The history of Kyiv goes long back. Various legends are told about the beginning of the city, and while historians believe it originated around the end of the 9th century, it existed even before Russia and Ukraine. It was from here that the East Slavic Civilization spread all the way to Alaska. Already in our first evening in Kyiv we will start by diving right into the rich Ukrainian culture by passing the evening promenading along the Dnieper River and visiting the National Opera and Ballet Theatre of Ukraine. After WWI the Opera of Kyiv became one of the most prestigious in Ukraine and Russia. Following the collapse of the Soviet Union and the declaration Ukrainian Independence in 1991, the local theatre scene blossomed and it became the fertilized ground from which great composers and dancers like Mykola Lysenko, Myroslav Skoryk and Sergej Polunin emerged.

Kiev-Pechersk Lavra, known as the caves monastery and the holiest ground of the East Slavic countries, is declared as UNESCO World Heritage Site, together with Kiev’s Saint Sophia Cathedral. Both of these astounding structures represent the outstanding complexes of cultural heritage monuments from the Middle Ages and Early Modern period. These two main attractions of Kiev will introduce us to the complex Ukrainian history and religion, leading up to the current situation. Our visits to the St. Michael’s Cathedral, Andriyivski Uzviz, St.Volodymyr’s Catherdral and the St.Andrews Church will give us an insight in the Ukrainian orthodox faith, marvelous architecture and beautiful landscape. Walking down Khreshchatyk Street, and by passing by the World’s deepest metro station named Arsenalna, we will eventually arrive at the Maidan Nezalezhnosti, the Independence Square of Kyiv. A small square with greater significance than you imagined, filled with many shops and cafes and people passing through. Nevertheless, it is overwhelming to realize the importance of the political and social journey that started at Maidan Nezalezhnosti. We will also further engage with this political journey in our talks with public and political figures in Kiyv, but details will be announced later on. 
We will then visit one of the biggest statues of the world: Rodina Mat’s height exceeds the Statue of Liberty by almost 10 meters. The “statue of the Motherland” had even been higher before it was taken of part of its sword because it should not be higher than the cross at Pechersk Lavra, but still offers an incredible view over the city.

Some general information: The trip will take place from the 8th to the 14th of April 2016, and the costs will be €330. The Chernobyl tour is optional and therefore not included in the price – an additional €45 will be requested from the participants. Next week we will share more information and footage including more details on what to do in Chernobyl and the alternative program for the people not joining the Chernobyl tour.

Hope you’re getting hooked on Ukraine as much as we are!

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