An underground museum will appear in downtown Kyiv

Soon a unique underground museum will be opened in one of the Kyiv’s oldest quarters – on Podol. It’ll become a real highlight of Ukraine’s capital. The museum will grant an opportunity to plunge into the life of the ancient city: to walk through ancient quarters, to see life of its residents, to visit medieval market, to watch how ancient Kyiv residents used to protect their city from the Tatar-Mongols, and more.

It is planned to open the unusual museum in city’s historical heart – on the Kontraktova Square, near the Gostiny Dvor (Merchant Yard). It is there that the so called “city of the dead,” as it was nicknamed by the archeologists, was discovered during metro line construction more than forty years ago. A part of valuable findings was then destroyed, because they hindered Kyiv subway construction. But untouched objects survived on the depth of 12 meters. They are preserved in ideal state thanks to numerous overflows of the River Dnieper: ancient buildings were buried under layers of sand, which served them as a reliable protection from destruction.

Archeologists intend to dig out the “city of the dead,” to study its artifacts and to create a unique underground museum of antiquity on their basis. It will introduce the ancient and exciting history of Podol.

The plan is that the future museum, which is supposed to become interactive for greater clearness, will be a part of the large-scale cultural project “Kyiv Original.” Project’s main aim is to preserve historical environment of the ancient Podol. Museum complex will be supposedly located on the depth of more than 12 meters. Its exposition will occupy two floors and will include authentic artifacts that date from the 9th-12th centuries and relate to Kyiv residents’ life: clothing, jewelry, table ware, samples of weapons. To recreate the atmosphere of the ancient city as accurate as possible and to allow visitors to experience the true spirit of the Middle Ages, the exhibition will be complemented with modern technology, special lighting, sound and visual effects.

According to the experts who currently develop the project of the future museum, it’ll be the whole quarter with houses and medieval market, which will be humming with activity. Capital artists will be invited to recreate the market atmosphere. It is still unknown how visitors will reach the underground museum. It’ll probably be a lift or a moving track.

No one talks about exact opening date of new museum in Kyiv yet. It’s known only that excavations will take about 2-3 years; another year will be needed to create an exposition. However, tourists will soon get an opportunity to see the place of the archeological excavations on the Kontraktova Square. It will be roofed with a glass cupola, through which it will be possible to observe their progress.

Cost of admission to capital’s new museum is not known either. However, the specialists who compare it to the similar museum complex in the British York (cost of admission is 8-10 sterling) suggest that admission to the Kyiv underground museum will cost about the same.

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