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


The Square of Lenin Komsomol marks the beginning of Kiev central business district and most popular people watching street, the beautiful tree-lined boulevard, Khreshchatik. It is hard to believe that here there was once a valley, surrounded by a thick forest, with a brook across it. The valley's name was Khreshchata (Crossed) because of the many ravines that crossed it. Kievan princes liked to hunt here, now, tourists hunt here for souvenirs in it many stores. The easiest way to get here is by metro, stations Maidan Nezalezhnosti (Blue Line) and Khreshchatik (Red Line) are just one block to your right at Independence Square ( Maidan Nezalezhnosti). On your right and across Khreshchatik are TrolleyBus Stop #20 and Bus stops #71 and #62. At Square of Lenin Komsomol is a large building with red granite steps which was once Kiev's Lenin Museum. Erected in 1982, in 1991 the museum was closed and converted into the Ukrainian House , which serves as a cultural center with concerts, art exhibits, and temporary displays of Ukrainian Culture. 2, Khreshchatik Street. Open Tuesday - Sunday, 11 AM - 6 PM. Directly across the square, on it northeast corner, is the Hotel Dnipro at 1/2 Khreshchatik, tel., 229-8287.

Just up the hill from Hotel Dnipro at 6 Hrushevskoho is the Museum of Ukrainian Fine Arts (1897-1899). Built in the style of a Greek temple with a 6-column portico designed by Kiev architects V. Horodetsky and H. Boytsov, the museum's 21 galleries contain valuable collections, generally unknown in the West, of Ukrainian icons, paintings, and sculpture from the 14th to early 20th centuries. Works of T. Shevchenko, K. Kostandi, H. Narbut are among the exhibits of the museum. Open daily, 10 AM - 5 PM, closed Friday. Tel. 228-6482. The attractive pink-and-lavender building on the opposite side of the street down from the museum is The National Parliamentary Library of Ukraine. To the left of it there is the main entrance to the Central Park of Culture and Rest, where Kiev's Dynamo Stadium is located. Return to the Komsomol Square and take the underpass below the square to the opposite side. The struction here is Kiev's Philharmonic Society (1882). It was the former meeting place of the prerevolutionary Merchants' Assembly. On your right is a broad stairway which leads to a huge stainless steel arch commemorating the Reunion of Russia and Ukraine. The view of the river and the Left Bank provided beyond the monument is spectacular. As you face the monument, the ravine to your immediate left is Vladimir Hill and the Monument to the Great Prince Vladimir. The 20-meter (66- foot) monument depicts the pagan ruler who brought Christianity to Russia. Erected in 1853, the impressive bronze statue was designed by V. Demut-Malinovsky and P. Klodt, St. Petersburg sculptors.

One block west of Lenkomsomol Square, is the busy Independence Square , Kiev's main square. It's the most popular meeting place of Kievites and visitors. Beyond the inclined terrace on this square is the Moskov Hotel, 4 Institutska Street. At the top of the hill and across the street at No. 5 Institutska is an interesting prerevolutionary building with a classical colonnade, the Palace of Culture. Built by the architect Vikenty Beretti in the early 1840's, it was originally a finishing school for young ladies of the nobility. Today, it is one city's largest concert halls. Further up Institutska on the same side of the street at No. 9 is the National Bank of Ukraine. This turn of the century building is one of the city's most beautiful structures. As you return to Independence Square, turn left to the next street leading up to the incline, Karl Marx. The impressive gray columned building on the corner of Karl Marx and Khreshchatik is the Tchaikovsky Conservatory, a restored version of the 1899 original. Directly accross Kreshchatik is located Kiev's main Post Office.

At the opposite end of Karl Marx Street is Ivan Franko Square and the Ivan Franko Ukrainian Drama Theater, 3 Ploshcha Ivana Franka, tel. 229-5991. Here you'll find Ukrainian, classical, and contemporary dramas, but only in Ukrainian. Due to the high quality and professionalism of its actors, the Ivan Franko Theater is the most popular theater in Kiev. To the right of the theater and up a modest hill on a winding foot path is one of the most interesting buildings in Kiev, the Horodetsky Building (1902-03), 10 Bankova Street, built by Kiev Architect V. Horodetsky. the facades of the structure are embellished with sculptural decorations based on mythological and hunting themes by Italian sculptor E. Sana. This "fantasy" building is truly worth the short hike up the hill. When open, the Galery "Ukraine" inside provides a great opportunity to shop for art and marvel at the equally fascinating interior. Tel. 291-5791.

Back on Khreshchatik, continue past numerous boutiques, several large department stores and administrative buildings. Turn right on Bohdana Khmelnitskoho Street. On the left at No. 5 is the Lesya Ukrayinka Russian Drama Theater, tel.: 224- 9063 or 224-4223. Although the theater is named for the famous Ukrainian poetess, the repertoire of both classical and contemporary works is strictly Russian.

Further up the hill at the corner of Volodymyrska and Khmelnitskoho Streets is the beautiful home of the Taras Shevehenko National Opera of Ukraine (1901). This theater was the first to stage classical operas translated into Ukrainian. Much of the theater's creative efforts are concentrated on productions of classical Ukrainian and Russian operas; however, a great variety of classical and modern plays are performed here, with actors singing both in Ukrainian and the original languages. The theater's opera company travels extensively, having appeared in Yugoslavia, Bulgaria, Romania, Italy, and Spain. The ballet has performed for audiences in France, Egypt, Japan, India, Denmark, and Sweden. In addition to the memorable performances and creatives lighting and sets, the building is majestic. 50 vul. Volodymyrska. Tel., 224-7165 or 229-1169. Near Metro Teatralna , on the Red Line.

From the opera, turn right on Volodymyrska Street and go one block to Boulevard Tarasa Shevchenka. This wide street, like the opera house, is named in honor of the 19th century Ukrainian poet and artist, Taras Shevehenko (1814- 1861). One block to your left (down the boulevard) and on your left at No. 12 is the Taras Shevchenko State Museum. The museum's collection, composed of more than 4,000 exhibits, displays personal belongings of the great poet, his manuscripts and paintings. Born a serf Shevchenko became a celebrated painter and poet whose works, extolling human rights, social justice, and sovereignty for Ukraine, deeply inspired the people. Tel.: 224-2556. Open: Tuesday-Sunday, 10 AM to 6 PM. Note, another interesting place to familiarize yourself with the life and work of Shevehenko is the Shevchenko House-Museum, located just off Maidan Nezalezhnosti at 8-A Provulok Shevchenka. Tel.: 228- 3511. Hours: daily, except Friday, 10 AM to 6 PM.

From the Museum, walk up Shevehenko Boulevard on the same side of the street until you get to No. 20. Here, across from the University Metro Station (Red line), is located Saint Volodymir Cathedral. This Russian Orthodox Church was built in 1882 in the NeoByzantine style. The final design belonged to Alexander Beretti. The structure is a traditional Slavic six-column, three-apse church, crowned by seven cupolas. The murals of the church interior, done by famous Russian painters V. Vasnetsov, M. Nesterov, and M. Vrubel, are of considerable artistic significance. The mosaics lining the interior were made by Venetian masters. The voices of the choir are beautiful and not to be missed. Services are held daily at 9 Am and 6 PM. Tel.: 225-0362.

Now, return to Shevehenko Boulevard, turn left towards Khreshchatik Street. At Volodymyrska Street, turn right and cross Shevchenko to the deep red building of National University (also known as Shevchenko University). This is Kiev's most prestigious institution of higher education. The building is another classical structure created by Vikenty Beretti in 1837-43. Directly across the street from the University is the Taras Shevehenko Park. In its center stands a statue of the Ukrainian writer erected in 1939 on the 125th anniversary of his birth. On the opposite side of the park in the middle of the block, cross the street at No. 9 Tereschenkivska Street. This is the home of the Russian Art Museum, one of the largest repositories of Russian art outside Moscow and St. Petersburg. The building was constructed in the 1880's and belonged to the wealthy Tereshchenko Family. The museum was founded in 1922 on the basis of the Tereshchenko collection and other private collections confiscated and nationalized by the Soviets. The museum is worth a visit if only to look at the outstanding Russian icons dating from the last quarter of the 13th century. Among its collection are icons from Novgorod and Moscow and many works of famous Russian painters, including masterpieces of I.Repin, M. Vrubel, N. Rerikh, N. Borovikovsky-Verezhchagin and V. Tropinin. The museum's exhibits include sculpture, graphics and handicraft. Tel.: 224-6218. Open daily, 10 AM - 5 PM except Friday, Noon-6 PM. Closed Thursday.

Just a few doors down the street, at No. 15, is the Museum of Western and Oriental Art. Like the Russian Museum, it was founded after the Bolshevik Revolution on the basis of a private collection. The building is the former mansion of the well-known archaeologist Bohdan Khanenko, who started the collection in the 1870's. Unfortunately, the museum has been closed since 1993 for major restoration work and is not scheduled to open again until at least 1998. For information, call 225-0260.

Continue down Tereschenkivska Street to the corner and turn left on Tolstoy Street. Follow Tolstoy to where it ends at Tolstoy Square and intersects with Chervonoarmiyska Street. Here, you'll find a very good Ukrainian souvenir shop at 23 Chervonoarmiyska. At this square are located Trolley bus stops 20, 17, and 8, as well as, the Tolstoy (Blue Line) Metro Station. Continue left down Chervonoarmiyska two blocks and you’ll arrive at the western end of the Khreshchatik. On the right you'll see Kiev's first indoor market at Bessarabska Ploshcha, called Bessarabski Rynok. The market was established on this site for Bessarabian (Moldavian) merchants who came to trade in Kiev. Today, it is one of Kiev's most important markets and offers a very good selection of flowers, fruits, vegetables, and meats. Across from the square, at the beginning of Shevchenko Blvd., is one of the city's few surviving statues of V.I. Lenin.