Rout №1 «Old city»

Konstytutsii Square, Sviato-Pokrovskyi Monastyr, Uspenskyi Sobor, Universitetska Horka, Rozy Luxemburg Square, Blagovishenskyi Sobor.

Inspection of Kharkiv Old Town area should be started from Konstytutsii square located in the very heart of the city, next to it situated the Sviato-Pokrovskyi Monastery, which buildings were constructed among the first in the city.

Conditional borders of the old center can be considered as embankments of rivers Kharkiv and Lopan, Bursatskyi descent and Korolenko Street. These sites meet the city’s main highways – Moskovskyi avenue, Poltavskiy Shlyakh Street, Gagarina Avenue. From this Kharkiv began – right here, on University Hill by order of Empress Catherine II in 1654 was built Kharkiv fortress. Around it, at the foot of the hill, were formed settlements and villages – Podol, Poltavsky Shlyakh area, all of these places are inhabited by future Kharkovites.

Universitetska Street is one of the first in the city, here are the oldest and significant at that time of the city buildings – a monastery, offices, governor’s house. Later, this street has become even more important – when in 1805 in the building number 16, the former governor’s house, opened the Kharkov University. This date has become an important reference point in the history of the city, but we should start from the beginning.

Sviato-Pokrovskyi (Holy Protection) Men Monastery

The monastery was founded in 1726 due to transfer of Episcopal school from the Belgorod to Kharkiv. Earlier in this place was standing Pokrovsky church, built in 1689. The territory of the Sviato-Pokrovskyi Monastery is a spiritual and peaceful place, despite the fact that it is always full of life. There are two temples – Pokrova Presviatoi Bogorodytsi (Protection of the Blessed Virgin) and Ozeryanskoy ikony Bozhiei Materi (Ozeryanska icon of Mother of God), Theological Seminary, which trained future theologians and priests, several iconic shops, bakery shop with a monastery goods, monks’ cells and also the home of the Metropolitan and Eparchial administration. In addition, on the monastery grounds is family crypt of Kvitka family, and the tomb of the Lords of Kharkiv.

Pokrova Presviatoi Bogorodytsi Church (Protection of the Blessed Virgin)
In this temple are actually two temples – the lower Warm Trehsvyatitelsky church where worships were held earlier in the cold season, and the top – Pokrovsky, so called “summer” church. The temple was built in the tradition of Ukrainian Baroque, and the interior of the upper, Pokrovsky church underlines inseparable connection at the time ordinary life of people with a religion.

Ozeryanskoy ikony Bozhiei Materi Church (Ozeryanska icon of Mother of God)
Ozeryanska Church was built and consecrated in 1896 in honor of the wonderful event – finding the miraculous icon of Our Lady. According to legend, the icon appeared to a farmer who accidentally cut her in half with a scythe, and took home but after night the icon disappeared. The farmer found her in the same place unharmed. He passed icon to the temple in the Merefa town, and then the icon was transferred first to the Kuryazhsky and then in Pokrovsky Monastery.

Konstytutsii Square

Konstytutsii Square 15 years ago was bearing the name of the Soviet Ukraine square 50 years ago looked completely different – there was no park and whole area was built up with buildings. Here was one of the first theaters in the city, the building of the Noble management and the recently disassembled a monument of the Soviet power proclamation in Ukraine. In the late 19th century, the eastern side of the area between the Mechnikova lane and Korolenko street was built up with classical buildings, mostly on projects of architect Alexey Beketov, here the banks were placed – Commercial, Land bank, Volzhsko-Kamskyi bank and others.

Today the square is surrounded by magnificent buildings – the only standing on the Square is Historical Museum, then buildings of banks, which today is Autotransport School, Puppet Theatre, offices and a bank, houses and  the Monastery. The lower part of the area is surrounded by mostly public buildings – here the city mayor’s office and shopping mall “Dytiachyi Svit”, and the building of the University of Arts. Even lower is the Labour Palace – the first office building in the city, in the ground floor of the buildings are shops. On the opposite side of the street proudly standing “House with a spire”, a majestic apartment building constructed in 1954 by architect Areshkin in the style of “Stalin’s Empire” – the building occupies an entire block.

V.A. Afanasyev Kharkiv Academic Theatre of Puppets (24 Konstytutsii Sq)

Kharkov Puppet theatre occupies gorgeous building of Volzhsko-Kamskyi Bank by architect Beketov which underwent reconstruction of the needs of the theater since 1967. Now building is closed for another one reconstruction, and will open again in next theatrical season. The current theatrical season actors and puppets are playing on stage of the Cultural Center of Kiev district (7, Skrypnika Str.).

Historical Museum (Universitetska Street, 5)

Historical Museum traveled a lot, moving from one building to another, until in the early 1990s, settled, finally, in a former pawnshop on Universitetska Street. The building was built in 1908 by architect Kornienko and is a landmark building.
Today the museum exposition is divided into four main divisions – the primitive society, feudalism, capitalism and the Soviet era. Here are stored as archaeological sights and exhibits of the city’s history, numismatics, ethnography. Private interest is the collection of weapons.

Dytiachyi Svit (9, Konstytutsii Square)

Dytiachyi Svit building covered gallery with shops during the construction was called the Second Passage, the first was located where now is Kaskadnyi Square. The building was completed in 1925 only after the processing of the original project by architect Linetskiy.

Labour Palace (1, Konstytutsii Square)

Labour Palace occupies almost an entire block at Konstytutsii Square. Previously this building was an income house of Russian insurance company “Russia”, designed by architect Pretro in the neoclassical style in 1916. The building is one of the most common examples in Kharkiv combination of residential and commercial functions in the income houses. Today the residential function is completely replaced by commercial – all the upper floors are occupied by offices. Its inner courtyard is a transit area between the Konstytutsii Square and Kvitky-Osnovyanenko street, as well as with Rosy Luxemburg Square.

Uspenskyi Sobor (Cathedral of the Assumption)

The first building of the cathedral was built in about 1657, that is practically right after founding of the city. The wooden building was demolished in 1680, and in 1685-87 years in another place at 25-30 yards from the old cathedral begins a building of a new one – stone Cathedral of the Assumption. In 1733 the building of the cathedral was seriously damaged by fire, survived only stone walls, but a year later the building was restored in its original form. A few years later in the walls cracks began to appear, and it was decided to build completely new church in this place. As an example architects and builders of the temple of took the church of martyr Clement, which was standing on a Pyatnitskaya street in Moscow. The new church was completed in 1783.

Half a century later, in 1818, parishioners expressed their wish to build a new bell tower at the church, in honor of Alexander I and the victory imperial troops over the forces of Napoleon Bonaparte. Legend has it that the author of the bell tower, architect Yevgeny Vasilyev, tricked the project committee – according to their requirements, height of the bell tower should not exceed the height of the Ivan the Great Bell of Moscow, that is 81 meters. As a result, the height of the bell tower is 89.5 m.

Unfortunately, the temple has not reached in that look to our time – during the Soviet era five domes of the temple were destroyed, they were recovered during a major renovation of the building in the 70s, and its inner space was divided into two floors. Later, in 1986, House of Organ and Chamber Music was opened here – on the place of the former iconostasis was installed organ. Thus since 1990, in the building held irregular worships, and in 2009 was signed a decree to return the building to ownership of the Diocese of Kharkiv. Now the construction of a new organ hall goes after which the Cathedral of the Assumption will be fully returned to the fold of the church.

Universitetska Gorka

Formerly as University Gorka was known all part of the hill going down to the rivers. Today the notion have declined slightly, and now it’s only part of Universitetska street and two garden squares – Vechnogo Ognia Square and Pokrovskyi Square, divided by Sobornyi descent. From the Vechnogo Ognia Square which is located to the left of descent opens a luxurious view of the bottom center of the city, Poltavskyi Shlyakh Street, leading to Pivdennyi Railway station and out of the city. The most pleasant activity in the park – watching the sunset, here they are especially beautiful. During the day in both parks fair of artists is running, where you can buy paintings, crafts and souvenirs.

Down the Universitetska street there are several buildings important for of the city in the past – the former governor’s house, where afterwards worked Kharkiv University, now here located Engineering and Pedagogical Academy, as well as building, located on the contrary, nowadays is a cultural center “Iunist”. Originally the building was built for University needs – there was a hall, a library, an observatory, and even church! In Soviet times there was the cinema ” Iunist “, which is working today, but in a slightly different mode.

In parallel Universitetska street goes Kvitky-Osnovyanenko street, and architectural look of it is a kaleidoscope of the city’s history – posterior facade of the Uspenska Church, to the left of it there’s an old warehouse building, constructed in the mid-19th century. Today there are shops and a fast food restaurant in the lower level, which is stored in the interior of the old brick vaults. Opposite of it is the Labour Palace, other facade overlooking the Konstytutsii Square. Above the street is located the new building of the Urban Development and Architecture Office, the University of the arts building and the hostel.

Rosy Luxemburg Square

Rosy Luxemburg Square since the very beginning of it right after the founding of was and is never empty. It was called Lobna (Calvary), Narodna (People), Torgova (Trade), and all names were quite consistent with what was going on it – there were urban festivals, Pokrovska and Uspenska Fairs. Today the Square is also a place of trade – here is the TsUM (Central Department Store), built in 1933, the Pavlovsky trade house, and the first floors of all buildings surrounding the square occupied by shops. Today, on the far side of the square overlooking the Lopan promenade stands the monument of Independence of Ukraine, opened here August 24, 2001, in honor of 10th anniversary of Ukrainian Independence.

The monument is the stele with a little ten years old girl, symbolizing the young Ukraine, standing at the foot of it. At the top of stele, which is a huge reap, a falcon sits, looking skyward. It is thought that the prototype of the girl has become Darina Strelets, the first newborn Kharkiv August 24, 1990. But for the figure was posing another girl, daughter of one of the monument authors, architect Yuriy Spasov.

Blagovishchennia Cathedral (of the Annunciation)

First Church of the Annunciation on this site was built in 1655 – a small wooden church with a separate fence. The temple was damaged by fire in 1738 and was rebuilt in the same form, and stood there until 1789, when there was built a stone single -dome temple designed by the architect Yaroslavsky. The new stone church at first was acceptable to all, but with the expansion of the city and the increasing number of parishioners it had to be expanded.

Later, in 1887, at the initiative of wealthy parishioners it was decided to build a new building that would accommodate all who wish to join the worship. The new stone church was built next to the old, which continued to work all the 12 years until a new one was finished. Later out of the temple were handed ​​all the shrines, and the building was demolished. The project of Church was designed by a local parishioner architect Michael Lovtsov in the pseudo-Byzantine style. Today is the temple of the Annunciation is the Cathedral and its magnificent silhouette adorns the panorama of western territories as one of the main symbols of Kharkiv.

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