Ukrainian citizens recently discovered a once-lost cave system in the heart of Kyiv, according to Ukrainian media outlets Radio Kultura and Suspline.
Specifically, the initiative to uncover and preserve the caves is being led by Dmytro Perov, who works at the Center for Urban Development in Kyiv.
The tunnels and their enigmatic inscriptions can be dated back to the time of the Kievan Rus, who were active in the region between the ninth and 13th centuries. Perov's attention was drawn to the project when a property came across his desk which he recognized as his grandmother's childhood home. The street where it is located, according to Radio Kultura, is a path connecting the areas of Old Kyiv and the historic Podil neighborhood.
"In 1919, the communists came and made a "sealing,'" Perov told Radio Kultura. "They settled the family in one room on the top floor and occupied the rest of the rooms. My grandmother and great-grandmother lived there until 1979." The family was evicted in 1980, but Perov grew up hearing stories of tunnels under the estate.
"Grandmother said about that house that there was some cave," explained Perov. "But it was more like a children's legend. That somewhere there, in the mountain, there was a big stone house, and next to it, an ancient cave. No one knew where it was located. We lived in a different area, but I never explored the estate or the plot near it."
Perov told Suspline that, after recent excavations, it is now possible to explore two of the cave rooms. Suspline also reports that, according to an expert of the Center for Urban Development, the site's ultimate fate is still unclear. The Kyiv City Council has yet to make a decision regarding the site's development.
"Existing historical sources regarding this origin and neighboring sources have not been found. However, according to the parameters, location, and nature of the vaults, the cave can be classified as a special group of historical Kyiv dungeons," local expert Timur Bobrovskyi told Radio Kultura.