View of the Podil Area of Kiev


This view of Podil (also known as Podol) is from Souvenir of Kiev, an early 20th-century album showing the main sites of Kiev, the capital of Ukraine and at that time one of the most important cities of the Russian Empire. The name Podil derives from an old Slavic word meaning “lowlands.” Established before the city expanded into the surrounding hills, Podil stretches along the Dnieper River. It was where Kiev’s trade, commerce, and industry originated and where craftsmen, merchants, and fishermen sold their wares. This image shows the area with its factories, churches, and homes and the busy quay with a paddle steamer, barges, and smaller boats along the river. Podil was gutted by a great fire in June 1811, which burned for three days destroying all the old wooden structures. Shown here is the reconstructed Podil, built according to the plan drawn up in 1812 by architects Geste and Melensky, as seen from Saint Alexander’s Church. Some of the buildings Geste and Melensky designed are visible, as is their grid plan, which has both gracious thoroughfares and narrower streets. The 25 views in Souvenir of Kiev are collotypes, made using a chemically-based printing process widely employed before the invention of offset lithography.

Last updated: June 13, 2017