2 Days in Kiev - Page 2
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Moving further along Grushevskogo Street, you will pass by the Soviet epoch typical building of Verkhovnaya Rada (Parliament) and the massive building of the Cabinet of Ministers. About 50 m further along the street, the National Art Museum of Ukraine is located. It has about 40 000 exhibits ranging from the 10th century to nowadays. The Museum may boast of beautiful collection of Ukrainian icons. It tends to hold different exhibitions from time to time. The Museum is open from 11:00 to 17:00 (Sundays, Wednesdays and Thursdays), from 12:00 to 19:00 (Fridays) and from 11:00 to 18:00 (Saturdays). Entry ticket costs less than 1 euro.
Kiev Parliament building
Football fans, will hardly lose an opportunity to visit small but cozy “Dynamo” Stadium named after Valery Lobanovsky, which lies on the opposite side of the street not far from the Art Museum. It is the home of FC “Dynamo” Kiev.
The suggested route now enters onto European Square. If you turn to the left, you will see Khreshchatik – the main street of Kiev. It stretches for about 1 km from European Square to Bessarabskaya Square through the world famous Maidan Nezalezhnosti (Independence Square) – the place where the “Orange Revolution” and the “Revolution of Dignity” were initiated. It is lined with numerous shops, boutiques, small cafes, bars, pubs, restaurants and hotels.
We suggest to spend the rest of day here either shopping, drinking coffee or beer in pretty small cafes and pubs, sampling traditional Ukrainian food at many fine restaurants or just strolling along Khreshchatik. Be sure there is a lot worth seeing there.
The second day in Kiev is recommended to dedicate to visiting St. Sophia’s Cathedral – the magnificent 11th century architectural landmark, along with exploring Podil district with its numerous attractions. St. Sophia’s Cathedral represents a Temple Complex, a Monument Museum including the 18th century Bell Tower, the House of the Metropolitan, the bursa (school), the 18th century Vorota Zaborovskogo (Zaborovsky Gate), the Refectory and the Cathedral itself.
The distinmctive gold and green of St. Sophia’s Cathedral
It is located in the centre of Kiev in Vladimirskaya Street adjoining the grand Sofiyska Square, which hosts nice monument to Bogdan Khmelnitsky, one of the most well-known Hetmans of Ukraine of the 17th century. One of the major attractions of the Cathedral is the “Oranta” mosaics of Mother of God, who stands with her arms raised. The image is 5.45 m high! Admission to all exhibits costs about 2 euros and the Cathedral is open from 9:00 to 18:00 every day, except for Thursday.
St.Andrew’s Church – the pearl of Ukrainian baroque
Within walking distance of St. Sophia’s Cathedral there is a graceful and airy St. Andrew’s Church overlooking the historic Podil district. This charming five-domed temple with one cupola was built in baroque style in 1754. The project of the Church was created by Bartolomeo Rastrelli, prominent Italian architect. The Church looks unusually elegant and is highly decorated. It is renowned for its baroque scarlet iconostasis made of braid gold covered linden. It is a functional church, which is open every day from 9:00 to 19:00 (Saturdays – from 9:00 to 20:00). Free entrance.
The “Kiev Montmartre”
St. Andrew’s Church gave name to the nearest cobbled street – Andreevsky Spusk (Andreevsky Descent), which is more often than not called the “Kiev Montmartre” or the “Art Centre”. The steep street runs down from St. Andrew’s Church to the Podil district and is packed-full of different historical monuments. The Castle of Richard the Lionheart built at the beginning of the 20th century is an extraordinary building resembling medieval knightly castles.The One Street Museum contains an amazing collection of books, documents, letters, photos, costumes and various authentic exhibits of the end of the 19th – the beginning of the 20th century. Other sights include the Memorial Museum of Mikhail Bulgakov, the author of “The Master and Margarita” masterpiece of literature.
The river front of Kiev
There are many charming old houses there, like stucco “Terem” (a kind of small palace) house built in pseudo-Russian style or well preserved pretty wooden house of the 19th century. Andreevsky Descent (it is called Uzviz in Ukrainian) is the place where numerous artists and craftspeople display their pictures, glass articles, ceramic objects, t-shirts, various decorations, traditional Ukrainian clothing (Vyshyvanka) and what not. It is the most popular destination for buying souvenirs of any kind.
Among several restaurants, cozy cafes and bars lining Andreevsky Descent the most popular and favourite among both the locals and visitors is “Lvivska Maisternia Shokolady” (Lviv Handmade Chocolate), which is snuggled at the very bottom of the Descent. Here you may taste various delightful handmade chocolate sweets, filled chocolate, chocolate wafers, excellent cocktails, fresh juices, coffee, tea… It goes without saying, that this pretty and “delicious” chocolate cafe as well as the whole Andreevsky Descent, being a kind of an open-air museum and art centre has an extremely family friendly atmosphere.
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