Golden cupolas of Kiev

After publishing photos from the eastern Ukraine I got to thinking about my one-year stay in Kiev. Today I went through my photos from the Ukrainian capital, taken between 2005 and 2006, and here are some of the best shots of the famous golden cupolas that dominate the street view.

Kiev, the birthplace of Russia, is full of old Orthodox churches. Many of them are as old as Kyivan Rus.

Kiev, the birthplace of Russia, is full of old Orthodox churches. Many of them are as old as Kievan Rus’, making them more than 1000 years old.

...usually when visiting an orthodox (or any!) church you should cover your knees and shoulders...

…usually when visiting an Orthodox (or any!) church you should cover your knees and shoulders…

Orthodox churches dominate the street view in Kiev.

Wherever you look,  Orthodox churches dominate the street view in Kiev.

Golden cupolas against blue skies.

Golden cupolas against blue skies.

More golden cupolas against the otherwise grey city of Kiev.

More golden cupolas against the otherwise grey city of Kiev.

They do love blue color! One would almost think it has some symbolic value for the Orthodox church!

They do love blue color! One would almost think it has some symbolic value for the Orthodox church!

When life gets too hectic outside, there is always a place for a candle inside.

When life gets too hectic outside, there is always a place for a candle inside.

Some previous photos from Ukraine:

Photos of eastern Ukraine: part 1
Photos of eastern Ukraine: part 2
The Privoz market in Odessa

and more to come! Meanwhile, come and say hello on Twitter (@Miia_Niskanen), Instagram (Pearlspotting) or Facebook (Pearlspotting).

38 thoughts on “Golden cupolas of Kiev

    1. Miia Post author

      Thanks! Maybe my comment was not necessary (but I do remember she did walk into the church like that!) but I did feel that the photo portrayed something important of a society in transition…

      Like

      Reply
      1. Miia Post author

        Thanks for your input. I have so many stories from there (for example when I was constantly stopped on the street and offered marital services..) but don’t want to offend anyone, so still thinking how to tell all this… Maybe this “photo with a capture” could be a good, somehow more subtle way to pass along my thoughts?

        Like

      2. Sue Slaght

        I do find that with some posts one has to be sensitive and I sometimes struggle with the words. Often letting the photos do the talking lends the objectivity. The old cliche that the picture speaks a thousand words.

        Liked by 1 person

  1. Hayley

    How colourful! The blue walls look lovely with the blue skies behind them. I agree with the inappropriate attire! When visiting the Islamic Centre in Malé on our honeymoon, the guide bought cover ups for us to wear and was very impressed that I already had my own, along with packing a maxi dress for the occasion!

    Like

    Reply
    1. Miia Post author

      Thanks!
      Your maxi dress is the way to go! I usually carry a scarf in my bag that I can wrap around and wear as skirt when I know that there may be a religious visit. In India you can usually rent something (usually a REALLY HUGE dress) for a few cents.

      Like

      Reply
  2. Tiina

    You have an eye for detail. Your photos draw attention to the small, but significant things that tell the story of what everyday life is like in Ukraine probably even today, outside the media headlines.
    I’ve been following your blog for a little while and I have to say you tell stories well with your blog posts. Even though the topics may not always be what I’m normally interested in, the way you write about them and use photos make them really interesting to read.

    Like

    Reply
    1. Miia Post author

      Thank you Tiina for your interesting comments! You made my day 🙂

      May I ask, what kind of stories do you like most and least?

      Have a great evening –in Finland I assume…?

      Like

      Reply
      1. Tiina

        I like sublety, such as in the photo where a woman wearing very skimpy clothes is going to church. You just wrote that people are expected to cover up when they enter a holy place, instead of Mon Dieu somebody arrest that woman! I like when things are observed and shown, rather than judged and analysed till they ran dry. It’s nice to get some room to think about the story and the images by myself. I think you have a skill to set the story or setting so that the reader can participate even though she really has no clue of Ukraine or Eastern Europe cultures beyond what is written in the media.

        Have a good evening too, from Finland 🙂

        Like

      2. Miia Post author

        You now made my week .-) Please continue and I can say you made my month 😉

        Yes, being judgmental rarely takes a person far… I was a bit worried that my comment was too much but the feedback I am getting shows it wasn’t. Will continue on Ukraine, maybe tomorrow.

        Hyvää yötä!

        Like

  3. Vasilis Meschinis

    Nice photos! I visited Kiev in the 80s. The only thing I remember were the abundance of churches and how wonderful and friendly the locals were.
    I liked the comment about the dress code. When you go to Greece next time, try to visit a church when a wedding or baptism is happening. You will be amazed. I am saying no more. 🙂
    I am not sure about the blue color. Could it be that it has a special meaning just for the Ukrainians? We are Christian Orthodox in Greece too, but our churches are not blue. Only in the islands the cupolas might be blue, but that has more to do with the general traditional architecture that prevails in the Cyclades, not religion. I think…

    Like

    Reply
    1. Miia Post author

      Wow, in the ’80! How was it? As a tourist, with school or…?

      I have noticed that in some countries (often former socialist though) all the houses seem to be painted in one color. With my former colleagues we would joke that it is the color the government decided to order through a big tender, kind of like a chosen state-policy color.

      I agree with you about the blue color as part of the general architectural tradition in Greece (only Cyclades you say?).

      Like

      Reply
    1. Miia Post author

      Hey Indah! Thanks for taking time to comment. It is an interesting, historical city with a lot of contrasts. If I were to return, I would try to combine it with Odessa, which is more international (an old trade center) and more relaxed.

      If you are interested, there are also posts about the eastern part of Ukraine where the war is taking place now…. And yes, it is unbelievable!!

      Have you ever been to Ukraine or that part of the world?

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply
      1. Indah Susanti

        Hi Miia.. 😉 it’s a pleasure..no, I haven’t been there unfortunately. On the past five years my vacation trips always a combination of culture/nature with (tropical) diving holiday – so mostly around Caribbean and South East Asian countries 😉
        But of course I would love to visit the area someday ..been thinking about it lately..your posts will definitely inspiring me to do so 😉

        Like

      2. Miia Post author

        I just saw your blog and you have some very interesting and fun posts!

        Rotterdam is probably a good, comfortable place to live in, and most of all, it does have good connections to so many other destinations –kind of like Paris 😉 ?

        I have not yet been to Indonesia but it is definitely on my to-do-soon list. We keep returning to India, our great passion, but last year we made a bit of an exception and did KL-Siem Reap-Vientiane-Luang Prabang-Bangkok-Koh Lipe-Langkawi-KL. Next destination in that region should be Indonesia and would love to see those Hindu temples (sorry forgot the names) you have there.

        I used to dive, too, but due to my husband’s ear prob we only snorkel these days. When the location is good, that can be enough 🙂

        Have a great WE and lovely to get to know you!!

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Indah Susanti

        Thank you Miia! Rotterdam is a nice city to live in, so far I am happy here and yes, good connection to some places and it has airport too – not as big as Schiphol, only connecting to several European cities..
        So sorry about your hubby’s ear problem. Snorkeling in several countries sometimes good enough. There are some areas in Indonesia that actually you can see the coral garden just less than 5 meters.
        Have a great weekend to you too! I will try to catch up with you lovely blog!

        Like

      4. Miia Post author

        As I wrote in the previous comment, European cities have a lot of comfort (at least for now) but to get some real excitement it is good to hop on a plane 😉

        Even Schiphil is not far from Rotterdam, right?

        Do you come to Paris often? Let me know if you do 🙂

        When we snorkeled in the Pennekamp marina park in Florida, some other snorkelers that were on the same boat saw hammerheads! So you can get lucky…

        Liked by 1 person

      5. Miia Post author

        Yes, that is rare!! We jumped into the sea few minutes later so missed them but just the idea of them swimming by is cool 🙂

        Like

    1. Miia Post author

      Nice to meet you too Jo 🙂 Been to Ukraine?
      PS I used to go to Poland a lot with my parents in the late ’80s and ’90s, and such lovely ppl! I have very fond memories.

      Like

      Reply
      1. restlessjo

        No, never! My Polish visits have all been family based, excepting when we managed a little time near the Slovakian border earlier this year. It’s a beautiful world out there! 🙂

        Like

  4. Nihar Pradhan

    Lovely photos. Yes, it is always great to look back and explore the past and we start seeing some new facets and different dimensions which was either ignored or not understood properly. And the travel repository in terms of photos and written memories are huge treasures.
    I am enjoying your blog, you have some fantastic photos and the write-up…
    Happy Travelling and Happy Writing!!!

    Like

    Reply
    1. Miia Post author

      Thanks a lot for passing by and taking time to comment!

      I regret I didn’t have a blog (did it even exist in the early 2000?) when I worked in all those “crazy” countries. But I do have photos AND memories, so slowly am trying to put stories together… It is like a diary in retrospect I guess 😉

      Have a great weekend!

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply
      1. Nihar Pradhan

        Yes Miia, looking back to 2000 we realize what we could have done then, if we had the power of technology…the more we experience the essence of blogging, the better we feel and understand the true power and potential of it. It is absolutely in our hand and if use the technology in control, it adds to the beauty of life.
        Thanks so much. You too have a great weekend..

        Like

      2. Miia Post author

        Yep, you are right!

        I have a huuuuuge box full of old print photos from my “crazy years” that I want to scan one day. I also do have emails saved from those times, so not everything is lost, but still it cannot be compared to what can be done with today’s technology! So easy these days!

        Please have some excellent Indian food for me today (or tomorrow as it is getting late) 🙂 What is your favorite Indian regional cuisine?

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Nihar Pradhan

        Yes Miia, It is great to explore the treasure and it requires a greater heart to preserve it…kudos to you, you have done it.

        I love the King size Prawn in Goa to the Hyderabadi Briyanis…if you like the non-veg, these places and food are simply awesome…

        I will definitely do so, but don’t blame me on the spicy part of it…food in India in some part are really spice.

        Like

      4. Miia Post author

        I was Indian in my past life so spices are fine with me 🙂

        I don’t eat pork but that is not really a prob in India. I like everything from tandoori lamb to Andra Pradesh thalis… Goan prawns and crabs are deliciuus… I loooove Hyderabad biriyanis (such a fascinating city!!) . Impossible to get a decent one in Europe!! The last time we were in India we were invited to eat Sindi food, which was new to me (delicious too). Parsi food great too. You are so lucky to have such a diversity in India!!!!!!!

        Liked by 1 person

      5. Nihar Pradhan

        O! You have been in India. You have managed to get the best taste tested…Great. Not available in Europe is a good pretext to visit again and again to India…You are most welcome and there are so many fascinating things to see and do in India, of course in many others of world.

        Sometime we feel one life is not sufficient. Therein lies irony, perhaps because life is short and it is one life, we love and cherish every bit of our experience and exploration of different parts of the world…

        Okay then I will have lot of spices…

        Like

      6. Miia Post author

        Been 4 times now, one month at a time, so getting some idea 🙂

        We almost never go to North Indian restos in Paris any more just bc most of them are a huge disappointment (or very expensive)… That’s the downside of traveling…!

        What are your favorite places in India?

        Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s