Please get the images of heavy metal devils out of your head this instant. Ukraine’s Iron Maiden has nothing to do with the band. Although anyone who has seen it in person will agree that it is pretty metal.
A little bit of history:
This statue is actually called Rodina Mat (Motherland). It sits on top of the National Museum of the History of Ukraine in the Second World War. The museum is amazing and you could spend up to three hours inside. Then there’s the outdoor area with tanks and helicopters. You can even climb inside some of them! Finally, there’s the massive sculpture itself. I highly recommend you to climb it – unless you’re scared of heights.
The statue is made out of stainless steel, despite the deceptive nickname. It is 62 m (203 ft), or 102 m (335 ft) if you count the height from the base of the main museum building. The base weighs 560 tons and the statue holds up a great deal of weight as well. Her right hand holds a 16 m (52 ft) long sword that weighs 9 tons. The left hand holds a 13 by 8 m (43 by 26 ft) shield that you can stand inside!
While this is the highest view in Kyiv, it is not the tallest point. The sword of this statue was actually cut because it was higher than the cross of the Pecherska Lavra. This is another great place to visit by the way, but more about that another time.
When we came to see the sculpture, we were just trying to visit the museum. Soon, they told us that there’s a special tour that can take us up in the shield. They said that only about ten people do it a week and that it’s ‘only for the brave’. We laughed and said, ‘yeah, sounds cool.’ Only they weren’t kidding…
You don’t go up stairs or an elevator…
They strapped us to a harness and directed us up a series of ladders that went in all sorts of directions. A small tube confined us. It almost felt like we were in a space ship. There was one point when I wasn’t even sure which direction was up! This intense and claustrophobic climb but it was so worth the view from the top. It was incredibly windy, so my footage is shaky. However, it was truly spectacular and there is nothing else like it in Kyiv.
I 100% recommend that you go up in the highest view in Kyiv. Just as long as you are not scared of heights or tight spaces. Once you have, please let me know what you thought in the comments below: