We invite you to join our customized tour around Ancient Kyiv. You will have a unique opportunity to learn the story about first settlements and the birth of the city, about emergence of the Kyiv dytynets and the formation of the state of Kyiv Rus. Encountering the very origin, you will not only see the preserved ancient foundations, but also feel the energy of the sacred place associated with our ancestors. In addition, we suggest visiting the Historical Museum, where relevant artifacts are stored. Duration – 2-3 hours..
As you know, Old (Upper) Kyiv has a very ancient history. But do we all know when and where exactly the capital of Rus-Ukraine was born?
According to the annals of “The Tale of Bygone Years” back in the I century AD Apostle Andrew the First-Called predicted the emergence of a great city, having erected a cross on one of the hills on the right bank of the Dnieper. Subsequently, Kyiv-grad was founded on Starokyivska Mountain. The first inhabitants were the tribes of the meadow, who settled here and ruled independently. Also, there were three brothers – Kyi, Shchek, Khoriv and their sister Lybid, who built the city, naming it in honor of the older brother.
So, in the northern part of the Starokyivsky plateau, the first settlements appeared in the 5th century, where the city of Prince Kyi, – the center of the Polyany principality, was born. Archaeological excavations indicate that the ancient settlement had an area of 1.5-2 hectares and was protected on three sides by steep slopes, and on side – by tree-earthen ramparts and ditches. The remains of fortifications, dwellings and a pagan temple found by archaeologists confirm the foundation of the city. A burial mound was also studied and scientific data were obtained to recreate the appearance of Ancient Kyiv of the pre-Christian period.
“Grad” within the boundaries of the fortified settlement is called the Dytynets of Kyiv. The princely family and the ruling elite settled here. Among the most famous rulers mentioned in the annals are the princes Askold and Dir, Oleh, Ihor and Svyatoslav. The most famous is Princess Olha, who tops the list of outstanding women of ancient and modern Ukraine. It was Olha, who first adopted Christianity in Rus, introduced “graveyards” and collection of taxes, as well as laid the foundation for stone construction. In memory of her, a monument was erected on Mykhailivska Square.
At the turn of the X–XI centuries, during the reign of Volodymyr the Great, the Kyiv Dytynets grew to 10 hectares and was called the city of Volodymyr. The borders were expanded and strengthened. The Sofia, Podolsky and Mykhailivsky gates were erected. Kyiv entered the era of the highest degree of prosperity and achieved the peak of economic development of the state. The most important event in the history of the state was the Baptism of Rus. Today, in the capital, on Volodymyr Hill, you can see the monument, built in 1853 to perpetuate a significant event. Also, the foundation of the main church, erected by Volodymyr the Baptist, has been preserved to this day.
50 km from Kyiv the Kyiv Rus Park is located. It is a grandiose scientific project to recreate in full size the cultural and architectural image of the Volodymyr city and Kyiv Dytynets of the 5th to 13th centuries, which has no world analogues. Here you can see the buildings of the 11th–13th centuries, including the prince’s yard, artisan trading shops, estates and entrance gates with towers. There are museum expositions, there are collections of ancient musical instruments, costumes and armor on the territory of the park. There are also knightly fights, medieval tournaments, cultural and historical festivals that will allow you to look into the distant past and plunge into the atmosphere of that time.
During our tour you will visit the original foundations, hear stories about the settlement of these lands, the culture and life of the Eastern Slavs, and the formation of the Old Rus state. Our leading guide-historian aware of all legends and annals will help you immerse in history.