FolkestoneJack's Tracks

Sightseeing in Kyiv: Soviet construction and destruction

Posted in Kyiv, Ukraine by folkestonejack on February 24, 2008

A walk along Khreschatyk gave a great view of post-war Stalinist architecture, with a series of apartment blocks adorned with epic archways and topped with decorative red stars. In contrast, street level on and off the main drag delivered all manner of commerce with everything from fast food outlets to luxury car showrooms. I took a detour off Khreschatyk in order to check out the last remaining statue of Lenin.

Statue of Lenin in Kyiv

I also visited St Michael’s Monastery, a striking blue building with golden domes. You could be forgiven for thinking it was a historic building, but in fact it was only reconstructed in 2001 after the original building was demolished by the Soviet regime in the 1930s. A fascinating display inside the monastery illustrated the destruction and reconstruction.

St. Michael's Monastery

The golden domes of St. Michael's Monastery

In the evening I headed to the opera house to see my first opera – Prince Igor by Alexander Borodin, which would be performed by the National Opera of Ukraine. It was a remarkable production though I was slightly bemused by the coach party who turned up, saw the first act and then never re-appeared!

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