Nothing represents a country and makes it unique like its culture. Enjoying its art, traditions, tasting its cuisine and wondering through its history are undoubtedly the best ways to discover a country.
After 2014 Ukraine has been experiencing a real cultural boom. Not only the ultimate European choice was proven during the “Winter on Fire”. The most important manifestation of the Revolution of Dignity can be expressed as simply as “UKRAINE = FREEDOM”. And no sense of liberty would be profound without freedom of expression. Including, of course, artistic expression.
As the country’s hidden creative spirit had been revealed, a vibrant cultural scene in Ukraine is picking up steam. It’s not just the new theaters that are opening, or the birth of a new wave of Ukrainian cinematography, music festivals with the world-renowned headliners are taking place in almost every region, new art spaces have opened, energetic club life, rebranding of state-owned museums, among other things. Ukraine is emerging onto the world cultural stage and everyone is welcome.
When it comes to architecture, Soviet modernism, brutalism and post-modernism as well as Ukrainian avant-garde are among our top-recommendations and these will surprise even the experienced culture vultures.
One of the most striking examples of Kyiv modernism is the building of the Ukrainian Institute of Scientific and Technical Information, simply called “the plate”. The architect of this project is Florian Yuriev. The space resembles a spaceship and was supposed to become a unique musical theater.
Another fine example of modernism is one of the campuses of the Taras Shevchenko National University. The building, completed in 1986, has an unusual cruciform structure. The two sides of the building are distinguished by cubic projections – designed as such to be lecture halls. And take a look at the building of the Ukrainian Public Broadcasting Company, commonly referred to as “the pencil” which it actually resembles: floors were planted on monolithic corner towers with the help of steel beams.
After getting acquainted with these finest examples of modern architecture, you’re highly recommended to visit the national museums in other big cities. These also offer great collections of Ukrainian avant-garde and modernism, including The National Art Museum of Ukraine, The Khanenko Museum, Andrey Sheptytsky National Museum in Lviv, Odesa Fine Arts Museum, Lviv National Art Gallery. Ukrainian avant-garde is unique – originated and tightly connected to European modernism, it was grounded and inspired by folk art. Ukrainian artists got their inspiration from the ancient art of their ancestors and paid special attention to the patterns that lived through the centuries.
Ukraine also has a lot to offer lovers of heritage tourism as it is now one of the most compelling destinations to visit when it comes to the World’s Historical Heritage. Ukraine is proud to have eight historical objects and natural wonders on the UNESCO World Heritage List: St. Sophia Cathedral, Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra, Lviv Historic Centre Ensemble, Struve Geodetic Arc, Virgin Beech Forests of the Carpathians, the Residence of Bukovinian and Dalmatian Metropolitans, Wooden churches in the Carpathian region and Chersonesus.
Convinced? Immerse yourself into the rich and wonderful world of Ukrainian culture and creative industries.