Old Kyiv

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Old Kyiv (Ukrainian: Старий Київ) is a historical neighborhood of Kiev. Other names include Upper City, Old Town, and others. It is located at the far eastern portion of the Shevchenko Raion. Old Kyiv historically represents the city of Yaroslav the Wise before it was presumably destroyed by the Mongol invasion of Batu Khan in 1240.

Originated at the Old Kyiv Hill (Starokyivsky Pahorb), it was created in contrast to the Lower City, Podil. Presumably it started out from the ancient settlement of Kyi sometime at the start of the 6th century. In the 9-10th centuries it covered only 2 ha (4.9 acres) mostly at the western portion of the Old Kyiv Hill. Today at that location stands the National Historical Museum of Ukraine.

The first fortifications supposedly were build during the reign of Vladimir the Great, creating what is known as the city of Volodymyr that covered already 12 ha (30 acres). However already at times of Yaroslav the Wise in 1037 the area of the Upper City consisted of 80–98 ha (200–240 acres). The city of Yaroslav included number of monasteries such as the Sophia monastery, monasteries of Saint George and Saint Irina. It also included the city of Izyaslav around the Saint Michael's Golden Dome Monastery and the Kopyriv End.

After the Mongol devastation of the city, the Upper City lost its significance and the Kiev city center was transferred to Podil. During the Polish-Russian War in the 17th century the city was secured by Russia through financial compensation. During that time the Upper city was reinforced with number of fortifications when Kiev started to quarter a Russian garrison. However soon the garrison was transferred to Pechersk (Caves) and fortifications were decaying and getting ruined. In the 19th century the whole area came under complete reconstruction. It was then when the modern network of streets, squares, and parks has established.

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Coordinates: 50°27′30″N 30°30′58″E / 50.45833°N 30.51611°E / 50.45833; 30.51611