Shot of the Day – House with Chimeras (Kyiv, Ukraine)

House of Chimera

Situated on Bankova Street, directly across from the Presidential Administration Building, is one of the most recognizable of Kyiv’s landmark buildings..The House with Chimeras.  It was designed and built in 1901-1902 by the architect Vladislav Gorodetsky.

He orginally intended to use the building as “upscale” apartments but financial problems caused him to lose the property as collateral on a defaulted loan.

Today, it is used as an official government building for meeting with official state visitors.

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Shot of the Day – Kyiv, Feofaniya Park

Feofaniya Park

Following up yesterday’s post of St. Panteleimon’s Cathedral (Nunnery) , I thought a word or two about Feofaniya Park would be appropriate.  This rolling hills park with it’s wide bricked paths and multiple ponds reminded me of my home city parks in Denver, Colorado. While most parks in Kyiv seemed to be mainly uncontrolled forests with paths, Feofaniya is sculptured, trimmed and a botanical beauty, filled with flowers, trees and shrubs. In my mind, it is surpassed only by the M.M. Gryshko National Botanical Gardens.

It is definetly worth the metro ride to the Ipodrom stop and short (#768)  Marshutka ride. Entrance is free to the park and transportation will set you back an even 5 uah (less than $1.00 USD)

Feofaniya Park Gazebo

Park Brick Paths

St. Panteleimon's Cathedral standing guard

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Shot of the Day – St. Panteleimon’s Cathedral (Kyiv)

St. Pantheleimon Nunnery

St. Pantheleimon Nunnery is a wonderful Eastern Orthodox  cathedral located neighbourhood of Theophania. It is considered a high point in Russian Revival ecclesiastical architecture. It can be most easily reached by taking the Blue metro line to the Ipodrom stop and marshrutka #768 to the end of it’s run.. Then a short walk down hill to the park entrance.. Total cost – 5 uah for transportation …  park entrance is free.



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Kyiv – Shot(s) of the Day

Apt 1 Mosaic Apt 2 Mosaic Apt 3 Mosaic Apt 4 Mosaic Apt 5 Mosaic Apt 6Mosaic Metro Mosaic Street Mosaics

Ok.. more than A shot.. but I was walking around Kyiv the other and and noticed 6 apartment buildings with these wonderful mosaics on the end facing the street..  I realized that mosaics like this are actually all over town. You can find them most prominently on apartment buildings, but also, in the metro stations, grocery stores, schools.. everywhere..  It’s awesome !

Kyiv – Shot of the Day

Lavra Spring

One of my favorite shots in Kyiv, Ukraine.. The Persheka Lavra shown through blossoms on an tree..  Sorry, I never did identify the tree.. probably should have but it was more the image of spring I was going for 🙂


St. Michael’s Cathedral

From Sofiyska Square, you will see another cathedral to the east.. St. Michael’s Golden Domed Monastery which sits on Mykhailivska Square.

St. Michael's Golden Domed Monastery and Mykhailivska SquareThe original cathedral was built in the middle ages and dedicated to the Archangel Michael. It was demolished in the 1930’s after falling into disrepair but was reconstructed and reopened after Ukrainian independence in the late 90’s. While it is not an exact reconstruction of the original, St. Michaels is a beautiful sight to see.

Also on the square, is a monument to Olga of Kiev. Her husband, Igor of Kiev, was killed and she ruled as regent for her son Svyatoslav. If you read into the history of her rule, you will see she was ruthless in her protection of Kiev.Olga of Kiev

St. Micheal's

St. Sophia’s Cathedral and Sophia’s Square

St. Sophia's Cathedral - Street view

St. Sophia’s Cathedral – Street view

Saint Sophia’s Cathedral complex is one of Kiev’s most recognizable landmarks. It is known in Ukrainian as Sobor Sviatoyi Sofiyi (Собор Святої Софії) or Sofiyskyi Sobor (Софійський собор). It was built between 1037 – 1299 during the reign of Yaroslav the Wise. The name comes from the Hagia Sophia in Istanbul. It was recognized as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1990.

St. Sophia's - late afternoon in the Square

St. Sophia’s – late afternoon in the Square

I would recommend an early visit for the best photographs.. It is an impressive sight when the sun lights the bell tower in the morning. And as an added incentive, the square does not really get crowded until after 11 AM…

 St. Sophia’s Square is also home to Kyiv’s largest monument to Bohdan Khmelnytsky, a Ukrainian hero and folk legend. He led an uprising against the Lithuanian-Polish Commonwealth that led to the formation of an independent Cossack state. He is considered to be one of the fathers of the nation.

St. Sophia's

St. Sophia’s


Monument to Bohdan Khmelnitsky

Monument to Bohdan Khmelnitsky

Golden Gates and Yaroslav the Wise

As we continue our way down Volodymyr Street back toward the city center, the next stop on our morning walk is at the next intersection – Yaroslaviv Val (Yaroslav’s Moat) Street.   This is where you will find the sole remaining entrance to the ancient walled fortress-city of ancient Kyiv. Zoloti Vorota (Ukr : Золоті Ворота) literally means Golden Gates and it was one of 3 entrances into the city and the only one made of stone.  Which probably explains why it was the only one to survive.

Zoloti Vorota - Golden Gate

Zoloti Vorota – Golden Gate

The gate was constructed between 1017 – 1024 by Kyiv’s ruler,  Yaroslav the Wise. There is a monument to him in Golden Gate Square beside the ticket office to the museum.  He is seen holding St. Sophia’s Cathedral in his hands. 

Yaroslav the Wise

Yaroslav the Wise

Inside the museum, you can see a short film that details the history of the gate and the effort to protect and preserve the remaing structure. You can see the actual walls that were unearthed in the 1832.  It wasn’t until the 1982, however, that the gate was reconstructed  into its present form. The museum and square were dedicated during the 1500 year anniversary of the founding of Kyiv.  The museum is open for visitors from 10:00 AM until 6 PM  Thursday – Sunday and Tuesday, 10AM – 5PM on Wednesday, and closed on Monday. The cash desk and admissions close 30 minutes before the museum does. Admission is 15 UAH (approx $2.00 USD) for adults and 8 UAH for students and seniors.

The metro station that serves the area is also called Zoloti Vorota and is one of the prettiest in the city. Make sure you take a look!

Zoloti Vorota from the Square

Zoloti Vorota from the Square


Tetralna Square and The National Opera House

As we make our way back down Volodymyrska Street and across Shevchenko Boulevard, you will see several more buildings associated with the university. The National Academy of Science and the Ministry of Education are both on this street. But our next destination is a little farther and at the next corner.  At the next intersection, on the northeast corner is the  National Opera of Ukraine .

Ukrainian National Opera House - Front

Ukrainian National Opera House – Front

Originally it was called the Kiev City Theater but was re-named after a fire destroyed the original building in 1896. The new building, opened in 1901,  is a wonderful example of Neo-Renaissance architecture and has one of the largest stages in Europe.  If you enjoy either, opera or ballet, I would recommend it. I have seen several productions and all were very well done. You can buy tickets and see schedules at  the National Opera – Home.

Opera House and Tetralna Square

Opera House and Tetralna Square

Adjacent to the National Opera House is Tetralna Square where a statue and monument to Mykola Lysenko  (Ukrainian:  Мико́ла Віта́лійович Ли́сенко) stands. Lysenko is the author of the classic Ukrainian operas – Natalka-Poltavka, Eneida and Taras Bulba.

Mikola Lysenko

Mikola Lysenko