I spent the day walking around Kiev doing a bit of sightseeing. I passed through Independence Square (Maidan) where the pro-EU protestors still have tents set up but life goes on around them. Other than having become a tourist attraction, their relevance seems to be fading and the government is gradually repairing the damage in the area. I did notice that many of the remaining tents are flying the red and black flag of the ultranationalist Right Sector.
From Independence Square, I walked past the People’s Friendship Arch to the St. Michael’s Golden Domed Cathedral, originally built in 1108.
A short walk from St. Michael’s Square is St. Andrew’s Church, built between 1747-1754. The interior of the church is a lesson in how to go overboard with red and gold! A lot of people’s money has obviously been lavished inside this church.
Running downhill, next to St. Andrew’s Church is a cobble-stoned street named St.Andrew’s Descent that links the new town to the old town. It has received rave reviews from travellers but I left unimpressed. I found nothing quaint or charming about the road itself and the various vendors stalls running along its edge were pretty much selling the usual tourist trinkets. Some were selling Soviet memorabilia, including Russian watches, uniforms and hats. Matryoshka nesting dolls were plentiful, in a variety of styles. I like visiting markets and I like old towns but this street held no appeal for me.
After a nice sushi lunch, I headed to Bankova Street to see Gorodetsky House, otherwise known as the House with Chimeras, built between 1901-1903. The animal and fantasy decorations applied to the building are very interesting and very unique.
Tomorrow, I go on a tour of Chernobyl so I’m hoping to get some interesting photos there.