At the bidding of Catherine the Great, Rastrelli, the Italian architect famous not least for the Winter Palace in St Petersburg, built this church in honour of Kiev’s most famous saint. Quite what he did wrong, I can’t imagine, but upon seeing the finished article she sacked him. Most visitors however seem to regard this as one of Kiev’s finest sights though inside it’s a museum, not a working church any longer.
If you are a fan of Bulgakov's cult classic novel, The Master and Margarita, then this is an essential visit when in Kiev. Bulgakov's house has been preserved as this small museum. However, true to the spirit of his writing, not all is as it seems...
Andriyisky Uzviz 13; open: 10am-5pm;
The street in question is Andreyevsky Spusk (Andrew’s descent) which connects the upper and lower parts of the city and is one of the oldest in Kiev.
The museum was only opened in 1991, but the idea was to gather together as many items as possible from the houses in the street through the ages and to build displays from the past, ranging from writing desks to complete room interiors and shop fronts.
It’s a small, but fascinating museum, which is certainly very popular with tourists. The staff also conduct walking tours of Kiev, so it’s a good place to start if you’re in need of a little guidance.
Andreyevsky Spusk 2b; www.artukraine.com/sites_museums/street_1.htm
St Sophia’s is a popular attraction in Kiev, especially to native visitors as it was built in 1037 by Prince Yaroslav, one of Kiev’s most celebrated leaders. The remains of the prince lie in the main church which is no longer used for religious purposes, the whole site now being a museum complex. The church also houses some very impressive and beautiful frescoes and mosaics, some of which are still in the process of being uncovered from behind subsequent layers of plaster. It’s an opportunity to have a good poke around a historic orthodox church without fear of being interrupted by a service.
This outdoor museum, about 30 minutes drive south of Kiev near the village of Pirogov, is a delight that you could easily spend the whole day exploring. They’ve gathered original houses, farm buildings and a church – among other structures - from all over the country and constructed a small village for each of the traditional regions of Ukraine. Obviously this covers quite a large area and it’s fun wandering from village to village – in between there are picnic areas and places to buy drinks and snacks.The insides of the buildings are the way they would have looked when in use. There are often people wandering around in period clothing, which helps to add to the authenticity of the experience. Organised trips are available.
Near Pirogov - take the 27 bus from Libidska metro.
For those of a fearless disposition, trips to see the legacy of the Chernobyl accident can now be taken from Kiev. These currently involve ‘from a distance’ views of the concrete sealed reactor and a look around the nearby town of Pripyat, with all its buildings abandoned at a moment’s notice back in 1986. Those who’d rather keep their distance can visit the Chernobyl museum in Kiev, which has exhibitions varying from depictions of the accident to art installations.
Museum - Provulok Khorevy 1 (in the Podil quarter).
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