Khreshchatyk is the central street of the city of Kyiv. It crosses the Starokyivsky and Pechersk administrative parts of the city connecting European and Bessarab Squares.
The area of what is now makes Khreshchatyk used to be a great valley with a tiny creek in it. From the North East the valley reached the Dnipro River and from the South East it went to the Lybid River. This area has been called on the plans as "Khreshchatyk Valley" so nowadays modern street has got its name from the old days. The creek was going by the very important trade road. In the end of the eighteenth century the part of the road from the Kinna Square, where horse markets used to take place (nowadays European Square), to Prorisana street started transforming into the street with buildings mostly on its right side. Then it became Khreshchatyk. In 1803 the buildings appeared on the left side of the road too. All of those buildings were private dwellings except for the one - the very first theatre in the city of Kyiv. It was constricted by architect A. Melensky (1802-1805). It is now the cultural and business center Ukrainian House. Now this street is Theatral. Khreshchatyk has got its definite outlines during the restructuring of Kyiv in 1837. In its implementation the street has been lengthened to the modern Bessarab Square and included three squares and has got the name Khreshchatyska.
The reconstruction works finished in 2002 on the square profoundly changed the city's image. During the reconstruction the Lyads'ky Gate was found right on the spot. It was the same gate which was assaulted by Batu Khan in the 13th century, having lost any hope to force his way through the Golden Gate. He managed to destroy the Gate enough to allow his numerous troops to break into the city. You will see the gate as a backdrop to fountains, which gather people around. If you have a chance, visit the underground entertainment center "Globus" right under the square, where you will be able to have a rest from the noisy and crowded street.
KIEV-PECHERS'KA LAVRA (THE CAVE MONASTERY)
The Kiev-Pechers'ka Lavra (The Cave Monastery) (Pechersk stands for pechery, that is" caves" which are to be found in its territory and which early monks used to live in, and Lavra is an honorific title given to a monastery of extra-size and religious importance) came into being in the eleventh century and for nine centuries its territory was expanding with new buildings being added to it through the centuries. The architectural complex of the Monastery the way it looks today is truly grandiose. On a sunny day one is almost dazzled by the reflections from the innumerable golden domes above churches and belfries. Most of the buildings in the Monastery date from the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries and are excellent examples of Ukrainian Baroque style in architecture and there is only one church in the Monastery that has been preserved from the twelfth century with very few architectural changes introduced since then. The church sits above the main entrance gate of the Monastery and is consequently called Nadvratna - "the one above the gate". The full name of the church is Troitska Nadvratna Tserkva - "The Holy Trinity Church above the Gate. It is almost a miracle it has survived as the Monastery itself was throughout its history the object of so many enemy attacks, of devastating fires and of other crippling misfortunes.
1017-1024, is located just outside the sybway station "Zoloti Vorota".
Of the few remaining fortifications from the times of Prince Yaroslav the Wise (1019-1054), the Golden Gate is the most remarkable. IN 1983 the ruins of the Golden Gate, built as a defensive structure, were restored to their present condition. The same year, the Golden Gate Museum was opened. The ground floor contains exhibits relating to the history of old Kiev. The halls display armaments used by the ancient Kievites and other excavations from the site of the Golden Gate. The balconies of the museum offer a panoramic view of Kiev.
Address: 40A, Vladimirskaya str.
Open: from May till October
Hours: 10am - 5pm
ST. ANDREW'S CHURCH - ANDRIYIVSKY UZVIZ (ANDREW`S DESENT)
In the year 1744 the Russian Empress Elizabeth was visiting the home-land of her favorite Alexey Rozumovsky and decided to build her summer residence here. She herself laid the first symbolic brick of the new palace and church. A famous Italian architect Bartolomeo Rastrelly supervised the construction. Now the church-museum catches the eye of the visitors straight away. Its beauty and the aura of history make the place a must for visitors.
Andreevsky Uzviz, at No.23
Andriyivsky Uzviz was the shortest way from the Upper city to Podil. The name was known from 18 the century. In 1753 was built St. Andrew's Church (B.F. Rastrelli). By the legend, in times immemorial, there was the sea where the Dnipro River flows now. When St. Andrew came to Kiev and erected the cross on the hill where now St. Andrew's Church stands, the sea drained away. But a part of it remained and hid under the hill. When later the church was built there, a stream opened under the altar. That is why there are no bells at St. Andrew's Church, as with the first bell stroke water would awaken and flood not only Kyiv but the entire territory of the left bank of the Dnipro. Main structure executed in the 90s of the 19 century and at the beginning of the 20 century. Rebuilt as before is the place of exhibition - sale of paintings and folk creative works in the open air. Andriyivsky Uzviz is called Kyiv's Monmartre. If you go there on any day of the year, regardless of weather, you will see quite a few artists showing their pictures, hung on the walls and fences, applied- and decorative-art artists displaying their wares right on the sidewalk or on little stands - rings, brooches, necklaces, embroidered shirts, earthenware of most unusual shapes and forms, curious creations made of wood and other materials, to red banners sporting various slogans, uniforms, medals, coins and other paraphernalia of the defunct regime.
Here you find yourself in an atmosphere of the late 19th-20th century with comfortable and cozy little cafes, small shops. The sights is the house ¹13 where Mikhail Bulgakov lived, the author of "Master and Margaret" of the world fame. The house is now Bulgakov's museum. The other museum of the Uzviz is quite a unique one being a museum of the street in which it is situated. It traces the Uzviz history in pictures, photographs and other things from the earliest times down to the present day. Along the street, there are much picture galleries and artistic salons.
Was built in the first half of the 11th century to commemorate the victory over the Pecheneg tribe. Here you will see portraits painted by unknown painters of the past, will be able to read frescoes on the walls (the 11th century) - people's requests to God, great mosaics (some of them were so unique, that they were stolen by Nazis during the Second world war and are preserved in German museums now). The cathedral preserves a sarcophagus with the remains of Prince Volodymyr. St Sophia is rightfully considered as the treasure of Ukraine and is protected by UNESCO.
Open: daily 10 am - 5.30 pm
Wednesday - 10 am - 4.30 pm
Address: 24 Vladimirskaya str.
Located on Boulevard Tarasa Shevchenka, St. Vladimir's Cathedral was originally designed by Ivan Strom and the building was begun by Alexander Beretti and Paul Sparro and completed by Vladimir Nikolayev. The construction and interior decorations took more than 30 years (1862-96). This seven dome three-aisled church resembles the buildings of old Ukraine only slightly. Its walls are loaded with ornamental details. The interior is decorated in the style of Prince Vladimir's period. The interior completed by a team of outstanding artists accomplished the work in eleven years. The main facade is decorated with a double door made of oxidized bronze with enamel, carving and openwork tracery. On the sides of the door are figures of Princess Olga and Prince Vladimir made of embossed bronze and portrayed against a blue enamel background.
Servises are held daily
Hours: 9 am - 6pm.
Address: 20 Shevchenka blvr.
The Archangel Michael is considered to be the patron of Kyiv. Perhaps that is why the recently restored St. Michael's Monastery of the Golden Roof is especially dear to Kyivans. Its beauty makes an unforgettable impression. This religious complex is situated just opposite Sophia Cathedral and seems to reign on the steep bank of the Dnipro in all its glory. This precious Kyivan relic, sky-blue in color, with its golden glitter of cupolas and vividly decorated arches, rich services and wonderful choirs, is matchless in the delicacy and splendor of its architecture and decoration. The entire complex - from the perfectly planned territory of the monastery to the tolling of the bells (you can strike the bell if you ascend to the top floor of the bell-tower) - is a model of taste and refined aestheticism.
MUSEUM OF FOLK ARCHITECTURE
Entrance fee $1.00; $10.00 per person for English-speaking guide. Located in the outskirts of Kyiv, this open air museum takes you through Ukraine's history as you walk through the original homes of the past which have been moved here from all corners of Ukraine and restored. Traditional Ukrainian costume and ceramics are on exhibit. The open-air museum is set on 150 hectares of picturesque terrain on the southwestern outskirts of Kyiv. It was founded in the late 1960's, and in 1976 it was opened to the public. To date, the museum has over 200 structures moved here from various regions of the Ukraine or econstructed on the spot. The museum has some 40,000 ethnographic exhibits, including folk costumes, fabrics, embroidery, carpets, ceramics, articles of metal, wood, glassware, musical nstruments, paintings, tools, household articles and the like. These objects are exhibited both inside the cottages and other farm buildings and in the permanent exhibition halls.
Open daily 10am-5pm; closed Wed.
Mariinsky Palace, which was built in the middle of the 18 century by V.Rastrelli in the baroque style, was intended to echo Versailes in miniature. During the last war it was badly damaged but was reconstructed, and is now a part of the Supreme Rada's premises. In 1936, the government moved into Pechersk and redeveloped many of of old estates: the grandiose building of the Council of Peoples' Commisars. This huge building, now occupied by the Cabinet of Ministers, was designed by the architects Ivan Fomin and Pavel Abrosimov in the Soviet neoclassical style.
Some years later, premises for the Ukrainian Supreme Council were built on an empty place across the road in the design by Vladimir Zabolotny.