Views of Kiev


This early 20th-century album of postcards shows the major sites of Kiev, the capital of present-day Ukraine. The late-19th–early 20th century was a period of rapid industrialization in the Russian Empire, when Kiev grew into a major trade and transport center. Many of the city’s notable architectural monuments and educational and cultural institutions date from this period. The city’s electric tram system, the first in the Russian Empire, began operations in 1892 with the purchase of two electric-powered trams that replaced older, horse-drawn cars. The cable car connecting the aristocratic upper city with the old commercial district of Podil (Podol) in the lower city was completed in 1905. The album includes photographs of the tram, the cable car, the Dnieper River, and the Nicholas Bridge. The centrality of religion in the life of the city is evident in the number of churches, monasteries, cathedrals, and monuments to saints depicted. Other landmarks include the opera house, theater, museum, and university, the polytechnic institute, public library, and City Hall. The postcard captions are in Russian and in French. Many of the structures shown in these views were destroyed in World War II, making the album a valuable document for the history of the city.

Last updated: January 8, 2018