From Kyiv With Love (Episode 3)

Green Kyiv

 Every city has two faces. Kyiv is no exception. The first face is a rather happy and smiling one. There are places to visit and nature to enjoy. I do not visit city center often, but I recommend to have a walk at Mariinski Park situated on the hills along the Dnipro River, revealing splendid views on the left bank of Kiev. You should walk through this bridge and make a wish. Couples lock their love locks on the bridge together and took pictures here. How about you?

Park

This is an imperial park, founded in 1874 by Alexander II. I have no wish to go back to its history, since it has Russian roots (they are wild nomads who destroy everything on their way, in particular Kyiv Rus), Russians took us by force and raped not only our land, but our history as well: very brutally and cruelly.

City Park

 So far we cannot banish them from our sight as well as their language that stuck to our tongue as scotch. Do not blame me for not loving Russians and everything related with them. I am just not able to respect people who do not respect others. Who is ready to destroy anything and control everything? And I do not mean politicians, I exactly talk about usual people…not all of them…but too many to turn our lives into a nightmare! Although they are not worth of being mentioned even. Now we should gain our balance and let ourselves fall in love with its nature…

Face in Park

 Beautiful, isn’t it? That is not the only park. There are many of them, I am afraid to take too much of your time.

More attention I would like to pay today to its historical face. Since Kyiv is a very old city and center of Ukrainian culture and traditions. However, it changed a lot under the influence of high-tech and money-depended world. I confess I get used to modern city, however, my grandparents and great-grandparents had another picture in their mind. Honestly, a very different one.

We are looking right now at  Dynamo Stadium named after Valeriy Lobanovsky, famous Ukrainian football player, who leaved his mark in Ukrainian football history. We are proud of such talented people. His portrait is shown in one of the columns.

Stadium.jpg

Two years ago Stadium was set on fire during our Revolution of Dignity! As you may see from the picture above Stadium has gone restoration. Now it looks like new money…but I have another feeling, somehow this place is not the same for me…I cannot walk here!

Among Kyiv’s best-known public monuments is the statue of Bohdan Khmelnytsky. It is situated on Sophiivska Square in front of St. Sophia Cathedral. He was a historical person who changed Ukrainian history. He was a Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth Noble and leader of the Zaporozhian Cossack Hetmanate, Hetman of Ukraine. Bohdan Khmelnytsky was noted for his revolt against Poland (1648 – 1654) and the Treaty of Pereyaslav which eventually led to the annexation of Ukraine by the Russian Empire. On one hand, he was a hero who wanted to fight against Polish landlords and, on the other hand, he signed his famous Treaty with Moscow which enabled Russians to settle comfortably down on Ukrainian terrain. I guess it is a kind of Ukrainian karma, we cannot be independent, we always need somebody who can  solve our problems, show us some way and lead us. Don’t you see the analogy? 21st century – current leaders of our country would like to keep up everywhere, they look at West and East, and could not find out which way money wind blows! In plain English, they probably slept away all lessons of History, since money question should not be as important as our independence and possibility to change our country drastically as well as break old corruption system. Take my word for it, it is not that difficult to do and everybody even knows how! The point is whether they are interested in it or not?

Bogdan Monument.jpg

 To make a long story short, let’s ask Bernard Show what does he think of it…and here what he says”we learn from history that man can never learn anything from history“. Perfectly said, bravo, Mr Show!

Kyiv is Eastern Orthodox religious center. In this city you can see many cathedrals and churches. All of them are historical monuments of Christianity. I am afraid to make my post too long and boring… As it is said “In this world there is always danger for those who are afraid of it“. I will try to share with you only some unique and interesting facts about our main cathedrals and churches, ok!

A masterpiece of the art and architecture of Ukraine and Europe is St. Sophia Cathedral.

St. Sofia Cathedral.jpg

The cathedral was founded by Grand Prince Yaroslav the Wise and built between 1037 and 1044 (some suggest 1017–37). The interior of the temple is being preserved since 11-th century. On the bell tower of 76 meters there is the biggest bell in Ukraine of 13 tones. It is allowed to go upstairs this tower and have a breathtaking view of the city. Anyway, it’s only for tourists who are in good physical condition! This cathedral is more than 1000 years old, can you believe it? Square in front of it is very popular among tourists and Ukrainians as well. Every time I am here, I always meet people who ask me to borrow them some money or anything else. I wonder whether it is some kind of a special place where you should donate something or help somebody. You have to come here and share with me your story, deal?

St. Michael’s Cathedral, with its fabulously shining domes, is one of the most beautiful and important Orthodox temples in Ukraine. Built in the 90s.

St.Michael Cathedral.jpg

 It is named in honor of St. Michael – the protector of Kyiv. Its nickname, the Golden-Domed Cathedral, comes from the fact that it was the first and only church with such extravagant domes in ancient Rus.  The reconstruction of the Saint Michael’s Church began on 24 May 1997.  It has been fully restored and now it looks really great. This Cathedral played his role during our Revolution of dignity. After the horrible night of November 29-30th, when young students were attacked by special police, poor students found their shelter here. They were injured and scared to death, local monks helped them to hide and closed the gates for any officials. Later St. Micheal’s bells sounded the alarm…it was just the beginning of Great Ukrainian Revolution of Dignity (November 2013 – February 2014). I come here quite often and not only for religious holidays, but just a put a candle and pray. When you go inside, you feel some magical warmth that gives you hope and faith. Cathedral is really huge and has some power on you.

Monument to Cyrill, Methodius, St. Andrew and Princess Olga is located in St. Michael’s Square, opposite St Michael Cathedral.

St. Olga.jpg

 At the heart of this sculpture is a statue of the composition of Grand Duchess Olga is the first and only woman – the head of state in the history of Ukraine. By the right side of it are educators of the Slavic peoples Cyril and Methodius, and left sitting Apostle Andrew, he points to the “holy mountain of Kiev.” Olga was the first who adopted Christianity in Rus. Grand Duchess Olga was always next to her husband Ihor and even after his death she reigned and helped to defend Kyiv while growing her son Volodymyr. She’s known to be a tough lady who could do everything from driving in a nail to entering a burning house or stopping a stampeding horse.  As Coco Chanel said “Women must tell men always that they are the strong ones. They are the big, the strong, the wonderful. In truth, women are the strong ones. It is just my opinion, I am not a professor“.

St. Andrew Church has an unusual location and architecture.

St. Andrew Church.jpg

This Church was built on an artificial hill and it uses terrace of a two-story building – stylobate, where long cast-iron staircase leads to its foundation.This is the only monument of architecture, history and painting of the 18th century in Ukraine, created in style of imperial baroque according to the project of Italian architect Rastrelli. Out of all sacral monuments of this outstanding architect, where interiors were saved partially and initial decoration either was not preserved at all, or remained in small fragments, St. Andrew`s Church has preserved the most authentic look till present time. Unfortunately, Kyiv was severely destroyed during World War IInd, later Communists have taken it to pieces. Tell me what should we have done with Communists, any suggestions? I have only one and, trust me, it must not be said aloud due to censorship…

Every big city has an old part which is a favorite destination for walks and creative zone for craftsmen and artists. In other words, Kyiv has its own Montmartre – Andriyivsky Uzviz.

Podol Goes Down.jpg

Andriyivsky Uzviz was one of the main streets in the times of Kyiv Rus. Back then, it connected the upper and the lower part of the town (Podol) and was so narrow, that only pedestrians and those on horseback were able to go down it. Only in the 18th century was the street widened, enabling carriages and loaded carts to pass through it. The descent got its current name after St. Andrew’s Church built at the top. Nowadays, it serves as a market for typical Ukrainians souvenirs for tourists. Prices are also only for tourists! Officially this street is closed for cars, but as you recolonize from the pictures, some very cool ones are able to get there. This is a common and incurable disease – disobey rules. Ukrainians caught it and would not like to take right medicine against it. Or there is no right medicine yet. I hardly can understand Ukrainians, more often  I would like to force their minds think differently, however, I am useless. Ukrainians even do not read my posts… why would they?

Podol.jpg

 In this street you can find many pubs and restaurants in Ukrainian style.

Local Restaurant.jpg

 You will be impressed with our menu offerings, there is always a wide choice. For some of you it can be exotic, since you may not be familiar with such extravagant dish as borsch (beetroot soup) or meat in jelly (not a dessert), which are frequently cooked in Ukraine. Whereas I strongly advice you to taste our vareniky (similar to ravioli) or stuffed cabbage (meat-and-rice balls covered with cabbage leaf), you will not regret. One  friend’s advice – do not take a great on Ukrainian vodka, otherwise you take a risk to have the same fate as this cat… (somebody can make a picture of you and not in your best state)

After Restaurant.jpg

This is not my last post devoted to Kyiv, since there are too many places yet to share with you and tease you as well. This city takes a lot of your time and attention. You have to try to feel it and comprehend what you saw. Now I give you some minutes to think and answer my question: “What did you see in the picture below?”…

Being Ukrainian.jpg

I kindly ask you to finish this post instead of me. I am going behind the curtain, you have the final word, my dear Friends! I need to hear your thoughts and ideas, please be so kind!

To be continued!

Yours Ann

P.S. Looking forward to your final word! As an encouragement I promise to start my next post about Kyiv with citation of your comments! 

 

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30 thoughts on “From Kyiv With Love (Episode 3)

  1. Ann,
    Your writing is quaint and I enjoyed the photo blog very much. Coincidentally I am reading a book where a man cycled across the world in 195 days and broke a Guinness Record – he passed from Poland to Ukraine and travelled at least 3 days through Ukraine before he reached Bulgaria. I was very interested to read in the book and in your post of the Polish-Ukrainian connection.
    When Russia tried to annexe Ukraine recently, I couldn’t understand much of the politics of it – but all the killing and the sorrow seems so unnecessary. All killings and taking over and bullying are unnecessary.
    I enjoyed your post thoroughly and learnt a lot from your post.
    Thanks,
    Susie

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you, Susie, your words are like a perfect music to my ears, so sweet of you! Trying to understand our relationships with Russia is a tricky thing, you have to be born here. The problem is that Russia cannot let us go, cannot let us live freely. Russia is under the power of 21st century Hitler and Ukraine pays a huge price for it. I agree that innocent victims are unnecessary, but these are the victims of real war. You have to know, Susie, that we have a real war in the Eastern part of our country and this is the truth which not so many people are eager to accept, and country who started it and who kills Ukrainians is Russia…it is pure truth, unfortunately! Russia – country who calls itself our Big Brother!
      I appreciate your thoughts and your kind attention to my post! Hugs! Thank you, dear Susie!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Your compliment is very rewarding, dear Monica, I feel high! I know that old and modern are not always in tandem, but I believe that history is in the present. History repeats and if we learn its lessons, we can have great achievements in future!
      Wish you great Friday and happy weekend!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Very nice post and photos! 🙂 In picture I see a woman who protects Kiev, or maybe all Ukraine! Such person nowadays is very necessary for Ukraine! Who can be her? Maybe You? From your posts, I know, that You can be the right person for sure! I vote for You!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Your idea about picture is so right and so sweet! I am hugging you for it. I think I can be a good person, but maybe I am lack of knowledge and power, what a pity. However, if I have a chance, I will take it with pleasure. I believe that my country needs me! Thank you so much, dear Friend!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Carole, first of all, thank you for this amazing link, pictures are fabulous. And yes, I know that there are many Ukrainians in Canada. Canadian diaspora of Ukrainians is the biggest in the world and includes more than 1 million Ukrainians. I can even tell you that son of our relatives recently went to Canada to work for 2 years, he always dreamt of it. Ukrainians do feel quite comfortable in Canada and they find there new life. They almost feel there like at second home!
      Secondly, dear Carole, thank you for your kind words about my city, it is lovely, but needs reconstruction a bit and good investment as well. If I just can do something more than only talking about its beauty, it really needs serious care. You are most welcome to come and make photos any time, but I highly recommend to come in spring when everything is blooming here! Happy Friday and lovely weekend before Christmas!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Wonderful post Ann. The young lady in the mural perhaps is representing hope for the future. My grandmother said something similar to Coco in that in a successful marriage the woman should be in control but let a man think that he is. Your photos bring out the beauty of Kiev and thank you for sharing your thoughts and the history. The park looks like lovely place for a walk.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Dear Maverick, you are so sweet, thank you! Your idea about picture is very nice and positive. I agree with you, hope is in our hearts, hope for the best future for our country and our people without war and in stable economically developed country. I do love my land sometimes too much, I know that there are obstacles on our way, but we can always hope for the best. Coco is always right, she was really a wisdom woman, I adore her! So when you are in Kyiv, I invite you for a walk in this park, ok? And do not forget that you have to taste Ukrainian cuisine, deal? Nice Friday and warm weekend before Christmas! Take care! Is everything ready for Christmas? All presents are bought?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I’d very much enjoy the walk in the park and also you would be one of Kiev’s best attractions. I most definitely would have to try the food. All ready for Christmas here. It’s been warm here so most likely no white Christmas this year. Hope your holidays are going well.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Very interesting the whole post. Thanks for sharing all of this.
    I also think that the girl/lady/woman in the painting covers and protects the buildings and houses from evil and hardship. There are three churches which means religion plays a role in the survival of the people living there. The bottom parts are painted in cups which could mean that people love to be together drinking a cup of tea or coffee.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I like your description very much, you got the right point, dear Friend! Churches play important role in our life, I suppose we become more religious, we try to follow traditions and keep conncetion. Somehow they become third power. Priests played serious role in political situation. Thank you for reading my post and sharing your idea, as I promised I will include it in my next post devoted to Kyiv, I appreciate your kind attention! Wish you lovely Friday and happy forthcoming weekend before Christmas! Hugs!

      Like

    1. Thank you, dear Jo! Yes, St. Michael’s became an important part of the Revolution times and I guess such place should exist in every city and country. People should feel themselves safe in churches! You are very attention, I appreciate your kind words very much!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. As usual nice post with beautiful pics. It is nice to see your city through your lens. We all know that you are fighting for freedom but not much aware about the game your neighbor is playing there. In this post you just hinted about that and I can understand, through you, what kind of hatred people are having for Russia. Any kind of oppression, killing are too bad. Independence, freedom is the birth right of all.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. So kind of you, thank you, dear Anil! Thank you so much for reading my post very thoroughly, you are very attentive! I do not hate Russians, but I cannot respect them as well. Hatred is a too strong feeling, which this nation do not deserve. Unfortunately, our relationships with Russia are really complicated and difficult to explain in several posts, but I do my best. World has to know the truth. Hope I can be quite objective, this topic is also very painful for me and quite personal. Have a nice weekend! Take care, Anil!

      Liked by 1 person

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  7. What an excellent post, Ann. The detail you have given about this beautiful and historic city is fascinating. It’s a city that has witnessed much turmoil and bloodshed, and unfortunatekly, not all of it is in the distant past. I enjoyed your journey through some of the history of Kyiv and the notable people of its past. Your photos are just stunning, and used so well to illustrate your points.
    The final picture to me shows a ‘Mother Gooddess’ type of figure (or perhaps a famous woman from Kyiv’s history) who nurtures, cares for and protects her city and its people. One of her arms is cradling the city, the other is perhaps lifting a child out of harm’s way, or simply just answering his questions.
    Thank you for an enjoyable read.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I love your idea about last picture, thank you! You caught it very right. I feel the same when I look at this young Ukrainian lady who protects and cares for her child – Ukraine! I will definitely cite you in my next post devoted to my city! Excellent!

      Like

    1. Hello, Terry! Thank you a lot for your great words! Now weather has changed drastically, it is -12 and snowing. These pictures were made much sooner! Now we are surviving in cold weather with a hot cup of tea in our hands, join us! Have a nice day! Thank you for dropping by! Ann

      Liked by 1 person

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