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
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.