Tales of Askold’s Grave
Each country has its share of mystery, intrigue and legends, and in Ukraine there are a number of these stories that locals will retell. Two of its many legends are attached to a fascinating attraction located in Askold Grave Park, namely Askold’s Grave. Filled with tragedy, loss and greed, the story of Askold’s Grave is a fascinating history to explore. The monument and the entire Askold Grave Park has become one of the most popular attractions in Ukraine for tourists to visit.
Firstly, it is said that Dir and Askold were ancient rulers of Kiev in the 870s. Many historians believe that these two historic rulers were not of any noble background and were actually men of Rurik. They were also referred to as the sons of Kie, and it is said that Oleg’s jealousy led to him murdering both men in 882. These deaths were seen as a tragedy by the people of Kiev, and Askold’s Grave is still seen as the burial site of a prince. Both Askold and Dir were buried on the site where they died, and a wooden chapel was erected to mark this horrific event.
Even though there are some that believe that the story of Askold and Dir is mere folklore, it is a tale that continues to be connected to this site. In the year 1810, the small wooden church was replaced by a stone structure, Saint Nicolas Church, and in later years took the shape of a park pavilion. A colonnade was added to the building in 1935 and can be seen today. A small cemetery was also established around Askold’s Grave and many famous Ukrainians were buried here. It was used for this purpose until 1935 and some names that were found in the cemetery included the famous author Nesterov and Mering, a medical professor. Walking around the complex, visitors will also find a wooden cross which is a monument to patriots killed in 1918 and who were buried in the cemetery. As with all the remains of the Askold Grave Park they were transferred to other cemeteries in the city once the area became a park zone. There are mysterious legends to be found in every corner of the park, as well as a monument to Apostle Andrew the First-Calles and a solid granite statue created by master Shvetsov. Askold’s Grave is a unique and fascinating attraction, which is recommended to all visitors in Kiev.