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Old Posted Jul 7, 2009, 12:58 AM
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CentralGrad258 CentralGrad258 is offline
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Киев (Kiev/Kyiv), Ukraine

This past June my girlfriend and I took a 2 week trip through Europe, visiting (in order) Kiev, Helsinki, St. Petersburg and Amsterdam. It was a fantastic vacation that I'll remember for a long time. Hopefully these pictures will give you a little glimpse of the character of each city.

Kiev (official population 2.5 mil, though various estimates put it closer to 4 mil), though not very well known to most Americans, is a notable city for several reasons. It is the political, economic and cultural capital of Ukraine. It is one of the oldest cities in Eastern Europe, the original capital of the Russian state (Kievan Rus) and dates back to the 5th century. Most importantly, Kiev is the city where I spent the first 10 years of my life.

I have a ton of pictures, and I can add more if there is demand, so without further ado:
St Andrew's Church at the beginning of Andrew's Decent (Андреевский спуск)

Looking down Andrew's Decent (Андреевский спуск)



Some drunk


While walking down Andrew's decent, we found some random stairs that let to an awesome panorama of the city:

Kreshchatik (Kрещатик) is the city's main avenue, it is closed to vehicular traffic on summer weekends, it's a little sparse on a Sunday morning.




Independence Square






Soviet era department store (Центральный универмаг)



Kрещатик is the longest uninterrupted stretch of Stalinist architecture in the world, I actually quite like it.





Sidewalk/parking lot....seriously

Old school Zhiguli, like my grandpa used to have

A side street:

Another:



This literally reads "Mister Snack, Sandwich Bar" in Ukrainian letters. Gotta love capitalism.

Speaking of capitalism, here's a nice little contrast of cars parked next to each other. A soviet era Moskvitch

Next to a decidedly un-soviet Audi R8



An indoor market (Бесарабка, Bessarabka) at one end of Kрещатик

Next to a high-end mall (sorry for the crappy night picture):



Not a whole lot of highrises to post, but here's one:

Kotraktova square in Podol, a historic site that used to host traders as they established trading contracts with local merchants:

The city is split by the river Dnepr, the right bank is the older, more established part of the city, the left bank is more recently settled and is thus full of classic soviet apartment blocks as well as some more modern highrises. Housing remains a big problem.
The river:

Panoramic view:



Monument to city's founders

"Mother Homeland", a World War II memorial to the defense of the homeland (there are lots of WW II memorials)


Postal square metro stop (right on the river port)

The most awesome funicular connecting the port to Podol (an high-end residential neighborhood)






Kiev has the some of the deepest metro stations in the world:

Metro stops in their marble encased glory



Ukrainian national opera house:


More pictures further down.

Last edited by CentralGrad258; Jul 8, 2009 at 12:50 AM.
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Old Posted Jul 7, 2009, 1:08 AM
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Kingofthehill Kingofthehill is offline
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Cool shots..gotta love that architecture.

Speaking of architecture, Kiev reminds me of Moscows in many ways; the subway stations, the relative homogeneity given it's size, the shared painstakingly cold winters, the fact both are chock full of xenophobes and run by a (Jewish) oligarchy.

Thanks for the peep!
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Old Posted Jul 7, 2009, 1:33 AM
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Those are some great shots! I love Kiev - it's a beautiful city!

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Originally Posted by Kingofthehill View Post
the fact both are chock full of xenophobes and run by a (Jewish) oligarchy.
LOL, right...
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Old Posted Jul 7, 2009, 1:58 AM
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Kiev > Toronto > Montreal
 
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Hi there!

I lived in Kiev the first 10 years of my life too.. For some reason the train trips to Yalta were the most memorable every summer
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Old Posted Jul 7, 2009, 1:58 AM
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Not to derail the thread, but what's so hard to believe about that? Don't tell me I'm an anti-semite or something for saying that..

And in those places, as a person of color, xenophobia and blantat, outward racism is very real, making these places are pretty much no-go zones -- unless, of course, I want my head kicked in on a subway train or something.

http://www.documentingreality.com/fo...-victim-11928/
http://www.helsinki.org.ua/en/index....int=1212681526
http://current.com/items/84906361_fr...-with-hate.htm

Last edited by Kingofthehill; Jul 7, 2009 at 3:18 AM. Reason: forgot to add "in"
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Old Posted Jul 7, 2009, 2:02 AM
architext architext is offline
Kiev > Toronto > Montreal
 
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Unfortunately I agree with kingofthehill. I remember growing up there in the early 1990s - seeing a black person on the street was worthy of a staring contest. I only saw one or two in my life. Also, I never seen an Asian, Indian or a dark-skinned person when I lived in Ukraine, even though Ukraine gained independence in 1991 and it wasn't until 1995 when I left for Canada. Don't forget Soviet Union and the Iron Curtain that shielded the populations of those countries from outside contact.

It's not so hard to understand where the xenophobic feelings come from.
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Old Posted Jul 7, 2009, 2:05 AM
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"I can add more if there is demand"

There is
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Old Posted Jul 7, 2009, 2:05 AM
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Kingofthehill, I appreciate you not wanting to derail the thread, so can we um....keep things on topic.

Last edited by CentralGrad258; Jul 7, 2009 at 2:54 AM.
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Old Posted Jul 7, 2009, 3:05 AM
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Great photos man!
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Old Posted Jul 7, 2009, 5:46 AM
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Amazing, I'd love to visit Ukraine and Russia.

Last edited by le calmar; Jul 7, 2009 at 5:57 AM.
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Old Posted Jul 7, 2009, 5:54 AM
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i need to go here!

thanks for sharing!!
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Old Posted Jul 7, 2009, 7:11 AM
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Love the architecture. Seems a well-preserved city. You can't spell 'funicular' without 'fun'! I for one wouldn't mind looking at more...
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Old Posted Jul 7, 2009, 3:53 PM
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I am always amazed at the old Soviet Metro stations. They obviously have plenty of $$ to maintain the cleanliness of their infrastructure (unlike here in the States). Or is it the local culture to not destroy and/or litter their surroundings??
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Old Posted Jul 7, 2009, 4:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MayDay View Post
"I can add more if there is demand"

There is



It's a beautiful city and I'd love to see more. Great pics.
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Old Posted Jul 7, 2009, 4:59 PM
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Thanks for the kind words everyone, I'll put up more pictures when I get home from work. I hadn't been back in the 17 years since I left and didn't really know what to expect, but the city really is beautiful and very lush with trees and parks everywhere. The newer neighborhoods aren't quite as architecturally striking (bit of an understatement), but interesting in their own right, as they represent the prototypical model of Soviet urban planning from late 1960s going forward.

The Soviet Metro stations are amazing. It's hard to imagine how much it would cost to build these marble palaces so far deep underground, in today's dollars. And yes, they are absolutely spotless, not sure I can explain the reason, maybe it's the culture, maybe it's the fact that the Metro is widely used and requires constant investment (doesn't seem to matter in New York). The SEPTA subways feel positively third-world in comparison. Did I mention the system is still expanding?

More pictures, as promised:
Печерские лавры- Kind of like an Eastern Orthodox Vatican City, major tourist attraction












Golden Gates- main entrance to the medieval city (reconstructed), another major tourist attraction



TV antenna, tallest steel trussed antenna in the world (aren't all these antennas tallest in the world in some category?)

Kiev's only synagogue to stay open during Soviet rule:

Babi yar- the site of the worst massacre massacre of the Holocaust, enough said



Entrance to President's Courtyard



President's House (residence?)

A very odd house across from the President's, apparently it was a concrete magnate's attempt to lure more contracts for his company with the first concrete house in the city:

Yeah, it's pretty odd

Typical Soviet highrise courtyard



Victory Square (Pozhjad Popedi)






That's all, I think.

Last edited by CentralGrad258; Jul 8, 2009 at 3:28 AM.
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Old Posted Jul 7, 2009, 5:47 PM
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more please! The architecture in this thread is gorgeous.
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  #17  
Old Posted Jul 7, 2009, 6:24 PM
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Beautiful place...
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Old Posted Jul 7, 2009, 6:37 PM
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love the colors and tones
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Old Posted Jul 7, 2009, 7:19 PM
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Nice. Haven't spent much time in Eastern Europe but Kiev is on the list (along with Moscow, St. Petersburg, the Baltic capitals and maybe Sofia).

The foreground here looks like a movie set... or I guess Potemkin village would be somewhat more appropriate

Quote:
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Last edited by 10023; Jul 7, 2009 at 9:35 PM.
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Old Posted Jul 7, 2009, 7:50 PM
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Pretty clean, I like it!
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