Some temples and monasteries of Kiev have remained till nowadays, so they have a long ancient history. Variety of religious institutions doesn’t interfere with coexistence and traditions enrichment. Arabs and Volga Bulgars (Muslims by their religion) had paid visits to Kyiv with trade missions (according to large number of archeological findings – coins of Baghdad, Kufa etc.), but constant settlements of this peoples in the medieval Kyiv haven’t been found.
First settlements of Muslims in Kyiv began to appear because of Tatars domination over the former Kiev Rus’. Tatars build their country The Golden Horde (founded by Batu Khan in 1242 after his returning from Central and South-east Europe campaign). One of The Golden Horde khans – Uzbeg – established Muslim as a governmental religion near 1320. It is mentioned in Kyiv Chronicle about double governance in Kyiv by “King Fedor and Basqaq” (Basqaq designated officials in the Mongol Empire in charge of taxes and administration in a certain province).
After the Mongol Invasion (1240) all life in Kyiv was focused on the Pecherskyi District so called Podol, so Basqaq-deputy had chosen the Yurcovitsa mountain as his residence, because of its winning location. On the west was small tatar village. Nowadays there is sub-district called “Tatarka”, on the place where old mosque had been located now stands new ar-Rakhma, there is “Muslim religious administration of Ukraine” (Lukianovska str, 46).
Hardly anyone knows that there is another one historical area in Kyiv is linked with the Tatars – Lypky. Many citizens believe, that the name come from lime trees (Ukrainian – lypy) growing there. But our guides on the tour will tell you, that “lypky” called some tatars, who escaped with khan Tokhtamysh from Tamerlane (Timur) to the Grand Duchy of Lithuania. Tokhtamysh and his tatars-lypky pitched their marquees on the “Dolgaya niva” – big field between the Kiev-Pechersk Lavra and Khreschatyk. “Dolgaya Niva” thenceforth was called – Lypky.
Kyiv is a spiritual center of Ortodox Church. This mission was entrusted by history. Many years ago the founder of city – Kyi had visited the capital of Christianity – Constantinople, – where he’s been welcomed by the emperor (according to Primary Chronicle). But the real capital of orthodox country Kyiv Rus become only in a time Vladimir the Great also called “Khrestytel”. The Primary Chronicle tells us about Kings hesitations in the choice of religion (between Muslim, Judaism and Christianity). He could choose any of this religions, but his choice fell on the Eastern Orthodox Christianity.
A German medieval chronicle Adam of Bremen writes that in times of Yaroslav the Wise (son of Vladimir the Great) Kyiv counted 400 churches. Most of them were woody, but some were stone majestic buildings as big and beautiful as Constantinople temples. For good reason Adam of Bremen called Kyiv “the piece of jewelry – main rival of Constantinople”. According to archeological finds in Kyiv were 40 monumental stone buildings (cathedrals, churches, palaces, rotundas). Most of these buildings were destroyed by conquerors, but survived some (Saint Sophia’s Cathedral, St. Michael’s Golden-Domed Monastery etc.) came to us partially re-built. Some Kiev temples and monasteries have visible old stonework, what shows us all the beauty of the buildings.