Physics of Liquid Matter: Modern Problems
May 23-26, 2008, Kyiv National Taras Shevchenko University, Ukraine

Andriyinsky Descent

The best way to get to the Andriyivsky descent, one of the most popular streets in Kiev, is from the Poshtova Ploshcha Metro. To reach the bluff where the descent begins, take the funicular (cable car) located at the bottom of the hill, just outside the subway. When you reach the top, walk straight to the square ahead of you. The building directly ahead of you contains the new BRAMA Contemporary Arts Center. From there, veer right down the steps to the square and cross over to Desyatinna Street, named for the Desyatinna Cerkva (Tithe Church) or Church of the Holy Virgin (989) that once stood at the end of this short street. At the end of the street, veer to the left to the middle of the block and wade through of street vendors and tourists up a flight of stairs and you'll find the outline of the church's foundation, which was reconstructed with red granite.

Looking to the right past the site of Desyatinna Cerkva, you'll see the Historical Museum, located on the bluff. The museum's extensive consists of 8 sections dealing with different aspects of Ukraine's history. Behind the museum there is a path that provides a good view of Podil, Kiev's lower town from the highest point of old Kiev. 2,Volodymyrska Street. Tel.: 228-2924. Open daily 10 AM - 5 PM, except Wednesdays.

Return to Desyatinna Street and walk a few steps to your left to Andriyivsky Uzviz. This is one of Kiev's oldest streets. In ancient times, the street linked the administrative part of the Upper City with the Podil, the Lower City of merchants and artisans. This steep, winding stone street is a traditional place for outdoor totes, festivals, and concerts and has a variety of interesting art galleries and shops. It is at the heart of Kiev's artist community and is a favorite stop for tourists and one of the best areas in Kiev to find traditional Ukrainian crafts and art. Elegantly outlined against Kiev's sky-line at the top of Andriyivsky Uzviz, at No. 23, stands St. Andrew's Cathedral. Designed in 1754 by the Italian architect Bartolomeo Rastrelli, it is one of the few buildings to have survived intact with no reconstruction or significant damage. The single-domed cathedral, with its five lesser cupolas, seems to hover over the city. It's site was allegedly chosen because it was here that the Apostle Andrew, who first preached the Gospel in Kievan-Rus, erected a cross. The church was built at the behest of Elizabeth, Peter the Great's pious daughter, who visited Kiev in 1744. There is a picturesque path-way around the Cathedral. The area around St. Andrew's Cathedral was the favourite place for walks for the famous Russian writer, Nikolay Gogol. The interior of the building is now closed for remodelling. Tel., 228-5861.

No. 13 Andriyivsky Uzviz is the old Bulgakov family home. Mikhail Bulgakov, the renowned Russian writer,lived here from 1906 to 1916 and, again, in 1918-19. The house is now the Bulgakov Museum, containing the writer's personal effects and family photos. At No. 15 is an interesting building known to Kievites as the Castle of Richard. It is currently being rebuilt into a hotel by a Ukrainian-American joint venture. Built in the modernised English Gothic style, the monumental facades are decorated with elements typical of fortresses and castles. To the right of the hotel is a steep, twisting flight of iron steps that will take you to a lock-out platform. It provides a magnificent view of the Podil bellows the Dnieper and some of it's six bridges, and the plains of the Left Bank. When you reach the bottom of the hill, turn left and you'll be at the start of Kontraktova Ploshcha (Contract Square) in Podil, Kiev's historic Lower City.