Step Back in Time at Kievan Rus’ Park
Under the reign of the ancient Rurik dynasty from the late-9th century to the mid-13th century, Kievan Rus’ was a federation of East Slavic tribes from which the modern people of Belarus, Ukraine and Russia descended. At the pinnacle of its power in the mid-11th century, Kievan Rus’ stretched from the Black Sea in the South to the Baltic Sea in the North, and from the Taman Peninsula in the east to the Vistula River in the west. Today, visitors to Kievan Rus’ Park, a recreated medieval city located around 34 kilometers from Kiev at Kopachiv Village, can relive the battles and daily life of this era in an authentic open-air living museum.
Top experts in the fields of history, ethnography, architecture and culture of the various countries that share the history of Kievan Rus’ worked together to create the park which covers an area of 10 hectares and includes replicas of historic structures such as the defensive walls of the settlement, St Fedor’s Monastery, Yanchin’s Monastery, the Tithe Church, Prince Vladimir’s Palace, Princess Olga’s Palace and the Podol gates, as well as the Sophia and Michailovskiy Gates. The area in which the park is situated is also historically significant, and the unspoiled landscape, featuring the Stugna River and indigenous flora, add to the authenticity of the setting.
The houses in the Kievan Rus’ Park are typically built from wooden logs, and are raised above the ground to prevent the house from flooding and damp. The windows are small and covered in processed and stretched animal skins, stomach or bladder. Each house has an adobe-style clay oven, and mortars with pestles are among the items essential in food and medicine preparation. Horses are a prominent theme in decorative carvings on furniture, as these animals played an important role in the daily lives of the people, and even more so in battle.
Special events at the Kievan Rus’ Park include tournaments and reenactments of battles. Visitors will also see people dressed in medieval costume going about their daily activities, with craftsmen hard at work, housewives cooking and cleaning, soldiers training in various skills and children singing and dancing.
The main goal of creating the Kievan Rus’ Park was to preserve the historical and cultural heritage of this turbulent time for future generations, as well as to gain an understanding of how the past impacts on the present. Visitors to this interesting attraction near the city of Kiev will no doubt agree that this goal is being attained.