Golden Gate

Kyiv, Ukraine

The Golden Gate of Kyiv was the main gate in the 11th century fortifications of Kyiv. It was named in imitation of the Golden Gate of Constantinople. The structure was dismantled in the Middle Ages, leaving few vestiges of its existence. It was rebuilt completely by the Soviet authorities in 1982, though no images of the original gates have survived. The decision has been immensely controversial because there were many competing reconstructions of what the original gate might have looked like.

Modern history accepts this gateway as one of three constructed by Yaroslav the Wise. The golden gates were built in 1017-1024 (6545 by the Byzantine calendar) at about the same time the Saint Sophia Cathedral was erected. Originally named simply the Southern Gate, it was one of the three main entrances to the walled city. The last two have not survived. The stone fortifications stretched for only 3.5 km.

After the Blahovist Church (Church of the Annunciation) was built next to the gate, its golden domes became a prominent landmark easily visible from outside the city. For almost half a millennium, it served as the city's Triumphal Arch, a prominent symbol of Kyiv. Later, a similar name was given to the gates of Vladimir city where one of the Monomakh's descendants, Andrei I Bogolyubsky, established his own state, the Grand Duchy of Vladimir. In 1240, the gate was partially destroyed by Batu Khan's Golden Horde. It remained as a gate to the city (often used for ceremonies) through the eighteenth century, although it gradually fell into ruins.

In 1832, Metropolitan Eugenius had the ruins excavated and an initial survey for their conservation was undertaken. Further works in the 1970s added an adjacent pavilion, housing a museum of the gate. In the museum, visitors can learn about the history of construction of the Golden gate as well as ancient Kyiv.

In 1982, the gate was completely reconstructed for the 1500th anniversary of Kyiv, though this was challenged. Some art historians called for this reconstruction to be demolished and for the ruins of the original gate to be exposed to public view.

In addition to mentioning the construction of the church above the passage of the Golden Gate in the chronicle, it is also mentioned in Metropolitan Ilarion's 'Word of Law and Grace' of the Golden Gate.



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Founded: 1017-1024
Category: Castles and fortifications in Ukraine

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4.7/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

harun raşit aydoğdu (8 months ago)
Its like a small castle. Bottom on way. You need to purchase ticket if you want to see inside.
Jacques Theron (Nickelson) (9 months ago)
Lots of interesting things to see and to explore in this area...
Nataliia Yefimenko (11 months ago)
Picturesque medieval entrance to the city that has an excibition inside, the construction started in the 11th century. Better to check opening hours to the museum inside, very close to the city center ? It was used as the main entrance to the Kyiv city, while there were 3 of them. It is the reconstructed view of the Golden Gate.
Alex Ainsworth (3 years ago)
Really rate the gate. It’s a small, but very interesting little museum about a part of history so far in the past few of us know much about it. Interesting restoration project and exhibit. Worth the 30CAH price (£1). Took us about 25mins to wonder round and take some snaps
Jason Giuliani (3 years ago)
Very cool. Interesting history. It gives you a small glimpse into the history of this very old city. It is tucked away right in the middle of the city. Would have been an amazing sight back in the days when it was used.
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