Volodymyrska Hirka or Volodymyrsky Hill (Saint Volodymyr Hill) is a large 10.6 hectares (0.106 km2) park located on the steep right-bank of the Dnipro River downtown Kyiv. Its most famous and prominent landmark is the monument to St. Volodymyr of Kyiv, which was erected in 1853 and dedicated to the Great Prince of Kyiv Volodymyr the Great. Volodymyr is also called the Baptiser of Rus, as he introduced Christianity into Old Rus in 988.
This monument, overlooking the scenic panorama of the Kyiv’s left-bank has become one of the symbols of the capital of Ukraine. It is often depicted in paintings and photographs of the city. Volodymyrska Hirka park was established in the mid-19th century, and got its name because of the monument.
photo by Okosmin
Volodymyrska Hirka was first mentioned in the Primary Chronicles of Kyivan Rus, where it describes Sviatopolk II of Kyiv building the St. Michael’s Golden-Domed Cathedral in 1108. The hill, on which the cathedral was built, was a citadel within the ancient part of Kyiv, built by and named after Iziaslav I of Kyiv.
Volodymyrska Hirka originally only referred to a park located at the highest and middle terraces of the historic St. Michael’s Hill, which was named after St. Michael’s Golden-Domed Cathedral and Monastery. However, the name “St. Michael’s Hill” went into decline after destruction of the cathedral and the renaming of local streets by the Soviet regime in the 1930s.
Construction of the terraces which you can see today started in the 1840s. Volodymyrska Hirka park became the first free-of-charge public park in Kyiv.
In 1902 at the upper part of the terrace next to the St. Alexander Cathedral, which is the oldest Catholic Church in Kyiv, a pavilion with a Golgotha panorama was opened, though this was destroyed in 1935 by the Soviet regime.
On the eastern side of Volodymyrska Hirka park there is the cobblestone street Saint Volodymyr Descent.
At the park’s northern end, there is the St. Michael’s Golden-Domed Cathedral and a Kyiv Funicular, which connects Kyiv Upper Town and the historic Podil district.
Ukrainian House (Ukrayinsky Dim) is located near the park’s southern border by Tryokhsvyatytelska street (the Three Saints Street).
Behind the Ukrainian House can see a wrought-iron gazebo in the park, which was installed in 1899 and became its feature. This gazebo was built through the sponsorship of a rich Moscow merchant and oil magnate Vasiliy Kokorev who was impressed by Kyiv’s beauty very much.
Volodymyrsky Hill park is very beautiful in spring. Different conserts, fesivals and exhibitions are organized over there during the warm seasons.
How to get there: If by metro, go to Maidan Nezalezhnosti station (blue line) or Zoloti Vorota station (green line), and walk to the St. Michael’s Golden-Domed Cathedral. You’ll find the Volodymyrska Hirka park behind the Cathedral.
You can also walk up the Tryokhsvyatytelska street and turn right when you see stairs behind the Ukrayinsky Dim (Ukrainian House). This route is good when you walk from European Square.