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Ukraine Travel and Tourism

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Ukraine is a country in Eastern Europe. It is bordered by Russia to the east; Belarus to the north; Poland, Slovakia, and Hungary to the west; Romania and Moldova to the southwest; and the Black Sea and Sea of Azov to the south. The city of Kiev is both the capital and the largest city of Ukraine. Ukraine's modern history began with the East Slavs. From at least the 9th century, Ukraine was a center of the medieval living area of the East Slavs. This state, known as Kievan Rus' became the largest and most powerful nation in Europe, but disintegrated in the 12th century. Ukraine was the home of the first modern democracy, which exhibited republican form, during the Khmelnytsky uprising in the 17th century. After the Great Northern War, Ukraine was divided among a number of regional powers, and by the 19th century, the largest part of Ukraine was integrated into the Russian Empire, with the rest under Austro-Hungarian control. After a chaotic period of incessant warfare and several attempts at independence following World War I and the Russian Civil War, Ukraine emerged in 1922 as one of the founding republics of the Soviet Union. The Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic's territory was enlarged westward shortly before and after World War II, and again in 1954 with the Crimea transfer. In 1945, the Ukrainian SSR became one of the co-founding members of the United Nations. Ukraine became independent again after the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991. This began a period of transition to a market economy, in which Ukraine was stricken with an eight year recession. But since then, the economy has been experiencing a stable increase with GDP growth averaging 24 percent annually. Ukraine is a unitary state composed of 24 oblasts , one autonomous republic , and two cities with special status: Kiev, its capital, and Sevastopol, which houses the Russian Black Sea Fleet under a leasing agreement. Ukraine is a republic under a semi-presidential system with separate legislative, executive, and judicial branches. Since the collapse of the USSR, Ukraine continues to maintain the second largest military in Europe, after that of Russia. The country is home to 46.2 million people, 77.8 percent of whom are ethnic Ukrainians, with sizable minorities of Russians, Belarusians and Romanians. The Ukrainian language is the only official language in Ukraine, while Russian is also widely spoken. The dominant religion in the country is Eastern Orthodox Christianity, which has heavily influenced Ukrainian architecture, literature and music.

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Religion of Ukraine - Kiev
Religion of Ukraine As with most European countries, Ukrainians were originally a pagan nation of idol worshippers. In 988 AD, Prince Vladimir the Great of Kiev accepted Orthodox Christianity and brought the entire country under the influence of the Byzantine Empire. The period was characterized by mass baptisms, when many of the Prince's subjects converted to Christianity. Despite changes over the past 1000 years, Ukrainian Orthodox Christianity remains the main religion of Ukraine today, with some 70% of Ukrainians still claiming to belong to this faith. However, there are a number of other religions in Ukraine. The introduction of Orthodox Christianity to Ukraine came at a time when understanding of the scriptures was limited. People...

Literature of Ukraine - Kiev
Literature of Ukraine The history of Ukrainian literature dates back to the 11th century, following the Christianization of the Kievan Rus'. The writings of the time were mainly liturgical and were written in Old Church Slavonic. Historical accounts of the time were referred to as chronicles, the most significant of which was the Primary Chronicle. Literary activity faced a sudden decline during the Mongol invasion of Rus'. Ukrainian literature again began to develop in the 14th century, and was advanced significantly in the 16th century with the introduction of print and with the beginning of the Cossack era, under both Russian and Polish dominance. The Cossacks established an independent society and popularized a new kind of epic poems,...

Museums in Ukraine - Kiev
Museums in Ukraine Where ever you travel to in the world, museums usually feature highly on the list of places to see. It is certainly no different for tourists in Ukraine. Ukraine is a country filled with historical sites, an intriguing past and a strong cultural heritage. Museums of all types can be found throughout the major cities in Ukraine, as well as in lesser-known towns. In this section of Ukraine.com you will become acquainted with just some of the many interesting museums in Ukraine. One of the most visited museums in Ukraine is the National Art Museum. Located in the city of Kiev, the National Art Museum of Ukraine houses an amazing collection of paintings, icons and other artworks. The building itself is of great historica...

Carpathian National Natural Park - Kiev
Carpathian National Natural Park At 503 sq km (5414 sq ft), this is Ukraine's largest national park. Despite its status, industrial logging still takes place, and only about 25% of the park area is protected. Founded in 1980, the CNNP shelters wolves, brown bears, lynx, bison and deer. Hutsuls still live in the park, and the country's highest peak, Mt Hoverla (2061m/6761ft), is here as well. You can taxi from Ivano-Frankivsk to getting there.

Architecture of Ukraine - Kiev
Architecture of Ukraine Most of Ukraine's cities will give you a glimpse into the country's grand architectural history. Architecture in Ukraine ranges from buildings dating back hundreds of years to massive contemporary high-rise structures. An outstanding sample of Ukrainian architecture can be seen in the Cathedral of Saint-Sophia in Kyiv, which dates back to the 11th century. Visit Lviv if you are interested in medieval architecture or stop in Chernihiv to view its stunning buildings of long ago. Ukraine's architecture began developing during the 9th century during the Kievan Rus era. Buildings from this time period were constructed out of wood and included churches, fortifications and palaces. Timber was placed in horizontal sections w...