Visit to National Sports Centre Olimpiyskiy Stadium, Kyiv, Ukraine on 15 Jan 2013

145 741 square metres. Capacity of 70050 people. 738 VIP seats

NSC Olimpiyskiy Stadium, Kyiv, Ukraine. The largest stadium in Ukraine, the second largest of its kind in Eastern Europe.

The exchange participants of Explore Ukraine in Kyiv were brought on a guided tour to the stadium on 15 January 2013. It was an amazing experience to walk through the interview rooms, soccer players’ rooms and be in the stadium, with our English-speaking guide explaining to us the history of the stadium, especially about the EURO 2012.

The NSC Olympic Stadium is situated about 300 metres away from the similarly-named Olimpiiska station on the 2nd line (blue line) of the Kyiv Metro.

The symbolic Olympic rings at Olimpiyskiy Metro Station

The symbolic Olympic rings at Olimpiyskiy Metro Station

The facade

The facade

The facade with the newly-built hotel extension on the right

The facade with the newly-built hotel extension on the right

Our guide brought us into the preparation area, which during the matches are not open to public. We had a view of the conference hall, changing rooms and interview rooms before entering the main arena. The stadium is the home of the famous Dynamo Kyiv soccer team.

Our guide explaining the history of the football team Dynamo Kyiv

Our guide explaining the history of the football team Dynamo Kyiv

It’s hard to believe that the stadium was built in 1923 – it looks almost totally new. But the truth is the stadium was constructed in 1923 after the Red Army of Russia secured the city of Kyiv. It has experienced many historical events, and its name has been changed numerous times. During World War II, the stadium was named unofficially the Sport Palace Stadium, while on 12 July 1942, after all battles had retreated from Kyiv, it was officially opened as the All-Ukrainian Stadium. In 1978, it was closed for reconstruction in preparation for the 1980 Summer Olympic Games hosted by the Soviet Union. The stadium was also renamed as the Republican Stadium. In 1996, the stadium gained its current name, NSC Olympic Complex, though many people from the older generation are used to calling it the Republican Stadium or Central Stadium.

Interview room for Dynamo Kyiv

Interview room for Dynamo Kyiv

In the players' changing room

In the players’ changing room

Shevchenko, one of the most prominent players in Ukraine

Shevchenko, one of the most prominent players in Ukraine

Massage chairs for the soccer players

Massage chairs for the soccer players

What a good life soccer players lead - they have jacuzzi pools for relaxing

What a good life soccer players lead – they have jacuzzi pools for relaxing

After viewing the behind-the-scene areas, we finally entered the main seating area.

Making the majestic steps from the preparation rooms to the main arena

Making the majestic steps from the preparation rooms to the main arena

Awestruck by the sheer size of the stadium

Awestruck by the sheer size of the stadium

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Finally, we visited the souvenir store which sold various designs of soccer jerseys and T-shirts.

Soccer t-shirts at the souvenir store. Each costs about UAH 380 (USD 47.50)

Soccer t-shirts at the souvenir store. Each costs about UAH 380 (USD 47.50)

Dynamo Kyiv!

Dynamo Kyiv!

Click here for the official homepage of the stadium: http://www.nsc-olimpiyskiy.com.ua/en/

Here’s a panaromic view of the interior of the stadium, with my familiar and friendly commentaries. 🙂

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Музей Історії Міста Києва (Museum of Kyiv History)

This morning we had a guided tour to the Museum of Kyiv History. It is situated right next to Teatralna Metro Station and near the Taras Shevchenko Opera Theatre and the main street, Khreschatyk. I have been to the Museum of Ukrainian History (at Andrivskyy Uzviz, Andrew’s Descent), but this museum specialises in the history of the city. I have always been interested in history and politics, and this time, with our knowledgeable guide, Yulia, I have learnt even more about Kyiv.

We were even featured in an English newspaper of Ukraine, the Kyiv Post! Here’s the link: http://www.kyivpost.com/guide/about-kyiv/kyiv-history-museum-reopens-after-9-years-319016.html

You might want to check the Facebook page of the museum too: https://www.facebook.com/museyhistory

Here are some basic details of the museum, obtained from Kyiv Post’s article:

Kyiv History Museum and Exhibition Center
7 Bohdana Khmelnytskogo St.
(044) 520-28-26
10 a.m. – 4 p.m. (Monday)
10 a.m. – 6 p.m. (Tuesday-Thursday)
10 a.m. – 8 p.m. (Friday, weekend)
Hr 30 (about USD 3.75), Hr 15 for kids, students
Hr 50-100 (guided tour for a group)
Hr 120 (guided tour for a group of 20), Hr 150 for a group of 30
For reservations call (044) 223-98-92
The first Monday of the month is free of charge

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Kyiv has a long history, but unfortunately, during many parts of it, Ukraine had not been a sovereign state, and had been controlled by external powers.

One key location in the city is the Golden Gates, the Zoloti Vorota. It is the birthplace of the Slavic civilisations of the Ukrainians, the Russians and the Belorussians.

Golden Gates, Zoloti Vorota

Golden Gates, Zoloti Vorota

Being exceptionally interested in languages and scripts, I paid extra attention to texts, such as this one featured below.

A document in the Glagolitic script, which is the oldest Slavic script, and dates back to the 9th century

A document in the Glagolitic script, which is the oldest Slavic script, and dates back to the 9th century

A prototypical model of ancient Kyiv (being a student of urban design, I am amazed at the high level of details the artists have put in to create such a large scale model. It was already difficult and tedious enough for me to make small-scale detailed models for my course...)

A prototypical model of ancient Kyiv (being a student of urban design, I am amazed at the high level of details the artists have put in to create such a large scale model. It was already difficult and tedious enough for me to make small-scale detailed models for my course…)

Pharmacists and surgeons' equipments, probably from the 1930s if I'm not wrong.

Pharmacists and surgeons’ equipments, probably from the 1930s if I’m not wrong.

A Soviet communist poster from the early days of the Soviet Union. It's specially made for the Ukrainian SSR, and I'm guessing (I don't know much Russian) that it's about 5-year plans about agriculture

A Soviet communist poster from the early days of the Soviet Union. It’s specially made for the Ukrainian SSR, and I’m guessing (I don’t know much Russian) that it’s about 5-year plans about agriculture

Soviet-era propaganda posters

Soviet-era propaganda posters

Ukraine is the motherland of aviation. During the Soviet Union era, most aeroplanes such as the Tupolev, Ilyushin and Antonov models were produced in the Ukrainian SSR.

"Ruslan" plane produced in Ukraine during the Soviet era, for Aeroflot airlines

“Ruslan” plane produced in Ukraine during the Soviet era, for Aeroflot airlines

Mykola Amosov (1913-2002) was a famous Ukrainian cardiovascular surgeon who invented many new methods for curing heart defects, and was labelled a Hero of Socialist Labour (Герой Социалистического Труда). He has also written numerous books on his expertise in cardiovascular surgery.

Books on Mykola Amosov

Books by Mykola Amosov, or books about him

One of the most familiar and recent events of Ukraine is undoubtedly the Euro 2012, which Ukraine co-hosted with Poland

One of the most familiar and recent events of Ukraine is undoubtedly the Euro 2012, which Ukraine co-hosted with Poland

All of us with our guide at the museum

All of us with our guide at the museum

 

 

Тернопільський став / Ternopil Pond/Lake

One feature in Ternopil that no one will ever miss out is the Ternopil Pond (Lake). It divides the city into approximately 2 halves, and is just beside the city centre. For us, in order to reach the city centre from our dormitory, we have to take buses 11, 27 or 30, or trolleybuses 7 or 11, and all these will travel past the lake.

Satellite imagery of Ternopil from Google Earth. The dark blue area is the lake

Satellite imagery of Ternopil from Google Earth. The dark blue area is the lake

Map of Ternopil Lake

Map of Ternopil Lake on Google Maps

It might not be obvious, but cities with lakes in their city centres are rare. Most cities have rivers passing through them, or are situated along the coast of a sea or big lake, but very few cities in the world can claim that they contain a lake within itself. Europe has only two of such cities. One is the famous Geneva, which you might see on the news or tourist guides often, and the other one is, Ternopil.

This reinforces the stand that Ternopil is unique!

Signboard to Ternopil Lake

On the southeast corner of the lake is the Ternopil Castle / Zamok (below). It is now a nightclub called Maxim.

Ternopil Castle, which is now the nightclub Maxim

Ternopil Castle, which is now the nightclub Maxim

Ternopil Castle, Тернопільський замок, was the starting mark of the development of Ternopil city. It was constructed between 1540 to 1548, and was originally where a Polish nobleman, Jan Amor Tanowski, the founder of Ternopil city, stayed. There was originally a moat around the castle, but it does not exist now. In 1675, the Ottoman army completely destroyed the castle, but it was rebuilt in 1840.

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Many people walking, ice skating or playing ice hockey on the frozen lake surface. There won't be a chance to do these in 2 days' time, when the temperature climbs above 0 and the ice melts.

Many people walking, ice skating or playing ice hockey on the frozen lake surface. There won’t be a chance to do these in 2 days’ time, when the temperature climbs above 0 and the ice melts.

It was about -11 degrees Celsius when we visited it, so it is not surprising that the lake surface is frozen and covered with snow.

Me on the frozen lake

Me on the frozen lake

Parks and forests surround some sides of the lake, while the city centre and residential and industrial suburbs cover the east of the lake. A small forest called Kutkivetskyy is on the northwest, while Zagrebella Park lies on the southwest, not far away from the Economic University (we should take a walk there one day!). Along the road that connects the east and the west of the city, one side is the lake, and the other side is the Topilche Park. Near the castle lies the small Shevchenka Park.

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Tourist kiosk beside the lake, probably closed in winter

Tourist kiosk beside the lake, probably closed in winter