Volodymyr Hill is a charming green park in the center of Kyiv. It is located on the right bank of the Dnipro River and extends over 10 hectares. It is a true gem of the capital and one of the favorite places of  Kyiv residents and tourists. While walking down its lanes, one can admire incredible views of the Dnipro River, the Lower City, and the Left Bank, take pictures against the backdrop of majestic monuments, feel the romantic mood of the old gazebos, and ride the only funicular in Ukraine.

The history of Volodymyr Hill began in the middle of the 19th century, when trees and shrubs were planted en masse here to strengthen the slopes against landslides. Back then, the place was known under the name of Mykhailiv Hill (after the St. Michael's Golden-Domed Monastery located nearby). The park got its current name in 1853 when a monument to Prince Volodymyr the Great was inaugurated on the hill and became its main landmark. According to a legend, it was on this mountain that the Equal-to-the-Apostles prince stood and observed the people of Kyiv being baptized in the waters of the Dnipro.


The statue of the prince towering over the city rests on an octagonal pedestal made of brick and cast iron. The shape of the pedestal resembles a chapel. The high relief reproduces the scene of the Christianization of Kyivan Rus. It has one curious feature - there is no place around the monument from which one can see Volodymyr's face without using special equipment. In his left hand, the prince holds a princely hat; in his right hand, a cross that lights up at night, becoming an orienting point for those passing by in the dark.

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Around 1900, a panorama of Calvary depicting the biblical story about the crucifixion of Jesus Christ was constructed on the hill. Sadly, it did not last to our days and was destroyed in the 1920s.

In 1905, an electric lift that was later named Funicular was constructed in the northern part of Volodymyr Hill. It became an important part of Kyiv's transport system, as it was the shortest route connecting the Upper and the Lower City. It has been working for over a century and is the only funicular in Ukraine.


It is noteworthy that at one point Volodymyr Hill Park was the only public garden in Kyiv that offered free entry - all other recreational places were on payment. In the mid-20th century, the sole summer cinema in the capital, namely "Volodymyr Hill", was inaugurated in the park; it also became the place for the annual flower exhibitions. At the end of the 1970s, the part of the hill overlooking what is now European Square was leveled, and construction of the Lenin Museum started. Construction works were completed in 1982, but the Lenin Museum never opened its doors. Now this building is the home to the "Ukrainian House" and hosts art exhibitions, fairs, concerts, and other cultural events.

Besides the monument of Prince Volodymyr, the park also hosts a statue of Dante Alighieri, the father of Italian literature. The author of the "Divine Comedy" appears in full height and is accompanied by an eagle. The composition is made of expensive and rare snow-white Carrara marble that was specially brought from Italy. The place for the sculpture was chosen by the Italian ambassador himself.


The park also has two metal gazebos, which have their own interesting history. In 1863, a merchant and millionaire named Vasyl Kokorev donated 1,000 rubles to the city treasury for installing a gazebo. The city authorities graciously accepted the gift and deposited the money in one of the capital's banks for safekeeping. And then, this valuable gift was forgotten for 33 years. During this time, the value of the donation increased significantly, so it was decided to utilize the funds to build two gazebos instead of one: one on a slope of Volodymyr Hill and another one right below St. Andrew's Church. The gazebos were nicknamed "Kokorivsky summerhouses", they are still in great condition and are one of the favorite city spots for meetings and romantic dates. They offer a fantastic view of Kyiv, stunning at any time and any season.

In general, Volodymyr Hill Park is an ideal place for dates, meetings with friends, outings with children, photo shoots, philosophical reflections, or jogging.

The address of the park is simple to remember: Volodymyr Hill, str. Triochsvyatytelska. The nearest metro stations: "Poshtova Ploshcha", "Maidan Nezalezhnosti". From the Poshtova Ploshcha metro station take the funicular or turn left from the European Square near the Ukrainian House.


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