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Photos author is Alexander Lytvyn

The Raven Backyard in Reitarska Street

Concerning with the sight:

The Raven Backyard in Reitarska Street

Attention is drawn to Kyiv not only due to its ancient monuments, but also new locations quickly becoming popular among Kyivites, including the backyard with Ravens in Reitarska Street.

The existence of the street had been recorded in the 11th century, when it was part of the City of Yaroslav and led to the North Gate (now Lviv Square). It is not known what it was called then, but the modern name appeared in the 17th century due to a regiment of military cavalry – the reiters – was located here.

Ravens settled here in the early 1990s. The identity of their owner is still uncertain. A popular legend is that the ravens were settled by a local ‘avtoretet’ – a crime boss named Hrisha; however, the residents of the surrounding houses take care of the birds. Each bird has its own story. The wounded Korbin was simply tied to a tree with a rope. He was treated and became the first inhabitant of the backyard in Reitarska Street. Karlusha fell out of the nest as a chick. Then the locals made an aviary for the two birds. A few years later, a third raven appeared, the one named Kyrylo. Despite the male names, in truth the only male bird is Korbin, as it was discovered by an ornithologist from the Kyiv Zoo a few years ago, but the birds have become so accustomed to their names that no one has changed them. At the moment there is only one raven in the aviary.

A cozy courtyard with mysterious birds quickly got on the list of non-trivial Kyiv locations. In 2015, Kharkiv artist Oleksandr Brittsev created The Herald of Life mural on the house next to the aviary. One white bird is pictured among the cloud of black ravens. The artist explains that it is the white bird that brings the good news: ‘This is my optimistic view.’

It is difficult to say now what will draw more interest in modern tourists in Reitarska – the house № 9, where in 1888-1894 the composer Mykola Lysenko lived with his family, or a courtyard with legendary crows. Both are an integral part of our city.

Concerning with the sight: