The Vikings of Kiev

Askold Grave, Easter’ 2020

Rotunda marking the supposed grave of the early Varangian (Viking) chief Askold.

Today, 19 of April 2020 is Orthodox Easter.

Yet no-one could visit the church: COVID19 quarantine due to Ukrainian’ authorities restriction.  We hide at homes  for fear of invisible bug for several weeks in the row.

Staying home does not bring bacon

Looking at my recent pictures of st. Nicholas church in Askold park of Kiev, I could not imagine how would be possible explain it to then Scandinavian pirates. Even if I knew their language (historians are still argue, who they were: Novgorod Slavs?  Norwegians, Swedes?). What made them come here? Overpopulation, surplus of man-power, seeking booty, or adventure…

Anyway, in 870 ad, as the story goes, Viking brothers, Ascold (Haskuldr, or Hǫskuldr) and Dir  established Kiev, the first Scandinavian place on the river Dnieper.  As they were murdered by mighty prince Oleg, brothers were buried separately in different locations. Around 1 millenia later, in 1810,  on the top of the hill with Askold grave,  the st. Nicholas church was erected. Later, in 1930-s the soviets named surrounding place as Askold’s Grave Park.

So here are the pictures of rotunda (the Church) marking the supposed grave of Viking Askold. Yet there are plenty of interesting stories to uncover about those times and this place, which might feed our imagination, while we are staying at home.




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