One of a few remaining samples of the fortification architecture of the 11th century, the Golden Gate of Kiev with modest remnants of the brick and stone walls and arches portions is a symbolic message from the Kievan Rus times.
Built together with the St.Sophia Cathedral it dates back to the times of Kievan Rus flourishing.
The Golden Gates were one of the three portals to the fortified part of the city. The construction of the Golden Gates included a watch tower with a platform for guards and a small gate church. According to the medieval symbolics the Gates should have encouraged entering the good to the city and drawing the evil away, while the Gate Church of Annunciation, crowned with a golden dome, should have rendered heavenly protection.
The Golden Gates were the strongest link in the fortification chain and were unapproachable for invaders. Batu Khan Horde on the siege of Kiev in 1240 has damaged the gates from the inner side having broken into Kiev through the other gates. In general, hitting the Gates gesture was a symbol of possession of the city behind the gates. It is related that in 1018 Boleslaw Khrobry hit the Gates with his sword leaving a notch on the sword. This sword with a notch has been named Szczerbiec and has become a Polish Kings’ relic used in coronation ceremonies. And even though this legend is proved wrong due to the younger age of the sword itself, widespread legend reiteration emphasizes meaningfulness of the Gates, a triumphal portal and a defendable entrance to Kiev.
The Golden Gates have been a ceremonial gateway to Kiev for more than a half of millennia. Yet the partially ruined Gates have welcomed Ukrainian hero Hetman Bogdan Khmelnitsky in 1648 and Russian ambassadors three years later. Another hundred years have passed, and it was decided to cover the ruins of the Gates with earth for safely reasons. The Gates’ ruins remained under the earth for eighty years. First maintenance and reconstruction works were conducted in 1832 and have become the beginning of the Gates’ image restoring process, which is continued till nowadays. Current look of the Golden Gates replicates the 11th century appearance of the portal, with the remains of ancient walls and arches portions resting inside of the modern construction.
Hello Irina!! I apologize for taking so long to write you with my thanks & gratitude for the most flawless, amazing, wonderful trip throughout Ukraine. I have told everyone how beautiful Ukraine is & how tourist friendly
complete with the hotel & restaurant infra-structure needed for a comfortable journey. But I mostly tell them about the best travel agency experience I have ever had from plans without a problem, to guides & drivers of high professional standards who were incredibly flexible & became our
friends, to you who always responded within days to any inquiry with details & patience plus, once we were in Ukraine, checked in with our progress daily to make sure your "American ladies" were well cared for. We were!!
We will never forget all the people that helped us with this family quest & travel adventure. Our guide in Lviv stayed up all night checking with friends about Jewish history in the area so she could add sites of interest to us in addition to all the other historical places. We learned about things together & we cried together when we left. That is the type of person who works with Unipress. But most especially you, Dima, Toly, & Eugene have a place in our hearts. Our invitation for any of you to visit us in America
is sincere. It would be a joy to spend time with any of you giving back just a little of what we received. Please say hello to them & send our good will the next time you see or speak to them.
I think you already know that we recommend you highly & will be glad to sing your earned praise to anyone who will listen. I hope all is going well for you.