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Dnipro Park Chain highlights

October 29th, 2007

kiev dnipro park_18The former-Communist government of Ukraine included in this spectacular park all sorts of war machinery. And to its credit, the now democratic Ukraine government continues to honor its war veterans by displaying its collection of vintage tanks, jeeps, helicopters, artillery, and even an SS-22 missile, all just outside the museum. For the war enthusiast, this display is really cool.

The end to this long walk through the Dnipro parks culminates at the museum, which holds an interesting assortment of artifacts. Above the museum (literally) stands the Motherland Statue, a 62-meter, chrome-nickel-steel monster weighing 550 tons. The shield shows the state symbol of the Soviet Union. I couldn’t help think, though, as I took pictures of this colossus, that it faces in the general direction of Moscow. Perhaps an irony, today, after so many years of Soviet-dominated politics and government? For more on the city, jump to Kiev.
kiev dnipro park_5Outside the Dnipro Parks
Old Town is really a jumble of the pre-20th Century and Stalinist-era architecture, but nonetheless it is just two blocks west outside the main entrance to Mis’kyi Sad Park. This is downtown Kiev, a point you can reach by underground at the Maiden Nezalezhnosti metro stop. Here you can find restaurants both authentically Ukraine or Euro-swanky.

Khreschatyk is also the main city street for shopping and hanging out, as much as Broadway & 34th St. is to New York, Oxford Street to London, and Paris’s Champs-Elysee. Globus is as it sounds: a glutton with 192 shops on two underground levels and one overland. Down the street, Mandarin Plaza has seven stories of shops. Take the time to look around at the Stalinist buildings in the city center—massive, broad-shouldered structures bearing a likeness to Uncle Joe’s steely face. All of this shopping leaves you with the impression that Ukrainians have taken to capitalism and shopping like ducks to water.

kiev dnipro park_3Back up north, at No. 13 Andriivs’kyi Street (metro station Poshtova Ploscha), you’ll find the house in which Mikhail Bulgakov lived and where he wrote several of his great existentialist works. Today the home is the Bulgakov Museum, and for a small fee you can wander through displays of the author’s life and family photographs. Additionally, Andriivs’kyi Street is the center of Kiev’s arts community, and you’ll find everything from the tacky to some very fine paintings and Ukrainian crafts as you walk up the steep hill towards St. Andrew’s church, built in 1754.

Directions to the Dnipro Parks
This is as easy as it gets: head east towards the river from anywhere in western Kyiv and you’ll walk into a tree. Otherwise, the metro stops (on the Red line) Khreschatyk, Arsenal’na, and Dnipro take you close to or directly opposite the park, as do (on the Blue line) Poshtova Ploscha and Maiden Nezalezhnosti.

(return to Dnipro Park main page here)

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