Hundreds of Ukrainians and journalists from around the world flocked to the presidential palace, as reports emerged that the country's President Viktor Yanukovich had left the city.
An aide to the president said he had left the capital for his support base in the country's Russian-speaking east, but that he had no intention of abandoning power.
The residence is in Mezhyhirya, some 15 km (10 miles) from the capital, Kiev. Yanukovich's whereabouts were not known. "Self-defence" units of anti-government protesters were controlling the entry to the compound, according to Reuters.
ITV News Europe Editor James Mates toured the lavish estate:
It is believed that although the people had entered the grounds of the residence, they had not gone inside the building itself.
Ukrainian opposition group Euromaiden said that journalists had been "impressed" seeing the property, adding that it was the first time the residence was accessible to the public.
Pictures on social media emerged depicting his lavish lifestyle with Greek ruins within the vicinity and even a galleon on his "man-made" lake.