Legends of Andriyivskyy Descent

Legends of Andriyivskyy Descent

Andriyivsky (Andrew’s) Uzviz («uzviz» in Ukrainian means steep street or descent) is a very popular tourist destination in Kyiv. This street is also known as the Montmartre of Kyiv; it is one of the most ancient streets in the Ukrainian capital. It charms with its legendary history, inimitable colors, and unique architectural ensemble.

Andriyivskyy Descent is a steep cobbled street that winds its way up from Kontraktova Square to Volodymyrska street. According to the legend, this is the exact spot where Apostle Andrew prophesied the foundation of great Slavic city of Kyiv, overlooking the beautiful lands lying around the hill he was standing on, hence the name of the street. The highlight of the Uzviz is the stunning gold and blue sight shining at the top is St. Andrew's Church.
Read: Feofania Park in Kyiv

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According to another legend, there has been once a sea where the Dnipro River flows now. When Saint Andrew came to Kyiv and put a wooden cross on the place where the Saint Andrew's Church now stands, the sea went away to give way to the new city. The only part that remained of the sea is under the mountain on which Kyiv sits today. When the church was built there in the 18th century, a spring emerged under the altar. The church has no bells, because, according to the legend, when the bell would strike, the water can revive again and flood the left bank of Kyiv.
The street is often advertised by tour guides and it operators as the "Montmartre of Kyiv» because in the 19th-20th centuries, mainly artists, sculptors, musicians, and writers lived here. It was at that time that the street’s distinct atmosphere and its original look were created.

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Almost each building on the street has its own stories and legends. One of the most known is house №15, nicknamed by a Russian poet ‘the Castle of Richard the Lionheart’. The house is an English Neo-Gothic style building, which reminds of medieval castle. For decades it has been the subject of many legends. For a while, its name had bad connotations - guests who stayed in the house fled in terror, claiming that the house was haunted. Groans and howls, constantly sounding in the house, made them tremble in fear. However, it turned out that the frightening noises were made not by ghosts. In fact, the building’s constructors placed objects in gas pipes, as a mean prank on the owners.

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House # 13 is the place where famous writer Mikhail Bulgakov lived and worked. Today, the house is a museum with an interesting exhibition focused on the years Bulgakov used to spend in Kyiv. Recently, a monument to Bulgakov was erected near the house.
The One Street Museum is another main attraction of the Andriyivskyy Descent, which houses many of the historic items of the descent, containing more than 6,500 exhibits. They include information about the Saint Andrew's Church, the Castle of Richard Lionheart, and many other buildings of the Descent.

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Read: Legends of Ukrainian Rivers
These days Andriyivsky Uzviz is a place to head to for multiple stalls selling different souvenirs and art works. This is a place where bohemian atmosphere can be sensed in every corner. The numerous artistic salons, galleries, and art-cafes on the street reinforce this aura.
Photo source: shutterstock.com

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