Explore Kiev’s Shevchenko Raion

The Shevchenkivskyi District, or Shevchenko Raion, of Kiev was established on 4 April 1937 and is home to a number of significant attractions well worth visiting when in the capital city of Ukraine. Among the historically significant attractions are the Golden Gate of Kiev and three of the main churches of Kiev – Saint Sophia, Saint Andrew and Saint Michael. Moreover, it was in Shevchenko at the Ukrainian Club Building that Ukraine’s first parliament met, and it was there that Independence was declared in 1917. The European Square is also located in this district of Kiev, as is the Kiev Zoo and Maidan Nezalezhnosti (Independence Square) which was one of the main sites for the Orange Revolution of 2004/2005.

Constructed by Yaroslav the Wise in 1017-1024, the Golden Gate of Kiev was originally known as the Southern Gate, being a reference to its position as one of the three main entrances to the walled city at the time. Of the three sets of gates, only the Golden Gate has survived, and in order to preserve this architectural treasure as part of the ancient history of Kiev, it has undergone restorations in recent years. The name of Golden Gate is said to have come about after the Church of the Annunciation, with its prominent golden domes, was built next to the gates. In addition to being an entrance to the walled city, the Golden Gate was a Triumphal Arch featuring in ceremonies and important events of the city. A bronze monument of Yaroslav the Wise was placed alongside the Golden Gate in 1997.

The European Square, located in the Old Town of Shevchenko, at the north-eastern end of the main thoroughfare called Khreschatyk, has been known by as many as nine different names during its two hundred year history. Its original name, Horse’s Square (Konnaya Ploschad), was linked with the trade that was carried out there, and following the construction of Kiev’s first theater on the square in 1805 it became known as Theater Square (Teatralnaya Ploschad). In 1851, the square was officially named European Square (Yevropeyskaya Ploschad) after the Yevropeysky Hotel built there. It became known as Tsar Square between 1869 and 1919, and in Soviet times was renamed Third International Square (Ploshcha Tretioho Internasionalu), before being renamed Stalin Square, then Komsomol Square and back to European Square.

Other places of interest in Shevchenko Raion include the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine, Volodymyr Cathedral, the Parliamentary Library of Ukraine, Kiev Philharmonic Society and the Ukrainian House exhibitions and conference hall.