Kiev Golden Gates is the best point to begin acquaintance with Kiev city. Touristic Kiev team starts the program of Ancient Kiev excursion from this particular place. It is logical as the Gates was the main entrance to historical area called Yaroslaw the Wise Town.
In the times of Kiev Rus era there were 3 entrances to the city. The Golden Gates was the main and ceremonial one. Only Kings, ambassadors and troops went through it. For those times Gates were enormously big and strong establishment made of stone and plinthiform bricks. The gates were the part of huge defencive construction of walls and ditches. It looked like a defencive tower of 25 meters long with a passage of 3,7 meters width and 12 meters height. Moreover the Gates was crowned with Annunciation church on the top thus everyone coming might see the the city was Christian.
There are several legends about “Golden Gates” name. But most probably it comes from the name of similar city entrance in Constantinople – a capital of Byzantine Empire that Kiev Rus compete with for power and majesty.
The Gates were essentially damaged from Tatar Mongols in 1240. For centuries it stood in ruins and were reconstructed only in 1982! Its modern look is rather approximate because there were no authoritative pictures and plans saved. So no one knows how Golden Gates looked exactly. Anyway today there is a museum and recovered annunciation church here. And inside of the passage you can touch 1000 year old walls that remained intact.
Moreover to emphasise the greatness of this place Golden Gates was surrounded by beautiful green square with famous Termen Fountain (one of 6 in Kiev) that adorn this historical area from 19 century till nowadays.