Kiev Polytechnic Institute (KPI) was not exactly on my “must see” list. I certainly never expected to find it to be one of those hidden gems in Kiev, saturated in it’s own history and grandeur. KPI was established in 1898 and boasts around 40,000 students spread through its three campuses. This post only has photos from the Kiev campus. I feel that it might be more difficult to impress me with the beauty of a university because I graduated from one of most beautiful colleges in the United States (Agnes Scott College, you should stop by if you’re in the Atlanta area). I was floored by the whole campus, it doesn’t feel like any other part of Kiev. If you have a penchant for old buildings and love of history, here is your place in Kiev. I will let the photos speak for themselves.
KPI is a little world carved into Kiev, with some serious impact in the scientific world. The list of notable people who have spent time as faculty or students includes Dmitri Mendeleev who is father of the table of elements and E.O. Paton who invented electric welding. A more complete list is available at the KPI Wikipedia page. Throughout the campus there are small statues of recognition to former KPI members who have made an impact in the world. Sometimes, they are statues of the person’s face, other times they might be a small plane in recognition to the career of the person.
Even among such intelligence and modern thought, I felt I was part of a different time in history as I wandered the campus. I was told of the extensive and historical collection of documents the library houses. When trying to enter the library, a man stopped us to tell us the place was closed while finishing his cigarette. As an outsider, I could only think about what 150 years of smoking indoors has done to those documents. But then, you have to stop.Take a deep breath. And channel Billy Pilgrim by saying “And so it goes”.
KPI has some of the most expansive lawns that I have seen in the city. During the academic year, students populate the area to socialize and rest between classes. Also, it is one of the only places in Kiev where there seems to be a lot of squirrels.
All of this sounds like a dream. How wonderful would it be to go to school in a city of 5 million and a school ranked in the top 1,000 in the world? There, are some downfalls of course. I didn’t show pictures of the ugly buildings, which outnumber the beautiful ones. Call it a rose colored tour of KPI. Don’t be afraid to share your experiences with me to make this better!