It is strange to imagine our capital without those streets. So such a number of them (thirteen) is due to the topography of the land where the city is build. Its hilly area makes it different from the others cities with a population over one million – such as St. Petersburg, Kharkov, Moscow, that are situated on the plains.
Capital descents are built on the place of the hollows formed by the flowing down river water. Some of the descents even now have the same shapes that formed hollows. Decays of those ancient Kiev’s relief were already habitual to the public ways. By them they went down to situated at the Dniper river crossings, docks, from settlements surrounded by wooden palisades.
Then they became the streets where we walk nowadays. One of the first streets was Borichev descent that leads to Pochtovaya square. It was a continuation of Borichev Tok. According to the one of the versions of historians, it got its name because of the water flowing down from the hill situated there. The first part of the word comes from the word “borich” ( “byurich”) in such way was called an executive officer who took taxes from tradesmen, delivering goods along the Dniper river.
Of course, Kiev is not only a city with such streets. They are in Moscow (Vasil’yevskiy descent), in Odessa (Karantinniy descent) in Kamenetz – Podol’skiy (Staropochtoviy descent) and in Dnepropetrovsk (Uriczkogo descent). But the capital of Ukraine, – Kiev is considered to be a city where hills are one of the landmarks. The Andrew’s descent is one of the famous and unofficially considered the main street of the city, where guests are trying to get first.
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Even when Kiev was ruled by princes, the townsfolk went up this road from the Podol area along the hollow where on the one side was located mountain Horivitsa, and on the other – Uzdyhalnitsa. Uzdyhalnitsa was called so, because people that approached the top detained there to take breath. In 1711 a head of Kiev province has disposed to expand the street, that later became an Andrew’s descent, so not only people could move here but carts with goods as well. Precisely here was built a St. Andrew’s church made in The Baroque style where were embodied architectural designs of the famous architect – Rastrelli. So, after that descent got the name that is known in the territory of the former Soviet Union. There was a time when it was renamed into the street of the name of a parish in the Podol area – communist Georgiy Liver. In 1957 the former name was returned to descent. In the 70th you could heard from townsfolk a humorous title “Liverniy descent”.
Other descents not as much known as Andrew’s descent, that due its popularity to the house where lived a famous Russian writer Michail Bulgakov. The situation is that most of the people do not know that there are thirteen descents in Kiev. Such an ominous number of them has a perfect balance with the mystical fame of most of the hills, where built the famous and not-so streets.
Among of them there is Pecherskiy descent, that until 30th was called as “Dog trail”. After, as near by was settled Mechnikova street, this name was changed into Pontonnotelegrafniy lane. Near here is Klovskiy descent, where road traffic became a normal thing. The Clovskiy descent bridged road passes strictly right over the Klovskiy creek that flows here by laid for it underground pipes. His name comes from the natural boundary Clove mentioned in the chronicles, that in old slavic language means – moisture, water.
One more descent that is connected with Tatarka and Kurenyevka districts is called Smorodinovskiy and is situated over the Smorodinovskiy creek. Somebody would like to believe that it is exactly that fabulous river – Smorodina (Blackcurrant) where one day through it was Kalinow bridge. This descent has such a name because here was located an estate of merchants – Smorodinovi. Some people knew this descent as Dikovskiy (Householder Dikiy).
Wriggling like a snake that street in one place almost touches with appeared not so long ago (in the 50th of XX century) Podolskiy descent. Very close to it, near Repyahov ravine is well known Vrublevskiy descent. It was named so only in 1938 in honor of the great artist Mikhail Vrubel who was involved in painting of the Kirilovskaya church located near by.
In the same Kurenevskiy district there is Boguslavskiy descent. Once upon a time in that aria was the tract Boguslavschina. Kiev residents tied up a nearby Nagornaya street with a descent building the stairs, and now passing through you just get to beginning of it. Earlier it was one of the main ways that people used to get from Luk’yanovka district to Podol. But with appearance of Podolskiy descent, Boguslavskiy descent became not as important as it was before.
Since the inception of the Vladimir descent have passed exactly three hundred years. Such data is accurate because the initiative has been coming from the authorities and that information is stored in archives. It was dig through in 1711 and guided as always by shapes of the formed reliefs in the hills of gorges. At that time it was called just a Descent. Later it became a Big Alexandrovskaya street. In 1919 it has been renamed in Revolution street. The name Vladimirskiy it got only in 1944 and it happen due to the St. Vladimir monument that situated up in the hill. Somehow it is probably connected with a communist politic in relation to Ukrainian history conducted by the authority of that time.
In the beginning it was named in honor of military Pilot Viktor Hal’zunov that participated in Civil War in Spain. And in 1944 it got its real name.
One of the heaviest to climb is Krutoi descent, it was named so in 1869. But before it was known as Pashchenko descent (in honor of householder near by). Its upper part is in Kruglo-Universitetskaya that had a same name Universitetskiy descent before.
By virtue of his plumb and to facilitate the movement, lies at the top of descent in the form of steps and there is no roadway there.
Not long ago, if you decided to get there using a taxi, that for sure that a taxi driver will bring to the wrong street that has a same name. Nickolay Amosov Descent is situated in Batieva mountain and is an extension of Klinicheskaya street. During XX century it changed its names for several times: first it was named D’yakovskaya street till 1944 than into Stepan Rasin Descent, and in 1991 renamed as Protasov Yar Descent. And finally in 2003 it became Nikolay Amosov Descent.
And here our final hero! It is situated in Zabaikov’ye in Goloseevskiy district. About it probably know people that are liveing there in its neighborhood. Its name it got fin honor of a famous householder Fromet.
Fromet’yevskiy Descent – Why? Even old people can’t answer on this question. But if you ask to compare it with Andrew’s Descent they would surely say that it is not worse and would be always most loved for them.
Nowadays instead of the word Descend you may hear Ukrainian translation “Uzviz”. But for the city dwellers it does not matter in what language to call their descents.
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