If you are planning a trip to Kiev here are three must see places to visit to get a true feel of the city, its history and its people.
Maidan Square – Heaven’s Hundred Heroes
Maidan Square is the main square in the city centre and is the location of the Alley of Heaven’s Hundred Heroes.
Previously called Instytutska Street this road was renamed the Alley of Heaven’s Hundred Heroes to commemorate the 100 Euromaidan protesters that lost their lives standing up against a Ukrainian government they didn’t believe in.
In 2014 the Ukrainian government reneged on a historic deal to bring the Ukraine closer to the European Union.
In reaction to this protesters gathered in Maidan Square and went on to occupy the site for three of the coldest months of the year.
The government tried to push back and quash the demonstrators who had gathered in Maidan Square, whose numbers had swelled to up to 10,000 at one point, by passing anti-government demonstration laws.
Three months of protests finally culminated in clashes between police and protesters on 20th February 2014, where 100 demonstrators lost their lives.
Memorials, gravestones, reminders of the violence and tributes to the 100 protesters can be found all over the city.
The overriding feeling you get walking around Kiev is one of remembrance and injustice.
The longest running modern day revolution is still very keenly felt by the people of Kiev and is embedded in the way the city centre has rebuilt itself since 2014.
When you visit the Ukrainian capital you will soon become very aware that the people of Kiev will never forget the time democracy and freedom of speech was lost in favour of oppression and totalitarianism.
Discover the history of the Ukrainian genocide of 1932 – 1933 in the Holodomor Genocide Museum.
In the Holodomor Museum you will learn how millions of Ukrainians died of starvation from 1932 to 1933. The starvation was not the result of a terrible drought or failed crops. It was the due to the callous and malicious actions of the leader of the Soviet Union – Joseph Stalin.
In the year of 1932 he made the decision to acquire all Ukrainian farms and export all Ukrainian grown grain out of the country as millions of people died from starvation.
Inside the museum you can watch footage of the time, listen to stories from survivors and follow the narration of the genocide in English and Ukrainian.
The museum is small, but the story is incredibly powerful. On your journey to discover the history of Ukraine and Kiev, the Holodomor Museum is not to be missed.
Also known as the Kiev Monastary of the Caves, Pechersk Lavra is an Orthodox Christian monastery that over looks the Dnipro River.
The site is split into two sections, the Upper Lavra where you will find the Bell Tower and the Lower Lavra where you will find the caves.
Entrance to the caves is free and they comprise of a series of tunnels and passages where monks used to live and pray.
Over 100 of these monks now lay in these caves mummified and encased in glass coffins in small marble topped alcoves.
Women are asked to cover their heads and cameras are not allowed in the caves.
It’s not your usual touristy destination, even though it’s the number one site to visit whilst in Kiev. You will find more people praying and using the site as it is originally intended than people like us – there to have a little look around.