The residence of Ukraine’s ousted president Victor Yanukovych.
Have you ever heard of a Museum of Corruption? I bet you never did.
And you can have this experience only in Ukraine!
Most likely you have heard of the notorious ex-president of Ukraine (2010-2014) Viktor Yanukovich and his “Palace” in the private estate Mezhyhirya. It is only in Kyiv you have an opportunity to visit a private countryside residence and house of a former president of the country.
Visiting Mezhyhirya residence will definitely impress you and let you experience conflicting feelings. The total area of the sumptuous grounds – 140 hectares, which today is a national park and is open to all visitors. Anyone, both Ukrainian and foreign guests, can take an excursion to Mezhyhirya and with their own eyes see how corrupt Yanukovych regime was. Spending more than $1 billion to create all that, he didn’t pay a penny out of his own pocket. Everything was bought and built on the money of taxpayers of Ukraine.
The residence was opened to the public soon after Yanukovych fled to Russia, and it’s been open for tours ever since. Visiting Mezhyhirya residence is a good opportunity to learn more about the contemporary history of Ukraine and see how power and money can affect a person. And the best thing to do it is with an expert Kiev private guide who will answer all your questions and tell you the most interesting facts about the place.
Why you have to visit Mezhyhirya with a Kiev guide
At the center of the 340 acres is Honka – the so-called clubhouse, wooden palace in which V.Yanukovych lived for twelve years. The name Honka derives from the Finnish construction company “Honka” which constructed it within a year using environmentally friendly wood.
Inside the house lives one of the protesters who with a group of other protesters had seized it during the Maidan Revolution in 2014. And what is important, only this person (his name is Petro Oliynyk) owns the keys from the house and provides tours inside Honka, but only in the Ukrainian language.
This is why it is recommended to hire a private Kiev guide or apply to a Kiev travel agency that will organize Mezhyhirya residence tour and the guide will translate into English the tour of Petro and give you some more interesting details and facts about the place.
In ancient times Mezhyhirya was home to a monastery
Mezhyhirya Monastery was founded in 988 AD as an Eastern Orthodox female monastery in the state of Kievan Rus. During the Mongol invasion by Batu Khan in 1237-40, the monastery most likely was completely destroyed. Its revival started in the 16th century, in the era of Zaporozhian Cossacks. During Soviet times, the area served as a residence for the state leadership. At this period its location was concealed from the public.
Yanukovych first moved onto the property when he became Prime Minister of Ukraine in 2002, and gradually increased his ownership of the surrounding lands and buildings. As president, Yanukovych privatized residence area of 140 hectare and launched large-scale constructions.
What you can see in Mezhyhirya today
- The house where Yanukovych lived – “Honka” house
- Houseboat “Galleon” – house on the water on the shore of the Kyiv Sea
- Outdoor tennis courts
- Zoo and farm
- Ostrich farm and pheasant collection
- Garage with vintage retro cars (70 pieces of equipment)
- A rare-breed dog kennel
- The guest house – known to everyone as “Putin’s house”
How to get to Mezhyhirya from the Kyiv city center
The most convenient way is using Uber which costs around 300 UAH and takes 30 minutes.
You can also take a minibus # 902 from the metro station Heroiv Dnipra, the terminal stop of the blue line. The cost of the minibus is 16 UAH. The trip takes 15-20 minutes, the interval is 15-30 minutes.