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Maidan Nezalezhnosti (Independence Square)

  • The central square of Kyiv is located between the streets Khreshchatyk, Borisa Hrinchenka, Sofiiska, Mala Zhytomyrska, Mykhailivska, Kostolna, Instytutska Horodetskoho and Tarasa Shevchenka lane.

    In ancient times this area was called Perevisyshche, then - Pisky, Yevseikova valley, Kozyn swamp. During the Kyiv Rus' period in this lowland was thick forest near the Liadski Gate, through which Batu Khan and his army invaded the city in 1240.

    Between 1650 and 1833 Pecherski Gate of Starokyivska fortress stood in the place of Liadski Gate. In the 30-s of XIX century area began to build up and was equipped as the market square, and in 1876, after construction of the City Duma (Council), the square became one of the major ones in the city.

    At different times the square had different names: Khreshchatyk square, Khreshchatytska, Dumska, Soviet, Kalinin, the October Revolution. After Ukraine gained independence in 1991, the square is called – Maidan Nezalezhnosti (Independence Square).

    The square was rebuilt several times. The most radical changes took place after WW-II, during which it, as well as Khreshchatyk was almost completely destroyed. The square obtained it’s current look after extensive reconstruction in 2000-2001, Architectural ensemble embraces a wide range of administrative and public buildings with fountains, green areas and monuments, most of which – Independence Monument, rising on the site of the former monument to heroes of the October Revolution. The monument is a large column topped by a bronze figure of a woman with a guilder rose branch in hand, which represents Ukraine.

    Today, Maidan Nezalezhnosti is the venue for major official and public events and one of the favorite places for citizens and guests.

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