Interesting facts about Kharkov
It is the largest city in the world on the 50th latitude, larger than Krakov, Prague, Meinz, Ust-Kamenogorsk. In October, 2010, the monument “The 50th Latitude” was opened in Shevchenko park, the latitude itself is inlaid on the sidewalk in the shape of a line.
Saltovka district is the largest inhabited district in Ukraine with the population over 400,000.
Barabashov market is the largest market in Ukraine, it occupies the territory of about 80 hectares. It is the largest market in the Eastern Europe and the 14th in the world.
It was founded in 1656 as a military stronghold to protect Russia’s southern marshlands. The part of the old kremlin wall survived. The center of a region of fertile soils, the town quickly developed important trade and handicraft manufactures and became a seat of the provincial government in 1732.
Its nodal position was enhanced in the later 19th century by opening of the adjacent Donets Basin coalfield, first reached by rail from Kharkov in 1869. At that period, city’s industries, especially engineering, grew rapidly.
More Historical Facts…
After the Russian Revolution of 1917 and the establishment of the Ukrainian SSR, Kharkov received the status of its first capital, but lost this function to Kiev in 1934.
During the World War II, the city was bitterly contested and changed hands several times, with very heavy destruction.
The great destruction of the World War II made it possible to completely rebuild the city as a city of broad streets, large apartment blocks, imposing, often ponderous administrative and office buildings, and large industrial plants.
Nowadays, the city retains its role as a communications center of Ukraine. Also, it is the largest railway junction of the country.
Kharkov places of interest
The Historical Museum. Four halls of the museum display archaeological excavations of Bronze Age settlements, a set of ancient things from Donets settlement of the 11th-12th centuries, numismatic collections, ethnographic collection, collection of arms, flags, etc.
Tanks Mark V (English tank of the First World War) and T-34 (Soviet tank of the Second World War), and three guns can be found on an open area near the museum. Universitetskaya Street, 5. Opening hours: 10:00-17:00, day off - Monday.
The Museum of Art. It is one of the oldest museum institutions in Ukraine. The museum is rich in unique works of art. The history of the museum originates to 1805, when the founder of Kharkov University V. Karazin purchased 2477 graphic works of A. Durer and F. Boucher for university collection.
In 1886, the first in Ukraine art-industrial museum was opened in the city.
Today, the collection of the museum has about 20 thousand exhibits. In the department of Ukrainian and Russian art of the 16th-20th centuries, the works of Aivazovsky, Shishkin, Vasnetsov, Pimonenko, Surikov, Murashko, Repin and others are presented. Sovnarkomovskaya Street, 9, 11. Opening hours: 10:00-17:00, day off - Tuesday.
Among the other museums are:
- The museum of Southern railway history (Kotlova Street, 83a);
- The museum of nature of Kharkov national university (Trinklera Street, 8);
- The literary museum (Frunze Street, 6);
- “Kosmos” museum (Planetarium, Kravtsova Street, 15);
- The maritime museum (Sovnarkomovskaya Street, 13);
- The art gallery (Chernyshevskogo Street, 15);
- The museum of militia (Sovnarkomovskaya Street, 13);
- The museum of Holocaust (Petrovskogo Street, 28);
- The museum of water (Krasnooktyabrskaya Street, 90).
The Pokrovsky Monastery. This monastery is the oldest building in Kharkov. In the 17th century, it was the part of a fortifications system of Kharkov fortress. The bell tower of the Intercession Cathedral (1689) has the form of a defensive tower.
On the territory, there are Ozeryanskaya Church (1896), the bishop’s house, the deanery and the house with cells and refectory. Universitetskaya Street, 8.
The Assumption Cathedral. This tall and slender church built in the Ukrainian Baroque style was constructed in the center of the University hill on the site of an old cathedral of 1688. The bell tower with the clock built by architects E. Vasiliev and A. Tonne is the tallest building in Kharkov (89 meters).
In 1986, it was reopened as a House of Organ and Chamber Music. Today, the building is partially returned to the Orthodox Church. Universitetskaya Street, 11.
Three Saints (Golberg’s) Church. The church in honor of the Three Saints - Basil the Great, Gregory the Theologian and Ivan Chrysostom - was built in 1915 on the initiative of the chairman of the City’s merchant community, the merchant of the first guild Gregory Golberg, who had brothers Basil and Ivan (the probable origin of the name of the church).
The church was founded in 1906 and the construction lasted for 9 years. Beautiful interiors of the church are of particular art value. Its original iconostasis was made in Italy. Pervaya Konnaya Armiya Street, 101.
The Annunciation Cathedral. This grandiose architectural ensemble, built in the neo-Byzantine style with a 75-meter-high bell tower, is overlooking the Lopan River. The cathedral was built in 1901 on the site of the old Annunciation Church, which history began in 1655.
The five-domed cathedral with a tall bell tower is known for its “striped” masonry and rich decor. Karl Marx Square, 1.
The Cathedral of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary. This Catholic church was built in 1887-1892. The building of basilica type has a tall Gothic bell tower with a spire and a round window in the second tier. The organ, made in Bavaria, was installed in 1901. The restoration and reconstruction of interiors was completed in 2000. Gogol Street, 4.
St. Panteleimon’s Church. The church in honor of the Holy Martyr and Healer Panteleimon was founded in 1882. The church was constructed in the Russian-Byzantine style. The restoration work was completed in 1999. Klochkovskaya Street, 94-a.
St. Nicholas Church in Zhikhor. The first St. Nicholas Church in Zhikhor was built by means of Colonel A. Shcherbinin in 1747. It was made of wood, and soon it burned down. The stone church of St. Nicholas was founded by means of local parishioners in 1890. Today, the church is restored. Wanda Wasilewska Street, 11.
St. Nicholas Church in Grigorovka. The first wooden church of St. Nicholas in Grigorovka was built in 1765. In 1821, on the site of the old church, the new one was built by means of Colonel A. Norov. It was a one-dome church built in the form of a cross with a bell tower made of red bricks. The church was closed from 1960 to 1989. Tsementnaya Street, 8.
Ozeryanskaya Church. This church was founded in 1892 on the former outskirts of the city. It was made of unplastered red brick in the eclectic forms of the Byzantine-Russian style. The facades of the building have a lot of architectural details borrowed from ancient Russian religious architecture. The height of the four-tier bell tower is about 40 meters. Poltavsky Shlyakh Street, 124.
Alexander Nevsky’s Church. The church was built in 1830. It was small and could not accommodate all parishioners. In 1904, the sum of 20 thousand rubles was allocated from the state treasury for the construction of a new church. In 1907, all the construction works and paintings were finished. Today, the church is completely restored. Academician Pavlov Street, 46.
Peter and Paul’s Church. The church was founded in 1866 in a suburb of the city - in Zhuravlevka (Shevchenko Street with surrounding neighborhoods today). The construction of the building began in 1871, and was finished in 1875. The church was built in the Russian-Byzantine style. It was renovated to its 130th anniversary. Shevchenko Street, 121.
Three Saints (Golberg’s) Church
Kharkov architectural monuments
Gosprom. The complex of buildings of the House of State Industry was constructed on the initiative of Felix Dzerzhinsky. Gosprom became the basis of the new administrative center of Kharkov (the capital of Ukraine at that time). It was the first high-rise concrete construction in the USSR (63 meters) built in the style of constructivism.
In 1955, one of the first Soviet television towers (45 meters) was installed on the roof. Today, the building houses regional government offices and offices of numerous firms. In the 5th entrance, you can find a museum of Gosprom. Svobody Square, 5.
The old building of the university built in the 18th century as the house of the Governor-General, is the oldest classical style building in Kharkov. From 1805 to 1958, it housed Kharkov University.
Later, the university moved to new buildings located on Svobody Square. Today, the building belongs to the Ukrainian Engineering-Pedagogical Academy. Universitetskaya Street, 16.
The Southern Railway Station. It is the main passenger station of the Southern Railway. The first train arrived in Kharkov on May 22, 1869. By the end of the 19th century, this railway station became one of the largest in the Russian Empire.
In 1952, the new building of the railway station was constructed. It was built in the “Stalin’s empire” style. In 2003, the last reconstruction was completed. On the platform #1, the monument to Father Fyodor from “12 chairs” novel can be found. Privokzalnaya Street, 1.
The Memorial of Glory. The largest in the city memorial complex was opened on the northern outskirts of Kharkov in 1977 in honor of the local residents who died during the Second World War. Belgorod Highway.
Shevchenko monument. This monument is considered the best monument to the poet. It was designed by the sculptor M. Minzer. According to the author, multi-figure sculpture group represents the people’s struggle for freedom praised by Kobzar. The monument was unveiled March 24, 1935.
At that time, it was the largest bronze composition in the USSR (total height - 16 meters, the height of the figure of the poet - 5.5 meters). Kharkov University students have several traditions related to this monument. Sumskaya Street, Shevchenko Park.
The monument to the characters of “12 chairs”. The monument to iconic characters of “12 chairs” novel written by I. Ilf and E. Petrov was opened in 2005. Petrovsky Street, 21.
The monument to the Cossack Kharko. The Cossack Kharko (Khariton) is a mythical founder of the city. The monument was opened at the beginning of Lenin Avenue in 2004. This is the first equestrian sculpture in the history of the city. Lenin Avenue.
The Fiddler on the Roof. The sculpture “The Fiddler on the Roof” is installed on the building of the conservatory - a monument of architecture of the 19th century. The monument is dedicated to all artists, actors and musicians living in the city. Constitution Square, 18.
Liberty Square. It is the central square in the city, one of the largest squares in the world. At the time of construction, it was the largest square in Europe (12 hectares). The square was built in 1926-1928 as the new administrative center of Kharkov. Various festivals, concerts and fairs are being held here.
Architects Square. This square located in the center at the intersection of Pushkin, Sovnarkomovskaya and Darwin streets, near the Architect Beketov metro station, was completely renovated in 2009 and converted into a unique park with sculptures. The place is known for the sculptures of “Seven Wonders of Kharkov” made of white marble. Pushkin Street, 39.
Constitution Square. The square appeared simultaneously with Kharkov fortress. Before the 19th century, it was called the Fair Square. In the 19th century, first stone buildings were built on the square. During the Second World War, a lot of buildings were destroyed. The square was restored after the liberation of the city.
Rosa Luxemburg Square. This square appeared in 1660-1662 with the construction of the fortification - a part of Kharkov defense system. After a while, the central part of the fortification became a large trade area called Narodnaya (People’s) Square.
In the middle of the 19th century, the place became known as Pavlov’s Square in honor of the merchant Pavlov who opened the first store with fixed prices for goods.
Later, large building of the insurance company “Russia” (1910-1915) and the City merchant bank (1913) were constructed. During the Second World War, the buildings were destroyed, but later they were restored to their original form.
Parks and gardens of Kharkov
Pokrovsky public garden. This terraced garden is located close to Universitetskaya Street. On the upper terrace, you can admire the beautiful panorama of Zalopanskaya part of the city, Proletarian Square and Annunciation Cathedral. The monument to G. Skovoroda can be found there.
The territory of the former Kharkov fortress is located close to the monument. The garden was reconstructed in 2009. Orthodox cross is installed at the top of the fountain; the water in the fountain is consecrated. Soborny Spusk Street.
The Garden of Sculptures. Sculptural compositions “Orchestra” and “Family in business” were placed in the courtyard of the shopping center “Platinum Plaza” by one of the authors of the sculptures - famous Israeli sculptor F. Meisler. His sculptures are well known all over the world. Also, the Globe of Kharkov is standing at the entrance. Sumskaya Street, 72. Opening hours: 8:00-23:00.
More Parks and Gardens…
Shevchenko Garden. The garden named after Taras Shevchenko is the oldest green area in the center of the city, one of the favorite places of residents and visitors of Kharkov. The garden was laid down by the founder of Kharkov University V. Karazin in 1804. On the north side of the park, there is a monument to Karazin (1907).
The main entrance to Kharkov Zoo (1895) is located near the concert hall “Ukraine”. Astronomical Observatory (1808) can also be found in the garden.
Other monuments: the monument to repressed kobzars, the sculpture “Soccer ball”, the sculpture “Aksakal”. Sumskaya Street, 35.
Gorky Park. The central park of Kharkov was built in 1893-1895. The total area of the park is about 130 hectares. Today, it is one of the main centers of recreation and entertainment.
An amusement park, movie theater “the Park”, children’s railroad, cableway, tennis courts, etc. can be found there. The park was named after famous Soviet writer Maxim Gorky. Sumskaya Street.
The water park “Jungle”. It is a large modern indoor water park. The interior is modeled on the jungles of South America. Total area of the park is 11 thousand square meters. The area of water attractions zone is 4 thousand square meters. There are 7 swimming pools (including sports, wave, circular, jacuzzi) with 11 water rides.
The complex also includes a hotel, restaurant, bars, sauna and massage, solarium, billiards. Kyrgyzskaya Street, 19-B. Opening hours: Monday-Thursday: 14:00-23:00, Friday: 14:00-24:00, Saturday: 12:00-24:00, Sunday: 12:00-23:00.
Lenin monument (demolished in September 2014)
The zoo was founded in 1896, when an exhibition of domestic animals and birds was opened on the territory of the university garden. In 1906, the construction of an aquarium was completed.
In 1911, the South-Russian Society of Acclimatization decided to open a zoo in Kharkov, which was the third in the Russian Empire. During the Civil War, the zoo was ruined.
In 1922, it was reopened to visitors. In 1928, a special train with animals (a lion, leopard, llama, kangaroo, mongoose, monkeys, parrots, and others) arrived to Kharkov from Germany.
Swans, pelicans, and about a hundred species of waterfowl were taken from the Caucasus. In 1930s, an area with artificial hills for tours, gazelles, and moufflons was constructed.
Unfortunately, during the Second World War, almost all animals died. After the war, a new aquarium, winter facilities for large animals, ponds for fish and waterfowl were built, thousands of trees and shrubs were planted.
Today, it is one of the most popular places of leisure in Kharkov. Sumskaya Street, 35. Opening hours: 8:00 - the end of daylight.
Kharkov National University named after V. Karazin was founded in 1805. It is one of the oldest and largest universities in Eastern Europe. The initiator of the university was an outstanding scientist and educator V. Karazin. Originally, it was housed in the Governor General’s house, and, later, it was moved to new buildings on the Liberty Square.
The university became the center of Ukrainian national cultural renaissance. It is playing an important role in the development of present Ukrainian science and culture.
Today, about 15 thousand students are studying in the university. The university has a botanical garden, natural history museum, museum of archaeology and ethnography, museum of the university. Liberty Square, 4.
The Central Synagogue. This synagogue built in neo-gothic style with elements of Moorish style was opened in 1913. It is the largest synagogue in Ukraine. From 1923 to 1990, the synagogue was closed. Today, it belongs to Hasidim. Pushkin Street, 12.
The Mirror Stream. The rotunda of “the Mirror Stream” fountain located in Pobedy public garden opposite the Opera House is the hallmark of Kharkov. It was built in 1947 by architect V. Korzh in honor of the victory in the Second World War. Before 1930, this place was occupied by Mironositskaya Church (1701). Later, it was a waste-ground and a trolley park.
According to legend, the decision to create a square with a fountain was made by the city authorities, after the visit of the Soviet leader N. Khrushchev to the city. Khrushchev didn’t like the view from the window. Initially, the fountain-pavilion was called “the Glass Stream”. In 2007, the fountain was reconstructed. Sumskaya Street, 40.
The Cascade Fountain. The fountain in the form of a cascade is going down the steep hill from Shevchenko Park to Klochkovskaya Street. The fountain was built on the site of the destroyed pre-war park stairs in 1954. It was opened to the 300th anniversary of the city. Klochkovskaya Street, Shevchenko Park.
The Children’s Railway. The railway opened in 1940 is located on the territories of Gorky and Forest parks. In 2000, the railway was reconstructed. It is open from May to late October (in May and September-October - only on weekends). Sumskaya Street, 81. Opening hours: 10:00-17:00, days off - Monday, Tuesday.
The Cableway. The aerial cableway is running from the Botanical Garden (Otakar Yarosh Street) to the Gorky Park (Sumskaya Street). The overall length is 1387 meters, height - up to 26 meters. One way journey takes about 18 minutes. The cableway is open in the warm season of the year. Sumskaya Street, 81.
The Dolphinarium “Nemo”. Kharkov dolphinarium was opened in Shevchenko garden in 2009. The show involves four dolphins, three seals and one sea lion. Visitors can also swim with dolphins. The dolphinarium is open every day. Sumskaya Street, 35, Shevchenko Garden. Opening hours: 12:00, 15:00, 18:00.
The Planetarium. Kharkov planetarium named after Yuri Gagarin was opened in 1957. The planetarium has a space museum and a museum about unknown flying objects (UFOs). Four-meter figures of aliens, flying saucers models, photos of UFOs are presented. Kravtsov Street, 15.
A small one-storey detached house of the city mayor Ye.Ye. Uryupin is the oldest residence house, built at the end of 18th century. It is located on Rymarskaya Street, 4.
There is a number of different hotels and mini-hotels in the city. According to some reviews of the visitors, the following hotels offer quite good level of service.
Hotel “Kharkiv Palace”. The hotel is located in the center of the city, next to the complex of the Gosprom. This modern 11-storey hotel was built for the Euro-2012 championship. There is a SPA-center with a sauna and swimming pool. The hotel also has an underground parking for 54 cars.
180 rooms with individually controlled air conditioning, satellite/interactive TV, Wi-Fi.
“Sky Lounge” restaurant with panoramic views of Svobody Square is located on the eleventh floor. “Pacific Rim” restaurant offering exotic cuisine can be found on the second floor. Viennese cafe “Amadeus” and a lobby bar - on the ground floor. Pravdy Prospect, 2. Phones: +380 57 766 44 45, +380 57 766 44 00.
Hotel “Reikartz Kharkiv”. It is located in the commercial and historical center of the city, a 2-minute walk from Sumy Street, Pokrovsky Cathedral and other sights.
76 single and double rooms are equipped according to European standards (air conditioning, Wi-Fi). There is a restaurant (European and Ukrainian cuisine). Chubarya Street, 4. Phone: +380 57 728 13 52.
Hotel “Park Hotel”. This new modern hotel is located near the business and cultural center.
55 rooms of different categories, equipped with everything needed for comfortable stay, Wi-Fi. One of the floors is reserved for non-smoking guests. There is a room for people with disabilities.
There is a restaurant (European and Slavic cuisine, a wide range of specialties from the chef). Shevchenko Street, 79. Phone: +380 57 730 17 17.
Hotel “Ovis”. It is a modern business-class hotel located near the airport.
55 comfortable rooms of different categories equipped with all necessary facilities for leisure and business. There are rooms for non-smoking visitors. There is a restaurant (European and Ukrainian cuisine). Gagarin Avenue, 201-b. Phone: +380 57 717 06 33.
Hotel “Viva”. Four-storey building of the hotel is located in the historical part of the city, on one of the main avenues.
Spacious apartments for leisure and business travelers, equipped with everything needed for comfortable stay, Wi-Fi. There is a cafe on the ground floor (European cuisine). Gagarin Avenue, 10/2. Phones: +380 57 784 07 90, +380 57 784 07 91.
Hotel “City Club”. The hotel is located on Gagarin Avenue - one of the main streets of Kharkov, in the vicinity of the historic center, 10 minutes ride from the international airport and the central bus station.
40 rooms, Wi-Fi. The restaurant offers European and traditional local cuisine. Its SPA-center combines traditional Russian banya, Finnish sauna and Turkish sauna. Gagarin Avenue, 145. Phone: +380 57 730 17 00.
Hotel “Britaniya”. The hotel is located in the park area of Kharkov, on an island in Zhuravlevskiy hydro park.
33 modern comfortable rooms. There are rooms for non-smokers. There is a restaurant (European and traditional Ukrainian cuisine). Shevchenko Street, Zhuravlevskiy hydro park. Phones: +380 57 720 39 60, +380 57 720 39 61, +380 57 720 30 37, +380 57 720 39 62.