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City with special status
From upper left: Golden Gate, Red University Building, Kyiv Pechersk Lavra, St Andrew's Church, Berehynia on Maidan Nezalezhnosti and statue of Bohdan Khmelnytsky
From upper left: Golden Gate, Red University Building, Kyiv Pechersk Lavra, St Andrew's Church, Berehynia on Maidan Nezalezhnosti and statue of Bohdan Khmelnytsky
Flag of Kyiv
Coat of arms of Kyiv
Coat of arms
Country Ukraine
Municipality Kyiv City Municipality
Founded 482 A.D. (officially)
City council Kyiv City Council
 • City with special status 839 km2 (324 sq mi)
179 m (587 ft)
 (15 July 2013)
 • City with special status 0Expression error: Unrecognized punctuation character ""..Expression error: Unrecognized punctuation character "".2,847,200
 • Density 3,299/km2 (8,540/sq mi)
 • Metro
0Expression error: Unrecognized punctuation character ""..Expression error: Unrecognized punctuation character "".3,375,000of the Kyiv metropolitan area
Demonym(s) Kievan

Kiev or Kyiv is the capital and most populous city of Ukraine, located in the north-central part of the country on the Dnieper. The population in July 2015 was 2,887,974, making Kiev the 7th most populous city in Europe.

Kiev is an important industrial, scientific, educational and cultural center of Eastern Europe. It is home to many high-tech industries, higher education institutions, and world-famous historical landmarks. The city has an extensive infrastructure and highly developed system of public transport, including the Kiev Metro.


Kiev downtown
Kiev in the late 19th century

The city's name is said to derive from the name of Kyi, one of its four legendary founders. During its history, Kiev, one of the oldest cities in Eastern Europe, passed through several stages. The city probably existed as a commercial centre as early as the 5th century.

A Slavic settlement on the great trade route between Scandinavia and Constantinople, Kiev was a tributary of the Khazars, until its capture by the Varangians (Vikings) in the mid-9th century. Under Varangian rule, the city became a capital of the Kievan Rus', the first East Slavic state.

Kiev Radyanskaya pl approx1930
Kiev's council chambers in 1930

Completely destroyed during the Mongol invasions in 1240, the city lost most of its influence for the centuries to come. It was a provincial capital of marginal importance in the outskirts of the territories controlled by its powerful neighbours; first by Lithuania, followed by Poland and ultimately Russia.

The city prospered again during the Russian Empire's Industrial Revolution in the late 19th century. In 1918, after the Ukrainian National Republic declared independence from Soviet Russia, Kiev became its capital.

Ruined Kiev in WWII
Ruins of Kiev, as seen during World War II

From 1921 onwards Kiev was a city of the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic, which was proclaimed by the Red Army, and, from 1934, Kiev was its capital. During World War II, the city again suffered significant damage, but quickly recovered in the post-war years, remaining the third largest city of the Soviet Union.

Following the collapse of the Soviet Union and Ukrainian independence in 1991, Kiev remained the capital of Ukraine and experienced a steady migration influx of ethnic Ukrainians from other regions of the country.

St. Nicholas Roman Catholic Cathedral, Kyiv 3
St. Nicholas Roman Catholic Cathedral

During the country's transformation to a market economy and electoral democracy, Kiev has continued to be Ukraine's largest and richest city.

Kiev's armament-dependent industrial output fell after the Soviet collapse, negatively affecting science and technology. But new sectors of the economy such as services and finance helped Kiev's growth in salaries and investment, as well as providing continuous funding for the development of housing and urban infrastructure. Kiev has emerged as the most pro-Western region of Ukraine.


Vydubychi Monastery 2008(Kiev)
Lilacs in the National Botanical Garden, with the Vydubychi Monastery, Darnitskiy Rail Bridge and left-bank Kiev visible in the background

It is said that one can walk from one end of Kiev to the other in the summertime without leaving the shade of its many trees. Most characteristic are the horse-chestnuts. Kiev is known as a green city with two botanical gardens and numerous large and small parks.

The Museum of The History of Ukraine in World War II is located here, which offers both indoor and outdoor displays of military history and equipment surrounded by verdant hills overlooking the Dnieper river.

Київ - Софійська площа DSC 2333
Bohdan Khmelnytskyi statue

Among the numerous islands, Venetsianskyi (or Hydropark) is the most developed. It is accessible by metro or by car, and includes an amusement park, swimming beaches, boat rentals, and night clubs.

The Victory Park located near Darnytsia subway station is a popular destination for strollers, joggers, and cyclists. Boating, fishing, and water sports are popular pastimes in Kiev. The area lakes and rivers freeze over in the winter and ice fishermen are a frequent sight, as are children with their ice skates.

Hidropark beach
Hydropark is a landscape-recreational park on the Dnieper River in Kiev, Ukraine

The centre of Kiev (Independence Square and Khreschatyk Street) becomes a large outdoor party place at night during summer months, with thousands of people having a good time in nearby restaurants, clubs and outdoor cafes. The central streets are closed for auto traffic on weekends and holidays.

Andriyivskyy Descent is one of the best known historic streets and a major tourist attraction in Kiev. The hill is the site of the Castle of Richard the Lionheart; the baroque-style St Andrew's Church; the home of Kiev born writer, Mikhail Bulgakov.

Maidan Nezalezhnosti2
Monument of Independence, Independence Square

There is also the monument to Yaroslav the Wise, the Grand Prince of Kiev and of Novgorod and numerous other monuments.

A wide variety of farm produce is available in many of Kiev's farmer markets with the Besarabsky Market located in the very centre of the city being most famous. Each residential region has its own market. Here one will find table after table of shopkeepers selling everything imaginable. Each of the markets has its own unique mix of products with some markets devoted solely to specific wares.

At the city's southern outskirts, near the historic Pyrohiv village, there is an outdoor museum, officially called the Museum of Folk Architecture and Life of Ukraine. Kiev also has numerous recreational attractions like bowling alleys, go-cart tracks, paintball venues, billiard halls and even shooting ranges. The 100-year-old Kiev Zoo is located on 40 hectares.

A panoramic view of Mykhailiv Square (central Kiev). From left to right: the Diplomatic Academy, Ministry of Foreign Affairs (behind the monument to Princess Olga) and St. Michael's Golden-Domed Monastery.

Museums and galleries

Будинок Київської художньої школи
The National Historical Museum of Ukraine

Kiev is home to some 40 different museums. In 2009 they recorded a total of 4.3 million visits. The Museum of The History of Ukraine in World War II is a memorial complex commemorating the Eastern Front of World War II. Kiev fortress is the 19th-century fortification buildings situated in Ukrainian capital Kiev, that once belonged to western Russian fortresses. These structures (once a united complex) were built in the Pechersk and neighbourhoods by the Russian army. Now some of the buildings are restored and turned into a museum called the Kiev Fortress, while others are in use in various military and commercial installations.

Café and Fountain - Golden Gate, Kiev, Ukraine
Café and Fountain - Golden Gate, Kiev, Ukraine

The National Art Museum of Ukraine is a museum dedicated to Ukrainian art. The Golden Gate is a historic gateway in the ancient city's walls. The small Ukrainian National Chernobyl Museum acts as both a memorial and historical center devoted to the events surrounding the 1986 Chernobyl disaster and its effect on the Ukrainian people, the environment, and subsequent attitudes toward the safety of nuclear power as a whole.


Antonov An-70, Antonov Design Bureau AN1618260
Antonov An-70, Antonov Design Bureau
  • Kuznya na Rybalskomu, naval production
  • Antonov Serial Production Plant (former Aviant), airplanes manufacturing
  • Aeros, small aircraft production
  • Kiev Roshen Factory, confectionery
  • Kiev Arsenal (former arms manufacturer), specializes in production of optic-precision instruments
  • Obolon, brewery
  • Kiev Aircraft Repair Plant 410, repair factory located at Zhulyany Airport

Public libraries

Національна бібліотека України імені В. І. Вернадського
Vernadsky National Library

There are many libraries in the city with the Vernadsky National Library, which is Ukraine's main academic library and scientific information centre, as well as one of the world's largest national libraries, being the largest and most important one. The National Library is affiliated with the Academy of Sciences in so far as it is a deposit library and thus serves as the academy's archives' store. The national library is the world's foremost repository of Jewish folk music recorded on Edison wax cylinders. Their Collection of Jewish Musical Folklore (1912–1947) was inscribed on UNESCO's Memory of the World Register in 2005.

Notable people

Images for kids

See also

Kids robot.svg In Spanish: Kiev para niños

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