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Your Best Travel Guide to Ukraine 23:14 | 01.09.2015 Choose your language УкраїнськаEnglishРусскийPolskaDeutschItalianoFrançaiseEspañol
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Parks & Bridges Kyiv

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Maryyinsky Palace and Maryyinsky Park

Maryyins'ky Park
Maryyins'ky Park

Grushevs'koho Street, 5

Maryyinsky Palace was built between 1750 and 1755. Its design has been traditionally attributed to Bartolomeo Rastrelli and was intended to echo a miniature Versailes.
The Baroque edifice was constructed by the Moscow architect Ivan Michurin. In 1744 Elisabeth, the daughter of Peter the 1st, chose this site for the Palace during her visit to Kiev.

Maryyinsky Palace faces Mariynsky Park, which was found in 1874. From the opposite side of the Palace you will find City (Tsars'kyi - Tsar) Park, built in 1743 on the site of the former "Old Regular Park" which was founded by Peter "I". It's layout is in the classical style, with a network of straight alleys, which cross prependicularly.

Adjoining the building of the Verkhovna Rada (Parliament) of Ukraine, the Palace is the official residence of the President of Ukraine for ceremonial purposes.

After being burnt to the ground in 1819, Alexander II of Russia had the Palace reconstructed in 1870 by the architect Konstantin Mayevsky from old drawings and watercolours. The Interior was made in the Classical style including elements of Baroque and Renassance.

The Palace was then renamed after the reign of Empress Maria Alexandrovna and used as a residence for visiting members of the imperial family up until 1917. During World War II it was badly damaged after a bomb found it's target in the center of the building. From 1945-to 1949 it was again reconstructed and later restored from 1979 to 1982.

Maryyinsky Park, Kyiv, Ukraine
Maryyinsky Park, Kyiv, Ukraine

The fountains and green plantations retain a traditional 18th century character. Fountains are decorated by twin sculptures - being copies of sculptures taken from the 18th century, which are held at the museums around the country. Marble steps lead from the vestibule of the Palace to the second floor, where ceremonial halls are located. The important elements of the artistic decoration of the Palace are furniture, chandeliers, and pictures of paintings' of the well-known masters.

The remarkable parquet floor of the Palace was restored during the last restoration. The wood is comprised of the most valuable species of tree, and strikes with a beauty of figure and perfection in craftsmanship and performance.

Babi Yar

Babi Yar
Babi Yar

To reach this park, take the metro Green Line to the Dorohozhychi station.
Babi Yar is the name of a ravine situated just outside Kiev. The name, which roughly translates as "Ravine of Women", refers to the proprietress of the property, the woman, who had sold it to the Dominican monastery in 1401.

Today it's a memorial park denoting a horrible tragedy in Ukrainian history. Babi Yar was the site of a massacre of Jews and other civilians by the Nazis, during World War II. The Nazi forces captured the city in mid-September. Within less than a fortnight, on the 29th and 30th, nearly 34,000 Jews of the ghetto were brought to the suburban ravine known as Babi Yar, near the Jewish Cemetary, where men, women, and children were systematically machine-gunned in a two-day orgy of execution. In subsequent months, most of the remaining population was exterminated. As many as 60,000 more people, including Roma and Soviet POWs were later shot at the site.

For the next two years the Nazis continued to use the site as a mass killing ground. A total of over 100,000 victims, including partisans and members of the underground, but mostly Jews, were murdered here.

Babi Yar
Babi Yar

Beginning in July of 1943 SS personnel were given the task of eliminating all evidence of the massacre. No trace, apparently, was left, with the exception of fifteen prisoners who knew what their ultimate fate was likely to be, escaped the concentration camp. Inmates who had carried out the concealment work were executed by the SS.

On the site you'll see a large bronze composition with numerous figures of people, reflecting both-Soviet and Jewish victims in general. A smaller Jewish monument in the shape of the Jewish symbol Menorah was erected in 1991. Another monument remembers the children who were killed here.

Jewish groups are currently planning to build a museum and peace center near the site.

Taras Shevchenko Park

Taras Shevchenko Park
Taras Shevchenko Park

One of Kyiv's oldest parks is Shevchenko Park, which is located near the Priemer Palace Hotel. Opposite the park is the main building of the Taras Shevchenko National University, painted in red.

Shevchenko Park is famous for its Chess enthusiasts, who gather in groups, almost daily, weather permiting. Joggers find the park ideal for fresh air and excersize. It's interesting to note that the The Aleksandrivsiky School, where Bulgakov and Paustovskiy studied, is located on the opposite side of the boulevard, next to the Volodymyr Cathedral.

The Eternal Flame and Park Vichnoyi Slavy (Eternal Glory Park)

The Eternal Flame and Park Vichnoyi Slavy (Eternal Glory Park)
The Eternal Flame and Park Vichnoyi Slavy (Eternal Glory Park)

Nearest metro stop: Arsenal'na (red line)

Dedicated to the fallen soldiers of WWII, the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and Park Vichnoyi Slavy, remain one of Kyiv's most recognized landmarks. It is located near "Glory Square". The focal point of this park is a 27-metre high obelisk dedicated to eternal glory and located next to the eternal flame. Park Slavy is a very pleasant place for family walks. A little bit downhill from the Monument to the Unknown Soldier is a wonderful children's playground with a fantastic panorama of the Left Bank.

Kyiv (Kiev) Bridges

Pishokhidny or Walking Bridge, Kyiv, Ukraine
Pishokhidny or Walking Bridge, Kyiv, Ukraine

There are about sixty different bridges in Kyiv. Seven of them span the Dnipro river. They include:

Road-Transport bridges: Patona and Moskovs'ky; Railway bridges: Podil's'ky and Darnyts'ky; mixed use: Metro Mist (which goes into Rusanivs'ky), Pivdenny (Southern) and Pishokhidny or Walking Bridge (1957); Vantovy Mist (Guyed Bridge) connecting the Dnipro harbor and Rybal's'ky Ostriv. It was built in 1963 and was the first guyed bridge in the USSR.

The "Arch Bridge" crosses the "Venice Canal" in Hidropark. It was built in 1966 and is 144 meters long. In addition, Kievian's also love their "Love Bridge", otherwise known as "Chortov". The official name is Parkovy ("Park Bridge"). It was built in 1904, although some disput the year as being 1915. The bridge connects City Park (City Garden) and Khreschaty Park, crossing Petrivs'ka Aleya. Each Bridge has its own unique structure.

All bridges that were built in ancient times, suffered a very short lifespan. Every Spring ice damage was evident while,in addition, people were stripping useable wood sections for use in their homes. After several weeks of constructing a new bridge, the situation would simply reoccur.

Lantsyuhovy Mist (Chain Bridge)
Lantsyuhovy Mist (Chain Bridge)

In 1853, Britishman Charles Viniol oversaw the construction of the first fundamental bridge in Kyiv. It was approximately 776 meters long and 16 meters wide. It was known as Lantsyuhovy Mist (Chain Bridge).

Since that time many additional bridges were constructed in Kiev, each with its own unique history.

All of the metal parts of Charles Viniol's Bridge were made in Birmingham, England. Shipped from Liverpool, they sailed to Odesa aboard 16 ships, and then on to Kiev by oxen. This bridge is supported by thick, heavy chains, thus its name, Chain Bridge.

Patona Bridge
Patona Bridge

In the summer of 1920 the "Chain Bridge" was destroyed. In 1925 it was rebuilt and renamed: "Imeni Yevheniyi Bosh". (Named after Yevheniya Bosh). But its life was short. In 1941 the Soviet Army, during its retreat from the Nazi's, had to detonate it.

In 1870 the first railway bridge spanning the river Dnipro was built in the southern part of Kiev under the scrutiny of engineer Armand Sruve. At that time it was the longest bridge in Europe, being about 1 kilometer. It is known today as Darnyts'ky Mist. In 1920 it was destroyed and in 1921 rebuilt again.

Pishokhidny Mist (Walking Bridge)
Pishokhidny Mist (Walking Bridge)

In 1929 in the Nothern part of Kyiv another railway bridge was built: Podil's'ky or Petrivs'ky.

At the beginning of World War II nearly all bridges were destroyed, however rebuilding got underway shortly after Kiev's liberation in 1943.

The constuction of modern new bridges in Kyiv continues to this day with many new concepts and ideas to add to Kyiv's rich history of bridge development.

There are numerous other parks and bridges in Kyiv. If you would like to share one that you find particularly interesting with the rest of the world, please feel free to send us your info and photos to ubkua@ukr.net and we'll consider posting them here for other travellers to enjoy.

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