Famous Filming Sites in Ukraine
By Tiia Monto - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0
Image The Ukraine’s impressive size (603,700 square kilometres or 233,100 square miles) makes it home to a variety of climates and gorgeous natural landscapes. This is why the country has seen its fair share of film crews. Its diverse natural beauty is every cinematographer’s dream. Below are 5 places in Ukraine that filmmakers have used to create a wide variety of films. Kiev Ukraine’s capital city itself is extremely diverse and camera-friendly. Full of religious architecture, historical monuments, futuristic Soviet-era infrastructure, and a modern European aesthetic, this old city is the perfect place to shoot almost anything. Ukranian producer Arnold Kremenchutsky shared that he has even used Kiev to replicate different European, Australian, and North American locations. St. Andrew’s Church This gorgeous baroque church was designed by Italian architect Bartolomeo Rastrelli and built back in the mid-1700s. Constructed in honour of St. Andrew, the church is considered a landmark of cultural heritage. It can be seen in several Russian and Ukrainian movies including What do Men, and was even featured in the longest running cartoon of all time, The Simpsons. Vorontsov Palace Prince Mikhail Vorontsov had this palace built at the cost of nine million silver rubles during the early 1800s. The stones used for the palace were mined locally – it was designed to blend in with its mountainous surroundings. Its hybrid of various architectural styles is based on a loose interpretation of English Renaissance revival architecture, as requested by the prince who spent his early years studying in England. Films like And Then There Were None, Ordinary Miracle, and Sappho utilised the palace as a gorgeous Gothic backdrop. Genoese Fortress This UNESCO cultural heritage site is an intact medieval castle and fortress that was built back in the 16th century. It’s been used as the backdrop for several movies, most notably for 2017’s Viking, a film based on the Tale of Bygone Years which chronicles the origins of Russian rule in Kiev. Viking has stirred discussion on the actual historical origins of the Russian state as well as Ukraine, a tense debate involving Russia’s apparent historical revisionism and illegal annexation. Emerging Europe reports that the film grossed an impressive 1 billion Russian rubles (£11 million) in its first nine days of release, a reminder that the Viking narrative is very much alive and well in modern pop culture. The increased interest in Vikings can be attributed to the amplified media presence of the civilisation. The largely popular History channel series Vikings is set to be renewed for its 6th season. This clear desire for Viking content has allowed companies to market different products using the myths and history surrounding the culture. This is particularly apparent in the gaming industry where the Vikings have been symbolised as warriors. Games like Versus Evil’s The Banner Saga make use of historical Viking artefacts to flesh out its epic fictional world. The Slingo slot game Vikings Go Berzerk takes its title straight from the legendary berserkers – Norse warriors who reportedly fought under a battle trance. The game uses the popular image of the Viking rather than the historic representation which can be seen in Viking. All these representations in the media have inspired fans to travel in order to learn more about this famous, yet mysterious, culture, and study the historic events the Vikings were involved in. Crimean Peninsula Several parts of Crimea have also been used in a huge number of Ukrainian and Russian films. Three Plus Two was shot at the Hoba-Koya slopes, a series of picturesque mountains. The popular resort of Koktebel was where key parts of the movieScarlet Sails were filmed. The gorgeous Crimean Peninsula offers plenty of camera-friendly locations that have hosted tons of Soviet-era and modern Eastern European films. Dig deeper into Ukrainian culture by visiting our blog here on Experience Ukraine. Apart from our famous film locations, Ukraine is also a country that have kept its traditions alive, whether it’s architecture, weaving, or local cuisine – a big part of why it’s such a camera-friendly location.