviet Russia in Kiev, Ukraine became part of the Soviet Union. During Soviet times, especially during Stalin’s time, the best representatives of the Ukrainian intelligentsia – scientists, writers, artists, engineers, military – were killed in the Gulag camps.
During World War II, Kiev was almost completely destroyed. The heroic defense of Kyiv lasted for 72 days in 1941. On September 19, 1941, German fascist troops entered the city. And on September 29, 1941, the world-famous tragic page in the history of Kiev began in Babi Yar with the execution of many thousands of Jews. The Nazis built two more camps near the city. During the war, nearly 200,000 people were killed, prisoners of war and civilians. On November 6, 1943, the city was liberated.
In the postwar years, Kiev quickly rebuilt. But again, the situation has become unbearable for people – arrests, denunciations, lawsuits …
After Stalin’s death, the situation has softened somewhat, but in the days of Khrushchev and Brezhnev, the Kremlin’s main pressure was on the Ukrainian language and culture. Mass Russification of Ukraine began.
The Chornobyl disaster changed the life of Ukraine and its capital, Kyiv, on April 26, 1986. Chernobyl has brought tens of thousands of deaths to Ukraine; hundreds of thousands of people lost their health; ecology and economy were affected. Today it is about the closure of the Chornobyl NPP.
On August 24, 1991, the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine proclaimed the Declaration of Independence.
On December 1, 1991, 93% of Ukraine’s population voted for Ukraine’s independence during the referendum. From that time Kyiv is the capital of the independent state of Ukraine.
From ancient times, Kyiv played an important state-making role for the East Slavic tribes, for which it received the chronicle name “to have a bridge of the Russians.”
In all circumstances, Kiev remained the center and symbol of statehood for the Eastern Slavs, a testament to their historical identity, as evidenced by numerous historical, architectural and other monuments. This is the way it is today for the whole Ukrainian community.