OTHER INTERESTING PLACES ON KRESHCHATYK
The shopping mall “Globus” is a shopping centre located in the underground part of Independence Square. It was opened in 2001 and consists of three lines, becoming the first large-scale trade and exhibition centre of Ukraine of the international level. The area of the shopping centre is 35,000 sq. km. In the shopping centre there are many boutiques, there is a supermarket, as well as restaurants, cafes and a fast-food network. The shopping centre is equipped with a modern air-conditioning system, escalators, there is an elevator and even a fountain in which tourists and guests of the capital like to throw coins for memory. Nowadays shopping centre “Globus” is the most visited trading platform.
Bessarabska Square – located at the intersection of Khreshchatyk, Shevchenko Boulevard, Basseyna and Velyka Vasylkivska Streets. It has been originated at the turn of the XVIII-XIX centuries as a horse post station, next to which a spontaneous bazaar was soon formed. This area was the outskirts of Kyiv until the middle of the XIX century. Earlier at this site there was a Lutheran cemetery (XVI – the beginning of the XVIII centuries), which was moved in connection with the development of Khreshchatyk. Near the square was a swimming pool with underground springs. Its current name the square bears since 1881. It housed one of the largest markets of the capital. The city authorities decided to build a covered market in order to ennoble the trading territory. The opening of the Bessarabska market took place in 1912. It was the first indoor market in Kyiv and the main object of the square. A special feature of the construction is steel structures with lanterns supporting the roof, and the facade of the building is decorated with stucco and clockwork. The Bessarabska market has been fully preserved to the present day. Today Bessarabska Square is one of the central squares of the capital.
Passage – a building in the form of houses-streets, consisting of two parallel to each other buildings in the style of neoclassicism with the original stucco, connected by arches. In the late XIX-XX centuries at the place of the passage the Shtifner estate was located, which was purchased by the insurance company for building here a large business centre with shops and offices. The beginning of the construction of the arcade – 1913. In connection with the outbreak of the World War I, construction was stopped, and in 1941 the building was exploded. After the war, the passage has been reconstructed, completed the building with an arch from the front. At one time in the buildings of the passage lived famous people – opera singer Boris Hmyrya, writer Viktor Nekrasov and others. In the 1990s before the entrance to the passage was installed a fountain , which becomes not only a decoration, but also a meeting place. In the Passage there is also a monument to the great architect Gorodetskyi. Today, in the buildings of the Passage, expensive boutiques, offices and restaurants are located on the first floors, residential apartments on the upper floors, mainly rent of luxury apartments. Also in the passage is the favourite citizens’ and tourists’ pub “Docker”. At the entrance to the Passage is the Alley of Stars – Ukrainian figures of culture and sport.
St. Volodymyr’s Cathedral – built in the Old Byzantine style in honour of Prince Volodymyr the Baptist. The idea of creating a cathedral belongs to Metropolitan Philaret Amfiteatrov. Officially it is believed that the construction of the church was started in 1852 on the order of Nicholas I. By 1859, about 100 thousand rubles were collected. The original project was developed by architect I. Shtrom, but the project was too expensive. Later, the architect A. Beretti was involved in the planning of the cathedral. The cathedral was erected on the project of A. Beretti and the first stone was laid down on June 15, 1862, on the day of the memory of Prince Volodymyr. Due to design shortcomings, the construction was suspended. In 1875, by the order of Alexander Nikolayevich, construction was resumed and completed in 1882. In order to finish the iconostasis the marble was brought from Italy, France, Belgium and Spain. The mosaic works were performed by masters from Venice. The main value of the cathedral is the unique paintings, thanks to which the temple received the status of a cultural monument. The design of the cathedral was made by artists V.Vasnetsov, M.Vrubel, M.Nesterov. The main beauty of the cathedral is the work of V.Vasnetsov “The Virgin with the Child” in the centre of the altar. In the 1930s the relics of St. Barbara, brought to Kyiv by Prince Svyatopolk and kept in the St. Michael’s Monastery, were transferred to the cathedral. In the period of 1929-1941 the Museum of anti-religious propaganda worked in the cathedral. Since 1944 it was opened and no longer closed.
European Square – the Yevseikova Valley (XVII century.), later – the Kinna (Horse) Square (horse fairs were held), from the XIX century – Teatralna Square (in honour of the first city theatre built on the square), then the European one (because of the hotel with the same name at the site of the demolished theatre, today at the place of the hotel is located the Ukrainian house). In the XIX century the central composition of the square was a fountain. It is on the European Square the first tram was launched (1891), which went 85 years. In the period of 1869-1919 the square was called Tsarska Square in honour of the monument to Alexander II. Sometimes the citizens called Olexandrivska Square. In Soviet times, the square was called the Third International, and in its centre was installed a statue of a Red Army man. After World War II, the square was called Stalinska Square, since 1961 – Lenin’s Komsomol. The square bears the current name since 1991. The National Philharmonic, the Parliamentary Library, the Ukrainian House and the Dnipro Hotel are located on the square.
Independence Square is the central square of the capital and the main square of the country’s significant events. This area is known even before the X century and was called “Perevesyshche”, representing a dense marshy thickets. By the end of the XVIII century at the place of the square was a wasteland, and the place itself popularly was called the “Goat’s Marsh”. The area was formed as a square in the 1830s, and was named Khreshchatytska after the Khreshchatyi tract. The area was cleared, the first wooden houses were erected. On the square there was a constantly functioning bazaar, there were held folk festivals. In 1876, on the square was built State Duma, after which the square was called the Dumska. The modern development of the square is formed by the buildings of the 1950s – 1970s. The square was repeatedly reconstructed and renamed. In 2001 the capital reconstruction of the square was carried out. Monuments, sculptures, fountains appeared, and in the centre of the square there is a column in the form of a female figure with a branch in hands symbolizing the independence of Ukraine. On the square are Glavpochtamt(General Post Office), the Council of Trade Unions, the Conservatory, the Hotel “Ukraine” and others.
Khreshchatyk Street is the main street of Kyiv 1.3 km long, located between the European and Bessarabian squares, crossing the main square of the capital – Independence Square. In the times of Kyivan Rus part of Khreshchatyk (from the Independence Square to the European Square) was called Perevesyshche and was located outside of Kyiv. This area was covered with forest, in which local princes went hunting for small animals and birds with the help of “perevisiv” (nets). According to some researchers, the name “Khreshchatyk” came from the name of the area “Khreshchata Valley”. There is a version that at the end of the XVIII century the name “Khreshchatyk” had Naberezhno-Khreschatytska Street, which then began from the Khreshchatytski Gates, built at the site of the present Postal Square. The Khreshchatyk road passed from these gates to the present European Square. Active build-up of Khreshchatyk falls on the end of the XVIII – early XIX centuries. Firstly was built up the plot from the European Square to Prorizna Street. In 1837, the street was extended to Bessarabska Square, giving the name Khreschatytska Street. Since 1869 the name Khreshchatyk was fixed. Until the early 1940’s the street was built up mainly by 3 and 4-storey buildings, standing as a solid facade.
“Arena City” mall is a premium shopping complex, one of the most pompous buildings located on the corner of Basseyna and Velyka Vasylkivska streets. The corner of the house №1 on V. Vasylkivska was built in 1896, in the period of 1899-1900 – part of the complex from the side of Bessarabska Square and Basseyna Street, 2, and in 1900-1901 – part of the building along the street Velyka Vasylkivska , 3. These three parts are so similar in design that they are perceived as one large building. All buildings are the work of a well-known architect A.Krauss. Originally, the building belonged to the commercial adviser and the owner of dozens of houses in the centre of Kyiv – Mykola Popov, who earned a lot of money from rent. On the first floors there were shops and coffee shops, on the upper floors – expensive furnished rooms, first class hotels “Orion” and “Berlin”. Since the 1920’s here housed a working clinic named after Lenin, and in the 1930s and also student dormitories and apartments of workers of the “Lenin Forge”. In the post-war years, the building was a city hospital. In the 1980s institutions and tenants are evicted from the building, returning the building to a commercial purpose. After reconstruction in 2005 complex was decorated with stucco, panoramic elevators, attics, fountains, the tower system dominates. Today here locate exhibitions, offices, restaurants and clubs – Pinchuk Art Centre, Skybar, Arena Dance Club and Mandarin Plaza.
Excursion around Khreshchatyk will acquaint you with the main sights of this area. First of all you will walk along the central street of Kyiv – Khreshchatyk. On our way we will cross three main squares of the capital: the European Square, Bessarabska Square and Independence Square. On the way you can go to the Passage to admire the stucco on the buildings. If you want, you can also visit several shopping and entertainment centres, such as the “Globus”, “Arena City” and others.
During this excursion around Khreshchatyk you will be told what was located on this place even in the times of Kyivan Rus. The Lyadsky Gates, one of the main gates of the entrance to ancient Kyiv, are located on the main square. Until now, you can see its foundation, going down to the restaurant “OB”.
Excursion around Khreshchatyk will acquaint everyone with the entertaining part of the centre, as there are a lot of worthy places. Our guides will keep you the company and offer the best establishments to your taste.
Map of Kreshchatyk