Being British I used to take travelling to countries in Europe for granted whilst growing up. It’s only the past 4-5 years with the utter shock of my countries vote to leave the E.U. I’ve quickly jumped at the chance to visit other European countries. Each month I’d constantly peruse sky scanner for cheap flight deals. When I got to my early twenties I began to explore the Eastern part of Europe.
An all-time favourite country of mine was Ukraine. Even though, the countries are totally different I’ve been obsessed with Russia for a long time. Due to visas and expenses, I decided to postpone and go for my next best option. That was Ukraine. Also mainly because visiting Chernobyl and Pripyat were an ultimate bucket list destination of mine. I decided to split my trip between Lviv and Kyiv. I spent around four days in Ukraine’s capital. Moreover, I was incredibly excited to explore is the Russian influence especially on the orthodox churches in Kyiv.
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Now, I don’t know about you but one thing I love to do whilst in Europe is visit many churches. Even though, I’m not a practising catholic I take pleasure in the mesmerisingly stunning details crafted to build these places. Apart from partying and eating I spent the majority of my time in Kyiv at a church. Because quite frankly they are gorgeous. Here are my top 5 picks:
1) St Sophia’s Cathedral
This is Kyiv’s oldest standing church and constructed in 1037 according to inyourpocket. On the inside, it’s delicately detailed with vivid multicoloured stained glass mosaics. It’s so precious that you’re not allowed to take photos inside. This cathedral used to house many meetings with foreign diplomats and treaty negotiations here.
Likewise, at one point it also housed the first library there. It has a 75-metre bell tower, where you can climb and look at epic views of the city. Due to its historic significance and the fact that most of it is in its original form, it’s a UNESCO World Heritage site. According to the website of St Sophia, it costs 180 UAH to enter.
2) St Michaels Golden-Domed Monastery
A ravish blue monastery which was founded in the early 12th century. Then it was destroyed in the 1930s by the Soviets and later reconstructed in the early 2000s. The outside is gorgeous and on the inside, it has the dedication to the saint of St Michael.
3) Kyiv Pechersk Lava
Well, this site is a ginormous monastery and also a UNESCO World Heritage site. Locals treat this place as a sanctuary and too rightly so. It’s absolutely stunning! It spans over 28 hectares of land. Underneath the monastery are mummified, former monks. As of 1996, it is also a national monument according to castles. To enter it costs 50 UAH per adult 25 per child as per ixigo.
4) St Volodymyr’s Cathedral
If you like bright colours, this is a cathedral to check out. It’s bright yellow and has some amazing architecture. It is an iconic landmark within the city. This was built in the 19th century. Even though it’s not the oldest it’s still a beautiful site to visit.
5) St Andrews Church
This church was constructed in the 17th century. It’s five-domed and at times referred to as a cathedral.
Overall, a favourite part about visiting Ukraine is the orthodox churches in Kyiv. You don’t have to be religious to visit a church or to appreciate the fine architecture. Which one is your favourite? Next on my list, Russia...