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Going Out - Have To See

Andriyivsky Uzviz
Saint Sophia Cathedral
Saint Volodymyr Cathedral
Zoloti Vorota (Golden Gate)
Museum Of Historical Treasures
Museum of Folk Architecture And Rural Life
Kyjevo-Pecherska Lavra Monastery

Andriyivsky Uzviz (Andreevsky Spusk, Andriyivsky Descent)

Andriyivsky Uzviz (Andreevsky Spusk, Andriyivsky Descent)From ancient times Andriyivsky Uzviz formed the shortest route between the aristocratic Upper Town and the tradesmen's town, Podil. It began from the already familiar Desyatinnaya and St. Andrew's churches and ran down a steep slope to Kontraktova square. The Uzviz (meaning descent) acquired its present appearance in the late 19th century, and it has not changed much since. It consists of mainly of two and three storied stone buildings. Since the latest restoration the street has become part of the Ancient Kyiv preservation area. It is also popular with both locals and visitors because of its literary associations. Mikhail Bulhakov (1891-1940), the famous writer and author of the well-known Master and Marguerite, lived there, and the action of his other masterpieces, the novel The White Guard and the play Days of the Turbans, was set in the Andriyivsky Uzviz area.

The street is often referred to as Kyiv's Montmarte as many artists rent apartments and studios there. Early on summer mornings numerous artists hang their pictures on the walls of the houses and arrange their sculptures on the green turf of the lawns. The street is usually crowded especially on the weekend, with people buying souvenirs, others posing for artists, and yet others watching an improvised performances given by actors, musicians or poets.

Starting on the top with the magnificent St. Andrew's Church, stop in at all the shops as you walk down you will see the medieval castle, called Richard Coeur de Lion's Castle after the hero of a novel by Sir Walter Scott. Visit the pottery shop one of many such shops where handicrafts are sold. Number 13 is the Literary and Memorial Museum of Mikhail Bulhakov. The writer was fond of this street, and described many of its houses in his books. There are several small theaters and coffee shops as well as more museums along the way. Andriyivsky Uzviz ends near the Kontraktova Ploshcha (Square), which is the oldest square in Kyiv, going back to the Kievan Rus period.

Saint Sophia Cathedral

Saint Sophia CathedralSofiysky (St. Sophia's) Monastery. The ensemble was built over a period of nine centuries. The complex includes:

Sofiysky (St. Sophia's) Cathedral. Constructed in 1017-31 in honor of Prince Yaroslav the Wise's victory over the Pecheneg tribe. Was the main metropolitan church of Kyivan Rus'-Ukraine. Ceremonies to designate envoys, public meetings, and the writing of chronicles took place here. The first library in Kyivan Rus was located here. The cathedral bears a resemblance to Byzantine constructions, but there is no direct analogy. The original forms of the Romanesque style were preserved until the 17th century. The church facades were not plastered and were embellished with decorative niches, ornaments, and paintings. The interior reveals the harmonious union of mosaics and fresco paintings in a style similar to the Byzantine capital style. Religious and secular themes predominate. Of great value are the decorative works of the 11th century: the Metropolitan's chair, choir loft. The interior of the cathedral is also embellished with fresco ornamentation, mosaic floors, marble decorations, etc. The cathedral contained the tomb of the great Kyivan princes: Yaroslav the Wise, Vsevolod, Rostyslav, and Volodymyr Monomakh were buried here (only the sarcophagus of Yaroslav the Wise has been preserved). After the Tatar-Mongol invasion of 1240, the cathedral gradually fell into ruins. In the 16th century Greek Catholic priests served Mass here. In the 1630's-40's the Kyivan Metropolitan P. Mohyla founded a men's monastery in the cathedral. He engaged the Italian architect O. Mancini to work on its restoration. In 1685-1707 the cathedral was rebuilt in the Ukrainian Baroque style. A Baroque iconostasis was built in 1731-47. St. Sophia's Cathedral is a masterpiece of world architecture.

Bell Tower, 18th-19th century. A four-storied structure, with a height of 76 m. The first story shows features of Ukrainian architecture of the late 17th-early 18th centuries; the second and third stories are embellished with molded decorations in the Ukrainian Baroque style. Ornaments in the pseudo-Byzantine style are featured in the fourth story.

Trapezna (Refectory) Church (Small Sophia), 1722-30. Rebuilt several times, acquiring Baroque forms in the process.

The monastery complex includes several examples of 18th century civil and defense architecture.

Saint Volodymyr Cathedral

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.

Inside the cathedral, the feeling is grand and spacious, light and richly painted, with splendid bronze ornaments, white marble walls and a marble floor. Most of the painting inside the cathedral was done by Victor Vasnetsov (1848-1926), whose work is closely associated with Kyiv. He painted the entire central nave of the cathedral. His most outstanding masterpieces are a hugh figure of the mother of God with an infant; Jesus Christ on the main cupola, the Evangelists on four sides beneath the cupola; and the scene of the Last Judgment over the western entrance. He is also the painter of such magnificent historical murals as "The Baptism of the Kievans" and "The Baptism of Prince Vladimir".

After 1890 another outstanding artist, Mikhail Nesterov (1862-1942), took part in the painting of the cathedral, mainly contributing large compositions in the chair gallery and icons for the altar screen of the north and south chapels.

Despite the eclecticism felt in all the cathedral's decoration, this memorial is one of the more significant and characteristic examples of monumental art of the second half and end of the nineteenth century.

Zoloti Vorota (Golden Gate)

The golden gate was one of the main structures built by Yaroslav in 1037. Cut into the rampart, it measured 6.4 meters, which was wide enough for a triumphal entry. The "golden" part of its name emphasized the triumphal character of the gate and also referred to the golden cupola of the Church of the Annunciation which was built over it.

The gate, destroyed during Batyi Khan's invasion was not reconstructed, but travellers who visited Kyiv in the 16th-17th centuries left descriptions and sketches of the ruins with the remains of the church. A century later what remained of the gate was levelled to the ground, and it was only in 1832 that archaeologists unearthed it, and it became a sensation. The gate was put in order, reinforced and opened to view. Its picturesque ruins could be seen up until recently.

For the preparations for the celebration of Kyiv's 1500th anniversary a group of specialists reconstructed it in its original for-the way it looked nearly a millennium ago. In 1983 the Golden Gate became a museum.

Museum Of Historical Treasures (Scythian Gold)

The collection of golden articles from various periods of history, including the treasures from the Gaimanov grave and Tolstaya grave, gigantic Scythian burial mounds dating back to the fourth century B.C. On display is the burial of a Scythian queen with her child from Tolstaya grave. Among the treasures found in the burial mound are a gold sheath of a short sword (akinaka) decorated with reliefs, openwork masks, golden plaques and pendants, and a splendid relic of antique jeweller's skill, a massive gold pectoral (breast ornament) with scenes of Scythian everyday life and mythological motifs (fourth century B.C.) Special attention may be drawn to articles from the burial mounds of Samaritan queens (100 B.C. to the first and second centuries A.D.) made by Egyptian, Greek, Persian and Indian craftsmen. Massive gold personal ornaments inset with pearls and precious stones from the rich treasure found near the village of Hlodosa in Kirovohrad district (fourth to the early eighth centuries) are also on display. The great skills of Kievan jewelers are demonstrated by golden shoulder bands (barmy), temple pendants, a diadem unearthed in the village of Sakhnovka, and other articles executed in the elaborate technique of cloisonne.

The museum possesses many articles by Ukrainian gold and silversmiths of the fourteenth to sixteenth centuries. These include icon and gospel mounts set with emeralds, rubies, sapphires and pearls; mitres and chalices. Among the highlights of jewelry made by Kievan masters Ivan Ravich, Ivan Moshchenko, Mefody Narbutovich, and others.

Museum of Folk Architecture And Rural Life

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 reconstructed on the spot. The museum has some 40,000 ethnographic exhibits, including folk costumes, fabrics, embroidery, carpets, ceramics, articles of metal, wood, glassware, musical instruments, 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.

The museum consists of two departments: Architecture and life in the Ukrainian Village Before the Revolution and Folk Architecture and Life in the Socialist Village.

The pedestrian itinerary around the museum runs along a 12-kilometer circular road and covers all the most significant sights in the museum. The itinerary has rest stops at specially allocated grounds, glades and lawns.

The first department of the museum is divided into six sections, each corresponding to a historical and ethnographic zone which appeared in Ukraine by virtue of its geographical location, natural conditions, and distinctive historical, socio-economic and cultural development: 1. Middle Dnieper area; 2. Poltava area and Slobodian Ukraine (Slobozhanshchina); 3. Polesye; 4. Podolia; 5. The Carpathians; and 6. Southern Ukraine. The terrain has been cultivated to recreate a corresponding natural environment and typical vegetation for each of the geographical zones.

The second department is the exhibition of Folk Architecture and Life in the Socialist Village. It spreads over 13 hectares and consists of houses and domestic buildings of the 1960's and 1970's from 25 administrative regions, arranged in accordance with the natural and ethnographic zones already mentioned.

The exhibits in this section illustrate the development of rural architecture in Soviet times. Many of its elements derive from folk traditions. Yet the increased prosperity of the peasants as well as the appearance of new building materials, tools, techniques, and other factors have led to radical changes in rural architecture.

The museum organizes craft days three or four times from May to November, when visitors can see blacksmiths, potters, copper, weavers, carpet makers and other craftsmen at work. On Sundays, choirs and folk musicians stage concerts of Ukrainian music.

Kievo-Pecherska Lavra Monastery

Kievo-Pecherska Lavra MonasteryKyyevo-Pecherska Lavra (Calvin Cave Monastery). A Ukrainian Orthodox monastery founded in 1051 by the monks Antoniy and Feodosiy. In the 11th century it became the center for the expansion and consolidation of Christianity in Calvin Rus'-Ukraine. The chroniclers Nykon, Nestor, Sylvester, the artists Alimpiy, Hryhoriy, and the doctor, Ahapit, at one time worked in the monastery. In 1240 it was looted and destroyed by the Tatar-Mongol armies of Baty. The monastery was again destroyed in 1480. In 1615 an imprimery was located at the monastery. In the late 16th century it was designated a Lavra (monastery). The architectural ensemble attained completion in the mid-18th century. The majority of the structures is built in the Ukrainian Baroque style. The ensemble is organically linked to the relief and forms a beautiful and majestic silhouette of Kyiv from the Dnipro River side. In 1926 the Calvin Cave Historical-Cultural Preserve was established on the premises of the monastery.

V. Kochubey, I. Iskra, P. Stolypin (1862-1911), the notorious head of the Council of Ministers of Tsarist Russia, the archaeologist D. Shcherbakivsky (1877-1927), and various distinguished church figures are buried here.


Uspensky (Dormition) Cathedral(ruins), 1073-78. The first stone structure of the monastery; the main monastery church. During its lengthy history the cathedral was damaged, rebuilt, and enlarged several times. In November 1941 the church was destroyed by mines laid by Soviet forces retreating from the German advance.

Great Bell Tower, 1731-44. The highest monumental structure in Ukraine (96 m) and the compositional center of the monastery. Built in Classical forms by the architect J. Schaedel, it consists of four stories. A library was located on the first two stories; 13 bells were once located on the third story, of which only three remain. A clock was located on the fourth story.

Troyitska Nadbramna (Holy Trinity) Church, 1106-08. Located above the main gate of the monastery. After the destruction of the Dormition Cathedral in 1240 it became the main monastery church. A unique monument of 18th century Ukrainian architecture. Contains brilliant wall paintings, rich in local scenery, historical-ethnographic material, and folk traditions. The church floor is covered with molded cast-iron tiles.

Mykolayivska (St. Nichola's) Church, late 17th century. Built in the Ukrainian Baroque style. In the second half of the 19th century a second floor was added. The church was part of St. Michael's Hospital Monastery, founded in the 12th century by Svyatoslav Davydovych, called Svyatosha, the former prince of Chernihiv, (monk's name: Mykola) to house ailing monks. Later it was a hospice for aged Kozaks.

Vsikhsvyatska (All-Saints') Church, 1696-98. Located above the Economic Gate in the Ukrainian Baroque style. At the beginning of the 20th century the interior was decorated with pictorial and ornamental oil paintings. Fragments of 17th century paintings have been uncovered. Contains a carved and gilded wood iconostasis from the 18th century. One of the finest monuments of Ukrainian Baroque architecture.

Rizvda Bohorodytsi (Nativity of the Holy Mother of God) Church, 1700. Erected on the site of a wood church. In 1769 a carved and gilded iconostasis was installed (artist: K. Shverin). A refectory was added in 1839. The interior was painted in the 18th century and in 1816. Paintings by the artist D. Davydov were completed in 1894. The main southern entrance was lavishly decorated with molded garlands in the spirit of 17th century decorative folk art.

Bell Tower of the Far Caves, 1754-61. Erected by the master builder S. Kovnir. A brick structure in the Ukrainian Baroque style. Forty-one m high. Lavishly decorated with molded floral ornaments.

Annozachatiyivska (Conception of St. Anne) Church, 1679. Located above the upper entrance to the Far Caves. In 1796 the roof was covered with iron and the cupola was gilded. The church was rebuilt in 1810-1819 and the pear-shaped cupola was replaced by a new, tent-shaped cupola. In the 19th century the interior was decorated with pictorial and ornamental paintings. The oak iconostasis is carved.

Refectory Palace with SS. Antoniy and Feodosiy (SS. Anthony's and Theodosius') Church, 1893-95. Designed by Academician V. Nikolayev in the old Byzantine style. A two-storied structure adjoined by a church with a large, spherical cupola and five gilded cupolas. At the beginning of the 20th century the refectory and church interiors were painted by the artists I. Yizhakevych and H. Popov, following I. Shchusev's designs.

Near Caves, 1051. So-called because of their proximity to the Dormition Cathedral. First mentioned in the Tale of Bygone Years for the year 1051. Also called Anthony's Caves in honor of the monastery's founder. The caves measure 228 m in length, with a depth of 5-20 m. In the 1760's the floor was covered with cast-iron tiles. The caves were first used to house monks and later as burial places. The unique geological structure of the soil and constant temperature resulted in the natural mummification of some of the interred remains. There are 75 burial niches in the caves, including the remains of Antoniy, the artists Alimpiy and Hryhoriy, and the doctors Ahapit and Damian, Nestor the Chronicler, the religious and political leader Nykon, Bishop Simeon, and others. In the Near Caves three crypt churches have been preserved: Vvedenska (Presentation at the Temple) Church, Antoniyivska (St. Anthony's) Church (11th cent.), and Varlaamska (St. Varlaam's) Church (1641). All of them have gilded bronze iconostasis which were executed by the Kyiv master builders F. Korobka and Z. Yu. Bryzhunovy (1813-19).

Far Caves, 1051. First mentioned in the Tale of Bygone Years for the year 1051. Also known as the caves of Theodosius, in honor of the saint. They measure 280 m in length and are 5-20 m deep. In 1826 the floor was covered with cast-iron tiles. They contain 45 burial niches and three churches: Rizda (Nativity), Feodosiyivska (St. Theodosius'), both of which have 18th century bronze iconostasis, and the Blahovishchenska (Annunciation) Church, which has a wood iconostasis, built in this century.

Besides these monuments, the Calvin Cave Monastery contains many examples of civil architecture of the 18th-20th centuries and fortification structures from 1698 - 1701.