The 18th and 19th centuries were the golden age for street life in Kyiv. Merchants filled this area a century ago when it was a red-light district. Today, they are long gone due to sweeping changes in laws that have taken place over time as street vendors remain on Andriivs’kyi descent today.
The Andriivskyi descent in Kyiv is the street of museums and art galleries. It is a favorite stop for tourists looking to buy paintings or take home some crafts from this area that has been around since ancient times.
From the top of Andriyivska Hill to Podil
At the top of Andriivskyi Hill is the upper neighborhood at the beginning of the winding road that leads to Podil. Andriivskyi Hill offers an exciting experience for visitors as they begin to descend down the street, often filled with tourists and street vendors selling crafts and traditional Ukrainian trinkets. You’ll find yourself in the presence of the stunning and majestic shadow of St. Andrew’s Church on the right as the slow walk begins.
I was born and raised less than 600 meters from this historic street. I’ve worn out numerous pairs of shoes walking up and down Andriivs’kyi Descent during my childhood, as well during thousands of tours. In my free time and as a tour guide, the exact number of times I’ve walked up and down the descent is likely more times than most tourists have walked to their mailboxes during their lives.
Marishka has walked down Andriivskyi descent thousands of times
St Andrew’s Church
The Andriyivskyy Descent begins on the summit of Andriyivska Hill, Starokyivska Hora (Old Kyiv mountain). The hill and street name derive from the majestic and ornate St. Andrew’s Church.
Mikhail Bulgakov Museum
The Bulgakov House on Andriyivsky Descent (no. 13) still stands as a monument to famous writer Mikhail Bulgakov. He and his family lived here early 20th century during turbulent times of the 1917 Russian Revolution. They were living at another house near the museum, which now displays a plaque with the address used by the author in a book he wrote about a street called “Alekseevski Spusk.”
Castle of Richard the Lionheart
The Castle of Richard the Lionheart house was initially called Orlov House after its constructor, Dmitry Orlov. But because he failed to clear construction with authorities. House 15, known among locals and guests as “the Castle of Richard the Lionheart,” is one of Kyiv’s most attractive buildings. The house has nothing to do with English King Richard I. Instead, it was given its unusual nickname due to t its resemblance to medieval knightly castles in Neo-Gothic style.
One Street Museum
The One Street Museum is a memorable attraction of the Andriyivskyy Descent, which houses many historical items from this street. They include information about Saint Andrew’s Church and how it was once a castle before being converted into an Orthodox church in 1587 when Ivan VI was tsar at that time. The One Street Museum has an exciting collection of various works by Ukrainian philologist P. Zhitetsky, Arabist and professor at Kyiv University. Journalist A Savenko lived in house 34 during different periods.
Yaroslav the Wise Monument
Yaroslav the Wise is one of the most prominent figures in Rus’ history. He was Grand Prince of Novgorod and Kyiv, which he ruled until his death.
Pronya Prokopovna and Svirid Golohvastov Monument
The monument to Pronya Prokopovna and Svirid Golohvastov on Andriiyvs’kyi descent was unveiled in 1989, representing two characters from the performance Chasing Two Rabbits written by Mykhailo Starytskyi. The love between Svirid and Pronya is everlasting as they gaze into each other’s eyes, with a hand extended to touch their lips as depicted in this Ukrainian comedy. Two legendary myths accompany this statue. The first is if a woman rubs the ring of Pronya Prokopivna, she will be married soon. The second is if you touch the bug on the back of Svirid Petrovich, fortune and luck are not far behind.
Taras Shevchenko Monument
Another famous monument on the St. Andrews descent in Kyiv is dedicated to Ukraine’s most renowned poet and artist, Taras Shevchenko. This prominent landmark is positioned to the right of Yaroslav the Wise and was unveiled on October 27, 1918. It’s the first monument dedicated to the distinguished poet.
Andriivs’kyi Descent Tour FAQs
What is Andriivs’kyi Descent?
Andriivs’kyi Descent, also known as Andrew’s Descent. is the oldest and most legendary street in Kyiv that still exists, and it has a fascinating history. It began when Kievan Rus connected Upper Town to Lower Town, making it one of only two streets where people could move around quickly due to its width. In the 18th century, Andrew’s Descent widened more than before, making carts drawn by oxen passable.
Where is Andriivs’kyi Descent?
Podil, Old Kyiv, Kyiv, Ukraine; near St. Andrew’s Church
Who is Andriivs’kyi?
Saint Andrew, Andrew the Apostle to Jesus, brother of Saint Peter
Why is Andriivs’kyi Descent famous?
Location, history, and Saint Andrew; once filled with merchants and street crafts-people, then a red-light district with a significant historic church at the top of the hill, unique topology, vibrant history with artists and writers, among a few reasons.
When were the first buildings erected?
What are the legendary tales of Andriivs’kyi Descent?
1. The story goes that when Saint Andrew, as an apostle, visited this remote area of land along the Dnieper River. He erected a cross on top of one hill overlooking the surrounding area. He prophesized for the region, now known as Kyiv, to be built into what would eventually become one great Christian city. His prophecy has since come true as churches began appearing all around this specific area.
2. Saint Andrew came to Kyiv, erected his cross, and the water disappeared. Legend has it that the water went beneath the hill. This is why St. Andrew’s Church doesn’t have church bells; fear of bells ringing and a flood of the city’s left bank.
How many meters long is the street?
720 meters, 2360 feet
What’s the street made of?
Was Andriivs’kyi Descent a red-light district?
Yes, prostitution was legalized on the descent sometime around 1843-1844. An iconic church at the top of the hill and days and nights filled with debauchery and lust on the way down the street.
How long is the tour of the street?
4 hours, including travel time for pickup/dropoff and combined with other tours or as an individual tour.
How will we get to Andriivs’kyi Descent?
My reliable transportation, by car and then walk a short distance to Andriivskyi Hill, or from Podil if we are walking up the street.
What language does Marishka speak on the tour?
English, Russian, Ukrainian
How much does the Andriivs’kyi Descent Tour cost?
1 person- 110 EURO
2 guests- 70 EURO per person
3 guests- 65 EURO per person
4 guests- 60 EURO per person
5+ guests, contact me for price.
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