Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Back in Kyiv, Ukraine

Independence Square
The only time I've been to Ukraine was back in March 2015 when I had a one-day layover in Kyiv.  I didn't get to see a lot but it was enough that I knew I would for sure make it back again.

St. Michal's Cathedral

This time I spent two days in Kyiv really exploring the city.  I did visit some of the same sights again like Independence Square, St. Michael's Cathedral and St. Andrew's Church.  
St. Andrew's Church 

Luckily this time I managed to see even more.

Pechersk Lavra is the Kyiv Monastery of the Caves.  It was founded in 1051 and it is still an important pilgrimage destination for Orthodox believers.  The 28 hectares (69 acre) complex is huge and you can tour the caves.

The National Art Museum of Ukraine has a collection of 20,000 pieces.  The building was constructed in 1898.

At Eternal Glory Park is the monument to the millions of victims of the Great Famine of 1932-1933.  Below the monument is a museum.

At the park is also the Monument of Eternal Glory.  There is an eternal flame at the tomb of the unknown soldier.  The monument was unveiled in 1957.

Ukrainian House is the International Convention Centre.  It opened in 1982 and it used to be the Vladimir Lenin Museum.

The Dynamo Stadium opened in 1934.  It is home to the Kyiv Dynamo Football Club.

The Olympic National Sports Complex is the second-largest stadium in Eastern Europe.  It opened in 1923, was expanded in 1978, and renovated in 2011.  The stadium was used during the 1980 Moscow Olympics.

The Afghanistan War Memorial was unveiled in 1994.  It honours the Ukrainian soldiers who died serving in the Soviet military during the 1979-1989 war.

The Salute Hotel was built in 1984.  It's architecture was unique for the time which made it quite popular.

The Arsenal metro station is the deepest in the world.  The station opened in 1960 and it is 105.5 metres (346 feet) deep.

It is so deep that it can take up to 10 minutes just to take both escalators down to the trains.

The Verkhovna Rada is the Supreme Council of Ukraine.  The parliament building was completed in 1939 and like most building had to be renovated after the war.

Mariyinsky Palace is the official residence of the Ukrainian President.  It was built from 1750 to 1755 and was intended to be a miniature Versailes.

Mariynsky Park was founded in 1874.  There's a granite statue at the grave of Soviet Army General Vatutin who liberated the city from the Nazis in 1944.

The Kyiv opera company is the third oldest in the country.  The Taras Shevchenko Ukrainian National Opera House opened in 1901.

The Motherland Monument was unveiled in 1981.  It is 62 metres (203 feet) tall and weighs 450 tons.

The monument is on top of the National Museum of the History of Ukraine in the Second World War.  The museum opened in 1981 and until 2015 it was simply called the Museum of the Great Patriotic War.

The museum is quite interesting and there's currently a large exhibition documenting Russian aggression in the east.

Near the Love Bridge, also known as the Devil's Bridge, is a statue called Love Story.  In 1943, Luigi was an Italian POW and Mokryna was a displaced worker.  They met in an Austrian war camp and they spent two years together.  In 2004, after 60 years, the couple was finally reunited on TV.

I was able to see quite a bit of the city.  Although I probably could have spent another day or two checking out all of the sites.  But I had limited time as I wanted to be sure to fit in my tour to Chernobyl.

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