The fairytale Baroque beauty that is St Andrew’s stands near the top of meandering, hilly Andriivs’kyi uzviz (in English ‘Andrew’s Descent’), which is one of the oldest and most attractive streets in Kiev. The church is one of the few public buildings in the city that has escaped damage during two world wars, Soviet occupation and recent civic unrest; it was completed in 1754 to a commission by Russian Empress Elizabeth, who was daughter of Peter the Great, and the design of Late Baroque master craftsman Bartolomeo Rastrelli. He hailed from France but spent much of his working life in Russia building opulent palaces for the Tsar’s family, including the Winter Palace in St Petersburg. Much of the church’s charm is on the exterior; it is a multi-colored confection of five green spires flecked with gold and gleaming white and turquoise walls. It has a stately flight of marble steps leading to the main entrance and inside all is white and gold, with a startlingly scarlet iconostasis (Orthodox altar screen) covered in paintings of Biblical scenes.
Andriivs’kyi uzviz 23, Kiev. Open daily 10am–6pm. No admission charge. Take the metro to Kontraktova Ploscha.