Kyiv’s People’s Friendship Arch Complex: History and Protest in a Public Space

The People’s Friendship Arch is one of Kyiv’s most iconic and controversial landmarks. The rainbow-shaped arch perches on a hill overlooking the Dnieper River and large parts of Kyiv. “Gifted” to Ukrainian SSR by the Soviet government in Moscow, it remains heavily associated with the USSR, and although it remains a tourist destination and local […]

History of the Kyiv Metro System

Carrying well over a million passengers per day across 52 stations, Kyiv’s metro system is an integral part of the city’s daily life. While it has developed with the ever-growing city, like much of Ukraine’s public infrastructure, the metro system has struggled to keep up with the demands made of it. These demands are growing […]

National Museum of the History of Ukraine in the Second World War

On one of the great hills of Kyiv stands a colossus with sword and shield in hand. Her massive shield defends the country and her sword pierces the sky above the city. This is the Motherland Monument, a gigantic statue celebrating the Soviet victory in World War II. This statue stands taller than the Statue […]

National Opera of Ukraine

Across the world and throughout history, the opera has played host to the highest classes of society. When I arrived in Kyiv, I was determined to see the extravagance of the Ukrainian National Opera House and witness a performance. I researched the prices online and discovered that an opera ticket costs 400 hryvnia or about […]

National Museum of Folk Architecture and Life of Ukraine in Kyiv

Kyiv offers a plethora of parks, museums, and cafes to provide a bit of relief from the hustle and bustle of its modern, big city life. However, just a short trip away is the National Museum of Folk Architecture and Life of Ukraine. Located on the former Pirohiv settlement, which dates back to the days […]

St. Sophia’s Cathedral – The Historic Protectress of Kyiv, Ukraine

Near the center of the city, St. Sophia’s Cathedral is maintained by the Ukrainian government as a grand and beautiful reminder of the past. Originally founded in 1011 A.D., when Kyiv was still the capital of Kievan Rus, it was an early and grand celebration of the state’s official adoption of Christianity in 988. The […]

The Open Air Museums of Baturyn, Ukraine

The Ukrainian countryside rolled by outside the van window. Sunflower fields stretched as far as the eye could see, shot through with copses of trees and punctuated with corn and wheat fields. We were on an excursion several hours to the east of Kyiv, included in our Kyiv-based study program, to see three major Ukrainian […]

Indie Zoloti Vorota in Kyiv

The backstreets of Zoloti Vorota are perhaps the most taken-for-granted locale in Kyiv. The area is most known for its bustling major streets, fed by its central location and, of course, Zoloti Vorota, once part of Kyiv’s 11th century fortifications and now a major tourist attraction. However, step into its quieter backroads, and you will […]

Guide to Kyiv’s Top Museums

Kyiv is one of Eastern Europe’s oldest and biggest cities. It is where Christianity first became an official part of Slavic culture and it was the first great Slavic capital. Although the city has continued to lay claim to great achievements in history, art, science, and literature, it has for many centuries sat in Moscow’s […]

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