VIEW SITES IN THE DISTRICTS OF KIEV
Upper (Old) city
During the excursion around Kyiv, a tourist often wants to view the city from a bird’s eye view. But people are not birds. True in our time it is possible to do this with the help of such a technical innovation as the quadrocopter. But not every tourist has this technical innovation. And there is no sense in carrying this device with you. Due to the landscape of the city, nature itself provided the tourist with an opportunity to admire the city from a height. For this it is enough to climb a number of high-rise points in Kyiv. Our guides on excursions are ready to show you all kinds of view sites in Kyiv.
Detynka hill. You can get out on this mountain from the side of the Landscape alley, admiring in passing modern art and picturesque lawns.
Zamkova Hill (Eng. Castle hill) (in the past: Khoryvytsia, Kysilivka, Frolovska). On this mountain leads a solid staircase – the result of Ukrainian-Lithuanian friendship. In the XIV century on the mountain was built Lithuanian castle. In memory of this, the Lithuanians paid for the construction of the staircase to the Zamkova Hill. From the mountain opens a wonderful view of Podil and slowly flowing into the distance of the Dnipro. If there is a desire, then along the path you can go to that part of Zamkova Hill, where there is an abandoned cemetery of Frolovsky Women’s Monastery, peacefully adjacent to the neo-pagan temple. From the same hill you can admire the elite development of micro-districts Honchari and Kozhumyaky with their multi-coloured houses (people called these micro-districts sleeping quarters of millionaires).
Uzdykhalnytsia hill . On this mountain, as well as on Zamkova Hora, you can get on the stairs from the side of Andriivsky Descent. True, the staircase (compared to the stairs to the Zamkova Hora) could be better. But if the difficulties do not frighten you, then you will be rewarded with a wonderful view of Podil (similar to Zamkova) and the Andriivsky Descent. In passing, you can listen to the story of the ghosts of Richard Castle, located nearby.
Starokyivska Hill. The observation deck of this mountain is located next to the National Museum of Ukrainian History. To expand the panoramic view, the museum’s management decided to remove green plantations from the slope of this hill, but it did not add any specific beauty.
Shchekavytsia Hill. This is one of the three hills (along with Starokyivska and Khoryvytsia-Zamkova), on which the ancient Kyiv arose. In the V-VIII centuries there was a settlement, the basis of which is associated with the name of brother Kyi (the founder of the city) – Shchek. In the XI-XIII centuries on the hill there was a small monastery with a church with it, which is mentioned in the annals. The monk of this monastery (“Pop Vasyl”) was invited to the hegumenity of the Kyiv-Pechersk Monastery. From the hill you can see the Podil and the Dnipro with Trukhanov Island.
Yurkovytsia Hill. In the XIII-XIV centuries on this hill was the residence of the Baskak (governor of the Khan of the Golden Horde), and to the west of it there was a small Tatar settlement (now here is the micro-district Tatarka). From this hill you can see the ancient part of Kyiv, named Ploske (Ploskoe). Now this part of Kyiv is an industrial development. The oldest part of this building adjoins directly to Yurkovytsia Hill. Back in the XVII century the Cyril Monastery built here a “Tsegelnia” (brick factory), which extracted clay directly from the thickness of the hill, and also a distillery. Then these enterprises became property of the Cossack colonel Gudyma. In the years 1860-1909 here existed and acted beer factory, supplied with an amber drink Kyiv and its district. Colourful corps and pipes of this plant have survived until now (although in a neglected state).
The Volodymyrska Hill. It is a spur of the Mykhailivska hill, on which the St. Michael’s Golden-Domed Monastery is located and never (to the beginning of the XIX century) in a separate “hill” was not allocated. At the beginning of the XIX century (after the victory over Napoleon), the decision of the Kyiv provincial government, this spur of the Mykhailivska hill began to be called the Aleksandrovska hill (it was planned to erect a monument to the “winner” of Napoleon – the Russian Emperor Alexander I). However, after the death of Alexander I in 1825, the project of the monument to him was forgotten. At the same time, another decision was made to build a monument to Prince Volodymyr the Baptist on the Alexander hill in Kyiv, as Kyiv Governor-General V. Levashov repeatedly wrote to the new Emperor Nicholas I. In 1853 a sculpture of Prince Volodymyr was erected on a pedestal in the form of a Byzantine chapel I the Baptist of the work of Vasiliy Demut-Malinovsky. Since that time, the Alexander hill began to bear the name of Volodymyrska Hill. There is a an arbour with a wonderful view of the monument and the Dnipro, and also (during the summer period) there are kiosks with coffee and soft drinks.
No less interesting panoramic views open from man-made viewing platforms.
St. Andrew’s Church. The entrance to its observation deck is paid, and the view from it opens almost the same as from the Uzdykhalnytsia. But the opportunity to take a photo in the immediate vicinity of the UNESCO World Heritage Site, which is this wonderful St. Andrew’s Church, is worth the money that you will spend at the entrance.
Bell-tower with the Holy Gates of St. Michael’s Golden-Domed Monastery. At the end of the XVII century there was a wooden bell-tower on this place. In 1716-1720, under the leadership of the master I. Matveyevich, brick-stone was erected in its place. In 1934, this bell-tower was destroyed by the Bolsheviks. In October 1997, its restoration began on the project of architects: E. Zakharchenko, R. Kukharenko, Y. Lositsky, A. Miroshnichenko. The total height of the bell-tower is 48.28 m. During the restoration of the bell tower, which was completed in May 1998, the old foundations were covered with reinforced concrete slab. In the lower (of the three) tier of the bell-tower are placed icon and souvenir shops, as well as the entrance to the museum of the history of St. Michael’s Golden-Domed Monastery, the exposition of which is located on two tiers. The desire to survey Kyiv from the height of the bell-tower of the monastery can be combined with an examination of the museum’s exposition, in which there is also the shrine of the great martyr Varvara. The entrance ticket to the bell-tower is also the entrance ticket to the museum. Why do not take advantage of the opportunity and touch the history? The clock on the upper tier of the bell-tower existed since the 18th century. Modern clock is associated with 60 bells. The musical instrument is carillon. The computer clock, donated by the Austrian firm “Schauer & Sachs”, is connected with the help of electromagnetic devices with all the chromatic set of bells (used for the first time in the Orthodox monastery), which makes it possible to play any melodies. Every hour, the clock plays a different melody (there are 24 melodies), among which are: Ukrainian Anthem, “Reve ta Stogne Dnipr shyrokyi”, “Song about Kyiv”, “Prayer for Ukraine”, “Mnogaia Lita”, etc. On the days of great Orthodox holidays and also on Sundays, if you find yourself at the bell-tower at 16:40, you will have the opportunity to enjoy the chime of the bells being performed by the monks in a manual mode.
Bell-tower at the St.Sofia Cathedral. Bells on the bell-tower of the St. Sophia Cathedral have long been silent, so that their vibrations do not destroy the priceless mosaics of the cathedral, which is also listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. However, the view that opens from the height of the bell-tower, simply fascinating. In addition, a guided tour of the museum will reveal to you hitherto unknown pages of our rich history.
The bell-tower of the Kyiv-Pechersk Monastery. This bell-tower was also built in the beginning of the XVI century. Having bought a ticket to the bell-tower, you can visit it only by it. No museums are “loaded”, as in the previous two cases, it is not relied upon. But the stunning views from the observation deck to the city and the Dnipro offset your financial expenditure.
Interesting fact. In the XVIII century all three bell-towers (St.Sophia’s, St. Michael’s Golden-Domed and Pechersk’s monasteries) were visible one from the other (due to the low-rise buildings of that time it was possible) and the chime of their bells was heard (with the current noise level in the metropolis, this effect is lost). The first to start ringing bells on the Great Bell Tower of the Pechersk Monastery (it was considered the main bell tower, since it was in the Lavra, the monastery subordinated directly to the Patriarch called Lavra), then their bell rang the bells of the Sofia bell-tower (because the St. Sophia Cathedral was considered a metropolitan temple, the metropolitan was the second after the Patriarch in hierarchy of Orthodox churches), following the bells of the St. Sophia bell-tower, the chime of the bells of St. Michael’s Golden-Domed Monastery’s bell-tower and only then (parish) churches were allowed to beat the bells.
The Motherland Monument. It is located on the territory of the Museum of Ukrainian History in the World War II. It is a monument located on the higher right bank of the Dnipro and built to the Victory Day in 1981. The height of the sculpture itself is 62 m, and the total (with the pedestal) is 102 m. There are two view sites (at an altitude of 36 and 62 m) . If you know what the queue is for the Statue of Liberty in New York, then the queue for Motherland Monument in Kyiv will be to you for nothing. However, so that your standing in the queue for the elevator to Motherland Monument was not in vain, do not be dressed in a beach clothes. A reliable fact: a tourist from Germany, who has stood a large queue to the elevator, he was refused to rise on the grounds that he was in flip flops.
Starokyivska Hill – one of the central Kyiv hills, located in the Upper City. According to legend, Kyiv life was born in these places. Prince Kyi founded his city, as reminded by a memorable sign – a stone with inscribed words “Hence the land of the Rus appeared”. Presumably, in the north-western part of the modern Starokyivska mountain there was a “Kyi’s castle” – V-IX century. On the mountain, parts of the walls of the prince’s detynets and the foundation of the first stone church of Kyivan Rus laid by Prince Volodymyr – the Church of the Tithes (989-996) were partially preserved. Today on the Starokyivska mountain there is the Landscape alley – founded in the 1980s a viewing platform, where from the hillside there is a picturesque view of Vozdvyzhenka and Podil. Since 2009 sculptor K. Skretutsky began to decorate the Landscape alley with fabulous mosaic characters: centipede cats, elephant fountains, Alice in Wonderland, etc. And the Little Prince from the Saint-Exupery novel is a gift from the French Cultural Centre. In 2011 in the framework of the project “Kyiv fashion park”, 17 art objects were installed in the alley as a gift to the city. Today, the Landscape alley is under the protection of UNESCO.
Volodymyrska Hill – a magnificent place with a view of the Dnipro, where the baptism of Rus took place by Prince Volodymyr the Great. This place is unique as it is located in the heart of the business part of the city, being a green island in the concrete clamps of a modern city. For a long time this place was called the Mykhailivska hill, after the name of the St. Michael’s monastery, founded in 1108. With the beginning of the XIX century Kyiv from a small fair town turned into a major provincial city. In the 1830-1840’s the slopes of the Volodymyrska Hill were fortified for the ability to lay out a park. The park reached the greatest popularity in the period of 1850-1880. At that time, Volodymyrska Hill Park was the only free park in Kyiv. In 1853 at the top of the hill was erected a monument to Volodymyr the Baptist, which became the main attraction of the park, and later the main symbol of Kyiv. With the advent of technical progress since 1890, the cross on the monument to Volodymyr began to illuminate. In 1905 on the Volodymyrska hill was built a funicular connecting Mykhailivska Square and Podil. The Volodymyrska Hill Park is divided into three levels. The upper one is on the same level as the St. Michael’s Cathedral, on the middle level there is a monument to the Grand Duke Volodymyr the Baptist, the lower level extends along the foot of the mountain from the European Square to Podil. From the top of the park opens a magnificent panorama on the left bank of the Dnipro. At one time the park was a favourite place for walks of the Ukrainian writer I. Nechuy-Levytsky, who wrote a story “Evening on the Volodymyrska hill”
Yurkovitsa mountain. According to the origins, one of the three brothers-founders of Kiev Horeb was on Yurkovitsa mountain. It goes up to Nizhneyurkovska Street. Today, the territory of the mountain is under construction, what incenses the activists of protection the historical places. The fences blocked the passage to the mountain so that people had only a narrow path. But the mountain offers a beautiful view to Podol.
Schekavitsa mountain – is located between Tatarka and Podol. It offers a wonderful view to Podol, The River Dnieper and the left bank of Kiev. According to the “Tale of Bygone Years”, the mountain got its name from one of the founders of Kiev Shchek, who settled here. Also according to the origins it is believed that here is the grave of the Prince of Kiev Oleg. The history of the mountain of 18th-19th centuries is associated with burials. In 1772, a cemetery was founded on Shchekavitsa mountain. In the 1860s the Tatars begin to settle here. The first settlers were 60 Tatar families, the main occupation of which were soap making and trade. During the archaeological excavations on Shchekavitsa mountain, the remains of a stone structure of 12th-13th centuries were found. Presumably these are the ruins of the temple. Today, you can admire the beautiful view, make unforgettable photos and even meditate there. Some people say that the mountain can restore health and provide positive energy.
Uzdykhalnytsia Hill – the most romantic hill of the capital. It was first mentioned in the middle of the 16th century. In the times of Kyivan Rus’ opposite the mountain was the military camp of the prince’s youngest retinue. According to the legend, the young ladies were not allowed to go there, but if one of them began to miss her beloved, she climbed the opposite hill, waved her lovely handkerchief, sighing and sending air kisses. So the hill became Uzdykhalnytsia . According to another version the name of the hill due to the fact that climbing this hill, people sighed with relief. Today the hill is a favourite place for tourists. On the hill there is a house – the Castle of Richard the Lionheart, the theaters “Academy” and “Wheel”, the Museum of one street and the M. Bulhakov Museum, an openind day in the open air, numerous exhibitions. Tourists are also attracted to the hill by the rumour that once it could be climbed through the secret passages and galleries Castle of Richard. Old-timers remember how, through the tunnels, staircases and galleries of Richard’s Castle, you could get to the top of the hill and enjoy an amazing view of Podil. Unfortunately, access to the famous house is closed today. But this is not an excuse to deny yourself the pleasure of discovering amazing places of power in Kyiv. The observation deck is led by a ladder from Richard’s Castle. From the Uzdykhalnytsia you can see the Castle Hill, the Dnipro, Podil, and the left bank of the capital. Now on the top of the hill has been held the festival of Ukrainian youth cinema “Open Night” for several years already.
Cherepanova Hill is a historical place in Kyiv. It is an elevation, located between the Esplanadna Str., Hospitalna Str., Lesia Ukrainka Blvd. And Konovalets Str.. Once there was the estate of the Kyiv Governor Pavlo Cherepanov, from where the name of the hill supposedly originated. Cherepanova Hora had an important strategic importance in the defence complex of Kyiv. Here ended the New Pechersk Fortress and the esplanade began. Since the 1920s at the foot of the Cherepanov hill was built a stadium, and the slopes of the mountain served as a tribune. Today on the site of the former stadium is NSC Olimpiyskyi. Also on Cherepanov hill there are “Premier Hotel Rus”, National University of Physical Education and Sports, Hospital strengthening of the museum complex “Kyiv Fortress”. The most famous place of the Hospital fortification is the fortification “Kosyi Kaponir”, from where you can see a panoramic view of the NSC “Olympiyskyi” and the New Development. In the evenings couples often come here to admire the sunset and the starry sky.
Detinka hill – is a wedge shaped hill of Starokyivska Mountain, located near the natural boundary of Honchari-Kozhumyaky (from the Podil side). Presumably takes its name from the central fortification of Kyiv – Detynets, located at the foot of the mountain in the times of Kyivan Rus. Archaeological monuments of the Zarubintsi-Korchevat culture (III century BC – I-II centuries AD) were found at the Detinka hill. Remains of the Christian cemetery (XII-XIII centuries) were also found. The Detinka hill is mentioned in various historical documents. Thus, in the “Revision of the Castle of Kyiv” (XVI century), the hill is described as an important link in the fortified part of the city – Detynets. Today it is a protected area and Kyivans’ favourite place for leisure.
Zamkova Hill – is a high hill with a history of several thousand years, was one of the central parts of Kyiv in the times of Kyivan Rus, fortified with defensive structures. Here was the handicraft district of the capital city. In the times of Kyivan Rus, the mountain was called Horyvytsia (also known as Kyselivka and Florovska), from the 15th century becomes Zamkova. The origin of the name is associated with the construction of a wooden castle built after the entry of Kyiv in 1363 into the Lithuanian Principality. There is a version that the fortifications were erected by the Kyivites in 1240 after Khan Batyi devastated Kyiv, destroyed the fortress on the Starokyivska mountain, which is nearby. In 1840, the Castle Hill is transferred to the Florovsky Convent under the cemetery. In 1921, the cemetery was closed, and with the outbreak of the Great Patriotic War in 1941, a military unit was placed on the Zamkova Hirka, which served the radio station, which was built here which was used to jam signals from foreign broadcasting stations. At the same time the military conducted to the mountain communication, finally destroyed the surviving sections of the old cemetery. In the 1990s the radio station for unnecessary dismantling, and the construction of the military unit was taken down for construction materials. Today, the hill is an ambiguous place, with which many legends and mystics are associated. Rising above the Dnipro on 80 m, from the Castle Hill offers an excellent view of Podil, Andriivsky Descent, St. Andrew’s Church and Vozdvyzhenka.
The St. Andrew’s Church – built by the order of Elizabeth the Empress as part of the Kiev royal residence, consisting of the Mariinskyi Palace and the palace church in 1749–1754 in the Baroque style designed by F.-B. Rastrelli. The temple is built on a steep spur of the Ancient Kiev Plateau, which served as a pedestal for the construction of the church. At this point, according to the chronicle “The Tale of Bygone Years”, in ancient times the mountain on which now the church stands was surrounded by the sea. Predicting the foundation of a large city, in the 1st century AD Andrew the First-Called the Apostle set a cross, and the water mysteriously retreated. According to a legend, now the church closes the underground sea, which can only be awakened by a bell ringing, triggering the second world flood. That is why, the bell tower was not built in the St. Andrew’s Church. Because of the location of the church on the top of the hill, its territory offers a panoramic view of the Andreevsky Descent and Podol.
Pechersk Bell tower – bell-tower of the Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra, erected in 1731-1745. It is an octagonal four-tier baroque tower with a gilded dome and reaches 96.5 m in height. It is worth noting that the design itself is inclined at 62 cm in the northeast direction. The clock on the fourth tier of the Lavra bell-tower has reached present day since 1903. In 2015, after the restoration works, the bell tower was opened for a visit. Now everyone can go up to the third tier, thus having overcome 374 steps. From the viewing platform, located at an altitude of 32.6 m, a panoramic view of the entire territory of the Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra, the Dnipro, the Right and Left Bank.
The St. Sophia’s Bell tower – the bell tower of St. Sophia’s Cathedral. It was the first stone structure built in the courtyard of the Sophia Monastery after the fire of 1697. The height of the bell tower reaches 76 m. It is worth noting that the St. Sophia Cathedral is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The Sophia bell tower is a vivid example of Ukrainian architecture of the 18th century. Its festive architecture, it stands out among the surrounding buildings, adorning the overall silhouette of the city. From the top of the bell tower you can see the central part of the capital. You can go up to the bell tower any day, the entrance is paid.
The St. Mikhael’s Bell tower – the bell tower of St. Michael’s Golden-Domed Cathedral, built in the late 1990’s. The three-tier bell tower was completely reconstructed from the photographs of the original bell tower, built in 1716-1720 and destroyed in the 1930s. In the bell tower there is a museum of the history of the St. Michael’s Monastery and its architectural ensemble. Here you can see ancient icons and frescoes, hand-written gospels and the preserved Royal Gates (forged doors of the 12th century). On the second floor of the lower tier, the Three-Sainted Church is consecrated. On the bell-tower there are modern clock-chimes and a unique bell-tool carillon, which allows performing complex melodies. At the very top of the St. Michael’s bell-tower there is an observation deck, from which the point of view exceeds the height of the terrace of the Volodymyrska Hill. From here you can see the Dnipro and part of the Left Bank. The bell-tower is open to everybody. Requiring payment.
Vydubychi. In the ancient tract of Vydubychi, where Perun was “pumping out”, now the Central Botanical Garden is located. There are a lot of natural and artificial terraces, from which opens picturesque view to the slopes, decorated with coloured garlands vegetation. There are other view sites at the Bald mountain where you can observe suburbs of Kiev and make nice picnic.
The Monument to Motherland was opened in 1981 on the Victory Day and it is included in ten highest statues in the world, whose height is 102 m. The construction from stainless steel is all-welded weighing 450 t. The statue symbolizes the feminine principle, the strength of the spirit of the Ukrainian people and it was established on the slopes of the Dnieper so that it can be seen even in remote areas of Kiev. There are two elevators and observation platforms, with an impressive view of the city in the monument. One site is located at the feet of the statue at a height of 36 m (the height of a 12-storey building), the other – at a height of 91 m (from the back of the shield above the fingers of the left hand of the sculpture). Today it is the largest sculpture in Ukraine, and it is included in the “Guinness World Records Book of Ukraine”. The Museum of Ukraine in World War II is locted at the foot of the monument.
The Pechersk Plateau. On the slope of this plateau are laid wonderful shady alleys, passing one into another Petrivska Alley, the Park Road, the Alley of Heroes of Krut. From here opens a picturesque view of the Dnipro. From here you can go to Pechersky Landscape Park (near the Park of Eternal Glory). The observation platform near the obelisk is a favourite place for selfy and photos of guests and Kyivans. A view of the Dnipro and the left bank of the city from there are simply mesmerizing. No wonder Prince Volodymyr the Great (Baptist) chose Berestovo village as his favourite residence (it was in the place of the Park of Eternal Glory).