Podil or Podol (Ukrainian: Поділ, Russian: Подол, Polish: Padół) is a historic neighborhood in Kiev, the capital of Ukraine. It is one of the oldest neighborhoods of Kiev, and the birthplace of the city's trade, commerce and industry. After the Mongol invasion of Rus' and destruction of Kiev, it served as a city center until the 19th century. Here the city administration (magistrate) and the main university were located, and later the city's port and shipyard were established here.
Podil contains many architectural and historical landmarks, and new archaeological sites are still being revealed. It is a part of the city's larger administrative Podilskyi District.
The name “Podil” means something that is situated downwards. This area used to be the trading and crafting center of Kiev. The names of some Podil neighborhoods reflect this fact: "Dehtyari" (those who work with tar), "Honchari" (potters), "Kozhemyaki" (craftsmen working with leather). On the territory of Podil ancient constructions were found. Some of them date back to 9th–11th century. Intensive building within Podil took place in the 17th century. An annual fair was conducted since 1797.
Before the Great Podil fire of 1811 it was the most populous neighborhood of the city with 2,068 houses out of 3,672 dwellings in all of Kiev. The fire damaged the neighborhood extensively and changed the appearance of Podil dramatically. After the fire Podil was newly planned and a large number of new streets appeared, which still exist today. At this time such buildings as the Contract's House, the National University of Kyiv-Mohyla Academy, the shopping arcade and other buildings were constructed.
Numerous attractions of Podil particularly include:
- Frolivsky Convent
- National University of Kyiv-Mohyla Academy
- House of Ivan Mazepa
- House of Peter the Great
- Fountain of Samson
- Zamkova Hora hill.
- Gostynnyi Dvir
Podil is connected to the city's metro system by the following three stations on the Obolonsko–Teremkivska line: Tarasa Shevchenka, Kontraktova Ploshcha (named after the Kontraktova Square) and Poshtova Ploshcha (named after the Poshtova Square).
The Kiev Funicular provides passenger traffic between Podil and the city's historic Uppertown neighborhood, today it is mostly used by tourists. Some time ago, the Kiev River Port served passenger traffic on the Dnipro River, but only tourists' excursion boats are available there nowadays.
Streets and squares
- Instituta Yudaiki Ukrainy, Yehupets, Vol. 4 (1998), p. 265: "Плоская часть — один из полицейских участков Киева (между ул. Нижний Вал и Куренёвкой, теперь Подольский район), в котором допускалось проживание евреев, временно находившихся в Киеве."
- Vladimir Meshchersky, Очерки нынѣшней общественной жизни в Россіи, Vol. 2 (Тип. Министерства внутренних дѣл, 1870), p. 38.
- A. Anatoli, Babi Yar (New York: Pocket Book, 1971), p. 70: "What a place that Podol was! It was the most poverty-stricken part of Kiev... Here from time immemorial had lived the poor of the Jewish community, the poorest of the poor..."
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