Journey Through the History of Andrew’s Descent
The street in Kiev, Ukraine, that is known as Andrew’s Descent is an eight hundred and fifty meter long street that is located on a steep incline and winds its short way between the hills of the city. It is a street that oozes history and nostalgia through the cracks of its cobble-stoned surface, and each building on either side is eccentric, fascinating and hides the secrets of its own unique story. One building on Andrew’s Descent holds the key to all the treasures on the street, past and present – the Museum of One Street.
There is an eerie feel to Andrew’s Descent that makes visitors aware of the fact that the street is an amalgamation of legend and reality. One myth that has been retold over the ages is that when St. Andrew arrived in Kiev, he placed a cross on top of the hill, which made the “sea”, where the Dnipro River now flows, recede in size to its current flow. St. Andrew’s Church was later built on the site, without bells, as it is believed that if a bell would toll from the church that the waters would return and flood the city of Kiev. St. Andrew also foretold of success and prosperity for the city. The road became the division between the upper class nobility and lower class of commoners who lived at the bottom of the hill. It was later known as the heart of Kiev, and the Museum of One Street became the storyteller of the people and the history that has been associated with the street.
Arts and culture is also synonymous with the street, with people such as H. Dyadchenko, S. Golubev, F. Krasitsky and I. Kavaleridze having lived on the street at some time. In 1991, the museum was opened to pay tribute to the people who brought art, interest and variety to the history of the street and it also has visual displays of the history of every building. Its portrayal of the street and its past, without political or ideological views, has made the museum a favorite attraction amongst tourists. Its extensive collection has more than four thousand items on exhibition, in unique and artistic displays. The exhibitions include documents, paintings, photographs, books, literary works, memorabilia, newspaper articles, items used in the daily lives of the people of Andrew’s Descent, and personal items of writers, doctors, artists and professors that once called the street home.
As an attraction in Ukraine, the Museum of One Street has gained fame from far and wide, and has received numerous awards for its comprehensive collection and its fascinating displays. Traveling through Kiev would not be complete without visiting the Museum of One Street and Andrew’s Descent.