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At the Top of the Iron Lady

Artem Nikitin
15 May 2018

Kyiv has been under the watchful gaze of the Motherland statue for 37 years. Want to view Kyiv through her eyes? On 9 April, the observation deck dubbed Extreme opened on the Motherland Monument aka Batkivschyna Maty. This monumental statue looks out over the capital from the territory of the National Museum of History of Ukraine in the Second World War. She holds a sword in her right hand, while in her left she holds a shield; craftily concealed in the back of which there is a viewing platform.
It is installed at a height of 91 metres above ground, whereas Motherland, together with her pedestal, rises to 102 m. It is noteworthy this symbol of victory and human will, which was built along with the museum in 1981, would tower over the Statue of Liberty (93 m).
A word for the impatient: it is not easy to get up to the observation deck. There is often a queue and it’s a 50 minutes climbs up to the deck, a maximum of two people at a time, which significantly complicates things. Weather conditions must also be good, with the deck closed in wind. Those willing to wait and scale up the inside of the statue, however, will be rewarded with spectacular views – even after a four-hour wait.
The climb begins at the spacious hall of fame in the museum. From there you pass through an unremarkable narrow door and enter directly into the core of the statue, which is filled with steep iron stairs that look industrial. Then you enter a lift, inclined at 75 degrees. This elevates visitors to a room where an instructor drills you on the safety procedures, puts you into a belay belt, and asks you to sign the safety agreement. Then again it’s a lift, this time it’s vertical but it is an incredibly tight squeeze, which raises you to the level of the chest of the statue. The most interesting thing comes next. The tube inside the arm of the statue, in which, after securing the safety harness, you need to climb to the viewing platform tilted by 80 degrees. The shaft gradually becomes vertical and leads to the top.
It’s a little scary to stand on the platform: the floor is an open metal grill, and you can see how high you are under your feet. However, you soon get used to it.
The view from the shield is absolutely stunning. From here you can enjoy a breathtaking panorama of the right side of Kyiv, where it is possible to catch sight of the high bell tower of Pechersk Lavra, Mystetskyi Arsenal, and Druzhby Narodiv Boulevard. In the distance, standing like a match, you can see the Kyiv TV Tower and the skyscraper at Klovskiy Descent 7, which is considered the tallest building in Ukraine (163 m). In addition, the expansive territory of the Hryshko National Botanical Garden spreads out before you from a bird’s eye vantage point. Not far from this swathe of green, you can see Darnytskyi and Pivdennyi bridges, which span the wide Dnipro.
In summary, the fantastic view of the capital is something that will stick in your memory for a long time. While you can stay no more than 15 minutes on the platform at a cost of 300 UAH, if you ask the question, “Is it worth it?” The answer is a resounding “yes”.

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