Kiev is stuffed full of museums. There is normally a small fee to enter and you may have to pay extra for the privilege of taking photos, although this does not seem to be strictly enforced if you are subtle about it.
I love history and thought the two museums below were superb:
Museum of Ukrainian History [National History Museum]
This museum, housed in an imposing building overlooking St Andrew’s Church, was really enjoyable despite the lack of English explanation on most exhibits. Despite this, many of the exhibits were evocative and powerful and needed no explanation but some extra detail would have enhanced the experience. The museum covers early Ukrainian history right up to the present day, the struggles for independance and the friction with Russia.
Museum of the Great Patriotic War.
This fantastic museum which lies beneath the enormous Motherland Statue also suffers from a lack of English signage although there is well written information in English at the entrance to each of the 18 galleries. Some of the exhibits are grim: mangled artifacts and weapons of war, images of destruction and torture including a mechanical bone crusher used to ‘process’ human bodies into fertiliser.
There is a room of remembrance which pays tribute to those who lost their lives for their cause which is powerful by its scale alone. This museum needs time to be fully appreciated. The cafe was poor selling only crisps, chocolate and drinks.
Outside the museum are some imposing and impressive sculptures of men and comrades in arms.
There is also an outdoor military vehicle museum nearby which has tanks, jet fighters and other machines designed to kill. There is a small entry fee.
So many museums and galleries, so little time – Museum of Russian Art, National Museum of Chernobyl, Museum Memorial in Commemoration of Famine’s Victims in Ukraine all look so interesting. There are also several museums in the Kyivo – Pechers’ka Lavra Monastery complex, hopefully next time….