Kharkiv - Pushkinska Street (Part 1)

Kharkiv Travel Blog

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A fragment of the monument to A. Pushkin

Starting from Constitution (former Nickolayevska) Square there runs Pushkinska Street, stretching five kilometers along the edge of the hill plateau.

The street appeared in the early 1800s, after the City Hall reserved this area for the settlement of foreign professionals invited to Kharkiv by the founder of the university V. Karazin. Those were printing-house workers - bookbinders and the like, as well as about 20 university professors, mostly Germans. They settled in this street, as well as in the parallel Malosumska (now Hoholya Street), thus giving it the name Nimetska (German).

In the second half of the 1800s, due to the foundation of the Technological University (now the National Technological University «KhPI») on the eastern slope of the plateau, intensive construction started in the vicinity of the street up to Basseyna (now Petrovskoho) Street.

This original building in Chernyshevskiy street in early 20th century for private girls' gymnasia of O. Pokrovska in the style of Modern with English Gothic elements. Today — a school of Kharkiv Institute of Arts
In the late 1800 and early 1900s the opening of College of Commerce (now this building houses the Yaroslav Mudryi National Law University) contributed to the further development of the street. A number of parallel (Artema, Chernyshevskoho) and perpendicular (Girshmana, Ivanova, Petrovskoho, Olminskoho) streets, east and west of Pushkinska Street, have quite a lot of listed buildings having architectural, historical and cultural significance.

The bulk of the street’s buildings, constructed mostly in the late 1800s and early 1900s, represent residential houses, as well as academic, research and medicine institutions. There are 25 listed monuments of architecture, but there are many more worth of having a look at.

Pushkinska Street has always been an important transport thoroughfare.

Pushkinska street, one of the city’s thoroughfares, begins at Constitution square
It was in 1910 that it was first cobbled, and a tram line, still in operation now, was laid down. The street has added three underground stations to it: Radyanska Station at the beginning of the street, Architectora Beketova Station on the corner of Sovnarkomovska Street, and Pushkinska Station on the corner of Pushkinska Street and Petrovskoho Street.

The street’s architectural face is not homogenous, because mostly private houses used to be built here. Buildings ranging from one to six stories are mostly aligned along the street’s edge. The architectural variety and the relative narrowness of the street make it picturesque and original. These are the characteristic features of other streets of the area, too.

The route starts from V.
V. Korolenko Kharkiv State Scientific Library
 Korolenko Kharkiv State Scientific Library
(18 Korolenko Lane). This neo-renaissance building was specially designed by O.Beketov to house the Kharkiv Public Library, which had been founded in 1886 and had formerly occupied a rented building. The ground floor housed a lobby, a book borrowing section and a catalogue. The first floor had a reading hall with the capacity for 300 readers or 600 spectators (the hall was also used as a concert hall, it had a mirror ceiling and good acoustics. It was for this kind of project of the library with the capacity of 1,5 mln volumes that O. Beketov was conferred the title of the academician of architecture. A new section of the library was added by architect D. Veizman in 1979.

The library has been visited by famous writers, poets, and composers.
The former building of the Don-Vuhillya Coal Trust
It saw concerts by Alexander Skryabin, Bella Bratok, Sergei Skryabin. In 1920s, when Kharkiv was justly regarded a literature center, and was called the Southern Palmyra, the library witnessed readings by Valentin Katayev and Yuri Olesha, Anna Akhmatova, Nickolay Asseyev, Pavlo Tychyna, Volodymyr Sosyura, Mykhailo Zoshchenko, Vladimir Mayakovskiy, Aleksey Tolstoy. There are memorial plaques to the academician of architecture O. Beketov and the poet Vladimir Mayakovskiy on the library facade. The library was named after the outstanding writer V. Korolenko in 1922. Since that time the library has started getting an obligatory copy of any book published in the country. In 1930 the institution got the status of a scientific library.

Now V. Korolenko Kharkiv State Scientific Library has about 7 mln volumes in the stock.

The choral synagogue
The books belong to all branches of knowledge. The department of rare books boasts XV-XVI centuries’ manuscripts and publications. The library employees participate in educational activities as well, holding seminars, literary clubs’ meetings and conferences.

You may start your acquaintance with the architectural ensemble in Pushkinska street with the dwelling house 3. This is the former rental tenant house built by architect A. Rzhepyshevskyi in 1914.

The composition of the symmetric front of the house blends together Classicical and Modernist style elements. The front features risaltoes with faceted protruding windows shifted to the centre. Between the risaltoes on the first floor there is a loggia enclosed by small twin columns.

Architecture of Kharkiv Choral Synagogue is monumental and laconic
The second, third and fourth floors are joined in height by flat pilasters. The house has a garret storey.

This was the first house where the transformation of flat internal emplacement by virtue of sliding partitions was applied.

Building # 5, which is next to it, was built on the territory of the University Professor and the first City Architect A. Ton’s mansion. In 1925 the administrative edifice of the Don-Vuhillya Coal Trust was erected here. Architecturally, this building displays the traits of both Modernist and Constructivism styles, which were most popular in Kharkiv in the 1920-1930s. The front is decorated by two figures of miners set on the consoles at the level of the first storey.
Kharkiv Choral Synagogue is one of the largest in the world
They were executed by the sculptor I. Kavaleridze. At present it houses the Pivdenhiproshakht Coal Industry Enterprises Designing Association, OJSC.

The choral synagogue, which is the only preserved Jewish Temple out of the four earlier existing ones, is conspicuous by its peculiar architectural forms.

The religious building, executed with the elements of Oriental architecture and Romanesque forms, was built in 1914 after the design project of a Petersburg architect Ya. Gevirtz. Covered with Chile copper, the conical dome of this largest in Europe synagogue towers for more than 30 meters over the historical downtown. Due to its location on the summit of the steep slope running to the Kharkiv river, as well as its dimensions, the synagogue occupies a significant place in the eastward panorama.

The former building of a clinic and a bacteriological station (now I. Mechnikov Microbiology and Immunology Institute of the Ukrainian Academy of Medical Sciences)

I. Mechnikov Microbiology and Immunology Institute of the Ukrainian Academy of Medical Sciences, the next building on the same side of the street at # 14, was built after the architec academician O. Beketov’s design project for Kharkiv Medical Society. Initially it housed a clinic and a bacteriological station. The architecture of the imposing building harmoniously blends together Modernist and Renaissance elements. The fronts are decorated with the bas-reliefs and sculptures. The round central part of the building, as provided for in the plan, is crowned by the sloping cupola and griffin sculptures and aptly encloses the vista of Mechnikov Lane.

In the course of conceiving the building the architect obtained advice from the physicians and experts to rationally arrange various laboratories, rooms, as well as library premises, the bacteriological museum, rest-rooms, conference aula, medical journal editorial office, etc.

Building at the corner of Pushkinska street and Mechnikov lane has unusual design of the facade

From the oval entrance hall the entrance itself leads to the front stairs. The main working premises were arranged by the architect along the corridors and the galleries round the patio. The two-storied conference aula was arranged in the right flank and admitted 600 people, with two more small halls.

The interior of the building is very beautiful, in particular the aula with the artist M. Pestrikov’s murals.

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A fragment of the monument to A. P…
A fragment of the monument to A. …
This original building in Chernysh…
This original building in Chernys…
Pushkinska street, one of the city…
Pushkinska street, one of the cit…
V. Korolenko Kharkiv State Scienti…
V. Korolenko Kharkiv State Scient…
The former building of the Don-Vuh…
The former building of the Don-Vu…
The choral synagogue
The choral synagogue
Architecture of Kharkiv Choral Syn…
Architecture of Kharkiv Choral Sy…
Kharkiv Choral Synagogue is
one o…
Kharkiv Choral Synagogue is one …
The former building of a clinic an…
The former building of a clinic a…
Building at the corner of Pushkins…
Building at the corner of Pushkin…
Kharkiv Choral Synagogue is
one o…
Kharkiv Choral Synagogue is one …
The choral synagogue interiors
The choral synagogue interiors
photo by: viktosha