When I look from different apartments in Kiev I always convince myself that it is one of the most picturesque cities in Eastern Europe. It is one of the most beautiful and charming ones as well, and, unduly one of the most important political centers. But how many people know that this city with its apartments, streets, and boulevards is one of the most ancient cities in the world?
How old is Kiev ?! It is not very easy to answer this question. There is not any definite resource that can indicate the precise age of this ancient city, reliable information is also missing.
Many archeologists however hold the opinion that the first settlement in Kiev can be dated back more than 15000 years ago. According to some legends, which certainly can not be verified, Kiev was founded by three brothers Kyi, Shcek and Khoriv, who named this settlement after their elder brother Kyi.
First settlers of the city were faced with constant threats form several nomadic European tribes, so in order to protect themselves from invasion people of Kiev were building all their homes as well as churches on the right bank of the river- Dniper. This is how this ancient city was born.
During the first thousand years of its history Kiev was the political, economic and cultural center of Eastern Slavs. Its geographic location in the middle of commercial routes between Asia and Europe favored its development as a large trade center. It had been transformed into one of the most important outpourings of Khazar empire (empire which complied the tribes of semi-nomadic people of Central Asia).
Kiev was developing rapidly during Prince Volodymyr. In order to maintain and strengthen his power Volodymyr decreed to introduce Christianity, which since the 10th century has been an official religion in the country. First Christian church was built during the reign of Volodymyr the Great. Rapid introduction of Christianity (the building of the churches multiplied during the reign of the prince) entailed the transformation of Kiev into one of the largest centers of Christian civilization; and despite the fact that it was destroyed, rebuilt and come through several wars and revolution it still maintains and preserves its historical charm.
Today Kiev is one of the largest cities of Eastern Europe. It is one of the most romantic cities as well; it has been developing rapidly since the collapse of the Soviet Union and it is worth the while for every man to visit it just once.
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