Lysa Hora (Kiev)

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See also Lysá hora, a mountain in the Czech Republic, and Łysa Góra, a mountain in Poland.

Coordinates: 50°23′40.03″N 30°32′41.48″E / 50.3944528°N 30.5448556°E / 50.3944528; 30.5448556

Lysa Hora (Ukrainian: Лиса Гора; Russian: Лысая гора (Lysaya Gora); literally "Barren Mount", Featureless Mount, or Bald Mount) is a large wooded hill in the Ukrainian capital Kiev, near the confluence of the Dnipro and Lybid' rivers. The hill is now a nature reserve included in the Kiev Fortress museum.

The mount supposedly takes its name from the fact that its top was (some slopes of the hill are still) not covered by trees. The mount is located in the Holosiiv Municipal District of Kiev.

According to the legends, the Lysa Hora hill is the largest and most famous location of the mystical "bald mountain" - a traditional site of the witch gatherings. Particularly, it is asserted in the writings of Nikolai Gogol.

The forts of Lysa Hora[edit]

Top of the Lysa Hora in spring

In 1872, a small fortress (part of the Kiev Fortress) was built on the hill by the Russian army. However, upon completion the fortress was found to be of little military importance and was converted into the military storehouse. Due to its relatively remote location, from 1906 the fortress was used as an execution place for convicted political prisoners of the Tsarist government. Over 200 people were executed there by hanging between 1906 and 1917, one of them was Dmitry Bogrov, the assassin of Pyotr Stolypin.

The fortress saw fierce fighting during the World War II, when a unit of local defence volunteers resisted the Nazi offensive on Kiev.

Later, the Red Army used the fortress as storage area till 1980. An underground complex beneath the fortress is sometimes mentioned, but in fact only old water tanks can be found, still filled with rain water. In the 1980s, a radio beacon for aircraft navigation was built on the Lysa Hora.

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