Museums In Kyiv Page 1- 2
The ancient Slavonic city of Kiev is steeped in historical significance. Indeed, for many centuries, Kyiv was accepted as the cultural centre of not only Russia, but the whole of Eastern Europe. Since Ukraine’s independence in 1991, the country has regained its identity and is proud to offer tourists to this beautiful city an abundance of museums. Much of the art and architecture in Kyiv are recognised as world treasures. In fact the Saint Sophia Cathedral and the Kiev Pershersk Lavra are listed as UNESCO World Heritage sites. Tourism is in its infancy in Ukraine, thus many interesting monuments, museums, architecture and historical sites are largely unknown to the rest of the world.
Chernobyl National Museum
Address: 1, Khoryv Lane, Kiev, Ukraine - situated between Khoryva Street and Spaska Street. For directions, look for the red and black signs with the word “YOPHOb”.
Nearest Metro: Kontraktova Ploscha
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This museum is situated in the Podol district. It gives a powerful account of the world’s worst nuclear disaster which took place on the 26th April 1986, at the Chernobyl nuclear power station in the Polissya region approximately 60 miles north of Kiev.
The museum building is not easy to locate but is well worth making the effort. The entrance is unassuming, look for the commemorative statue to the left and some rescue vehicles parked outside to the right.
It comprises of more than 7000 declassified documents including photographs, maps, video records and many exhibits. The museum conveys the facts, figures and real accounts of some of the heroes who emerged after the accident. Independent Ukraine, now free of its Russian past, offers a damning indictment to the soviet politicians who tried to cover up the incident at the cost of so many needlessly lost human lives.
There is very little marked in English, so it is highly recommended you rent an audio guide. Languages offered were in English, German, Ukrainian and Russian.
These are deeply moving and harrowing accounts of this terrible accident and some of the images may be a little disturbing for younger children. At the end of the tour, you will be invited to watch a film, which describes how the disaster has left many Areas around Chernobyl desolate ghost towns. The tour round the museum will take about an hour.
Pirogovo Open-Air Museum
Address: Krasnozemnaya Street, Pirohiv, Kiev 02000, Ukraine
Nearest Metro: Ipodrom
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National museum of folk architecture and lifestyle of Ukraine is the biggest open air museum in the Eastern Europe. This museum represents national and cultural life of Ukraine in the 16th – 20th centuries, original huts, buildings and churches, amazing instruments of daily life from different historical areas of Ukraine. Pirogovo occupies a huge territory 370 acre (1,5 square km) where represented original ancient buildings which have been brought and rebuilt again. For everybody who is interested in Ukrainian life of the past this is a must see.
Pirogovo museums is famous of it’s authentic objects – it’s houses, mills, forge and other building that were build by Ukrainian citizens almost one hundred years ago. Now the buildings form a single architectural ensemble for you to fully fill the atmosphere of true Ukrainian lifestyle. The picturesque hill with several windmills is the museum’s central place and the entire territory of the museum is divided into sectors, each representing the folk architecture and life of a specific Ukrainian region.
It’s a place where different folk festivals are arranged. During such celebrations a great authentic show with Ukrainian songs and dances are represented here. Also there are two restaurants of Ukrainian cuisine situated there, so after an interesting excursion you can try the national food.
it’s a great place to spend all day, to walk, to see interesting old architecture, to learn about Ukrainian history, to taste good food and just relax in the open air just 20 minutes drive from Kyiv centre.
It is possible to order 1h, 2h and 3h guided tour at the museum for reasonable price as well as to join the group.
To get Pirogovo by car:
To reach the museum by car is not difficult – the route should be planned from the Odesska square, or from other side of Kiev – by the Stolichne highway in the direction of the street Zabolotnogo and in a 2-minute drive from the turn of the road to Krasnoznamenna street you will meet the most interesting and original museum in Ukraine. At the entrance to the museum you will see three beautiful wooden mills, which are located directly at the entrance. Note that the area Pirogovo over 150 hectares, but to move on it you can either a walking tour, or on the cart, pulled by horses (you’ll find them at entrance).
To get to the museum Pirogovo by public transport:From the Bessarabian Market and St. Sophia’s Square you will need to ride minibus № 156
From the metro Libidska – take trolley № 11
From the metro Druzbi Narodiv – minibus № 172
From the metro Lukyanivska – minibus № 496
From the metro Akademgorodok – mini № 576
Mykola Syadristy Microminia Museum
Address: Lavrskaya St., 9, Kiev 02000, Ukraine
Nearest Metro: Arsenalna
Directions: Take bus № 24 from metro station Arsenalna towards Pechersk Lavra. It is situated within the territory of the Lavra.
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This amazing museum is situated inside the Kiev Peshersk lavra complex and exhibits the incredible works of master micro miniature artist Nikolai Syadristy. Whilst the Ukrainian born genius may not be one the world’s best known artists, his achievements are huge. Or, should I say small, in fact, they are very small.
Syadristy is the artist of mini-miracles, his skill and creativeness is jaw-dropping and his works are so tiny that they can only be viewed through powerful microscopes. Amongst his creations are the words “long live peace” written in Ukrainian and engraved on a single strand of human hair. Syadristy has also created the world’s smallest book called the “Kobzar” by Shevchenko which has officially been recorded in the Guinness Book of Records. It measures 0.6 mm and consists of 12 pages of poems and drawings sewn together with cobweb. But these are just a few of his amazing creations. Amongst others are a caravan of golden camels set in the eye of a needle, a model of a windmill set on half a poppy seed, a golden chess set created on a pin-head, and my own personal favourite, Rose in a hair. A cavity was drilled in a human hair and polished to transparency. Then a rose stem 0.05 mm wide was fixed inside. Don’t forget your glasses.
Mikhail Bulgakov Museum
Address: 13 Andriivskiy Descent, Kiev, Ukraine
Nearest Metro: Poshtova Ploscha
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"But would you kindly ponder this question: What would your good do if
Evil didn't exist, and what would the earth look like if all the shadows
Disappeared? After all, shadows are cast by things and people. Here is the
Shadow of my sword. However, shadows also come from trees and living beings.
Do you want to strip the earth of all trees and living things just because
Of your fantasy of enjoying naked light? You're stupid."
Mikhail Bulgakov (Михаил Булгаков) (The Master and Margarita)
Officially, this museum is known as the Literature-Memorial Museum to Mikhail Afanasievich Bulgakov.
Mikhail Bulgakov is a Kiev-born Russian novelist and playwright, a literary subversive genius who is best known for his surreal inventiveness and biting satirical humour.
In 1915, Bulgakov graduated with honours from the Medical School of Kiev University. In 1915-1919, he practiced medicine, specializing in venereal and infectious diseases. During the Russian civil war, he joined the anti-communist White Army and served alongside his brothers.
In 1919, he abandoned medicine in favour of writing and wrote some of the greatest Russian and Ukrainian literature of this century. His love and feeling for Kiev led him to publish a mainly autobiographical book called “The White Guard”. It is a brilliantly evocative account of the Ukrainian civil war in Kiev during the occupation of his beloved city. The book was an instant success but was promptly banned by Stalin. Howe. Bulgakov was so depressed by Stalin’s ban on all his earlier books that he burned the original copy of The Master and Margarita; he then changed his mind and re-wrote the novel from memory. The famous quote "Manuscripts don't burn" ("Рукописи не горят") from his book The Master and Margarita, not only become a well-known saying, but also in some way sums up Bulgakov’s literary life. Bulgakov. The Master and Margarita, White Guard, Heart of the Dog and many other novels have finally been released from censorship and have proved to be brilliant satirical fantasy, made even more enticing when you begin to understand the veiled attacks on communism.
The Bulgakov museum is itself something of a unique experience. It was opened in 1991 for the 100th anniversary of the writer’s birth. In developing the museum, the decision was made to create a theatrical experience conveying the life and creativity of Bulgakov and his surroundings. The museum cleverly creates a link between two worlds – the fictional world of his literary writing and the real story of Bulgakov and his family. This is a museum where fantasy overlaps reality. The simple theatrical lighting, contrasting black and white colours and clever use of mirrors enhance the feeling of entering a different dimension. A wardrobe becomes a door leading to a different door, all with reference to parts of Bulgakov’s books.
A memorial plaque with Bulgakov’s portrait hangs on the front of the building. The museum is easily found towards the bottom of the hill on the right hand side as you walk down.
Address: Lavrska Str.3, Kiev, Ukraine
Nearest Metro: Arsenalna
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The Holomodor Memorial Museum in Kiev aims to draw public attention to the most tragic events of Ukraine's national history. It is an integral part of Kiev's cityscape as it can be seen from many promenades, squares and public places situated on both banks of the river. The site is located in the beautiful Slava Park, designed by the architect A. Miletsky in the 1970s, attracting thousands of tourists and locals alike every day. The award-winning architectural design of the Holomodor Memorial contrives the site into a 30 meter high candle shaped monument referred to as "The Candle of Memory", an entrance square with a memorial block, a sculpture featuring several angels, a plaza with the millstones of history, a sculpture representing a girl clutching some grain ears, an underground memorial hall with some additional rooms and a parking lot. And, the museum consists of a documentation centre, which provides spaces for archives, conferences, exhibitions and research facilities.
In Ukrainian, the term Holodomor literally means "death by starvation". It refers to the great famine that occurred in Ukraine in 1932 and 1933, and according to historians' estimates caused between 2.61 and 5 million deaths. Created by combining the words holod (in Ukrainian, hunger, famine) and moryty, to kill (by deprivation), to starve, to exhaust, this term attributes to this starvation an intentional motive. This is a deeply moving place that highlights a secret hidden to the world by Soviet Russia and which Russia still denies to the present day.
Great Patriotic War Museum Rodina Mat
Address: Lavrskaya st., 24, Kiev, Ukraine
Nearest Metro: Arsenalna
Directions: Take bus № 24 from metro station Arsenalna towards Peschersk Lavra. Go past the Lavra and you will see entrance at end of street.
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The massive Motherland Statue (Rodina Mat) stands 62 metres tall upon the museum building, with the overall height of the structure measuring 102 metres (making it taller than the Statue of Liberty in New York) and weighing a colossal 530 tonnes. It is situated within a large memorial complex of the Museum of History of the Great Patriotic War, on the picturesque hills of the right bank overlooking the river Dnipro. Even the sword in the statues right hand is 16 metres long and weighs an immense 9 tonnes, with the left hand holding up a 13 metre shield emblazoned with the coat of arms of the former Soviet Union.
This huge complex, covering 24.7 acres, is one of the largest museums in the Ukraine. It is a memorial commemorating the German – Soviet war 1941-1945 where an estimated 7.5 million victims lost their lives. In fact Kiev was a decisive battleground in the violent and bloody clashes between Germany and the Soviet Union, and the Battle of the Dnipro in 1943 was a crucial turning point against the Nazis.
What strikes you most about this place is the sheer scale and atmosphere. As you stroll around the grounds loud patriotic war songs are played through speakers, and large elaborate sculptures of Soviet wartime struggle jump out of the walls at you. There is an area just to your right as you enter the complex where for a small fee you can sit and climb over old WW2 tanks, planes, helicopters and guns. Subtle it is not, but behind all of this is some moving and thought provoking historical information.
The museum itself is actually situated underneath the Motherland statue. It is set on three floors which are circular in shape. It has to be said that there is little information in English but much of the photographic evidence transcends words and is sometimes a little disturbing. The Jewish massacre, Kiev in ruins, death helplessness and Nazi occupation, it is all here in all its horror. Leave yourself a whole morning or afternoon to see all that is here and do not forget your camera. There are some great photo opportunities as you will be on a hill so you will have wonderful views of the Golden Onion shaped domes of the churches.