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St. Andrew Descent
The ukrainian souvenirs street
Kiev is a wonderful, fantastic, outstanding and magic city with the rich history, beautiful sights, friendly people and unforgettable charm.
There are some special places in every city that make it different from the others. St.Andrew’s Descent (or in Ukrainian: Andriyivsky Uzviz) is such a unique place in Kiev. The whole street was completely renovated and after its construction was finished in 2012, the attraction was given a new breath. Nowadays you may watch and buy huge variety of Ukrainian and USSR souvenirs.
St.Andrew’s Descent is the Montmartre of Kiev, one of the main cultural and art places. There is a market street of arts and crafts and many artists display their works on the street sides. Historically, the Andrew’s Descent connected the governmental part of the Upper City with the Podil, the Downtown of merchants. Now it is the Kievites' favorite place for outdoor fairs, festivals and concerts. Travellers come here to visit art-galleries, shops and studios. Only here you will see a great selection of various souvenirs, antiques and paintings. It’s definitely the right place to discover a deeper insight to Kyiv’s culture and historical roots.
The "entrance" , the begining and the main attraction of the street is:
The baroque St. Andrew's Church
In the year 1744 the Russian Empress Elizabeth was visiting the home-land of her favorite Alexey Rozumovsky and decided to build her summer residence here. She herself laid the first symbolic brick of the new palace and church. A famous Italian architect Bartolomeo Rastrelly supervised the construction, and the interior was decorated by many artists including A. Antropov. Unfortunately the Empress died before the work was finished and it was a struggle to keep the church maintained. After several reconstructions the church changed too much from its original but luckily Ratsrelli's plans were found and in 1970s it was fully restored. Now the church-museum catches the eye of the visitors straight away. Its beauty and the aura of history make the place a must for visitors. The church is located on the high Podil hill and is visible from almost all parts of the city and is known as one of the city's best landmarks.
Downhill from the St. Andrew’s Church the street moves down to the Podil district and it finally ends at the Kontraktova Square.
Mikhail Bulgakov house/museum
If you walk down you will see the house of famous Kiev-born Russian writer Mikhail Bulgakov, who lived here for many years. The house is the scene of 'The White Guard' and 'The Days of the Turbins' and is now Bulgakov's museum. Not far away - house number 2b - is the One Street Museum, one of the most famous and popular museums in Kiev with a small but lovely exposition.
There are several legends about St. Andrew’s Descent in Kiev. These legends make this street all the more popular for holidays in Ukraine. One of them is connected with Richard’s house – the reconstructed neo-Gothic style building. According to the legend, the ghost of its gloomy owner still roams about the house. The constructors of the building have their scientific explanation of the noise which can be really heard sometimes in the building, but I prefer to believe the legend as all this place is magic and mysterious because of its unique atmosphere and charm.
When looking for the best souvenir Ukraine has got this beautifull St Andrew street where you will find the most popular and common Ukrainian souvenirs to bring from Ukraine. Also you may hunt on souvenirs in the underground mall and underground road cross on Majdan/Independence square.