Kyiv Unusual Monuments
Kyiv is famous for impressive number of unique antiquity monuments that have significant historical and architectural value. However, the streets of Ukraine’s capital also feature such monuments, whose main purpose is not to impress with ancient history, but to bring smile on viewer’s face and to absorb attention with their unusual shapes. If you step aside from the routes offered by the standard travel guides and from beaten tourist paths, you may see tens of interesting and unusual monuments in Kyiv downtown. They are rather funny sculptures with their own history, legends and meaning, than monumental granite statues.
The monument to Gogol’s nose. The bronze nose framed with ornate mustache adorns the facade of the House №34 on the famous Andriyivsky Descent. The legend says, it is here that Nikolai Gogol came up with the idea of his novel “Nose.” By the way, locals often tell Kyiv guests the story that touching Gogol’s nose helps get rid of rhinitis.
The monument to Panikovsky. The monument to the character of the famous novel “Golden Calf” by Ilf and Petrov, Mikhail Panikovsky is installed on the Prorizna St. 6 – near Khreshchatyk, where according to the plot, the Great Blind made a living. He is depicted with a cane, in a hat and in dark glasses walking along the capital’s main street. At that, Panikovsky’s left hand picks pocket of the person walking him over the street, and his left foot hastens to step on the coin lying on the ground, so that no one else will pick it up.
This slightly raised foot hides monument’s main secret: if you take a mirror and look at Panikovsky’s shoe sole, you’ll see… a fig. This interesting detail was intended by monument’s creators not only to chaff the average citizens, but also to pursue a quite noble goal: the people bow in order to see it and, thus, kneel in front of the Great Blind.
By the way, there are often real coins under Panikovsky’s shoe: they are placed there by Kyiv locals and guests, who believe in the legend that it’ll help them get rich.
The monument to the Cat Panteleimon. The bronze monument to the cat stands to the left from the exit of the subway station Zoloti Vorota. It is easy to find it, because the statue of the huge imposing cat is always surrounded by the crowd of people willing to take picture or to make a wish rubbing it behind the ear.
The story goes that once upon a time, Persian cat Panteleimon lived at the restaurant opposite to the Golden Gate; he was a pet of facility’s visitors and owners. But then, a fire happened in the restaurant and the cat choked with smoke. After a while, facility’s frequenters and friends ordered a bronze statute to commemorate the animal and installed it in front of the restaurant.
Monument to the Hedgehog in the Fog. Although this unusual sculpture is not entered in any tourist guide around Kyiv, there are always plenty of curious tourists near it.
The monument to the prominent character of the Soviet cartoon “Hedgehog in the Fog” appeared on the intersection of Zolotovorotskaya St., Reitarskaya St. and Georgievsky Lane several years ago. The cartoon character sits on the high stump and holds a small bundle with jam in his paws. The hedgehog’s sculpture is made of pine, several thousands of screws and iron net.
The cat of disposable forks. The big white cat made of disposable plastic forks lurks on a tree near the Golden Gate. Kyiv residents call it the most kind and funny sculpture in the city. The author strived exactly for this, though: he admits that creating the white fluffy cat from 600 forks, he wanted to make people smile more often.
Ballerina. The elegant ballerina sculpture, carved of linden, stands on the corner of Stretenskaya and Streletskaya Streets. The original monument was installed on locals’ demands to honor the living nearby ballerina. Statue’s tutu is made of metal net, face and arms – of ceramics, and hair – of red artificial threads.
The monument “Revived Match.” With its help, the author of this unusual sculpture, located on the Artema St. 37/41, tried to draw attention to the problem of green zones destruction and environmental pollution. It is the four meters high burning match, on which a branch with a green leaf sprouts.
Loving lanterns. The interesting sculptural composition depicting two hugging, sitting on the bench lanterns appeared in Kyiv’s very center (on the Maidan Nezalezhnosti) quite recently; its opening was timed to the St. Valentine’s Day. Now it is not only one of the capital’s most unusual monuments, but also a popular place for romantic dates of Kyiv locals and guests. Composition’s author states that making a date at this spot, the loving couple can be sure that their feelings will never cool down.
It’s far from full list of the interesting and unusual monuments in Kyiv. Therefore, strolling through its streets, lanes and yards, don’t fail to look hard: maybe, another amazing sculpture or composition, created by the talented Kyiv residents for their beloved city, is hiding over there.