Kievs Museum of Microminiatures: The Biggest Collection of Tiny Things

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Hidden inside a Kiev religion complex lies the mind-blowing Museum of Microminiatures, which holds ships carved out of gold, books of verse, and tiny shoes for a flea, all smaller than the eye can see.”>

Overwhelmed. Its what one feels when entering the sacred confines of the various churches and monasteries that dot Kiev like rainbow sprinkles.

Their interiors are covered floor-to-ceiling in gold and frescoes. The air is choked with incense and religious chanting. Often capped by a shining gold onion dome, their exteriors also stun, coming in an array of colours, or in the case of Kiev Pechersk Lavra, the most sacred complex, a blinding white.

But there is something else housed in the sacred complex of Pechersk Lavra whose renown comes not from its ability to overwhelm but from its subtletythe Museum of Microminiatures.

The museum, which is just one highlight in a complex that contains caves, tunnels, skeletons, and heaps of gold artifacts, is the locating for one of the largest concentrations of runs by the master of microminiatures, Mykola Syadristy.

The statues, for lack of a better term, range in size from a few millimeters to some that are mere fractions of a millimeter. They are captivating not solely on their own aesthetic merit, but rather gasp-inducing when one realizes what a nearly impossible exercising it must have been to create something so complex on so small a scale. It is the Christ the Redeemer impact in reverse.

And so, as one wanders from object to object, a routine ensues.

Gaze into lens at microminiature. Step back, read the description outlining the sizing, material, and method. Mutter, holy crap , no way, or some variant with a four-letter word. Then lean back in to gaze upon the microminiature with a newfound wonder and appreciation.

Take, for example, the vessel defined pictured as the articles main image. Named for the Russian novelist Alexander Grin, the frigate made of gold is just 3.5 millimeters from end to objective. The gold strands that make up the rigging in between its billow sails are just 0.003 millimeters in diameter.( Which is 400 times less than a human hair, the museum helpfully points out ).

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