Sightseeing is one of the most important stages of arrival in any new city. In Kharkiv this starts with local Svobody square.
Why is it so special? Here are some facts about it:
– Kharkiv Svobody square is the biggest in Ukraine, the sixth in Europe and the twelfth in the world. Its area is about 12 hectares and its heights difference – above 11 meters.
– There are two underground stations at a time under it: Derzhprom and University.
– Derzhprom, Kharkiv National University named after Karazin, northern campus building of university and former Hovorov academy, hotel Kharkiv, building of regional administration, veterinary institute and new Pioneers Palace look upon the square.
– Memorials and monuments are fixed up on the square. Part of them were relocated or removed, some of them had been preserved. These are the V.N. Karazin memorial, the bust of the governor Yukhym Shcherbynin, memorial to the students of students battalion, the D.I. Bahalii memorial, the A.M. Liapunov memorial and memorials to three Nobel laureates: Lev Landau, Illia Mechnykov and Saimon Kuznets.
– Visually and constructionally it was made in the form of chemical flask. Its quadrate part comes out into Sumska street and circular one – to Nauky avenue. Circle diameter – 350 meters.
– Since the 1920-1930s to 1991 it was known as Dzerzhynskyi square. During German occupation – square of German army and square of Leibstandarte SS.
– In the 19th century on location of future gigantic square there were University buildings: academic buildings, laboratories, storages. Wastelands and ravines were around, including ravine that was filled up only in the 1930s. Public garden and a small square near Veterinary institute sprang later.
– The previous plan of the project was worked out by architect V.K. Trotsenko in 1924. It was informally called Zaderzhprom. It was planned that city blocks will appear as concentric rings that are separated by radial streets.
– Some of streets were not made as planned. Partially they were replaced by parkways such as round the Shevchenko garden. Something left out of the project at all.
– Work on Derzhprom building in accordance with F.Ye. Dzerzhynskyi project had started in a year, for which at once several city blocks were given. It is exactly from this the particular formation of new district started. Derzhprom has finally determined outlines and boundaries of the square.
– Disputes on shape and boundaries were carried out until the 1930s. there was even an idea of making two squares and separate them by monumental building between the Shevchenko garden and hotel International. They refused the idea but not completely. In the 60s squares were still separated by the Lenin memorial. Today it has been replaced by high cross.
– Various events and exhibitions are often held on the square. For example, exhibitions of military equipment, goods of Kharkiv production, etc. Concerts, fairs, festive demonstrations are held here. If necessary, temporary stages, pavilions and stands are placed.
– Ice city or other entertainments are constructed for the New Year. Different installations or thematic locations are also arranged in other seasons. Temporary constructions exist for several months. The dimensions and capacity of Svobody square enable easy placement of everything needed.
– Oles Honchar, Yaroslav Holovanov, Anatoliy Rybakov and other people of art referred to Kharkiv square in their works.
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