Independence Square, Kiev

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. Advertisements

St. Michael’s Golden-Domed Monastery

The picture above shows Kiev’s St. Michael’s Golden-Domed Monastery overlooking the Dnieper River at night.  Like the complex at Pechersk Lavra, St. Michael’s is a functioning monastery.  Originally built in the Middle Ages  in the  Byzantine style, it received a Ukrainian Baroque facelift in the 18th century.  The Soviets demolished the original cathedral in the 1930s but it was reconstructed following independence in the 1990s and reopened in 1999.