Awesome trees: how Kyiv became the city of chestnuts

One of the reasons why May is the best month to visit Kyiv is chestnuts flowering everywhere. How did this awesome tree become the symbol of the city?


Kyiv failed to become the city of chestnuts from the first time. These trees were planted in the city as experiment. The whole Taras Shevchenko Boulevard was planted with chestnuts before the arrival of Russian tsar Nikolay I. The idea was to please him, as Nikolay I was the guardian of Saint Volodymyr University (now Taras Shevchenko National University) and visited Kyiv quite often.

But the idea was not approved: “Too informal and cozy”. All chestnuts were dug overnight and replaced with the poplars (The order was given by general governor Bibikov).

“Too informal and cozy”. All chestnuts were dug overnight and replaced with the poplars

The thrown out seedlings of chestnut were picked up by the citizens. It was the initiative of locals to plant these white and rose candle-like trees everywhere. In the end of XIX century the chestnuts were planted just in the old part of the city. Then in a couple of years the chestnuts were so familiar everywhere, like they were growing here for ages.

When in 1983 the city government started a discussion about 1500 Birthday of Kyiv, the last Sunday of May was chosen as the City Day. And not by accident: it’s a time, when the chestnuts are blooming

If you are searching for a company to walk under flowering chestnuts – visit one of our Awesome Kyiv Walking Tours and get to know more symbols of the city.

Then in autumn the chestnut fruit rain starts – don’t be surprised if the symbol of Kyiv suddenly falls down on your head. Kidding – better visit Kyiv and check it out.






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