Ancient houses, narrow streets, unusual and themed cafes and restaurants, original museums and a picturesque area ... Podil is a special place with a rich history and unique atmosphere. It is impossible to describe life on Podil in words, it is necessary to feel it, and to appreciate the unique flavor of Kontraktova Square, Voznesensky and Andriyivsky descents.
Podil is one of the oldest historical places in the capital. Upper town was located on Starokyivskay Hill, and Podil was below. Podil in Old Slavonic means ″ lowland ″. The first settlements appeared there at the beginning of our era. During the time of Kyivan Rus, Podil became a trade and craft center of the city. The beginning of the regular settlement of Podil dates back to the turn of the 9th-10th centuries. Along the Glybochytsia river a line of defensive fortifications was built there. And in 988, in the Pochayna River, which flows in this area, the people of Kyiv were baptized. By the way, the Pochayna river was also one of the trade routes "from the Varangians to the Greeks", at its mouth there was a harbor for ships that came to Kyiv from far away.
The center of Podil was Torzhysche. Today it is known as Kontraktova Square. It is the place where all main Podil streets, such as Sahaidachnoho, Kostyantynivska, Mezhyhirska, Ilyinska, and of course Andriyivsky Descent, meet. Amazing cultural masterpieces - St. Andrew's Church and Florovsky Monastery, Kyiv-Mohyla Academy, Peter the Great House and Mazepa's House - give the area special charm.
After the Mongol-Tatars destroyed the upper part of the city in the middle of the 13th century, Podil became the main district of the capital. The intensive development of Podil began in the 17th century, and since 1797 annual contract fairs had been held in Podil. In the 15-19 centuries, in addition to the houses of craftsmen, the Academy (now the Kyiv Mohyla Academy) and the Magistrate were located there. In 1811, a fire occurred on Podil, which dramatically changed the appearance of the area, as most of the buildings burned down. Before the fire, Podil was the most densely populated area of the city with 2068 houses out of 3672 residential buildings in Kyiv. After the fire, Podil was re-planned and rebuilt. New streets were laid, which are still preserved, the Hostynnyi Dvir (Guest Yard), the Contract House, the new building of the Kyiv Academy and other buildings were built.
In Soviet times, historians and archaeologists excavated on Podil, examined about 3,000 houses and outbuildings. In the 1960-1970s, they even planned to create a conservation area. In 1987, the historical and architectural reserve “Ancient Kyiv” was finally established on Podil, and in 2001 it was added to the list of monuments of national importance.