Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Chestnut city - Kiev

Hello and thank you for stopping by. Today I'm going to show how beautiful the capital of Ukraine is during this warm May days. And the reason is blooming chestnut trees. They are everywhere. It doesn't matter on what street in Kiev you will appear, you'll definitely see at least one chestnut tree. It is very easy to distinguish it from any other tree because of plenty of white/pink pyramids on it.

There are few stories about how did chestnut trees appear in Kiev.

Due to one of them all main streets of Kiev were planted with chestnut trees just before the visit of Russian emperor Nicholas I in 1842. They were brought from Balkans. But maybe the emperor didn't like them or something else happened and all the trees were cut down. Emperor's favourite poplars were planted instead on that places. But people liked chestnut trees, took cutted branches and planted them on the backyards near their houses and everywhere they could. That's how Chestnut tree became the most numerous tree in Kiev.

According to another story first chestnut trees were planted in Kiev Pechersk Lavra in 1825 and they spread through the city from here by Kiev people, because the trees have a lot of advantages: they are very unpretentious, grow quickly, bloom in young age, can grow everywhere, even on clay, frost, shadowy and extraordinarily beautiful.

There are about 2 millions of chestnut trees in Kiev. About twenty of them are more than 150 years old. Among them we have 350 years old Peter Mohyla's chestnut tree (25 meters high and 1.1 meter in diameter) and 200 years old chestnut tree near St. Sophia Cathedral (24 meters high, 1.15 meters in diameter). [source]

Chestnut tree is the symbol of Kiev. Chestnut leaf and bloom were on the official coat of arms of Ukraine during soviet period.

This symbol is often used on emblems by Kiev organizations, companies, etc.

We have few types of chestnut tree in Kiev: horse chestnut, Ohio buckeye and red horse chestnut. They all are not edible. Also there are white and pink colors of chestnut blossom.

Remember, I showed you few photos of the chestnut tree in front of my window in my April post. Well, it changed a lot. Have a look.

Here are some photos of chestnut trees from different parts of Kiev.

Chestnut trees near the main building of National Technical University of Ukraine 'Kiev Polytechnic Institute' (where I'm about to graduate).

Chestnut trees near the red building of Taras Shevchenko's National University.

Chestnut trees on the main street of Kiev - Khreshchatyk street.

Chestnut trees on Maidan Nezalezhnosti (Independence Square).

Hope you enjoyed my little excursion. Have a great day!


  1. Great overview.
    I din't know those stories about how chestnuts appeared in Kyiv. Thanks for sharing.

    It's a pity there are not so many red chestnuts. They are beautiful.

  2. Thank you! I'm glad you liked.

    Yes, and it's also a pity that the government isn't going to plant chestnut trees any more. Now they decided to plant lime trees.

  3. Chestnuts seem to be more beautiful to me. Maybe it's because I've been enjoying them since my early childhood. All changes are for the better. Maybe in 100 years Kyiv will become a lime tree city =)

  4. Everything is possible. Let's be positive :)