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Mariinsky Park

Mariinsky Park

Park with the area of 10.7 hectares planned in landscape style. Cozy, shady, with old lindens, maples and chestnut trees, the park is a unique memo of landscape art of the past. Its name Mariinsky Park got due to palace of the same name, located some distance away. Mariinsky Palace was built in 1750-1755 as a temporary residence of Empress Elizabeth. Project of the palace in baroque style was designed by her favourite architect Bartolomeo Rastrelli. But ironically, Elizabeth didn’t succeed in visiting her Kiev residence - the first guest of the palace became Catherine II.It survived after many disasters: a fire that destroyed a wooden second floor and all the ceremonial rooms, the Great Patriotic War, when the central part of the building was bombed, but many renovations coped with their mission and now this historic building is the residence of government. All solemn events, starting with rewarding heroes, presentation of credentials and ending with meetings of official delegations on top level are held here. Mariinsky Palace - this is the one above which President of Ukraine congratulates compatriots on the New Year.

The park was erected in 1743 by the project of architect O.G.Nedzelskiy based on an old Regular garden founded by Peter I. In 1763, the park was planted with fruit trees with the participation of garden masters D. Fok and L. Chamberlain and built greenhouses. Park of 8.9 hectares was planned in the landscape style, the so-called English style. The territory where "Dynamo" stadium is now, previously known as "Rose Valley", there placed the theater (cafe-shantan) Chateau de Fleur.

Until the 1870s, in front of Marinsky Palace there was parade ground for military exercises; a garden with a scenic view point appeared here by order of Empress Maria Alexandrovna, wife of Nicholay II. In 1874, she established Regular Park in English style with the area of8.9 hectares at her facilities. Later park changed its view - there were planted bushes, ornamental tree species, many of which have survived to this day. In those days, park was called Tsarist, only later it was named Mariinsky - in honor of the Empress - founder.

The history of the contemporary Mariinsky Park is closely connected with the name of another royal lady - widow of Emperor Alexander III - Maria Feodorovna, who settled in the Mariinsky Palace in 1915. She enjoyed walking in the park in any weather. Maria Feodorovna did her best for the development of the park, but the revolutionary events in the country contributed that the empress had to leave the palace. In the late 30-ies of the 20th century park became known as the Mariinsky Park, as the word "tsar" at that time acquired a negative, even abusive meaning.

At the end of the nineteenth century, iron decorative fountain was installed in the park, one of the series of fountains installed throughout Kiev, requested by the Kiev foundry of Termen, and has been preserved to these days. Along the alleys on low pedestals were the marble busts and statues that faced nameplates with remarks. In 1912 Agricultural Exhibition was opened in the park. In 1902-1912 through the park ran alley of Peter, and in 1915 the delicate metal park bridge was thrown over the alley. During the Civil War Mariinsky park was used as a honourable place for burials. There appeared a mass grave of the participants of January Uprising of 1918. Later, in 1944, the Soviet Army General Nikolai Vatutin, who emancipated Kiev from the Nazis, buried on the place of previously located church. Over his grave one set a granite statue, which stands in the park today.

On the territory of the Mariinsky park is one of the most unusual museums in Kiev - Water Museum, located in an old water tower. Its ingenious built exposition tells about the water cycle. Here you can, immersed into the ground, make a "journey" by continents: see how ice melts, geysers erupt, visit the cave with stalactites. In the museum you can even get into a real rain with thunder and be inside a huge bubble.

The main entrance to the park is located opposite the entrance to the Parliament through the street Grushevskogo.

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