TGolden Gate dates back to 11th century and is one of few monuments that survived till our days. Golden Gate was built around 1017 – 1037, when defensive shafts of the city were finished. It was in times of Yaroslav the Wise, who surrounded the city with powerful defensive shafts which had 3 gates.
Golden Gate was the main and front ones and it was built at the same time as Saint Sophia Cathedral.
The name “Golden” was connected to the same name that Constantinople’s front gate had. And at that time Constantinople was the center of Christian word and in some way a role model for Kiev and Kievan Rus. Golden gate was functioning as a front gate up to the 18th century.
The height of the gate was 12 meters and the width was 6,9 meters. By the end of 16th century the Gate was almost ruined and in 1682 reconstruction took place. In the 18th century the gate again is almost ruined and it was covered with soil in order to preserve it for future generations. Then in 1832 architect Lokhvitsky with help of his own funds and partially with money gathered from people as charity excavated Golden Gate. Lokhvitsky was an amateur architect and professionals were angry with his methods, but his role in reconstruction of Golden gate is huge.
Under auspices of architect Beretty the ruins of the gate were strengthened. Still the gate was being damaged by rain and snow and in the middle of 20th century scientists were quite bothered with condition of the monument. So in 1972 it was decided to cover the remains of the gate with a safety construction. This construction was built as a copy of the passway. Scientist used all possible historical sources to make a perfect replica. Also the shaft is demonstrated in section. The project was finished in 1982. New construction has a museum dedicated to Golden Gate inside, where you can see original remains of the monument. In 2007 took place another great reconstruction.
Near the Golden gate replica there is a monument to Yaroslav the Wise who holds Sophia in his hands. The monument was created by Ivan Kavaleridze and was erected in 1997. There is also a miniature copy of it at Andriyivskyy Descent. Among citizens this monument is often playfully called Yarik (or Yaroslav) with a cake, because the church in his hands looks like a cake.
While having your Kiev tour and visiting Golden gate you should also stroll over Yaroslaviv shaft which is one of the most spectacular streets of the Old city and the center in general. By the way, to get to the Golden gate you should just go to underground station of the same name and on the surface you will see the gate. Then you will easily find Yaroslaviv shaft (Yaroslaviv Val). This street was a part of shaft in times of Yaroslav the Wise. In 1840’s the remains of the shaft were demolished and a new street was created. It received its modern name in 1869. Still the street was renamed in 1928 after Voroshilov and in 1957 it became Polupanov street. The original name came back in 1977.
Also on Yaroslaviv shaft you will find residence of Indian Ambassador and a lot of embassies. Another great building of the street is the house of Podgorsky, built around 1851.
Pictures by http://wek.kiev.ua, http://www.archdesignfoto.com, http://ru.wikipedia.org
Written by Kateryna Martynenko