St. Andrew's Descent

Source : 112 Ukraine

The oldest street of Kyiv
18:48, 1 May 2017

According to the legend, St. Andrew's descent got its name after Saint Andrew the First-Called. The Chronicle of Nestor narrates that after protracted attempts to spread Christianity in the Scythian lands, about two thousand years ago, the Apostle Andrew blessed the slopes of the Dnipro River and predicted the appearance of a great Christian city. At the place where Andrew had put his holy cross, was subsequently built the church, named after him. At present Andrew's Church is the main adornment of the street.

In times of Kyiv Rus, Andrew's descent was the shortest route from the Upper City, where the Golden Gate and St. Sophia Cathedral were situated, to the Lower City – Podil. The city port and artisan districts were also located there.

In 1711, by the order of the Kyiv governor, the passage between Zamkova and St. Andrew's hills was expanded and it became accessible not only for pedestrians and riders, but also for carts pulled by horses and oxen. After the October Revolution of 1917, according to the trends of that time, in 1920, St. Andrew's descent was renamed to G.V.Leaver Street. In 1944, it was decided to return the historical name of the street, but this occurred only in 1957, when authorities took resolution. The main development of St. Andrew's descent was made at the turn of the XIX and XX centuries. Many prominent scientists, writers, composers, painters, sculptors lived and worked there.

Nowadays, Andrew's descent is sometimes called Kyiv's Montmartre - the artists come here with their works for sale, and musicians. Here you can buy Ukrainian souvenirs - embroidered, painted pottery, figurines. Every year on the Day of Kyiv, at St. Andrew's descent the public viewing of crafts is held. St. Andrew's Descent is a Street-Museum. Here and there, you can observe something interesting, in the street reigns the bohemian atmosphere of the late 19th – early 20th century. In honour of St. Andrew's Descent the museum dedicated to the history of the street was opened, which is called the "Museum of one street". Today, apart from antique shops and art galleries, theaters, museums, cafes and restaurants, the descent is also famous for its unique landmarks.

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The main attraction of the descent is St. Andrew's Church, built by order of Catherine II, the author of the project was Rastrelli. If you go beneath, you will bump into  one of the most mysterious and enigmatic buildings in Kyiv - Castle of Richard. An important element of cultural background is the house number 13, where the writer Mikhail Bulgakov lived, the author of the novels "The White Guard", "Days of the Turbins." At present this house is a museum of Bulgakov.

Related: Kyiv ready for Eurovision

In these latter days, Andrew's descent lights in the news and resounds in public discussions due to its recent reconstruction. Euro 2012, as you know, was invoked to improve and develop Kyiv. And the renovation of the descent was planned one year before the Football cup EURO-2012. The first most frightening thing was, of course, the threat of building commercial and business centers and all kinds of offices. Other anxieties were concerned with the replacement of the old pavement, which covered the descent from the its top to bottom. Being bulky, broken and rather uncomfortable, it gives a vintage look to this legendary place, focusing on its being one of a kind. Scrubbing slabs that covers the historical center of the city do not go in comparison with unique paving stone.

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Having been on the scene before and after reconstruction, it is difficult to estimate the changes that have touched upon the street. It is difficult to deny that the street was westernized almost by force

St. Andrew's Descent really looks beautiful today. Polished facades, smoothness of pavement surfaces instantly clicks with anyone who chooses to get a quick impression of the historically valuable architectural element.

This year Eurovision is hosted by our the native town for – Ukraine’s capital Kyiv.

Follow the final of Eurovision 2017 on Saturday May 13, with semi-finals on May 9 and 11.

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