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Ukraine

Architecture of Ukraine. Must see and must visit landmarks

Arena Lviv, Lviv

Location on the map:     Interesting facts:
» The modern football stadium was opened in 2011. The construction cost 2 billion.
»  Architects from Vienna and Lviv worked on the project.
»  The stadium is owned by the state company managing sports arenas.
»  Over 34,000 fans can simultaneously watch sports events. 425 seats in the VIP box are intended for honored visitors. There is also a bar for 400 people in a separate area.
»  The Lviv team trains and prepares for matches on the field.
»  The size of the playing field is close to the generally accepted standard: 105x68 metres. The ground is covered with natural grass lawn.
»  Initially it was suggested to name the stadium Lemberg – the German version of ‘Lviv’. However, the suggestion wasn’t approved.
»  The four-storey stadium building consists of the following levels: a 6,000-square-metre underground parking lot that can accommodate 1,593 cars; two-tier stands, guest sectors, other administrative rooms.
»  The arena is equipped with two TV screens placed opposite each other. The stands are covered with a transparent dome.
»  The well-developed infrastructure allows people with disabilities to get to the necessary place easily.

Armenian Cathedral, Lviv

Location on the map:   Interesting facts: » The Armenian Cathedral is over six hundred years old.
»  The hall is still being decorated.
»  Once the Lviv settlement was formed, Armenian craftsmen and merchants started to come here at the invitation of the city founder. The members of the Armenian diaspora soon became an influential community. As a result, they built the Cathedral of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
»  In 1676, the building was seriously damaged by fire. It took almost a century to recover it. A statue of St. Christopher meant to protect the shrine was also installed then.
»  After the house of God was closed in the Soviet era, the building was used for different purposes: there used to be an art gallery and a museum. Only in 2000, the building was returned to its real owners.
»  The church itself is located in the middle of interconnected courtyards.
»  The inside part of the dome represents the wonders of mosaic art. Some mosaic tiles form portraits of famous citizens, while others create a national ornament.
»  The walls of the cathedral are made of stone blocks. They are 1.4 m thick. There are gravestones built into the brickwork. Stained glass windows depict scenes from the apostles’ lives.

Bernardine Church and Monastery, Lviv

Location on the map:     Interesting facts:
» In 1460, having the town headman’s consent, members of the monastic order built the monastery. It was located outside the defensive fortifications, so there arose a need to surround it with a defensive barrier.
»  Over time, the shrine became an independent fortress with stone walls, loopholes, and a tower with an entrance. The additionally fortified point was surrounded by moats with water.
»  In 1630, the ashlar church, outbuildings, a room with cells, and a stable were constructed.
»  The church was named for Andreas Bemer, the architect who worked on the facade decoration.
»  In front of the house of worship, there’s a decorative pillar where a statue of Lviv’s patron saint used to stand. The cylindrical gazebo with a dome was also built to commemorate him. John of Dukla is buried in the monastery. It is believed that soon there appeared a spring with healing water from the grave.
»  A bell dating from 1588 used to hang on the belfry. To save the item from remelting in 1917, it was brought to the historical museum.
»  In 1784, an archive of ancient documents was created in the church.
»  During the Second World War, Jews used to hide from the Nazis in the underground tunnels. They left the dungeon only when Soviet troops arrived.

Church of Transfiguration, Lviv

Location on the map:     Interesting facts:
» The Church of the Transfiguration grew from a cathedral where worshipers of the Holy Trinity held their services.
»  When Catholic monasteries were banned, the building was taken over by a university. The church was turned into a library.
»  During the rebellion of 1848, the church was destroyed. The only thing that managed to survive was its foundation.
»  30 years after, the construction of a Greek Catholic church began here, which dragged on for decades.
»  It took eight years to decorate the church outside and inside.
»  While being strict and having just a bit of stuccowork on the outside, the church is truly impressive inside. The interior is rich and has lots of thoroughly decorated elements.
»  12 huge windows under the dome let sunlight into the room illuminating the stucco on the walls and reflecting off the gilded details.
»  There are 12 statues of the followers of Jesus installed in the wall niches.
»  The Church of the Transfiguration stands on the foundation of a destroyed church.
»  The basement has underground passages and galleries. There used to be tombs in the crypt, which were reburied later.
»  The memorial plaque by the entrance says the church is named for the Transfiguration of Christ.

Church of the Saviour at Berestove, Kiev

Location on the map:     Interesting facts:
» In the heyday of Kievan Rus, there was a village where the Kiev nobility used to stay. The settlement was surrounded by a birch forest. Hence the name – the village of Berestovo (‘береста’ (beresta) means ‘birch bark’).
»  The villagers had their own church. It’s mentioned in the chronicles of 1051.
»  In 1157, Yuri Dolgorukiy, the founder of Moscow, found the last shelter here. A sarcophagus-like tombstone was put on the place where the prince was buried.
»  Many centuries later, a bell tower was built near the main building.
»  The original brickwork – the stripes of pink mortar and slabs – was partially preserved in the church.
»  The interior has a 12th-century fresco called Miraculous Fishing. The painting pictures the apostles catching fish from a lake.
»  The walls were painted by the masters invited from Athos.
»  Today, the house of God looks like a five-headed building. The last renovation transformed the Church of the Savior at Berestovo. The roofing was repaired, and the domes were gilded. The temple that went through many alterations during the history is still functioning.
»  In 1900, during archaeological excavations, the slate tombs, presumably from the time of Ancient Rus, were found here.

Dormition Church, Lviv

Location on the map:     Interesting facts:
» The complex consisting of a church, a bell tower, a chapel, and a tower is a representative of Renaissance architecture.
»  There used to be buildings on this place, but they were either destroyed by fire or fell into disrepair.
»  The Dormition Church dates back to 1591. It took about 40 years to build it.
»  The Church of the Assumption consists of three white stone structures: the main area, an altar, and an annex in front of the entrance. All parts are situated at the same level.
»  The temple is crowned with three domes with lamps.
»  The central base is supported by four columns.
»  The interior decoration is full of frescoes.
»  There are several rows of icons on the altar partition. They are over three hundred years old.
»  The ceiling has socket-shaped recesses. The eaves of the vault are decorated with stone carving.
»  The chapel is named for the Three Hierarchs. It was built in 1590. The bell tower (1578) is named after Konstantin Korniakt, the Greek industrialist who donated money for its construction. The 66-metre tower has four tiers.
»  In 1779, the bell was struck by lightning, which caused its deformation. The molten item was removed. A new one appeared four years later. Its ringing can still be heard.

Glory Hill, Yalta

Location on the map:   Interesting facts: » The memorial complex is surrounded by a massive reinforced concrete structure with a white finish covered with Inkerman stone. It’s meant to perpetuate the heroism of those killed in the battles of the south coast during the civil and patriotic wars.
»  The authors of the memorial built it in the form of a ring. It seems that the changing faces reflect different historical milestones of the country.
»  The heroism of partisans and red guards is described in the inscriptions on external limestone-clad walls. There are bas-relief outlines of sailors and soldiers on them.
»  The centerpiece of the site is the Eternal Flame. It was lit from the flames of fire on Malakhov Barrow in Sevastopol.
»  A hill was specially leveled for the prominent place. You can climb to it using cable railway or an asphalted 2.5-kilometre road. Then you need to go up the stairs to the top of the hill.
»  A granite stela is installed at the bottom of the stairway. The funeral sign has the names of battle participants.
»  The foundation of the monument is a steel reinforced frame filled with concrete.
»  On Victory Day (9 May), a rally and a solemn wreath-laying ceremony are traditionally organized here.

Golden Gate, Kiev

Location on the map:     Interesting facts:
» The entrance to the city was blocked by the fortification. A part of the fence remained intact. Guests and foreign ambassadors were received here. The prince’s troops left from here to defend the borders.
»  Its name – the Golden Gate – was chosen to emulate the Golden Gate of Constantinople. Russian rulers thus wanted to show the importance of the state.
»  The arch was constructed in 1037.
»  The wide entrance had a spacious area where the Church of the Annunciation was located. The white stone construction situated above the military tower showed that a Christian settlement was laid there.
»  The entrance opening is almost 8 meters wide and 12 meters high.
»  Both time and people were merciless to the ancient relic. The ruins of the Golden Gate were covered with earth. The new one appeared next to it.
»  During excavations, mosaic fragments, ceramic dishes, fresco plaster were found under the hidden layer of ground. The artifacts helped identify the interior of the church.
»  The driveway was freed again, and the masonry was restored (1832). Today, the historical site is enclosed by the cast-iron fence.
»  There’s a museum in the extension near the gate. It displays the surviving details of the fortress wall. Here you can discover the detailed history of the ancient monument.

Kiev Fortress, Kiev

Location on the map:     Interesting facts:
» The fortifications of the ancient fortress form a whole complex. The constructions of the kind had been built since the 12th century. Fortified wall panels were erected specially for reinforcement.
»  Emperor of All Russia Peter I personally ordered the construction of the powerful citadel.
»  The defensive complex was completed in 1723.
»  The fortress had through passages built in the second half of the 18th century.
»  Museum exhibits tell visitors about the history of the rampart called the Kosyi Caponier (“Skew Caponier”).
»  Initially, three rope roads led to the fortification. The cableway was used to deliver building materials, ammunition, and soldiers.
»  Special hollows that could immediately fill with water were dug. There was enough power to overturn enemy ships. There’s evidence of the facts in the chronicles.
»  The museum complex exhibits the relics of the former construction: personal award badges, soldiers’ uniforms, weapon arsenal.
»  The wagon that transported prisoners sentenced to death from cells to the military fort remained intact. The last prisoner in the punishment cell was the designer of the fortress.

Kiev Pechersk Lavra, Kiev

Location on the map:     Interesting facts:
» In the 11th century, a priest dug a hole in the ground in a forest to serve the Lord in seclusion. The followers joined him. Constructions began to arise.
»  Nowadays, the Kiev Pechersk Lavra (it means “street”) is a monastery complex with 14 Orthodox monasteries. There are museums, a functioning monastery, a printing house, bell towers – 41 buildings in total. The area occupied is 30 hectares.
»  The objects that are particularly revered are the remains of the departed men of God who did a lot for the country. Wonder-working icons are brought here.
»  The holy site is located on two elevations by the Dnieper River. The white-stone Dormition Church (1073) is considered to be the main temple.
»  The landmark of the place is underground passages stretching for 400 meters. The grottoes are 15 meters deep. They have churches and crypts.
»  The relics are put in wooden boxes and covered with mantels. Some have wrists that are able to be seen to show that a body is not destroyed by decomposition.
»  Three myrrh-leaking heads rest in cells. Studies showed that the fragrant organic oil has healing properties. The phenomenon defies scientific laws.

Latin Cathedral, Lviv

Location on the map:     Interesting facts:
» The stone structure with an elongated ledge belongs to the Latin Cathedral.
»  The interior is spacious – 67x23 metres. The building resembles a cube from the outside. Several chapels were later built around the architectural figure.
»  Until the middle of the 18th century, family vaults were located in the crypt. Memorial inscriptions have the information about the people buried here. Some tombs have sculptures as a token of sorrow.
»  Inside, the openings are supported by numerous columns. The vault and wall panels are rich in frescoes with scenes from church life and the formation of the urban settlement, which lasted for over 700 years. The altar is framed by marble sculptures of saints.
»  In 1360, the house of God started to be built on the site of the former Orthodox Church. The work lasted for over a hundred years.
»  In 1672, the Turkish attack on the city was repulsed. The cores of cannons hung on the cathedral walls serve as a reminder of those times.
»  When Austria occupied Galicia in 1772, indignant citizens barricaded the main entrance. The mured arched passageways can still be seen.
»  The spire on the tower ends with a cross that was covered with gold leaf in 1844.

Livadia Palace, Yalta

Location on the map:     Interesting facts:
» The royal family often visited the summer residence at the Crimean coast.
»  On the second floor, there is a permanent exhibition in the room where the nobles stayed. The interior of the rooms has been restored according to preserved pictures.
»  Five rooms are open for visitors. The spacious but not luxurious room with a lot of light belonged to Nicholas II. He did not love pretentiousness. The room of the hostess was served as a living room where relatives got together. There is preserved original finish, pieces of furniture, flowerpots, picturesque canvasses, and the piano. The Empress played it.
»  The luxurious spouses’ bedroom impresses with its luxurious interior. The furniture here is maple. The bed is covered with an ornate silk canopy.
»  There is a small dining room finished with yew. In the princesses’ classroom, there is a blackboard with inscriptions made by one of the girls.
»  The other exhibition is dedicated to the Yalta Conference. The Livadia Palace met the level of the international meeting. Pictures of world leaders taken on the background of the magnificent landscape appeared in all the media of that period.
»  In 1834, the Polish Count constructed the first building. The Livadia attraction is over 100 years old.

Lviv Arsenal, Lviv

Location on the map:     Interesting facts:
» Medieval Lviv needed to protect its borders. The city institution, where weapons and ammunition were stored, repaired, assembled and where their records were kept, served that purpose.
»  Gunmakers cast guns right near the arsenal.
»  There used to be a prison. An executioner enforcing the death penalty lived in one of the rooms. There was also a torture chamber there.
»  The fortification was built in 1556.
»  The two-storey stone building resembled a rectangle in shape and had an octagonal tower on one of its sides.
»  During archaeological excavations, artefacts testifying to the fact that the barrier dated from the 14th century were found.
»  There’s currently a museum on the site. Its collection includes different types of weapons: cold, throwing, stabbing, cutting, firearms. There are also samples of protective technical equipment.
»  Cannon guns, armour, soldiers’ clothes, badges of military prowess, and even horse harness fragments collected from 30 countries are displayed on shelves and postaments. Flint and stone tools are the pride of the collection.
»  The museum has almost five thousand items in total.

Lviv City Hall, Lviv

Location on the map:     Interesting facts:
» The city council is headquartered in the building located on Market Square.
»  The first administrative building appeared in Lviv in 1357, when it obtained the right to self-governance. Demonstrative executions used to be held here.
»  The wooden building burned down completely in the fire that broke out 25 years later.
»  In 1826, the town hall collapsed. 8 people were trapped in the rubble.
»  Then it was decided to erect a new building made of stone.
»  The present-day four-storey tower was built in 1835. It was faced with brickwork. The town hall had its own courtyard.
»  The construction was damaged by shellfire during the revolutions of 1848. The roof had to be replaced with a jagged covering, similar to ones present in medieval castles.
»  A clock was mounted on the tower. It still tells the exact time, and plays the anthem in the morning.
»  Before the main entrance, there are sculptures of lions. The animals hold a heraldic shield and the emblem of the settlement in their paws.
»  Guided tours are held both inside and outside the building.
»  Having climbed 408 steps, a tourist will find themselves on the observation deck of the 65-metre tower.
»  A blue-yellow flag that appeared in 1919 crowns the spire.
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Photogallery of Ukraine architecture

What to see in top cities of Ukraine

Kiev
Another great way to enjoy the beauty of dungeons is to take the Kiev Metro. Some stations are striking with their rich decoration, and Metro Golden Gate Station is among the most spectacular ones. Gorgeous natural stone elements, huge medieval-style chandeliers, and painted vaulted ceilings - a visit to this place is akin to exploring a medieval castle. Like to play computer games preferring the most difficult quests? If yes, go to an original game room at 9 Borysoglebska Street. At this … Read more
Lviv
Another great way to combine a tasting of national food with an educational tour is to visit Gasova Lampa Restaurant (Kerosene lamp) on Armenian Street. Few people know that that a kerosene lamp was invented here in Lviv in 1853. This amazing theme restaurant was opened in honor of the 155th anniversary of the landmark event. Kerosene lamps are the main decoration of the place, dozens of lamps of various periods are presented at the entrance. Restaurant visitors will have the opportunity not … Read more
Odessa
Walking further along Catherine Street, be sure to stop at house number 43. This one houses a cozy cafe where you can relax over a cup of aromatic tea. At the entrance to the cafe, there is quite an original attraction - a car with flowers. A small old blue car was turned into a living flowerbed. In summer, flowers are planted directly in the car's hood and cabin. Cathedral Square is one of the most visited attractions in Odessa. It serves as the venue for a number of interesting cultural … Read more

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