Kijow

The Coat of Arms of the Russian period

 

The Coat of Arms of the Polish period

 

When Kijow was under the Russian jurisdiction Archangel Michael was officially confirmed as a Coat of Arms/symbol of the town. The emblem was confirmed on the 4th of June 1782. In azure field archangel Michael with a fiery sword and argent clothes. In 1851 Nicolas I ordered to represent an imperial crown on the emblems of provinces, regions and major towns. Since that time the emblem of Kijow was decorated with such crown. On May 12,1864 B.Kene planned out a new CoA of the town, which was, Archangel Michael in azure field in argent clothes. The shield is crowned with Monomach's wreath and within two or spikes entwined with the ribbon of the Order of St.Alexander. On February 3, 1917 this ribbon was replaced by sable-gules-sable ribbon of St.Wlodzimierz.

 

The emblem of Kijow together with the emblems of Lwow and Chernihiv belong to the symbols which appeared before the Tartar raids. The origin of Kijow symbolic is connected with the spreading on the princely seals which had the pictures of Archangel Michael. On these pictures the Archangel is usually represented in a long robe. He has a spear with a cross at the end of it and a ball which is a symbol of power in the left hand. In the emblem of the Polish Kingdom the emblem of Kijowszczyzna initially had the picture of a rider and a bear in an azure field. From the 16th century the figure of a rider was thought of in Europe mainly as an emblem of Moscow. Later the symbol of Kijow province became a white angel in a red field with a lowered sword and a scabbard.

Short Description/History

According to historical literature (The Primary Chronicle, 1097), Kijow was founded by three brothers of the Slavic Polianian tribe - the brothers Kyi, Shchek and Khoryv, and their sister Lybid. The city was named after Kyi, the eldest brother. A monument, erected in their honor, stands on the bank of the River Dniepr.

In the late 6th and early 7th century the first fortification appeared in the northern section of Old Kijow Hill. While the court of the princes was located in the hills of Kijow, the lower part of the city, known as Podil, developed into a busy trading district.

With the establishment of Kiervan Rus (9th century), Kijow(Kyiv) became its capital.

Prince Wlodzimierz the Great (980-1015) expanded the city. During his reign the Church of the Tithes, the first and largest stone church in Kijow, was built. It was destroyed in 1240 by the Mongols.

Kijow Rus was at its zenith under the rule of Prince Jaroslaw the Wise (1036-54). Monasteries were established and developed into centers of education. Close to 400 churches were built, the most famous of which, St. Sofia Cathedral (1037) survives to this day. The first library was founded on the grounds of the cathedral, and laws were systematized and codified.

The legend has it that when Boleslaw took Kijow he hit his sword on the city's iron gates and that hit took out a bit of the sword, hence it was named Szczerbiec and was used for the corronation of Polish Kings.

Polish Forces marching through Kijow

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