Link to Google-Earth file Kiev.kmz

this requires that you have GE on your hard disc

History of Kiev

According to legend, Kiev, 'the mother of all the towns of Russia', was founded by the three brothers Ki, Shchek, and Khoriv, sons of Rurik belonging to the Polyani clan. After their death Aslcold and Duir, two Varangian followers of Rurik made themselves masters of the principality in 864. Oleg, Rurik's successor, recaptured Kiev in 882 and made it his capital. Christianity, which was fostered by St. Olga and other members of the princely house, soon gained a foothold there. St. Vladimir adopted Christianity and married Anna, sister of the Greek Emperors Basil and Constantine, and on his return to his own country in 988 he caused his people to be baptized. Under him and his Immediate successors, especially under Yaroslav I., Kiev attained great importance.

Kiev's decline began on the death of Yaroslav I. in 1054. Vladimir II. (1118-25) married Gytha, daughter of King Harold of England. The town became a bone of contention for the princes among whom the territory had been divided, and was destroyed by Andrei Bogolunbski in 1169, by Svyatoslav Vsevolodovitch in 1171, and by Eurik Bostislavitch in 1204. It was also stormed by the Tartars under Batu-Khan in 1240 and completely sacked. In 1299 the Metropolitan of Kiev, then the foremost ecclesiastical dignitary of the Russian church, removed his seat to Vladimir. [Political reasons afterwards occasioned the transfer of this dignity to the Patriarch of Moscow] Gedimin, the Grand-Prince of Lithuania, expelled the Tartars in 1320. His successors encouraged Roman Catholicism to such an extent that in 1465 it was possible for King Kasimir IV. of Poland to forbid the erection of new Russian churches. In 1483 Mengli-Girei, the Khan of the Crimea, devastated the town. In 1516 it received. from Sigismund I., the privileges of the 'Magdeburg Legal Code'. The Act of Union was accepted by the Metropolitan Michael Bogoza in 1596, but in 1621 Peter Mogila reestablished the strict orthodox faith. In 1686 Kiev was ceded to Russia by Poland.

Adapted from Karl Baedeker, "Russia", Leipzig, 1914

Kiev St. Sofia Cathedral

1037 – 1506

Photo Panoramio
St. Sofia Cathedral

The first foundations were laid in 1037, but the cathedral took two decades to complete. After the pillaging of Kiev by Andrei Bogolyubsky of Vladimir-Suzdal in 1169, followed by Mongolian Tatars in 1240, the cathedral fell into disrepair. Following the 1595-96 Union of Brest, the cathedral of Saint Sophia belonged to the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church until it was claimed by the Moldavian Orthodox metropolitan Peter Mogila (Mohyla) in 1633. Mogila commissioned the repair work and the upper part of the building was thoroughly rebuilt, modeled by the Italian architect Octaviano Mancini in the distinct Ukrainian Baroque style, while preserving the Byzantine interior, keeping its splendor intact.

Photo Wikipedia

The apse of St. Sofia with mosaic of the Mother of God orans (11th cent)


Archangel Mikhael, mosaic in the dome of the Sofia Cathedral, 11th century.


The Virgin spinning!!l, an unusual mosaic in the dome of the Sofia Cathedral, 11th century.


Fresco of the Betrothal of the Virgin, 1067

Kiev, Pecherskaya Lavra, Gate Church of the Trinity

1108 - 18th cent


Photo RWFG 1980

The Gate Church of the Trinity was originally built in 1106-1108. During its long history the church has been repeatedly destroyed and rebuilt. The original ascetic appearance was replaced in an intricate and fanciful baroque style. Its current exterior, the belltower, and the interior are from the 17th-18th century.

Photo RWFG 1980

Chestnut trees in October in front of the Church of the Trinity

Kiev Lavra Uspensky Cathedral

1076 - 1729

Photo RWFG 1980

The Dormition Cathedral in the Lavra, original built 1073-1078. After various destructions and a fire in 1718 the cathedral was rebuilt in the Baroque style in 1722-1729.

Photo RWFG 1980

The dome of the church of St. Nikholas

Kiev, St. Mikhael Monastery

1108 – 17th cent

Photo Panoramio

The Cathedral of St. Michael 1108-1113 was rebuilt in the 17th cent

Kiev, Church of the Savior in Berestovo

1125 - 1644

Photo Panoramio

The Church of the Savior in Berestovo, 1125 rebuilt 1644