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For centuries, Independence Square has been Kiev’s vibrant heart and the country’s most historic location. This is where revolutions have taken place (as recently as 2014), victories have been celebrated and many festivals are held, even today. Friends meet up by the Independence Monument, children play in the fountain and the sunny terraces always draw a crowd.
Maidan Nezalezjnosti (Independence Square) is usually just called Maidan, ‘the square’. The top floor of the enormous Hotel Ukrayina offers the best view: to the left is the conservatory, to the right the concert hall, and in the centre stands the 40-metre-high Independence Monument topped by a representation of the Slavic goddess Berehynia. Behind the monuments is a fountain with heroic sculptures representing the 4 founders of the city and a replica of a city gate with Archangel Michael. This city square is packed with symbolism.
“The many name changes of the square illustrate Kiev’s turbulent history”