What do you know about ancient Kyiv?

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Long, long ago in the territory of our country there lived different Slavic tribes. They were peaceful and hardworking people. The Slavs lived by families in the villages and worked on land.

In the 9th century the first big state of the Eastern Slavs appeared. The state was called Kyiv Rus. The capital of this state was the city of Kyiv. As the legend says, Kyiv was founded by three brothers: Kyi, Schek and Khoriv and their sister Lybid. According to the legend they settled on a high bank of the Dnipro river and named their town Kyiv after the eldest brother.

From the beginning Kyiv played an important role in the life of the state. The citizens built fortress walls round the city. The ships from many different countries and lands came to Kyiv by the Dnipro river. They brought their beautiful vases, jewellery, gold and silver, colourful silks and Eastern fruit. In the market place you could hear different languages. With the night the guards locked the gates of the city. The walls of the fortress and the gates were not only a fortification. They were decorated with sheets of copper and shone in the sun. One of the most beautiful gates was called Golden Gates. You can see these Gates still now in the capital of modern Ukraine.

More than one thousand years ago, in the reign of Prince Yaroslav the Wise, a big cathedral was built in the square near the Golden Gates. This Cathedral was named Saint Sophia to honour Prince Yaroslav’s wife. On the walls of the Cathedral you can still see 250 mosaics of different colours. They were painted by the best painters of those times. You can enjoy the beauty of this wonderful monument now.

Say if the sentences are true or false.

  1. Kyiv Rus appeared in the eighth century.
  2. The capital of Kyivan Rus was the city of Kyiv.
  3. Kyiv was founded by four brothers.
  4. The ships from different countries came to Kyiv by the Dniester river.
  5. The Golden Gates were made of gold.
  6. Saint Sophia cathedral was built during the reign of Prince Yaroslav the Wise.
  7. Saint Sophia Cathedral was named in honour of Yaroslav’s daughter.

Answer the questions.

  1. Who lived on the territory of our country long, long ago?
  2. When did Kyiv Rus appear?
  3. Who founded the city of Kyiv?
  4. What role did Kyiv play in the life of the state?
  5. What did ships from different countries bring to Kyiv?
  6. What were the walls and the gates of the fortress decorated with?
  7. What gates can you still see in our capital?
  8. When was Saint Sophia Cathedral built?
  9. What can you see on the walls of the Cathedral?