Independence Square in downtown Kiev is the public political center of Ukraine. This view of the square shows the column erected in 2001 as a tribute to Berehynia, a female spirit from Slavic mythology that has come to symbolize a “hearth mother” that serves as both a nurturer and protector of Ukraine. Interestingly, the column was erected on the site of a former monument to Lenin.

No, not that Golden Gatewe’re talking about the Golden Gate of Kiev.  Built about the same time as the Saint Sophia Cathedral, the Zoloti Vorata—golden gates—was constructed by Yaroslav the Wise between 1017 and 1024 and served as the main entrance to the walled city of Kiev.  It is reportedly modeled after the Golden Gate of Constantinople.