The Kyiv funicular that links Podol and the so called Upper Town is not just a rare transportation mean, but one of the main symbols of Ukraine's capital too. For the locals it is a convenient way to get from one part of the city to another, and for numerous tourists it is also an opportunity to enjoy the fantastic bird's-eye views of the historical center, commanded by funicular's carriages.
Up to the end of the 19th century the residents of the stretched on the hills Kyiv experienced considerable transportation difficulties: at that time, it was possible to reach the Upper Town only by special stairs and twisting paths, which wasn't quite comfortable. In addition, Kyiv actively developed and demanded modern transportation means. At first, the city authorities intended to solve the problem by putting a tramline into operation on the Andriyivsky Descent, but due to street's narrowness and steepness, this idea was soon turned down. In the complex terrain of Kyiv the only reliable option was construction of the electric cable railway.
Funicular's construction, named Mikhailovsky Ascent, started in 1903. According to the project, its length was supposed to be 250 meters, but, for it wasn't possible to pull down the private manor at the foot of the hill, the line's length was reduced to 200 meters. Funicular's equipment and trolleys for its carriages were produced in Switzerland, the country that had already had a large experience in cableways' construction. There were two carriages, each for 70 passengers; they moved at a speed of two meters per second, and brought passengers from one station to another maximum in three minutes. Since 1905, the Kyiv funicular began making regular runs.
Twenty years later, during maintenance works an accident occurred: the top car dropped off and collided with the bottom one. As a result both carriages crashed. Soon, the worthless wooden carriages were replaced with new, metal ones. They were more comfortable and roomy, and capable of carrying up to 100 passengers each. In addition, the forced reconstruction was a good opportunity to implement the initial draft on the funicular's length: the cableway was extended by 40 meters. The lower station was moved to of the Poshtova Square, where it remains to this day. The upper station exits to the terrace of the famous Kyiv park Vladimirskaya Gorka next to the Mikhailovskaya Square.
Now the funicular is a popular transportation mean for Kyiv's locals and a true wonder for its guests, who obligatory list a ride on the cable railway in their visiting itinerary of Ukraine's capital.