A monument to the mythical founders of
Kyiv in Navodnytsky Park.
- KIJ is also the IATA
airport code of Niigata Airport.
(alt. sp. Kiy, Kij or Kyj), Schek and
Khoryv ( ) are the three legendary
brothers, sometimes mentioned along with their sister
Lybid (Lybed) ( ), who, according to the
Primary Chronicle, were
the founders of Kyiv city - now
the capital of Ukraine.
legend is widely recognized as a source of Kiev's mythology and
Historical background for the legend
Archaeological excavations have shown there indeed was an ancient
settlement from the 6th century. Some speculate that Kyi was a real
person, a knyaz
from the tribe of eastern Polans
. But the majority of
scholars consider them as purely mythological.
The legend of Kyi, Schek and Khoryv, and their sister Lybid, can be
interpreted as an example of a common mythological process whereby
geographical names are personified and incorporated into the
foundation myths of a place or people, often as eponymous
There are numerous different theories concerning the origin of the
names; among the most popular is that legend of three brothers and
their sister is an attempt to explain the local names. Kyi
appears to be derived from a Turkic
word meaning "high river-bank", and denotes the hilly right
(western) bank of the Dnipro
on which the
earliest settlement was located. Schek
, according to this theory, represent the actual
Schekavytsia and Khorevytsia mountains in the center of Kyiv, while
is the actual river
right tributary of the Dnipro
important landscape factor in the city.
addition to the respective hills and the river, there are
Schekavytska and Khoreva Streets in Kiev's
ancient neighborhood of Podil.
During Soviet rule in the city, Kyi, Schek, Khoryv and Lybid were
depicted (standing on ancient boat) in sculpture at the river-side
Navodnytsky Park. The sculpture soon became symbolic for the city
and has been massively re-used since. In 2000s another
statue was installed at central Maidan Nezalezhnosti square.