What did I know about Kiev before I arrived there? Not much to be honest. I think the Eurovision Song Contest happened here. And I read an article about the city during the contest that it was worth a visit. So let’s be clear about this. It’s an understatement. Kiev is definitely a city which you have to see.
For both of us it was the first time in Kiev and since we already got lost on the way from the airport to the hotel we needed a tour through the city. A new city means a free walking tour because there is just no better way to get your bearings. We therefore signed up with Freetour which meets directly at the Maidan.
The Maidan is the main square in Kiev and every time the city is on the news you see it on TV. So exciting then to stand here and see for myself. History has been made here. And the guide from the walking tour makes it absolutely clear that they would get up and demonstrate again if necessary. One of the typical Russian buildings sits here as well. Only half finished with a missing tower, but it’s clear where this is coming from.
A reminder of a more glorious past is the Lyadski Gate, one of the three medieval city gates. This is really a reminder because it was built in 2001.
The ugly skyscraper though is not the only thing left from the Russian era. There is also the small issue with the ministry of Foreign Affairs which is ugly as hell. The Russian domination aspect is all over this building. Not sure why they leave it there but otherwise it is a handy reminder that you never want to go under Russian yoke again.
But that was it with the ugliness. At least on this side of the river Dnieper. The rest of the city was sublime. Like the St. Michael’s Monastery with the many golden domes.
Or St. Andrew’s Church which thrones over the city in colorful green and white.
Also take a look at these sculptures in the Fashion Park. I love how the Little Prince and Alice in Wonderland brought the park alive. The children climbed all over the pieces.
We also managed to catch at St. Sophia’s Cathedral which we explored in detail later. The huge empty square in front of the main tower was so hot that we just wanted to move in to the shade.
Finally the tour ended at the Golden Gate, another one of the three medieval gates. This one at least is a bit older since the Soviets rebuilt it in 1982. There were only some traces left from the 11th century anyway, but it definitely didn’t look like this. No matter though, it makes for a fabulous building. Yours, Pollybert