Parks Along the Dnipro River

Many gorgeous forested parks sit along the Dnipro River in Kiev. In this post, I’ll cover the three parks from Mariyinsky Palace all the way to Khreshchatyk Street.

Mariyinskyi Park was founded in 1847 takes its name from Mariyinsky Palace. The palace was built between 1744 and 1752 for Russian Empress Elizaveta Petrovna. Used as an agricultural school during the 1920s and later a museum, it’s now the ceremonial residence of the President of the Ukraine.

Mariyinsky Palace in Kiev, Ukraine

Mariyinsky Palace

The park, which is in front of the the palace, gives you a good opportunity to relax. I took a stroll to a lookout point at the end of the path in front of the palace, walked through the woods a bit, and grabbed a well-deserved ice cream after a long day of walking.

View from Mariyinskyi Park in Kiev, Ukraine

View from Mariyinskyi Park

Next to the palace is the Verkhovna Rada (Ukrainian Parliament). It was built between 1936 and 1939 after the capital of the Ukrainian SSR was moved from Kharkiv to Kiev in 1934.

Verkhovna Rada in Kiev, Ukraine

Verkhovna Rada

About a block west is the Budynok Uryadu (literally Government Building), which houses the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine. Built between 1936 and 1938, it was the tallest building in Kiev until 1954.

Budynok Uryadu in Kiev, Ukraine

Budynok Uryadu

A bit further down is the National Art Museum of Ukraine. It was built in 1898 by architect Władysław Horodecki, who also built the House with Chimaeras, and opened in 1904.

National Art Museum of Ukraine in Kiev, Ukraine

National Art Museum of Ukraine

The park across from the Budynok Uryady and the National Art Museum is called Miskyi Sad Park. It’s got statues, a fountain, an outdoor theatre, and food vendors along with a pedestrian bridge over Peter’s Alley. The bridge, at the northern end of the park, leads to Khreshchatyi Park.

Bridge over Peter's Alley at Miskyi Sad Park in Kiev, Ukraine

Bridge over Peter’s Alley

Bridge over Peter's Alley at Miskyi Sad Park in Kiev, Ukraine

Bridge over Peter’s Alley

View from the bridge over Peter's Alley at Miskyi Sad Park in Kiev, Ukraine

View from the bridge over Peter’s Alley

View from the bridge over Peter's Alley at Miskyi Sad Park in Kiev, Ukraine

View from the bridge over Peter’s Alley

It’s also the location of Valeriy Lobanovskyi Dynamo Stadium, the historic home of Dynamo Kiev. The gates are at the western corner of the park, and the stadium can be seen through the trees along one of the park paths. The stadium opened in 1934 and has a capacity of just under 17,000. Dynamo Kiev plays some of their games there and the rest at Olimpiyskiy National Sports Complex.  In 2002, it was named after Valeriy Lovanovskyi, a former player and coach for both Dynamo Kiev and the USSR national football team who died earlier that year.

Valeriy Lobanovskyi Dynamo Stadium at Miskyi Sad Park in Kiev, Ukraine

Valeriy Lobanovskyi Dynamo Stadium

Valeriy Lobanovskyi Dynamo Stadium at Miskyi Sad Park in Kiev, Ukraine

Valeriy Lobanovskyi Dynamo Stadium

The aforementioned Khreshchatyi Park contains the Kiev Academic Puppet Theatre, a castle-like structure that was built in 1927.

Kiev Academic Puppet Theatre at Khreshchatyi Park in Kiev, Ukraine

Kiev Academic Puppet Theatre

Moving further along through the trails near the theatre, I found lots of people seated outside, a DJ, and plenty of street food vendors in front of the People’s Friendship Arch. The arch was dedicated to the unification of Russia and the Ukraine, and built in 1982. In May 2016, the government announced it would be dismantling it as part of its decommunization policy.

People’s Friendship Arch in Kiev, Ukraine

People’s Friendship Arch

People's Friendship Arch at Khreshchatyi Park in Kiev, Ukraine

People’s Friendship Arch

Underneath the arch are two sculptures. The sculpture to the left is made of bronze and depicts a Russian and Ukrainian worker holding up the Soviet Order of Friendship of Peoples. The one on the right is made from granite and depicts the participants of the Pereyaslavska Rada of 1654.

People's Friendship Arch at Khreshchatyi Park in Kiev, Ukraine

People’s Friendship Arch

People's Friendship Arch at Khreshchatyi Park in Kiev, Ukraine

People’s Friendship Arch

People's Friendship Arch at Khreshchatyi Park in Kiev, Ukraine

People’s Friendship Arch

People's Friendship Arch at Khreshchatyi Park in Kiev, Ukraine

People’s Friendship Arch

I followed a road down the hill from the arch and found the National Philharmonic of Ukraine (Lysenko Column Hall), which opened at the end of the 19th century. The Small Philharmonic Hall, built in 1934, is next to it.

National Philharmonic of Ukraine at Khreshchatyi Park in Kiev, Ukraine

National Philharmonic of Ukraine

Small Philharmonic Hall at Khreshchatyi Park in Kiev, Ukraine

Small Philharmonic Hall

Across the street is the Ukrainian House. It’s a convention center, but during Soviet times it was used as the All-Union Lenin museum. It opened in 1982.

Ukrainian House in Kiev, Ukraine

Ukrainian House

%d bloggers like this: