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The History Of Ukraine Interesting Facts
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The History Of Ukraine Interesting Facts

The nation's modern history began with that of the Kievian Rus and Slavonic settlements and culture. From 9th century, when Kievian Rus has started developing and growing as a powerfull settlement the territory of Ukraine was a center of the Slavonic civilization.

There are interesting facts in Ukrainian history that makes foreign tourist open-mouthed with surprise in most of cases. When I start telling about the Kyiv Rus époque (by the way my favorite one in Ukrainian history), Yaroslav the Wise, the founder of Saint Sophia Cathedral and Golden Gate, I never miss the opportunity to mention about his daughters: Ann, Elizabeth, Anastasia, who subsequently became the queens of France, Norway and Hungary.

The most famous of them was Ann who married King Henry the First of France. She was one of the most beautiful and educated women of that time. She knew how to read and write which was a very unusual thing then and she also spoke 4 foreign languages. During the wedding ceremony in Reims Cathedral she put on the altar an old Rus gospel which she had brought from her father's library. From then on all the French kings took an oath on that gospel at coronation ceremonies.

Its origin was soon forgotten for no one could read the language. It was identified by Peter the Great during his stay in France. Now it is one of the treasures of the National Library in Paris.

After the death of her husband Ann reigned over France for 7 years. Elizabeth married Herald the Cruel (the Brave) of Norway. He took part in Yaroslav the Wise's campaign against the nomadic tribes and thus met Elizabeth. Being much impressed by her he proposed but was refused. He left for Byzantium, was fighting in Europe, was imprisoned in Constantinople, escaped and came back to Kyiv. Herald was not only a brave warrior but a well-known poet. Eventually Herald married Elizabeth and went to Norway where he succeded to the throne.

Anastasia married Andrew the First of Hungary.

As we can see, Yaroslav the Wise was a good policymaker and intended to strengthen his position in Europe by making profitable marriages.

He was also one of the most outstanding rulers of that time who understood the importance of culture for his state. And he started with the construction of the cathedral which was to become the state's political, cultural and administrative centre. It was dedicated to Sophia which is a Greek word for "wisdom" (here: Wisdom of Christianity) and called it St. Sophia Cathedral.

Soon the first known library in ancient Rus and the first school for boys and girls were founded by Yaroslav the Wise in St. Sophia Cathedral.

Nowadays Yaroslav the Wise is known as a founder of the most ancient cathedral of modern Ukraine – St. Sophia cathedral built in 1037.


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