These photo’s are from a walk taken on the Right Bank of Kiev. The oldest parts of the city were built on top of the hill, with some gorgeous buildings. In Kiev, I can confidently say that the majority of the 5 million or so residents live in buildings that look vastly different from these beauties. It seems (from my non native perspective) that the gorgeous architecture was reserved for business and government buildings. The majority of buildings that “regular folks” live in are described as ugly by residents and I wouldn’t argue with that description. They are usually buildings that look as if they are badly in need or some external love (can’t really judge the internal trappings). One important detail is that since the end of the Soviet Era, living in these uglier buildings has become more class based; as real estate moguls have erected glittering residential buildings, they are only available to those with significant resources.
This building (above) is of the Kiev Opera House it is so beautiful and it’s opulence gives credit to Kiev’s historic contributions and respect of the arts. The opera House is also close to many great restaurants, making date night easy for those who don’t have a car in the city. Another beautiful Opera House is in the city Lviv/Lvov, but I couldn’t get a quality photo of it.
The above and below photos are of the spires of historic buildings, Orthodox Catholic churches that were built long before the Soviet Era. During Christmas time I stepped into a religious service, and I was blown away by the beauty and largely female audience.One of my favorite parts of my time in Ukraine was that if you are in Kiev during a religious holiday, you can open your window to hear a choir singing in many parts of the city.
This is a picture (above) of Saint Michael’s Cathedral. It’s history goes back to the 11th century, but is still accessible to the public. Do you think that America has cathedral’s that compare visually to the one’s in Kiev? To be on the Right Bank of Kiev, is to hear tires going over the brick roads that help to keep the historic feel of the city. The brick roads can be seen in most of the photos in this post.
Make sure you come back next week because I am going to be doing a two part post, on one of the best public art installments I have seen!