Sunday, October 17, 2010

St. Andrew's Church, Kiev

This glorious church was named for the Apostle Andrew and designed by Rastrelli, the Italian architect who also designed the Winter Palace in St. Petersburg in the late 18th century. It stands at the top of one of Kiev's famous streets, called Andrew's Descent. A winding affair with rough cobblestones and lots of steps, it is lined with small shops and art galleries.
I was there early on a Saturday and not much was open yet. There was an old man with a car piled with what looked to be very nice wool and sheepskin products, but on such a hot day I could not imagine buying any. I was very glad I had worn running shoes, rather than the usual sandals, to be able to negotiate the rough street..
One of the attractions of Andrew's Descent is the Bulgakov Museum, former home of the famous Russian writer Mikhail Bulgakov. His best-known work is The Master and Margarita, an account of the devil's visit to Moscow in Stalinist times.
After I reached the bottom of Andrew's Descent I got lost and had my first experience of Kiev's Metro, when a young man who spoke English told me I needed to take it. Fare is only about a quarter, it is efficient and at least on Saturdays, not too crowded. It's a good way to get around the city inexpensively.
St. Andrew's Church and the street beside it are well worth a visit, especially if you go when the shops are open.


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