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Kyiv (Kiev) City Tours Notes

Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra, Kiev

The Town of Kyi

You could hardly find many cities in the world, which happened to be the centres of discussions on the part of scientists, historians, archaeologists, numerous antiquity lovers, as to the date of its foundation. These discussions are initiated by Nestor Chronicler, the oldest native historian of Ancient Kyiv-Rus.
In his "The Tale of Bygone Years," created in the second decade of the 12th century, Kyivan monk Nestor Chronicler narrates an ancient legend, according to which in the first century A. D. Apostle Andriy (Andrew) came to the Dnieper River area and erected on one of the Kyiv hills a cross as a symbol of a future town.
In the mentioned legend another thing is of interest to us: Nestor believed, that at the beginning of A. D. Kyiv had not existed yet. So, when did it appear? The main historical source of Ancient Kyiv-Rus and Kyiv itself — Nestor's "The Tale of Bygone Years" — provides the first information of Kyiv as of a real existing town too late for such an ancient centre. It is mentioned only in the notes of the second half of the 9th century. From these notes one can understand, that Kyiv of that time had already been a large town and political centre of Ancient Kyivan Rus state. Read more ...

Kyiv is a Mother of Rus' Towns

A majestic view opened to a traveller, when he was coming up to the Old Rus' Kyiv of the 11th-first 40 years of the 13th centuries. Fairy palaces and towers rose above mighty ramparts with thick log walls on the top, huge domes of temples glistened with pure gold. Steep streets ran down the Upper Town (chroniclers call it "Gora," i. e. mountain) to animated trade and handicraft Podil, whose squares were packed with crowd, speaking different languages. But prior to becoming "the beauty of the world," as Old Rus scribes named Kyiv, it had to survive not one century. 
At first, Kyiv remained a comparatively small town — the centre of the Polyanian union of tribes. Gradually the Eastern Slavic tribal unions grew into the Old Rus' state of the 9th-13th centuries. Kyiv developed together with them, turning into the capital town of the state. In the middle of the 9th century it was already a large town. And the prince in it was Askold, the last representative of Kyi's dynasty. 
The Old Rus state headed by Askold was a mighty power and two marine campaigns, undertaken by his druzhynas (Prince's army) against the capital of powerful Byzantium, prove it.  Read more ...


Historical artifacts & notes:

Mace (Bulava) inherited by Pylyp Orlyk from Hetman Ivan Mazepa

Flags of the Kyiv administrative military subdivisions and of the Chernihiv regiment (mid-17th cen)

Flag with the coat of arms of Hetman Ivan Mazepa and the Starodub Colonel Mykhailo Myklashevskyi, 1690-1696

Medal commemorating the conquest of Kyiv by the Lithuanian hetman Janusz Radziwill. 
«Kiovia Recepta. MDCLI» (Kyiv fortress. 1651)

Wine measuring cup «Samson» with an allegory of the victory of the Russian army over the Swedes at Poltava

The Hat of Bohdan Khmelnytskyi

Flag of the Chernihiv Cossack Regiment, 1651

Hetman's banner, 1686-1688

Kiev  & Ukraine Private Tour Guides

Uzvar (dried fruit compote)
Ukrainian cuisine, UzvarAnother dish traditionally cooked for the Christmas Eve dinner was uzvar, or compote made of dried fruit and berries - pears, apples, plums, cherries, raspberries, bilberries, etc. After uzvar was removed from the oven, honey or sugar was added, which resulted in the compote having a particular fragrancy. Left overnight to brew, uzvar acquired a golden-reddish tint.