by members of the AirPano Team that is a member of the global-geography Consortium.

16 August 2011

with kind permission of AirPano

The capital of Ukraine — is a big European megalopolis with its rich cultural life and all the advantages of modern civilization. It is buried in verdure and has kept a great number of unique monuments.

Kiev's architecture has become a monumental architectural standard for all the Eastern Slavic lands. Only after St. Sophia Cathedral had been built (sphere 1), the giant stone-made churches were started constructing in antient Russia (Rus'). Before, there had been only small wooden churches in Rus'. St. Michael's Monastery (sphere 2) became the first temple with a golden dome and later that specific tradition spread all over Kievskaya Rus'.

There is another outstanding architectural monument of the city — Kiev Pechersk Lavra (sphere 3), which is one of the oldest monasteries in antient Russia. The complex of Lavra includes both its overground part (the temples and other religious constructions) and the underground part (the caves). First, the caves were inhabited with the monks, then, they served as a place to bury died inhabitants of the monastery. Among those inhabitants were such outstanding people like Nestor the Chronicler, who is the author of The Primary Chronicle, and Ilya Muromets — a hero of Russian folk epic poems (byliny).

Not far from the Lavra there are St. Andrew's Church (sphere 4) and the same named slope which is one of the ancient routes connecting Verkhniy Gorod (the city on the hill) with the commercial district Podil. Today this sleep slope which goes round the historic hills and, according to the legend, had been visited by Apostle Andrew who promised God's grace to this city is, indeed, a visit card of Ukrainian capital.

And now the story of our pilot (radio controller) Stas Sedov:

In Kiev the process of shooting was full of impressions. It was the first time I have shot spheres in other country. The local photographer Dennis Philippov assisted me there.

I had bad luck with the weather: it was raining in the morning and I had to shoot in the afternoon when the strong wind was blowing. While shooting I practiced many new techniques.

I was pleased with the locals' attitude to the shooting. Nobody disturbed me, the curious people were not coming close to the helicopter model, just were watching from aside.

Several curious moments happened there: while we were arriving to the square of St. Michael's Monastery, we understood that there was no place to park our car and the police officers stood everywhere (some special event took place in the city). I asked the officer:

  • We'd like to shoot there and can't find a place to park our car near the square. Could you recommend us anything?
  • Do you see that "Do Not Enter" sign? Go through that place, right to the square.
  • Will there any consequences for us?
  • No, take it easy, I'll take care of your car.
  • Shall we shoot here with our model?
  • With a model? Well, ok, go ahead...

Having fallen into a trance as a result of our conversation, I took the equipment and directed to shoot the monastery.

Then, near St. Sophia Cathedral we were attacked by a crow. And while we were fighting in the air duel, the sun disappeared in the clouds. We had nothing to do but land our model and wait for the light. It was good luck for us when by the moment the light appeared the crow had already been bored to wait for the flight of its unknown competitor and had flown away.

4 Panoramas of Kiev