Kharkiv - Sumska Street (Part 2)

Kharkiv Travel Blog

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M. Lysenko Kharkiv Academic Opera and Ballet Theatre
On the west side of Sumska Street you may see the territory of the Taras Shevchenko City Gardens. A new block of Sumska Street, fundamentally different from the previous one, starts from here.

The building of Kharkiv M. Lysenko Academic Theatre of Opera and Ballet (KhATOB) is situated at the southern edge of the block (at 25-27 Sumska Street). It was designed by Kyiv architects in the Postmodernist style and had been built in the period from 1970 to 1990. The building of the theatre, which has two halls (for 1500 and 400 seats respectively), numerous premises of various functions, impresses with its scale. The entrance to the box-office premises is adorned with a decorative composition «M.
View of Kharkiv Lysenko Opera and Ballet Theatre from Shevchenko public garden
 Lysenko’s Music» (architect S. Yastrebov). Nowadays the smaller hall of the theatre houses one of the best city cinemas - «Kino Palats» (Cinema Palace).

The history of Kharkiv opera is also very interesting.

Until the mid-1870s Kharkiv had not had its permanent Opera House, and the Kharkivites could watch only the touring companies’ performance. For example F. Berher’s Opera Company from Kyiv gave here about 40 performances. Operas by M. Hlinka Life for the Tsar and K. Weber’s The Freeshooter were especially popular.

In a while, the first wooden Opera House, with the six-year operating rights, was built. The construction was privately financed by M. Pashchenko, a local opera-admirer.

Later on (from 1884 to1989), the Opera House had performed in the building of the Merchants’ Club, which from 1925 started to function as a permanent Opera House.

The Mirror Stream fountain with a rotunda

At the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries the Kharkiv branch of the Russian Musical Society, organized in 1897, on the initiative of the conductor and pedagogue I. Slatin’s, contributed to the popularity of this genre.

After the revolution the Opera House was reorganized into Ukrainian State Opera. Among the opera stars, who performed in Kharkiv, were A. Nezhdanova and L. Sobinov. The career of the famous singer B. Hmyrya (whose birth centenary was celebrated by the international community in 2003) started here, as well as those of M. Reizan, I. Kozlovskyi, I. Patorzhynskyi, M. Lytvynenko-Volhemut.

The ballet company proudly boasts its stars: the choreographer K.

The Mirror Stream fountain. Aughtumn
 Holeizovskyi, the ballet dancer A. Messerer, the painter A. Petrytskyi, who was famous for his bright, decorative and original scenography.

On the east side of the street, opposite the Opera House, you can see the Victory Public Garden. There used to be an old churchyard cemetery of the Church of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross (Mirronosytska Church) here in the 17th century.

In the 1930s the church was pulled down and there started a construction of the Theatre of Mass Musical Show with an auditorium for 4000 seats on its place. Then the construction was stopped, and the foundation was used to build an apartment block and a trolley-bus depot nearby. After the war a public garden was laid here, and in 1947 a fountain with a rotunda was built.

View of the Mirror Stream Rotunda and Kharkiv Lysenko Opera and Ballet Theatre from Pobeda park (or Victory Public Garden
It was called the Mirror Stream (architect V. Korzh), which became one of the major city sights.

The monument to A. Alchevskyi is a gift from the town of Alchevsk, Luhansk region for the 350th anniversary of Kharkiv. It is erected in Pobeda Park not far from the Palace of сulture of the regional department of internal affairs - former mansion of the Alchevskyi family. The name of the banker and industrialist A. Alchevskyi takes a - prominent place in the history of Kharkiv, where he established one of the first in Russia mutual crediting society, Trade Bank and Land Bank. He sponsored a Sunday school and charitable society.

Taras Shevchenko City Gardens (1804-1805), which adjoins the building of the Opera House on the opposite side of Sumska Street, is the oldest of all the city public gardens and parks.
The monument to A. Alchevskyi

At the time, when Kharkiv was founded, it was a thick natural oak wood, covering the approaches to the Kharkiv fortress from the north. The garden was laid in lieu of the wood on the initiative of V. Karazin, the founder of Kharkiv University.

The garden is situated on two terraces - the upper one adjoins Sumska Street, and the so called English regular park was started here; the lower one adjoins Klochkivska Street, here are the Old Botanical Gardens, started at the time of the University foundation. Some centuries-old relic oaks have survived to our time here.

The formation of the gardens with the collection of plants from all corners of the world has taken many years.

In the Taras Shevchenko City Garden
Hundreds of kinds of plants were acclimatized with the assistance of famous university professors N. Beketov, A. Arnoldi, V. Chernayev. Now their number amounts to about 300 species (the New Botanical Gardens, occupying the area of 70 hectares in Sarzhin Ravine near the Pavlovo Pole residential area, has about 900 species).

In 1808 an astronomical observatory, which has been functioning since, was organized on the territory of the gardens.

On the occasion of the centenary of the University foundation a monument to V. Karazin (sculptor Andreoletti (Pahirev), architect O. Beketov; 1905) was erected at the entrance to the gardens. Now the monument has been moved to the front of the university building, and on its former place in the garden a monument to the great Ukrainian poet and painter Taras Shevchenko was unveiled on 24 March, 1935.
Cinema and Concert Hall «Ukraina» is known for excellent acoustics (architects V. Vasiliev, Yu. Plaksiyev, V. Reusov, engineer L. Frihdan, 1963)
The monument is considered to be the world’s best among over 250 other monuments to the Great Poet. It took only a year to create the impressive piece of art (sculptor M. Manizer and architect I. Lanhbard).

The central part of the monument is occupied by an eleven-meter trihedral pylon of dark-grey labradorite, and a five-meter bronze figure of the poet stands on it. There are 16 sculptures around the pedestal, they symbolize the struggle of Ukrainian people for the social and national liberation. The outstanding actors of the Berezil Theatre N. Uzhviy, A. Buchma, A. Serdyuk, I. Maryanenko served as models for the sculptures. The figures were cast in bronze in Leningrad and their total weight is 33 tons.

After the monument had been unveiled, the gardens were reconstructed (architects V.

At the entrance to Kharkiv Zoo
 Kolesnikov and P. Shyrshov) on the basis of the three-ray alley composition with the monument in its center. New alleys, recreation areas and a fountain appeared later.

The south-western ray, which used to be the main alley of the University Garden, leads to the water cascade, built on the occasion of the tercentenary of Kharkiv (architect A. Mayak). The medium, western ray is crowned with son-de-lumiere fountain, with the Ukraina Concert Hall and the Kharkiv Zoo, one of the oldest and the best in Ukraine, being further behind.

At the north-western ray, leading to the round part of Svoboda Square, we can see the Astronomical Observatory, and the Botanical Gardens are located towards Klochkivska Street.

The monument to Taras Shevchenko

The Gardens were severely damaged during World War II. From the occupation time records we know that the monument to Taras Shevchenko was covered with sandbags and that prevented it from the damage during the bomb raids. In August 1943, shortly after the liberation of Kharkiv, a festival meeting was held with the participation of the Steppe Front Commander I. Konev, poets M. Rylskiy, P. Tychyna, M. Bazhan, film director A. Dovzhenko, whose youth was connected with Kharkiv, singers I. Patorzhynskyi, K. Shulzhenko and others.

After the war the Gardens were restored and further reconstructed, and being constantly renewed and developed, they remain to be one of the most popular recreation centers in the city.

The sculpture of Archangel Michael was erected in the southeast of Shevchenko public garden not far from Kharkiv Lysenko Opera and Ballet Theatre during the celebration of Kharkiv’s 350th anniversary.

The Youth Palace (at 37 Sumska Street) is on the corner of Svoboda Square and Taras Shevchenko Gardens. It occupies the building of the former Veterinary Specialized School, designed by architect M. Lvov and built in 1855.

The Veterinary Specialized School ( since 1873 - The Veterinary University) was the second oldest university in Kharkiv. There were outbuildings of the animal clinic and utility rooms in the yard of the building, built in the austere forms of Classicism.

An outstanding microbiologist I. Mechnykov worked here in 1860-1862. The University and the bacteriological laboratory had been conducting a great amount of work, fighting against epidemics of plague, anthrax and other diseases.

A fragment of the former rental house at 44 Sumska street
After the merger of the Veterinary University with the Zootechnik University, and the subsequent move to the Mala Danylivka residential area, the building was taken over by the Postyshev Palace of Pioneers and Schoolchildren (now the Youth Palace).

Just opposite to the Taras Shevchenko monument, on the eastern side of Sumska Street, there stands the building of the former State Insurance Company, now occupied by Kharkiv State Technical University of Construction and Architecture (architects A. Molokin and H. Ikonnikov, 1927).

A former rental house (at 44 Sumska Street, architect Yu. Tsaune, 1912) stands out in the row of buildings on the eastern side of Sumska Street. The architect managed to combine the elements of Classical and Modernist styles, having achieved the proportionality of the parts and skillfully highlighted the details.
The former Veterinary Specialized School building (now the Youth Palace)
The house has a platform roof with four women figures on its parapet, as well as decorative vases in the form of capitals over the risalto. Such combination of different styles elements, which nevertheless manages to provide a complete image, is a frequent occurrence in the construction style of the early 20th century.
eddie8498 says:
thanks for sharing many pics of this wonderful place :)
Posted on: Mar 18, 2008
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M. Lysenko Kharkiv Academic Opera …
M. Lysenko Kharkiv Academic Opera…
View of Kharkiv Lysenko Opera and …
View of Kharkiv Lysenko Opera and…
The Mirror Stream fountain with a …
The Mirror Stream fountain with a…
The Mirror Stream fountain. Aughtu…
The Mirror Stream fountain. Aught…
View of the Mirror Stream Rotunda …
View of the Mirror Stream Rotunda…
The monument to A. Alchevskyi
The monument to A. Alchevskyi
In the Taras Shevchenko City Garden
In the Taras Shevchenko City Garden
Cinema and Concert Hall «Ukraina…
Cinema and Concert Hall «Ukraina…
At the entrance to Kharkiv Zoo
At the entrance to Kharkiv Zoo
The monument to Taras Shevchenko
The monument to Taras Shevchenko
The sculpture of Archangel Michael…
The sculpture of Archangel Michae…
A fragment of the former rental ho…
A fragment of the former rental h…
The former Veterinary Specialized …
The former Veterinary Specialized…
The building of the former State I…
The building of the former State …
Zoo inhabitants
Zoo inhabitants
Zoo inhabitants
Zoo inhabitants
Zoo inhabitants
Zoo inhabitants
photo by: viktosha