Museum of Water (Water Information Center), Kyiv

9630

Coordinates: 50.4526012, 30.5315584
Type of place: Museums
Entrance: Paid
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The Kyiv Water Information Center or, as it is commonly known, the Water Museum, was opened in May 2003. The story of its creation is rather interesting. This is a joint project of Ukraine and Denmark. So, both countries participated in the creation of the museum. This is the first museum in Ukraine and Eastern Europe of such a kind. Its creator is a designer from Denmark - Kaston Muller. He used to be hippie, so the exhibition is built outside the box: in the form of a maze. In addition, there are many unusual elements in the museum. For example, a huge toilet, an imitation of a flood in an apartment, a transparent sewer pipe in which garbage is visible. This is all due to the designer’s non-standard thinking.
 
The museum is located in Khreshchatyi Park. It has been called so since the 90s, the historical name of this park is the Royal Garden. This is a part of a huge park that stretched from the modern Mariinsky Palace to the European Square. And it was here that the first water supply facilities were built. The basis of the museum is the water tower, which is 141 year old. Nearby there is another rebuilt tower. In its place there used to be the first tower of the Kyiv aqueduct.
 
That is how symbolic it turned out that the first water museum in Ukraine was created by two countries and it is located in buildings where the history of centralized water supply in Kyiv begins. In 1872, it was in this park that the first stage of the city water supply was solemnly opened. As a memory of that, two ancient gates and a memorial plaque showing the main construction dates were installed on the wall of the tower from the street side.
The main exhibition of the museum is a former underground water tank. Actually, similar museums in different countries (Russia, Denmark, Poland) are usually located in underground reservoirs of clean water, since a huge building is released, and is no longer needed. The Kyiv reservoir is 108 years old, but its walls were built with high-quality bricks so they are well preserved. In one place, a brick with the still readable producer’s name, H. Volkov was even put forward. This fact really proves the excellent quality of Kyiv brick.

The Museum of Water combines history and present. There is an interesting historical zone dedicated to the development of water supply in Kyiv. One of its most valuable exhibits are 4 wooden pipes of the 18th century, a copper memorial plaque from one of Kyiv’s water stations - Boulevard, which is located near Victory Square and is still in effect. The board from the opening of the station, in 1904, is now also here in the museum.
 
In the Water Information Center of Kyiv, elements of the museum are combined with elements of a technical exhibition. There are pipes of various eras, elements of an aquapark, a model of the Marble Cave in Crimea, a game zone where you can play and learn about Japanese decor. Such a variety of museum spaces and non-standard approach of Kasten Muller has been attracting the attention of visitors for already 14 years. The museum can boast of visitors geography involving 110 countries incl. New Zealand, Australia, Argentina, Chile, states of Africa, and Asia. Most of the foreign guests who now visit the museum come from the United States, America, Israel, and partly from the countries of the Middle East.
 
Translated by: Irina Makuha
 
In fact, the Water Information Center has 1 exposition, but it consists of two parts. The first part, upstairs, is the living room, where guests are briefly told about the museum. The second part of the exhibition is an underground tank, where visitors get down to a depth of 5 meters. In this tank the main exhibition is built in the form of a labyrinth. If you convert the numbers into a modern metric system, the capacity of this tank was 1050 cubic meters of water. Behind the wall there is another tank of the same size. It was built simultaneously with the first tower. However, the museum uses only the first one.
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