Universitet Metro Station, Kyiv the Home of Scientists and Writers

One stop along from our first Metro Monday station – Teatralna metro station – Universitet Metro Station in Kyiv is next to Taras Shevchenko¬†University. It’s definitely no less impressive than our first two stations, Teatralna and Zoloti Vorota.

Pinterest graphic for a blog post on Universitet metro station Kyiv Ukraine

Taras Shevchenko University is apparently the top university in Ukraine and was one of the top three universities in the USSR, as well as now in the top 200 universities in the world. It has some quite spectacular buildings as well as a park in front with a good Ukrainian restaurant – O Panas, and A.V Formin Botanic Gardens behind.

Taras Shevschenko University Kyiv Ukraine
Taras Shevchenko University Kyiv

Taras Shevchenko is a household name in Ukraine, but sadly, we had never heard of him until we moved here. A poet, artist and writer, he rose from poverty, supported the class struggle against the Russian Empire and became a voice of Ukrainian nationalism. Now, his works are studied by all Ukrainian students as one of the founders of Ukrainian literature. For those of you who have visited Ukraine, it is his face you can see on the 100 grivna note.

Universitet metro station, Kyiv was one of the first five metro stations to open in Kyiv, on the red line, in 1960. It is housed in an interesting looking circular building sitting above the botanic gardens. Inside there are some old-fashioned looking ticket offices and shops, before you descent two sets of escalators, with a domed vestibule between.

Entrance to Universitet metro station
Entrance to Universitet station
Shop in the metro station
Inside the station building
Top of escalator in Universitet metro Kyiv
Top of the escalator looking into the vestibule

The concourse is beautiful. The marble walls have niches in each pillar with white busts of famous scientists and poets including Shevchenko himself, the writer Alexander Pushkin who lived in Odessa for a period and gives his name to streets in many cities (Pushkinskaya), Ivan Franko, the writer and political activist whose face is on the 20 grivna note and who gave his name to the Western Ukrainian city of Ivana Frankivsk, Gregory Skovoroda, the 18th century philosopher who is depicted on the 500 grivna note, Maxim Gorky, another writer and political activist, physician Alexander Bogomolets, namesake of the Bogomolets Medical University in Kyiv, Dimitry Mendelev – the creator of the periodic table and Mikhail Lomonosov, the 18th century scientist.

Platform at universitet metro Kyiv
Concourse of the metro station, with the platforms at either side.
Taras Shevchenko in Kyiv Universitet metro station
Taras Shevchenko
Alexander Pushkin bust in Universitet metro Kyiv
Alexander Pushkin
Dymitry Mendelev in Kyiv Universitet metro
Dymitry Mendelev
Alexander Bogomolets in Kyiv Universitet metro
Alexander Bogomolets

The top is fringed with an ornate white border with freezes. Even the lights are ornate, displaying the communist star. It seems that each metro station has a different design of lights. Look out for them.

Universitet station lights Kyiv Ukraine
Lights around Universitet station

As with many Kyiv metro stations, on the platform at Universitet, you can see what looks like a bronze door in the side of the wall. These seem to commemorate the year the station opened. I’ve no idea where they lead to, if anywhere. The one in Universitet metro station bears the year 1960, the year the station, and the metro itself, opened, and a star.

doorway on the platform at Universitet station
doorway on the platform at Universitet station

At the end of the concourse, there allegedly used to be a big statue of Lenin. Just like those in Tealtrana metro, this was taken down after Ukrainian independence. Now there is a display of the construction of the Kyiv metro system with black and white photos of this and the opening. It has retained the ornate bronze border around the edge. Stunning.

end of platform at Universitet station
decor around edge of display

Apologies if I’ve got any of the busts in the metro wrong, as it was largely done via Google Translate, since most information is in either Russian or Ukrainian. Let me know if there’s a mistake so I can change it.

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13 Responses

  1. Trish Pearce says:

    Looking forward to the next one. I really find these interesting. Also good to know where Lenin used to and what is there now.

  2. Chelle says:

    Such interesting metro stations. I love when there are little discoveries like this to be made throughout a city and not just in the museums.

  3. Melanie says:

    This is a metro station?! This is amazing!! So cool! Who would think that the station itself would provide so much to see?!

  4. Ruth says:

    I feel ashamed of the metro stations we have here in Los Angeles after seeing how artistic this station is. The outside lighting is great too. It looks like the facade of a theater. I miss European architectural aesthetics.

  5. Shona says:

    These metro stations are incredible. The architecture, interiors and history behind them make them fascinating.

  6. I’ve always wanted to go to the Ukraine but still haven’t done so. 3/4 of my grandparents emigrated to the US from near Kiev. Anyway, I enjoyed this post; the metro station reminds me of the Moscow metro stations, which are very ornate glorifications of the Soviet Union.

  7. It always amazes me how nice (and reliable) the foreign transport is! the UK really needs to take note :) Thanks for the great read!

  8. Wow that’s one awesome metro station both for the history and the architecture!! Would love to visit Kyiv one day! #FeetDoTravel

  9. Wow! This building seems so remarkable, Kris and Kate! I would love to explore this metro station next time I am in Kyiv!

  10. Just love your adventure at the Metro station stops. Station Kyiv is interesting plus the history and architecture! Your photo of the escalators looking up into the vestibule is a great shot. Thanks for sharing! #feetdotravel

  11. Barry says:

    One of the great things about travel is you get to see wonderful buildings like this. I love learning about the history of the places I’m exploring and also the engineering behind how it was constructed. Wouldnt mind checking out Universitet Metro Station for myself one day.

  12. I will be honest, I was so engrossed in the history I completely forgot I was reading about a Metro Station, this is great! What interesting stations they have in Kiev! pinned. #feetdotravel

  13. I love how subway stations look in Russia and some former Soviet Union countries. Incredible design and architecture! Didn’t realise Kiev’s metro would be so beautiful! Thanks for sharing

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