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From the series: SIGHTSEEING IN KIEV
Article "Mysterious paths of 
Mariinsky Park"

Mariinsky Park is considered to be one of the most favourite places of Kyiv residents and visitors. You can feel its charm in the quiet morning, during busy day and peaceful night, lit by the warm light of candy park lights. It is in this multi-faceted place, which is the Mariinsky Park, you can understand part of Kiev soul - a mysterious and alluring one.

Mariinsky Park is located on the upper terrace of the Dniper from Vladimir descent to the underground station "Arsenalna".

It had different names in the past: Victims of the Revolution, Proletarian, Soviet, Imperial, Pervomaisky.

It is named after the wife of Emperor Alexander II, Empress Maria Alexandrovna. In 1874 English-style park with area of 8.9 ha was established due to her contribution (gardener O.G. Nedzelskiy). In 1763 the park was planted with fruit trees and orchard-houses were built by gardeners D. Fok and L. Chamberlain.

On the territory of the Mariinsky park are: Arch of Friendship of Peoples, Puppet Theatre, Water museum, the Mariinsky Palace, the stadium "Dynamo", the monument to General Vatutin participants of January Rebellion  1918, the outstanding Ukrainian artist Mary Zankovetska, the graves of revolutionists - Andrei Ivanov and Ivan Smirnov-Lastochkin.

Sculptural composition with an arch of  "Friendship of Peoples" appeared in 1982 in the course of preparation for the celebration of 1500 anniversary of Kiev, replacing the summer stage. Central to the composition is a monument of Friendship of Nations, dedicated to the reunification of Ukraine and Russia. It is made of metal, granite and bronze and shows 2 figures (height - 6.2 m) of workers are Russian and a Ukrainian lifting the tape together of with the "Order of Friendship of Peoples". A bit further - stretched horizontally stele with multigroup, centered - Bohdan Khmelnytsky and Boyar - Russian ambassador. This group was created after the historic events that occurred on 8 (18) January 1654 - Pereiaslav Rada. Sculptural groups are linked by rainbow arch "Arch of Friendship of Peoples".

Kiev State Theater of puppets, puppet theater the oldest in Ukraine, was founded in 1927. In 2002, for its enormous contribution to the development of Ukrainian theater, Kiev State Theater was awarded the status of academic theater. The project of new Kiev Puppet Theatre was elaborated by architect Vitaly Yudin. The three-story building in the form of fairy-tale castle with spires houses the two halls – per 300 and 110 people. There are also children’s cafe and – surprise of the theatre: museum of antique dolls.

Water museum - one of the newest and most popular museums in Kiev, which is housed in the first city water tower, built in 1872 - 1876. Tower, this is in itself a landmark - a monument of architecture of the nineteenth century.
The museum’s exhibition, created in amusing fashion, tells everything about water, showing circulation of water. The conditions for travelling along the continents, during which you can see how the glaciers are melting, rain, waterfall, erupting geysers, are created. For kids there is a possibility to change the channel of the river, play with soap bubbles, as well as to touch the live fish, which lives in huge aqua.

Dynamo stadium (Dynamo stadium named. After V.V. Lobanovskiy) - club home stadium of FC Dynamo Kiev. Architects - W.Osmak and V.Bespalov. At the beginning of XX century on the territory of the current stadium you could see greenhouses that supplied vegetables and fruits to the royal residence - the Mariinsky Palace. There was also very popular among urban dwellers cafe Chantal Chateau de Fleur ".

Mariinsky Palace is located next to the Parliament and is the ceremonial residence of the President of Ukraine. This Palace has undergone fires and reconstructions, was designed in baroque style by Bartolomeo Rastrelli, the palace now used for summits and official receptions.

During the Civil War 1917 - 1921 Mariinsky park was used as a place of honor for the burials. Here there was a mass grave for participants of January Uprising of 1918. Later, in 1944, on the site of previously demolished church of St. Alexander Nevsky, General of Soviet army, Nikolai Fedorovich Vatutin - Commander of the 1st Ukrainian Front, who liberated Kiev from Nazi occupation, was buried here. Granite statue was put at his grave. The sculptor of the monument is EV Vucetic, architect J. B. Belopol’skii.

Not every resident of Kiev knows that at the Mariinsky park stands a sculpture of outstanding Ukrainian artist - Mary Zankovetska. At the stage, her artistic career began with the debut of "Natalka-Poltavka" (1882). The flowering of the talent of Mary Zankovetska refers to the time of her play in the famous troupe of M.L. Kropivnitskogo and later in the troupe N.K. Sadowski. Even critics highly valued talent of Zankovetska, the direct charm of her play. Even today Zankovetska remains unsurpassed pride of the Ukrainian theater. This monument attracts the attention, if you stop and peer into it. Monument fits well with the atmosphere of the park and especially symbolic that is set next to the stage.

The park stage, with the nickname “seashell” gathers fans of classical and lovers of fierysalsa.

The park is especially loved by the beloved - there is a bridge here dedicated to the most bright feeling in the world. Here you can see written declarations of love, tied ribbons and hung locks-good sign of bonding hearts forever.

Author Horostovska Natalia (Aranrut)


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