Kharkiv - Constitution Square

Kharkiv Travel Blog

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Kharkiv’s central square - Constitution Square
Constitution Square, also called at different periods Yarmarochna (Fair), Nikolayevska, Tevelev, Soviet Ukraine, appeared at the same time as the fortress. In the 17th century it was the site of annual fairs, in winter it was used for sledge riding. In the early 19th century the buildings of the Nobility Conventions and the police station were built here and thus started the development of this part of the town. The first All-Ukrainian Congress of Soviets, which proclaimed the Soviet power in Ukraine and Kharkiv as its capital (in 1934 the capital was transferred to Kyiv), was held in the Nobility Conventions building.
The bird’s eye view of Constitution square

The building housed a concert hall with choir galleries, which made it suitable for concerts, artistic exhibitions etc. In the «capital» period of Kharkiv history numerous governmental and administrative bodies used to be located here. After the capital had been transferred to Kyiv, they opened the Palace of Pioneers, the first one in the USSR, in the building. It provided a lot of leisure activities for children in numerous sections, one of which was even supervised by the famous children’s writer M. Trublaini.

Unfortunately, those building have not survived the war.

In 1925 the buildings of the New Passage (a department store) and the Stock Exchange were built on the western side of the square.

Further on from left to right: the Palace of Labor, women’s department store «Lux» (former merchant Ryzhov’s hardware store), dwelling house with downstairs store at the corner of Radyanskyi (former Shlyapnyi) lane

Behind the Palace of Labor there is a De-Lux shopping mall for women (the former hardware store owned by merchant Ryzhov) built in 1899 in the Baroque style. In the 1950s two upper floors with apartments were added to the building. Behind it, on the corner of Radyanskyi (former Shlyapnyi) Lane, a dwelling house is located. The lane opens another view of the Dormition Cathedral and its belfry. There is an administrative building dating back to the second half of the 19th century on the other corner of the lane. It used to be the City Duma, nowadays it is the City Hall (7, Constitution square).

There is an administrative building dating back to the second half of the 19th century on the other corner of the lane. It used to be the City Duma, nowadays it is the City Hall (7, Constitution square).
Kharkiv City Hall (the former City Duma)


For a certain period of time only the governor’s palaces had been classified as administrative buildings, though in the second half of the 19th century, due to the development of more sophisticated forms of social life, the list of administrative buildings was expanded. At first state and public organizations used to rent their premises. As their functions and tasks abounded, the necessity for special-purpose administrative buildings emerged.

The issue of erecting the building for the City Duma was raised in 1874. The construction design project competitions had taken more than ten years. The facts from the Construction Weekly, on whose pages these projects were discussed, testify to the zeal with which «the city fathers» had been selecting the winner.

The construction started in 1885 and went on so fast that by April 1886 the five-storied monumental construction had been completed.
Radyanskyi (former Shlyapnyi) lane opens another view of the Dorminition Cathedral
It perfectly fitted the existing architectural ensemble of Nikolayevska Square by dominating its western side.

In 1931-1932 the building was reconstructed (architects V. Trotsenko, V. Pushkarev, V. Peti), but burned down during the Nazi occupation of Kharkiv.

Its post-war reconstruction is, in fact, a new building, in which its authors (architects V. Kostenko, Yu. Chebotarev, engineer V. Kharlamov, 1947-1954) preserved the style of an administrative building, but also emphasized its national character. A specific coloring is provided by the tower, which looks like the successor to medieval town halls and magistracies. The national style is seen in the relief bands with the elements of Ukrainian patterns.

Beginning of Moskovskyi avenue

The Children’s World passageway department store is next to the City Hall. It was built in 1925 in the Modern style by architect A. Linetskyi assisted by M. Piskunov. Adjacent to it are the buildings of the Kotlyarevskyi University of Arts (11 and 13 Constitution Square).

The first of them (# 11) was built in the late 19th century with Baroque decorative features. In the 1930s it was quite successfully overbuilt. The George Borman Company confectionery store (now the Vedmedyk confectionery store) with noticeable interior design has survived on the first floor.

Let’s continue our tour along the eastern side of Constitution Square. Moskovskyi Avenue, formerly Moskovska street, starts across from the City Hall.
Book-stacks of Kharkiv Korolenko Scientific Library can be seen behind the dwelling house on the corner of Moskovskyi avenue and Korolenko lane. Kharkivites remember this building because of the vegetable store «Dary Laniv» on the ground floor
It is one of the oldest streets that got its name from the Moskovska Tower, at whose gate it started. This is Kharkiv’s longest street that runs for 18 kilometers.

Rapid industrial growth in Kharkiv at the end of the 19th - beginning of the 20th century determined further development of this thoroughfare and influenced the construction in the neighboring areas. Admiring the buildings at the beginning of Moskovskyi avenue we can hardly imagine that only a few tramway stops away work major industrial enterprises. Moskovskyi avenue stretches across Frunzenskyi, Kominternivskyi, Ordzhonikidzevskiy and largest in Kharkiv Moskovskyi districts.
boxinbcn says:
This is great, like a really complete guide. So now I see I have to visit Kharkiv as well as Lwow and Kiev!
Posted on: Apr 03, 2008
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Kharkiv’s central square - Const…
Kharkiv’s central square - Cons…
The bird’s eye view of Constitut…
The bird’s eye view of Constitu…
Further on from left to right: the…
Further on from left to right: th…
Kharkiv City Hall (the former City…
Kharkiv City Hall (the former Cit…
Radyanskyi (former Shlyapnyi) lane…
Radyanskyi (former Shlyapnyi) lan…
Beginning of Moskovskyi avenue
Beginning of Moskovskyi avenue
Book-stacks of Kharkiv Korolenko S…
Book-stacks of Kharkiv Korolenko …
Constitution square
Constitution square
Kharkiv’s embankments
Kharkiv’s embankments
On the right — building # 24, er…
On the right — building # 24, e…
Stretch of Moskovskyi avenue near …
Stretch of Moskovskyi avenue near…
Former First Vocational School (ar…
Former First Vocational School (a…
Former First Vocational School, 18…
Former First Vocational School, 1…
Building in 51, Moskovskyi avenue …
Building in 51, Moskovskyi avenue…
Building in 5, Feierbach street, d…
Building in 5, Feierbach street, …
In August 2004 the monument to the…
In August 2004 the monument to th…
Former Fraternal House of the Dorm…
Former Fraternal House of the Dor…
Show of rare old automobiles in Co…
Show of rare old automobiles in C…
At the junction of Moskovskyi aven…
At the junction of Moskovskyi ave…
Several times a year Constitution …
Several times a year Constitution…
Kharkiv
photo by: viktosha