Prince Yaroslav the Wise & Golden Gate
Prince Yaraslav the Wise was the prince of the medieval Kyivan Rus empire who built St. Sophia Cathedral. His monument is situated in front of The Zoloti Vorota (Golden Gate), a reconstructed medieval gateway that was the entrance to Kiev (Kyiv) dating back to 1037. The monument is directly outside the entrance to Zoloti Vorota metro station, which has been included in the list of the 22 most impressive underground railway stations in Europe.
Golden Gate (Zoloti Vorota)
Zoloti Vorota, literally ‘Golden Gate’ in Ukrainian. It was the main historic gateway to the ancient city of Kyiv (Kiev). It was one of three defensive towers constructed by Yaraslav the Wise, Prince of Kyiv, between 1017-1024.
The heavily fortified gate withstood many attacks from the Slavic hordes. It was only when Batu Khan’s Golden Horde stormed a less fortified gate in 1240, and partially destroyed the Golden Gate from within, that the city of Kiev was finally breeched.
In 1832 the ruins were excavated and a survey for their conservation was undertaken. During the 1970’s an adjacent pavilion was added to provide a museum to the history and construction of the gate and ancient Kyiv. In 1982, to celebrate 1500th anniversary of Kyiv, a large project was implemented to reconstruct the Golden Gate back to its former glory. What you see today is a remarkable and unique architectural reconstruction standing as an important icon in Kyiv’s stormy history.
Another way of reaching Golden gate is to walk from independence square. Google the route but it is not that far (about a 30 minute walk). Aim for the stunning Taras Shevchenko National Opera theatre, then walk up the hill towards Vladimirskaya Street.
There is a museum inside but to be honest there is not much to see but once inside you can get to to the top to take some pictures. Go up to the viewing platform to see stunning views across Volodymyrs'ka and the surrounding area. Enter the small museum and climb to the top where you will see a small chapel. It is well hidden but nice view over the square.
You might even spot a small bronze statue of a cat. The story behind this is quite cute. The cat was called Pantyusha and he used to frequent the Italian restaurant Pantagruel located opposite the statue on the square. Sadly the restaurant suffered a fire, and the cat was killed.. Mourning the loss, friends and customers of the restaurant buried him in the park and as a tribute decided to erect a statue in his memory.