The Kyiv Region was established in 1932. The Polissia Lowland forms the northern part of the province’s lands bordering on Belarus. The slightly elevated Dnipro Upland with gentle slopes and lots of river valleys, gullies, and ravines cover the central and south-western parts of the region. The eastern (Left-bank) part of the province lies on incredibly broad Dnipro terraces of the Dnipro Lowland. The climate of the Kyiv province is moderately continental, mild with a long, relatively warm winter and a warm, rather humid summer.
The Dnipro, the main river of Ukraine, cuts the region into the Right-bank (which is much larger) and the Left-bank parts. The construction of the Kyiv and Kaniv hydroelectric power plants (1960—70) and their reservoirs completed the construction of the cascade of water reserves on the Dnipro, which allowed minimizing greatly seasonal flooding in the riverside cities and villages. Flowing through the territory of the region, the Dnipro receives a number of large tributaries — the Prypyat, Desna, Teteriv, Irpin, Stuhna, Ros and others.
Early settlements in the Kyiv province appeared in the Lower Paleolithic era (20,000—15,000 years ago), whereas the Bronze Age (6,000—3,000 BC) saw the arrival of the soil-tilling and livestock-raising tribes who left behind the ample archaeological evidence of the Cucuteni-Trypillia culture. The region is also known for over 120 settlements and burial mounds of the Bronze Age (3,000—1,000 BC) and ca 90 archaeological finds of the Scythian Period (700—300 BC).
With the emergence of tribal unions the Polianians tribe shaped the most powerful principality in the Middle Pre-Dnipro region. In 9th—12th c.c., a powerful state of Kyivan (Kievan) Rus formed around it. In the Princely times, there were hundreds of settlements on the lands of what is now the Kyiv province, with a thriving trade and culture. The devastating 1237 — 40 Mongol Hordes invasion left most of the cities reduced to ashes, with their names only mentioning in the chronicle records.
In 1362, the lands became controlled by the Grand Duchy of Lithuania and after the Union of Lublin of 1569 they came under the power of Rzeczpospolita. The War of Liberation ended the Polish rule in the most of the region’s lands and a new regimental administrative and territorial division was established there in 1649. Soon after the Treaty of Pereyaslav, the 1654— 67 Russo-Polish war started, which resulted in Rzeczpospolita regaining its control over the Right-bank part of the region.
Only after the Second Partition of Poland in 1793, the parts on the both banks of the Kyiv province were reunited in the Russian Empire. After the crush of the Russian Empire in 1918, there was a failed attempt to create an independent Ukrainian state in Kyiv. In 1941—43, the region was occupied by Nazi Germany, and the Defence of Kyiv and the Battle for its Liberation were the most important battles of WW II on the Ukrainian lands.
Some Orthodox and Catholic churches dating from the 17th —20th c.c. have survived the ravages of time in the Kyiv province as well as some interesting palaces, administrative buildings, park gazeboes, memorial complexes, and monuments of 18th —20th c.c.
Located on the picturesque banks of the Ros River, Bila Tserkva, the biggest city of the Kyiv province, was founded as a fortress in 1032 by Kyivan Prince Yaroslav the Wise. In 1050, the city was smartened with a church called ‘bila tserkva’ (‘white church’). After the catastrophic devastation by the Mongols in the 1Зth с. the city practically perished. Only in the mid-16th c. the Kyiv Voivodeship Governor rebuilt Bila Tserkva. In 1774, the Seym of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth gave the city in perpetual tenure to the Great Crown Hetman Count Franciszek Ksawery Branicki. In the late 18th c., a new mansion of the Branytskys, surrounded by a strikingly picturesque landscape park — Oleksandriya Park, emerged in the western part of the city. The architectural ensemble of the manor estate included a palace, four guest outhouses, a dancing pavilion, the ‘Moon’ colonnade-amphitheatre, the Rotunda pavilion and other structures. The park was set up on the bank of the Ros River in the valleys of three ravines with spring water streams, which enabled to create ponds, fountains, and artificial waterfalls, to build arches and Chinese bridges. The park was decorated with numerous marble and bronze sculptures. The city’s architectural landmarks include Branytskys’ Winter Palace, the 19th -c. Nobility Assembly, the 1814 Covered Market, the 1831 Complex of Postal Buildings, the mid-19th c. Gymnasuim etc. The pearl of the local architecture is the 1812 John the Baptist Roman Catholic Church on the Castle hill.
The oldest city of the Kyiv Region, Pereyaslav, located on the banks of the Trubizh River, first mentioned in 907 as one of the three largest cities of Kyivan Rus, was a well-fortified fortress on the Southern limits of the state and an important craft and trade centre of the Middle Pre-Dnipro region, which in the II part of the 12th с. became the seat of a huge apanage principality. In 1239, the Mongols sacked Pereyaslav. Then, in 1482, the Crimean Khan Mengli-Girey horde foray devastated it again. In 1569, Pereyaslav became a part of. Later, during the 1648—54 Liberation War the regimental city of Pereyaslav came into history forever, when Bohdan Khmel-nytsky called in Pereyaslav the Council, where the Ukrainian Cossacks voted for a military alliance with Muscovy. A regimental centre until 1781, Pereyaslav shaped a rather attractive architectural sight thanks to the 1700 Ascension Cloister and Cathedral, the 1757 Collegium Building and the 1776 belfry. The Collegium could be proud by the fact that the Ukrainian philosopher of genius Hryhoriy Skovoroda taught poetics there. The city can also boast of the 1666 St. Michael Church, built by colonel Fedir Loboda on the ruins of the!090 St. Michael’s Cathedral, the 1745 Belfry, and the 1839 Borys and Hlib Church.
A special pride of the present-day Pereyaslav-Khmelnytsky is the local Museum of National Architecture and Life of the Middle Upper-Dnipro region. All in all, the city has 26 museums and is the indisputable nation’s leader among the provincial towns by this criterion. Local monuments make up the Pereyaslav National Historical and Ethnographical preserve.
The city of Vasylkiv, located on the steep slopes of the Stuhna River valley, was founded in 988 by prince Volodymyr the Great. In the 1570s, the lands were owned by the Kyiv-Cave Lavra, which put a lot of efforts into new defense fortifications (some fragments of the ramparts remained until now) and the castle. The 18th c. left to the city the heritage of two wonderful Orthodox churches: the 1758 Cathedral of SS An-toniy and Feodosiy and the 1792 St. Nicholas Church. Vasylkiv was the home for one of the three governments of the South-em Society of Decembrists, headed by S. Muravyov-Apostol and M. Bestuzhev-Ryumin. On the eve of 1826 New Year they organized a rebellion of the Chernihiv regiment and seized the city, but were routed in less than a week.
Located on the steep slopes of the Unava River, the city of Fastiv has been known since 1390. In the early 17th c., Fastiv became the Bishop’s See, with a Jesuit Collegium opened in 1612, and the Bernadine Monastery founded in 1638. Fastiv still has architectural monuments of each of the two main confessions: the 1781 Orthodox Intercession Church, a masterpiece of Ukrainian wooden architecture and the incredibly delicate 1911 Roman Catholic Church with a slender tower.
The village of Sulymivka on the Stara Krasylivka Brook, founded by the Hetman of Zaporozhian Cossacks Ivan Sulyma in the 1620s, can boast of the 1629 Intercession Church, the only memory about the Hetman whose lot was tragic. In 1635, a group of Non-registered Cossacks led by Ivan Sulyma captured the Polish Kodak fortress on the Dnipro River. In several months’ time the Polish got the fortress back with the help of Registered Cossacks, and the Hetman was quartered in Warsaw.
Founded in the mid-17th c., the village of Parkhomivka was the property of a famous engineer Volodymyr Holubiev, whose children built the Intercession Church with mosaic created after the sketches by Nikolay Rerikh.
The settlement of Kaharlyk, located on the banks of the meandering Rosava River, has been known since 1142. In 1808, a famous collector Yan Tarnovsky (1779 — 1842) founded his estate there, of which only the large 35-ha park with a lot of exotic trees and bushes remained intact.
The Kyiv Region has a lot of attractive nature corners. Some of them are on the banks of the Dnipro reservoirs and its tributaries. Amazingly picturesque are the majestic Dnipro steeps to the south of Trypillia, the poetic Polissian landscapes of the Dnipro-Teteriv Game Reserve, the granite rocks above the Ros in the vicinity of Bila Tserkva and many others.