St. Cyril’s Monastery – Kyiv, Ukraine

St. Cyril’s Monastery in Kyiv, Ukraine is actually now a museum and a small church is all that remains of the original sprawling monastery atop the hill close to Dorohozhychi metro stop.. It’s a nice walk through Babi Yar park..and through the forest..

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The monastery was actually closed in the late 1700’s and transformed into a hospital and insane asylum.. It is now a part of the Sanctuary of St.Sophia’s and considered a place of historical value..  Much of the original structure was desmantled but the main church and belfry were preserved.


The inside of the church has lovely frescoes and paintings from the 12th century that have been well preserved.

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To get to St. Cyril’s, you can take trolley bus #12 from Dorohozhychi metro and it has a stop at the entrance to the complex.. or as mentioned, it is a lovely, albeit long, walk from the metro station.

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The basic entry fee is 20 uah for adults but be fore-warned, photographs are not allowed inside the church.. (Yes..I know.. I snuck a

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An Afternoon in Kiev – Pirohiv

Pirohiv (Ukrainian) or Pirogova is an outdoor museum of Folk Life in Ukraine..  It is located in the southeastern part of the city.

Wooden Church

Wooden Church

It is laid out in sections, each dedicated to the architecture of it’s respective region.. The buildings were brought from all over Ukraine and carefully reconstructed to give just a glimpse into life in the villages..

Windmill on the Hill

Windmill on the Hill

The surrounding area is covered in wheat fields and windmills..

Wheat Another WindmillEach “region” has it’s on’s own church

Wooden Church 2 Small Wooden Church Beehives - I Think

The cottage yards are full of flowers and fruit trees

Storage Cottage Garden Folk Home w Church


You can even find musicians playing authentic instruments

Musician Strings


Feel free to give it a try


On the outer edge of the area, there is food, drink, and, of course, souvenirs…

Milking a Wooden Cow Traditional Ukrainian Shirt-Vyshivanka

Food Alley


It is an interesting way to spend a pleasant afternoon in the country, without ever leaving the city.. Entry fee 30 uah (about $3.00 USD)  .. if you want to park close to the entrance, be prepared to pay a 20 uah fee for the parking lot.. OR  get there early to park without a fee on the side of the driveway..  It opens at 10 AM..closes at 5:00 PM

To get to the museum from metro stop  Demiivska or Golosiivska, you can take the trolley bus №11, marshrutka 172 or 156

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Shot of the Day – Hagia Sophia (Istanbul)

Sophia Hagia-Istanbul (1)

Since I am headed back to Turkey on Friday, I thought it appropriate to add a few landmarks of the wonderful city of Istanbul over the next few days..

The Hagia Sophia Is a wonderful museum set in the heart of the Sultanahmet district in central Istanbul.  It served as the center of the Christian world until the Ottomans conquered the city in 1453.. From that time until it’s dedication as a museum in 1935, it served as the Grand mosque for sultans and the crown jewel of the Muslim world.  It was named a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1985.

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Paris – The Louvre


After several stops, we found ourselves at one of the most famous and extensive museums in the entire world… The Louvre .  The museum is located in the Louvre Palace and is home to over 35,000 objects that date from prehistoric times to the 21st century.

The Entrance

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I was amazed at the size of this place.. As soon as I walked through the doors, I knew I had not planned enough time here.  It would be entirely possible to spend several days exploring all the exhibits, painting, sculptures and art that is kept within these walls.  It is a total immersion into history.

A Sculpture Gallery inside Th Louvre

A Sculpture Gallery inside The Louvre

Of course, like all tourists, the main objective was up 2 stories and through a maze of paintings … and sculptures.    


The Red Room

The Red Room







The Mona Lisa….DSC_4536Objective accomplished!  And, yes, like all good tourists, I had my picture made in front of, what might be, the most famous painting in the world.  One more item off the bucket list, I have actually seen the Mona Lisa in The Louvre.

The rest of the  journey through the museum was anti-climactic, though no less awe-inspiring.  I ended the tour with a late lunch in the inner courtyard under a beautiful blue sky.  I marveled at the wonderful architecture of the building itself. It truly is a beautiful place and the next time I visit Paris, I will plan an entire day just for The Louvre.

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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