because people speak English
Dear friends! Whenever I visit Kiev downtown, I always feel great desire to share my impressions and some information with you. Today I want to tell you about one very special Kiev street where our artists, craftsmen, jewellers and other men of art present and sell their works.
The street's name is Andrew's Descent (or slope). This street is one of the oldest in Kiev. In the ancient times it was the main road connecting the upper town (where princes and grand people lived) with the lower town inhabited by the craftsmen. It was called by apostle Andrew (who was Christ's follower and close friend). According to the legend about Kiev foundation, St. Andrew came to this land in the first century A.D. and made a prophecy. It was something like this:" There will be a great city that will change history flow". There is a great church in his honor at the top of the street (you can see its part on the right and I have already told about it in my previous post).
It is a very narrow steep street that hasn't been reconstructed since the 18 th century (I mean its road, on the right). That time such roads were very typical for Ukrainian and Russian cities . It is called cobble stone road. It is the only one street in Kiev which cover was saved just for memories. Can you imagine how to drive on it?
However, all Kiev born are happy that our country managed to save at least some history here despite the communist slogan "to ruin the old world completely ". Well, it is history for young people, too! Well, let me go on.
This street is famous for many other reasons. First of all, it combines many architectural styles of different centuries. The building on the left is known as Richard's Castle ( I mean English king Richard, the Lion Heart). Neither King Richard nor any other British kings have ever visited Kiev. It is called so because of its architecture that is modernized Gothic style.
The building on the right represents so called urban architecture of the 19th century. But it is famous because one of the most outstanding Russian writers, Michael Bulgakov, who wrote "Master and Margaret" lived there. Actually, he chose this house as a place for his heroes. I wish you all read that immortal novel! For those who don't know that author I will say a few words about him. He was one of a few Russian writers who was not afraid to express his attitude to the communist regime and his sarcasm was so great and dangerous that his novels were illegal for a long time. If somebody wants, I will tell more about that writer and his novels.
Well, the initial idea was to tell you about our handicrafts. So, I am back to that initial point. The main Ukrainian handicrafts have always been hand embroidery, clay ceramics and wood curving. They all are very ancient. I dare not say when they appeared. I think that ceramics was the first. On the left you can see modern copies of the ancient clay stuffs that are sold on that street.
Hand embroidery can be considered as our national heritage. Such technique is used only here and in Byelorussia. It was originally two colored:black and red. Red color symbolizes love while black is a symbol of sadness, sorrow or grief. Later on, appeared blue color, the symbol of freedom and hope. Blue is mostly used in shirt embroidery.
Ukrainian wood curving is also well known in Europe and not only. It is also very old trade mostly developed in the Western part of Ukraine.
I would also like to introduce you an ancient Ukrainian music instrument called sopilka. It is a wind instrument that was mostly used by shepherds to call back their sheep in the mountains and to get rid of boredom. It was like a guitar for American cowboys. It is still used in national Ukrainian and classic music (on the right). It sounds very soft and pleasant. I am placing the links for you to hear the special sound of this instrument.
I hope my today's story will be interesting for you. Anyway, it is always great to know about other cultures, isn't it?
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