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Kyiv Ukraine

Ukrainian history and heritage revolves around Kiev, the nation's capital and largest city. Founded sometime in the sixth or seventh century CE, Kiev remains one of the oldest cities in eastern Europe and has survived great changes brought on by the destruction of World War II and the effects of Soviet rule. Here, Brutalist architecture and traditional cafés share streets with urban art and modern skyscrapers – all of which are testaments to the city's ever-evolving personality.

Religious landmarks are the hallmarks of Kiev, two of which date back to the 11th century and hold UNESCO World Heritage status. Kiev Pechersk Lavra – a still-working Orthodox monastery – captivates with its gold-domed churches, bell towers and underground tombs. Saint Sophia Cathedral is Ukraine's oldest church and is better known for its interiors, which are covered in original frescoes and mosaics. Although St Cyril's Monastery features a newer Ukrainian baroque facade, its medieval Kievan Rus–style interior looks just as it did when it was built in the 1100s.

Museums are plentiful in Kiev and a great way to discover various facets of its history. The National Museum of the History of Ukraine During the Second World War is crowned by the Motherland Monument, which honours those that served during the war. At the State Aviation Museum, you can see Soviet-era aircraft including military jets and helicopters. The Mykola Syadristy Microminiatures Museum is more offbeat, featuring tiny sculptures and art that can only be seen by microscope.


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