Looking from St Sophia's past the Bohdan Khmelnytsky statue, it's impossible to ignore the gold-domed blue church at the other end of proyizd Volodymyrsky. This is St Michael's Gold-Domed Monastery, named after Kyiv's patron saint. As the impossibly shiny cupolas imply, this is a fresh (2001) copy of the original St Michael's (1108), which was torn down by the Soviets in 1937.
The church's fascinating history is explained in great detail (in Ukrainian and English placards) in a museum in the monastery's bell tower. The museum also explains the sad history of the neighbouring Tryokhsvyatytelska Church, destroyed by the Soviets in 1934. They then added insult to injury by building the gargantuan Ministry of Foreign Affairs on the site.
Heading around the left of the church to the rear, you'll find the quaint funicular that runs down a steep hillside to the river terminal in the mercantile district of Podil. Although in summer trees partially obscure your view, this is still the most fun public-transport ride in town.