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Andriyivskyy Descent

The rather short but steep descent, also known as “Andrew’s Descent”, connecting Kiev’s Upper Town area with the Podil neighborhood, actually is home to several sights and has for this reason become one of the most important Kiev tourist attractions. The cobblestoned street, 720 meters in total length, is seamed by numerous street vendors, offering everything from souvenirs and Soviet memorabilia to fur hats, arts and crafts. It is one of the oldest streets in the city. As parking is rare in the area - as it is almost everywhere in Kyiv - and driving in the winter can be treacherous here, going to Andrew’s Descent by metro is a good option. The nearest stations are Kontraktova Ploshcha and Poshtova Ploschcha.  

Kyiv Andreaskirche 2

St. Andrew’s Church (Andriyvs’ka tserkva)
Situated on a hill above Andriyivskyy Descent, the magnificent church with its characteristic color is not only an architectural treasure and a major Kyiv sight, but its location also offers a splendid view of the neighborhood. The baroque church, designed by Italian architect Bartolomeo Rastrelli was completed in 1767 after a 23-year long construction period and was commissioned by Empress Elizabeth to be a part of her Kiev summer residence. It stands in a location where church structures, mostly wooden, were located from as early as 1086 on. According to legend, Andrew the Apostle visited this spot in the 1st century and erected a cross, thereby proclaiming that this place would become a great city once.

Visitors may enter the church at free admission, but women are expected to cover their hair while inside due to Orthodox faith rules. The stunning interior design also in most parts goes back to the original construction. The central point of the interior is the impressive, three-piece iconostasis which has been designed by Rastrelli with the icons themselves coming from St. Petersburg artists. The frescoes were done by Ukrainian artists. Also, quite a few paintings and other artworks made by Ukrainian and Russian artists are on display. St. Andrew’s Church, which has been handed over to the Ukrainian Orthodox Church in 1987, has undergone many restorations in its existence.

Before taking the steps up to the church, visitors will notice a statue - actually one of several along the street - of a man on his knee giving a hand kiss to a lady. This is a monument referring to a very popular 1961 Ukrainian movie named “Chasing Two Hares” that was in parts shot at this street. 


 

Mikhail Bulgakov Museum
Right across the street from the St. Andrew’s Church, a museum dedicated to writer Mikhail Bulgakov was opened in 1991, in time for what would have been the writer’s 100th birthday. Bulgakov, of Russian heritage, was born in Kiev in 1891. After attending school and the medical university here, he opened a private practice in the house on Andriyivskyy Descent that today hosts the museum - the street is also referenced in one of his works. The house, which had fallen into disrepair in Soviet times, was thoroughly renovated in advance of its use as a literature museum. Today, memorabilia of Bulgakov’s life are on display in seven rooms as well as a number of photos and a selection of the books Bulgakov owned and drew inspiration from. Altogether, the exhibition encompasses about 3000 items. The museum is open daily from 10 am, but it is closed on Wednesdays.

 


One Street Museum
The rather unique One Street Museum, located at Andriyivskyy Descent 2-B, casts a look at this famous street beyond the iconic church and the famous writer Bulgakov. For example, it shows that a few other famous people - artists, writers and scientists being among them - once made their home along this street. In addition to showcasing artwork, documents and photos about these people’s lives, the museum also takes a look at history, having some antique home decor and interior artefacts in its collection. Some 7000 artefacts are on display in the relatively small museum with three rooms. 

 

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