The Podil district in Kiev is packed with historic churches. Some of them survived the Soviets while others were demolished and rebuilt.
A good place to start is with the Church of the Nativity of Christ, located across the street from the Kiev Funicular. There was a church on the site since at least 1543, but it burned down in the early 18th century. It was reconstructed in 1765 and lasted 40 years until it was demolished in 1805. Another church was built on the site in 1810 and was the location of Ukrainian writer Taras Shevchenko’s funeral in 1861. That church was turned into a hostel by the Soviets and later demolished in 1936. Finally, with the help of the city, the current church was rebuilt in 2005 and belongs to the Ukrainian Orthodox Church – Kiev Patriarchate.
Two blocks down Petra Sahaidachnoho Street and turning left are two more churches. Tucked quietly behind a fence is the Pokrovskaya Church, built in 1772. Across the street is the bell tower from the Church of St. Nicholas the Good, built in 1716. Nothing else remains from the church.
Continuing to Kontraktova Square, on the southeast corner there’s a blue building and green bell tower that used to be the Greek Orthodox Church of St. Catherine. It was built in 1915 and was part of a monastery founded by Greek immigrants in 1748. It now functions as a bank branch.
To the west of the square is the Pyrohoshcha Church, originally built between 1131 and 1136. In 1934, it became the cathedral of the Ukraine Autocephalous Orthodox Church but was destroyed by the Soviets just a year later. It was rebuilt in 1998 and now belongs to the Ukrainian Orthodox Church – Kiev Patriarchate.
Further west of the square is the Frolivsky Convent. It was founded in the 16th century and expanded in the early 18th century. It was closed in 1929 and reopened after the Nazis entered Kiev in 1941. After that, it was one of the few monasteries that was allowed to remain active during the Soviet period of atheism.
The main church of the convent, the Church of the Ascension, was built in 1722. After a fire destroyed all of the wooden buildings in the complex in 1811, only the Church of the Ascension and a 17th century refectory remained.
About a block north of the Florivsky Convent is another church, St. Nicholas Prityska. It was built in the 18th century and belongs to the Ukrainian Orthodox Church – Kiev Patriarchate.
Finally, on the Dnipro River is St. Nicholas On-the-Water. It’s a small chapel built in 2004 literally in the river. To get there, you have to go through an underpass to cross a busy road. On the other side is a riverwalk. There’s a bridge to the chapel for those who want to visit.
The riverwalk is a great place to admire the views of the river and Khreshchatyi Park, see the riverboats, and watch the people pass by.