Art / Travel / Ukraine

Kyiv: Where the Wild Things Are

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“And the wild things roared their terrible roars
and gnashed their terrible teeth
and rolled their terrible eyes.”

― Maurice Sendak, Where the Wild Things Are


High above Kyiv, on land that once defended the ancient city, the wild things roam. They cling to walls, perch on pillows, and pose as fountains. They exist for one reason alone … to delight! image image With stunning views over the Dneiper River Valley, Landscape Alley (Peysazhna Alley) is home to whimsical creatures that enthrall locals and visitors, young and old alike.

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The smile-inducing sculptures, benches, and walls are mosaic tile masterpieces created by Ukrainian artists and fashion designers. The mere existence of the park represents a victory of citizens and art lovers over developers and big government.

As we walked along the winding paths, children cavorted in the Alice and Wonderland playground, lovers snuggled in Bunny Benches, and grandparents strolled hand-in-hand on the way home from the market.

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Kyiv’s charming Landscape Alley can be a bit tricky to find the first time. Here’s the easiest way to get there.

Directions: With your back to St. Andrew’s Church, look directly ahead at the fork in the road. Take the right fork, walk past the craft shops. Immediately AFTER the large blue/green building on your right take the street to the right. Walk straight ahead approximately 100 yards, and Landscape Alley is on your left. Woohoo!

“Let the wild rumpus start!”
― Maurice Sendak

Whimsical Trails,
Terri & James
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44 thoughts on “Kyiv: Where the Wild Things Are

    • You’re so right, Jo – a very Gaudi moment! I was so amazed by the intricate tile work (since I’ve been doing some in our home improvement projects 🙂 ). And the fluffy stacked pillows were a delight. ~Terri

  1. Pingback: Kyiv: Where the Wild Things Are | Galyna's Ukraine

    • Hi Dixie, so glad you stopped by. We sat on a bench and watched as kids arrived at the park. The “veterans” headed straight for their favorite spot – usually the Alice in Wonderland playground. The newbies were more dazed with delight. It was very cute to watch. Oh, and I loved your Reuben Sliders – what a great idea! 🙂 ~Terri

  2. Whimsical always gets me. What a treat to find Alice and Wild Things cavorting in Kyiv. If I only had access to a magic rabbit hole, I would be there tomorrow. There is universal appeal in these characters. Thanks for a fun blog. –Curt

    • I just read that when Sendak wrote Where the Wild Things Are, he wanted to make the wild beasts horses – but he realized he couldn’t draw horses. So he decided to use the beasts he’d been drawing since he was a child – his Polish aunts and uncles who visited every Sunday and kissed him and squeezed his cheeks. You never know where whimsy will come from! 🙂 ~Terri

      • Now that, Terri, is funny. I wonder if he shared the pictures with his family when he was drawing them? I wonder if his mom put them up on the refrigerator? And did his relatives check the refrigerator to see if they were included? (grin) –Curt

  3. “Did you ever hear of Mickey? He fell through the night out of his clothes.” The Night Kitchen and Where The Wild Things Are were my son’s favorite books when he was very little. He is now 45 a little bigger and still reads Maurice Sendak for pure enjoyment. The park is pure enchantment! V.

  4. How fun! Enjoy your time in eastern Europe. Looking forward to reading your posts. I have several eastern European countries on my life list, and I need some convincing to bump them to the top. 😉

    • Hi Ruth, I really enjoy the smaller medieval cities in eastern Europe – particularly Tallinn and Wroclaw. I love the modern life juxtaposed with such an ancient setting – great comfort food, too! Our first foray into eastern Europe was several years ago when we were leaving London – we took a trip to Budapest, and I was hooked. ~Terri

    • Mike, so sorry for the delayed response. You’re right, it seemed that kids (of all ages) took delight in the park. It was so fun to watch them explore the playground and climb on the sculptures. ~Terri

    • Thanks Susan. After your experience at the Hand Workshop, you would appreciate all the work and creativity that went into this tile mosaic work of art. It really is wonderful. ~ James

  5. Pingback: Where the Wild Things Are | screengrabsaz

  6. Pingback: The Wild Things | Fantasy Books!

  7. This is great! i’m very happy to meet your blog.. it’s so rich and inspiring. This is the article I write about your playground and your blog, let me know if you like it! ciao Mary

    • Mary, thanks for your comment, for dropping by the blog, and for the link to our post on the Kyiv playground. The Ukraine continues to be a troubled spot these days, and I’m sure they can use all of our happy, positive thoughts. This sculpture garden isn’t that well publicized, and certainly should be. Thanks for helping to get the message out there. ~James

    • Hayley, this wonderful park is a bit difficult to find, but if you follow the directions, it’s easy and definitely worth the detour. There’s a good chance you’ll visit the St. Andrews Church anyway, and this park is very close to the church. ~James

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