Rout №2 «City Centre»

Konstytutsii Square, Sumska Street, Rumarska St, Pushkinska St, Darvina St, Radnarkomivska st.

This route passes through the central streets of the city, leading from a central core – Constitution Square – to another – Svobody Square, and a little further.

By a strange pattern in Kharkiv toponymics funny joke is hidden – in theory Moskovskyi ave is directed to Moscow, and here it goes – it’s not! Moskovskyi ave leads to Rostov-city, and for the Moscow direction is responsible Sumska Street, and Poltavskyi Shlyakh leads on Sumy and Kiev – the streets are rotated 90 degrees to the true directions.

So, Sumska Street:

The first building standing at Sumska St can be seen from far away – thanks to a giant thermometer, hanging on the facade to the Konstytutsii square – is a mysterious agency called the “National Institute of Labour and Social and Economic Research.” The building was constructed in 1908-10 years in the Art Nouveau style, and then overbuilt with one more the floor. Opposite it is a building in the French Renaissance style known by adult inhabitants of the city as restaurant “Teatralnyi”, now here is a fast food restaurant “Puzata Khata”, which occupies two floors of the building.

Next on both sides of the street are magnificent Art Nouveau buildings, whose graceful row terminates the building number 10 – Ave Plaza shopping mall by Kharkiv architect Oleg Drozdov. This building is very controversial and is conflict spot in the history of our city – on the basis of political conflict between the men of weight and the owners the complex, its construction was put on hold and resumed only after promising put in order the adjacent Theatralnyi garden square.

On the other hand of Theatralnyi garden square there is a small but majestic building Taras Shevchenko Theater of Ukrainian Drama (9, Sumska St), originally built in the style of Russian classicism by architect Thon in 1841. Later the building was rebuilt several times, and changed its facade – in 1893 it was rebuilt with fashionable at the time French Renaissance style.

House # 17 is one of the most beautiful in this part of the street – a former rental house of the insurance company “Salamander” after the revolution has turned into a giant communal apartment, but never lost its greatness. Rich with decoration and details of the building, magnitude of which emphasized by the front yard or cour d’honneur, Salamander house was built in 1914-15, and was equipped at the time advanced technologies – an elevator, garbage disposal and also the internal gutters from the roofs.

Next and across the street from Salamander house are located former rental houses, where today is the Radio Engineering College (№ № 18 and 20), and residential building with offices (№ 19).

The next outstanding building at 25/27 Sumska St is Mykola Lysenko Theatre of Opera and Ballet. This monumental building is one of the major long-term constructions of Kharkiv – the construction of it was carried out about 20 years. Today, Opera and Ballet Theatre has two halls with 1500 and 400 seats and is one of the most visited cultural institutions in the city. Here are the Opera and Ballet performances, as well as performances of touring theater companies and popular musicians and singers.

Opposite the Opera Theatre is Peremohy Square with Dzerkalnyi Strumin – a fountain with a gazebo, and on the same side further begins the Shevchenko garden, which extends up to the Svobody Square.

In the even side of Sumska St on this segment located few buildings important for the city, for example, building № 40 – University of Civil Engineering and Architecture, source of manpower, due to which grows and is built Kharkiv and other cities and not just in our country. In the Courtyard of a strict monumental building of the University is a monument to the architect Alexey Beketov.

Following are a number of beautiful buildings – № 44, built in eclectic style, combining the features of classicism and modernity, with female statues on the upper ledge, and the № 46 – Art Nouveau building, which oval pediment and window elegantly accents Hirshmana street corner.
At the head of the square from the side of Sumska St is the building of the Kharkiv region Office, the former Communist Party of Ukraine Executive Committee – a kind of dominance of this part of the street.

Following is another questionable building of the architect Oleg Drozdov – office and shopping center Platinum Plaza, and the main argument of its opponents is too bright presence in historically formed surroundings.

Then street Sumska loses some of its splendor as it becomes slightly narrower due to the absence of intervals – parks and squares, and the only exception is the avant-square in front of the Wedding Palace, and Gorky Park, located at the end of the street. However, the buildings that stand here, are worthy of attention not less than the others – Art Nouveau houses № 80 and 108, built by architect Ginzburg, houses № 88,96 and 98, also built in Art Nouveau style, but the project of another author – architect Dikansky. Wedding Palace, a building № 61 – a former house of Yuzefovich who owned a printing plant and newspaper “Southern Land”, at that time building was located outside the city, and served as a suburban villa to owners. Prior to the mid-20th century the building was surrounded by a massive fencing with marble lions at the entrance.

Then the street was built up with in the main building in the style of constructivism, most outstanding of which is on this part of the street can be a building number 71, constructed in 1928. Its volumes are dynamically growing to the corner of the building, and a balcony with deaf fencing even more underline this accent.

After several blocks, through the majestic buildings with fashionable boutiques and expensive restaurants on the first floors – this part of Sumska St is a sort of local Champs-Elysées – we arrive at the Gorky Park. There are attractions in park, going along the street is The Park cinema, and even further – Children Railway.

Rymarska street

This street is one of the few in town that has preserved its original name given to it on the basis of crafts. Here lived Rymar or Lymars – artisans, engaged in tanning and manufacture of various leather goods. Here at #4 is the oldest building in the city – a tiny estate of Kharkiv mayor, III guilds merchant Ehor Uriupin, and the building number 7 – a house built at exemplary design. Then comes the street facade of the Shevchenko theater, and on the opposite side a little further is the famous Mariinska gymnasia, today gymnasia № 6, named after Empress Maria Fedorovna – wife of Alexander II – the Liberator.

The building number 19 – a former rental house, now a residential – the apartments are still communal, as in Soviet times – was built by architect Rzhepishevskyi, the founder of the Association of private apartments.

After it stands a former Opera Theatre, now the Kharkiv Philharmonic, the building with a magnificent acoustics. According to legend, in its old hall, which is on the restoration for many years, were the first concerts of many stars that time opera, who came here to “warm up” – it was believed that if the Kharkiv audience takes the artist, it will be everywhere, even abroad.

The building number 23 is one of the gems of Kharkov – the thickness of the walls is 1.5 meters and height of ceilings – 4.5. This is one of the first buildings with an elevator in the city.

In the even side of the street should be paid attention building number 22 – it is called the “twin of Salamander house”, and was built for the owners of offices Salamander, perhaps it is the largest apartment house, built in the city until the 1917 revolution.

Pushkinska street

Pushkinska Street a little more than a hundred years ago was called Nimetska (German) – it was founded in the early 19th century, when these lands were set aside for the settlement of foreign masters, issued in Kharkiv by Vasyl Karazin founder of the University. In Russian, all foreigners were called mostly “nimtsi” – German, so the street was Nimetska. It was built up mainly with residential buildings up to current Chervonopraporna Street, and the first building with another purpose appeared here after the opening of the Technology Institute when the city has once again expanded. It was the building of the Commercial college designed by Alexey Beketov. Today it is one of the faculties of Law Academy. Simultaneously with the construction of college Nimetska street was paved with stone blocks.

Then the street was built up with irregularly, and the reason was a Cemeteries on its end – city and the German, where were buried foreigners of another religion, mostly Lutherans.

Residential buildings number 1 and 3, Pushkinska Street were built with a difference of 40 years, first – № 3, 1914 by the architect Rzhepishevskyi, second – № 1, 1955, to replace the destroyed in time of war Hotel Metropole.

Behind them stands a building with the capital inscription Donvugillya and strict shapes miners – built in 1925 for the Trust Donugol.

On the contrary is Grand Choral Synagogue, the largest in Europe – this building was constructed in 1912-13. The first Jewish house of worship was opened in this place in the mansion, and in 1910 building was demolished to build here new type of building which provided a place for the organ and choir. Design competition was held and a draft of the first prize of the author Gevirts was published in the magazine “Architect” in 1909. It’s interesting that according to the rules it was necessary to measure the distance of 100 yards from the now nonexistent Nicholas Church, which was standing next to house number 1, so the synagogue sidelined from the street. The building was erased with a unique constructive solution – hall of 450 meters is covered without support with reinforced concrete vaults on intersecting arches. During Soviet times, in the premises of synagogue was located initially Jewish club of III-rd International, 1941 – Children’s cinema, with the 1950s – Sports society “Spartak”. After the proclamation of Ukrainian independence, the synagogue was returned to the Jewish community after what there were a long restoration works.

Next to the synagogue is Ilya Mechnikov named Vaccine Institute, designed by Alexey Beketov. The building was built in classic style with modern elements, which are mainly present in the interiors.

House number 19 built in 1907 by architect Ginzburg is an excellent example of Kharkiv Art Nouveau. In the first floor of this building was located a bakery – this is confirmed by the inscriptions on the facade, which were found several years ago during the restoration work.

Up to the street just behind the Teatralnyi garden square is one of the oldest buildings in the city – Proviantskyi warehouse. Unfortunately, some time ago building was purchased for store of electrical engineering, during the repair of it authentic interiors have been lost. Today the building is empty.

Architects Square is located near the exits of Arkhitectora Beketova Metro Station. Its name is not accidental – one side of the square is the Radnarkomivska street, the other rests on the House of Scientists territory, the former mansion of the family Beketov, whose head – Alexey Beketov – is one of the legendary architects of the Classical period. On the square set “Seven Wonders of Kharkiv” – plaster miniatures of buildings – Kharkiv symbols – the monument to Taras Shevchenko, Derzhprom building, Uspenskyi Cathedral, Blagovishchenskyi Cathedral, Pokrovskyi Cathedral and others. Here is also a fountain with a monument to lovers.

House # 54 was built in 1932 in the style of constructivism for the Malyshev factory workers. This 7-storey house with built-in store is one of the best examples of Kharkiv constructivism.

House # 62, where today is located the regional center of culture and creativity, was built in the 1910s as a private mansion of the merchant Strekalov. From 1923 to 1926 here lived famous Ukrainian writer and film director Oleksandr Dovzhenko.

Building № 77, a former Commercial College, today the Academy of Law – the first building in Kharkiv designed by Alexey Beketov. In original in the building housed the Nerukotvirnoho Obraza Gospodnia church (Holy Face of the Lord), destroyed during the war with a direct bomb hit.
The hostel Gigant  (Giant) is housed in a № 79/1 – 10 five and six storey sections, where the students of Polytechnic Institute live. It was built in the 1928-1931 year, at the time it was a good solution for the spatial and functional content.
Across the street is another building of the Legal Academy by Alexey Beketov – № 84 – while constructed this building was intended to shelter Noble orphan children.

Molodizhnyi park

Molodizhnyi (Youth) Park is located on Pushkinska Street, near the subway station with the same name. Today, in the park are open a number of restaurants and a playground. In the park are located a few memorable marks dedicated to various events in the history of Ukraine and Kharkiv in particular, for example, a monument to the receivers of the Chernobyl accident.

Sviato – Ioanno – Useknovensky Temple (Temple of the Beheading of St. John the Baptist)
The temple was built and consecrated in 1857 on the project of Academician Andrei Thon architecture in the Russian-Byzantine style as a cemetery church – previously the territory of the park was a municipal cemetery which in 70s years moved further along the street. After the October Revolution of 1917 the church was closed, its interior destroyed, and purpose was changed – until the Second World War there was the ammunition dump. Despite the fact that the German troops know what stored in the temple, and purposefully tried to destroy it to the building of the temple came just one shell. In 1943 there were resumed worships in the church, but to the servants, and to the building there were tests to pass, not getting to them in time of war. First, the City mayor did not give money to rebuild, and then, during the transfer of the cemetery, when the temple was almost an emergency condition, the money appeared, but there were restrictions on the work of artists in the church – they had to paint the walls and ceiling of the temple at night. The water wears away the stone, and the servants of the Church have sustained – now the temple of the Beheading of St. John the Baptist is open to the parishioners, it also operates a library and Sunday school. Rector of the church is the Protopriest Yaroslav Bovtyuk, serving here 40 years – thanks to his efforts, the temple resurrected.

Darvina Street

Darvina Street goes to the right of Pushkinska Street, is one of the most quiet and beautiful streets of the so-called “quiet” center. It is mainly built up with ancient buildings, with the exception of a couple of buildings at the beginning of the street, and the volume of student hospital, built there in the 1970s.

One of the first and most important buildings on the street – the house № 9, a former mansion of the merchant Ryzhov, today is the House of Architects. Its interior is preserved authentic decor, and in two main halls – White and Green – are happening performances of the non-state theater “Postscriptum”.

After it stands the building now called the House of Artists formerly owned by the British consul, Charles Blacky.
House number 13 – is also outstanding building by Alexey Beketov, was built by him for a relative – a professor of biology Dmitry Alchevskyi, who had left the mansion during the Civil War. T Alexey Beketov defined style of the building as the Mauritanian – a combination of Gothic and Arab architecture. Today here is situated the Ukrainian-British College.

Radnarkomivska Street

This street is mostly built up with the buildings of architect Beketov – House of Scientists, previously a former family nest of Beketov Family, the building № 13 – House of Culture of the Police, formerly belonging to the family Alchevsky, Kharkov patrons and relatives of Alexey Beketov.
Building № 9 and 11 are also built on his projects, previously housed in the first Women’s Sunday School of Christina Alchevska, in the second lived Ivan Ignatischev, owner of the brewery “Russia”. Today at number nine is the Museum of Art of Sloboda Ukraine, at number 11 – Kharkov Art Museum.


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