Kyiv starts from the Golden Gate. That is what my history teacher used to say. The Golden Gate is a symbol of Kyiv and although it may not be considered a fancy one or a big one, it is extremely important for Ukrainians.
Usually, the city’s most important construction was the fortification wall and the gates. Unfortunately for Kyiv and Ukraine in general, the city’s walls and almost all the city was destroyed during the Mongol invasion. The one piece that is left are the ruins of the Golden Gate, once the entrance to the powerful Kievan Rus.
The Golden Gate was built sometime between 1017 and 1024 as a part of the protection wall around Kievan Rus. There were three gates into the city, but only the Golden Gate was made of stone. Some say that this gate was made extra strong due to its location. Not far from the Golden Gate was an open field which made this location vulnerable to enemies.
On the top of the gate was built a small church that was destroyed a long time ago.
It is interesting to note that the Golden Gate was the official entrance to the city, and all the important guests like ambassadors and other dignitaries went through them.
After the Mongol invasion the Golden Gate is mentioned just a few times. The Dutch artist Abraham van Westerfeld (1651) made drawings of the gates and at that time they still had arches over them. Later the arches were destroyed as well and just two stone walls were left out of the whole Kievan Rus.
The Golden Gate was covered with soil over time to build a defensive hill and that affected them badly. In 1832 the Golden Gate was recognized as “worth saving” by Tsar Nicholas I and the excavation started.
The Golden Gate, or whatever was left of it, was excavated and opened to the world once more. The soil damaged the gate and not much of this structure was left. Although, that was not the only problem. The archaeologists noticed that cold weather, rain, and snow were ruining this historical monument rapidly. A decision was made to build a pavilion that would cover the remains of the Golden Gate. Along with a church was built on top of the gate following the descriptions in the old documents.
Nowadays, the pavilion that was built for the Golden Gate is a museum. You can see a few exhibitions there which are dedicated to the excavation and reconstruction of the Golden Gate, as well as the remains of the Golden Gate itself.
Around the monument there is a small park full of benches along with a beautiful fountain. There you can have a rest in the shade of the chestnut trees or visit one of the many cozy cafes and restaurants around that area.
Price: adults – 50 UAH ($2), children – 20 UAH ($0.8)
Hours: Every day from 10 AM to 6 PM (Summer Saturday and Sunday from 10 AM to 8 PM). Admission stops half an hour before closing time.
Location: Volodymyrska St, 40А, Kyiv, 01034
The Golden Gate is located in the heart of Kyiv and if you are staying in the center, most likely, you can just walk there.
Otherwise, just take a subway. The station called “Zoloti Vorota” ( which means “Golden Gate”). The subway ride costs 8 UAH ($0.28).
You also can take Uber. Taxi are quite cheap in Ukraine and should not be more than $5 – $6.