Independence Square ||Address: Independence Square|
The Independence Square, or Maidan Nezalezhnosti, is the central square in Kiev, the main and the most beautiful one. Parades, concerts, festivals and other city arrangements and holidays take place on this square. It contains six fountains, Independence Column and artificial waterfall. The Independence Square has much to offer: the huge building with the tower and chimes, the Trade Union Association Office and other attractions. The left side of the Independence square is covered with granite. The splendid panoramic view of Old Kiev opens from the upper floors of the square buildings. One can see the domes of Sofia Cathedral built in the 11th century, Andreevskaya Church built in the 18th century, City Parliament, the Central Mall, and a lot of administrative buildings. A great amount of shops, hotels and cafes are situated on the Independence square. Two metro stations, Kreschatik and Maidan Nezalezhnosti, are also situated nearby.
One of the fountains of the square is decorated with statues of legendary brothers Kie, Schek, Horiv and their sister Libed. According to Nikon's Russian Primary Chronicle they chose the place for the city foundation and decided to name it in honor of the elder brother Kie. The sculpture composition on the central square of the Ukrainian capital depicts four founders of the city.
Till the end of the 10th century the site of Independence square used to be occupied by forests. In the 18th century on the plot of land the Pecherskie Gate was put up, but the square still looked like an abandoned lot called Goat Swamp. In 1833 the gate was destroyed, but in the modern pedestrian subway system the basements of the Pecherskie Gate are preserved.
One of the best notable decorations of the central square is the Independency Column topped with a statue of Archangel Mikhail, who is considered to be the saint patron of Kiev. In front of the column, at the end of the square there is an arch decorated with the statue of Archangel with sword and shield. Another attraction of the square is 5,000-sprays fountain called Friendship of Nations designed by architect Komarovsky.
The site of Independence Square used to be the border of Kiev fortified with defense ramparts. Archeologists also found old parts of a water mill there. The first large stone building was constructed on the place in the middle of the 19th century: it was designed by architect Beretti and housed the Province Noblemen' Assembly. In the 20th century the square got its modern look.