Kiev is the capital of the Ukraine and, as with Rome, is built on seven hills. It is dominated by many churches and monasteries.
The Latin Quarter originated in 1837 according to the design of Vicenti Beretti, with splendid buildings such as the National Philharmonic and the Baroque Opera and Ballet Theatre that is a more recent building because the original burned down soon after its construction.
A unique monument of architectural splendour and culture overlooks the upper town, Sofiysky Sobor Cathedral, that was modelled on the Hagia Sophia in Istanbul. The Orthodox Church is one of several mainstream Christian religions the most well known of which was established in Russia.
The city’s river is affectionately known as Father Dnepr. It is large and an ancient trading route between the north and the Black Sea. The river flows beneath seven bridges that connect both sections of the city.
The Babi Yar Memorial is located at the north western edge of the city in the once two and a half kilometre long and fifty metre deep Babi Yar Canyon. Today it is known as a place of gross inhumanity and is one of the biggest mass graves in history. A place of tragedy and contemplation.
Following Independence, Kiev has been transformed. This Soviet city has turned into an East European metropolis. But its culture, history and ambience of bygone days has managed to survive right up to the present day.