The Golden Gates of Kiev (Золоті ворота, Zoloti vorota) is a major landmark of the Ancient Kiev and historic gateway in the ancient city fortress, located in the capital of Ukraine. Currently it serves as a museum and can be found on the corner of Volodymyr street and Yaroslaviv Val Street (Yaroslav's Moat). The name Zoloti Vorota is also used for a nearby theatre and a station of the Kiev Metro. The modern history states that this gateway was one of three constructed by Yaroslav the Wise, Grand Prince of Kiev, in 1037 (6545 by the Byzantine calendar ) about when the Saint Sophia Cathedral was erected.
However some sources claim that the gates stood some time before that like for example the painting of Jan Matejko where he depicts both Bolelaw Chrobry and Sviatopolk I entering the city during the Kiev succession crisis in 1018. This version currently is being considered as a legend. Originally named as simply the Southern gates they were one of the three main gates of the city fortification with other being called: Lyadski and Zhydivski (meaning Lechitic and Jewish). The last two gates did not manage to survive. The stone fortifications stretched for only 3.5 km (~2.5 mi).
It remained as a gate to the city (often used for ceremonies) through the eighteenth century, although it gradually fell into ruins. In 1832 the ruins were excavated and an initial survey for their conservation was undertaken. Further works in the 1970s added an adjacent pavilion, housing a museum of the gate. In the museum one can learn about the history of construction of the Golden gate as well as ancient Kiev. In 1982, the gate was completely reconstructed for the 1500th anniversary of Kiev, although there is no solid evidence as to what the original gates looked like.
Some art historians called for this reconstruction to be demolished and for the ruins of the original gate to be exposed to public view. In 1989 with the expansion of the Kiev Metro, a station Zoloti Vorota was opened nearby to serve the landmark. What makes it unique is that its architectural ensemble is very much based on the internal decorations of ancient Ruthenian churches. In 1997, the monument to Yaroslav the Wise was unveiled near the west end face of the Golden Gate. It is an enlarged bronze copy of an experimental figuring by Kavaleridze.