Maidan Nezalezhnosti

sights / Squares & plazas

Maidan Nezalezhnosti information

Location
Kyiv , Ukraine
Getting there
Metro: Maydan Nezalezhnosti
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Independent Ukraine has a short history, and pretty much all of it was written here. Popularly known as Maidan, the square was the site of pro-independence protests in the 1990s and the Orange Revolution in 2004. But all of that was eclipsed by the Revolution of Dignity in the winter of 2013–14, when the square was transformed into an urban guerrilla camp besieged by government forces. Makeshift memorials to fallen revolutionaries on vul Instytutska serve as a sombre reminder.

That winter the Maidan was covered in smoke from burning tyres and filled with army tents, field kitchens and stacks of firewood. Now it's full of revellers, street musicians, souvenir vendors and skateboarding teenagers. An example of kitschy post-Soviet aesthetics, the Independence Column, topped with a golden protector goddess, was the point where the protest originated in November 2013. The House of Trade Unions served as the revolutionary HQ and was burned down when special forces attempted to storm it. It is now under reconstruction. Overlooking the square is the imposing Stalinesque edifice of Hotel Ukraine. It was turned into a makeshift hospital at the height of the clashes in December 2014.