Kharkiv - Universitetska Street

Kharkiv Travel Blog

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The Ozeryanska Church
We begin our tour around Kharkiv with the Holy Shroud Monastery in the historic center. It’s the oldest building in town preserved by miracle. In the middle of the monastery there rises the three-dome Holy Shroud Cathedral - the oldest stone construction and local architectural landmark. The Cathedral was erected in 1689 as part of the fortress. Its construction was funded by the Cossacks from Klotchkivska Sloboda. The Holy Shroud Cathedral is an example of Ukrainian Baroque. Its composition reminds that of a three-frame wooden church with adjacent belfry typical for Ukrainian architecture.

The architects skillfully combined traditional forms of Ukrainian religious architecture with the techniques and features of Russian architecture.

Interior design of the churches of the Holy Shroud Cathedral
The three-dome church, typical for Ukraine, has two levels - the lower one, with warm, winter, church premises, and the upper one, with cool, summer, church premises. The upper cool church is surrounded with a gallery and connected by a walking passage to a Russian hip-roof belfry. Intricate brick platbands, typical for the Moscow architectural style of the late 17th century, come together with typically Ukrainian multi-section cornice with a little ledge. Architectural composition of joints and window frames is very light and elegant. The harmony of soaring constructions as if growing one from another is really striking. There is information that the Cathedral was built by the team that erected cathedrals in this style in some other towns of the left-bank Ukraine - Nizhyn, Baturin, Izyum.
Interior design of the churches of the Holy Shroud Cathedral

The adjacent hip-roof belfry, which was built later, with its more austere and heavier forms looks like a fortress tower.

At the end of the 17th century, Kharkiv Colonel Fedir Shydlovskyi began the construction of his own two-storied building next to the church. It was one of the most beautiful buildings of its time (unfortunately it hasn’t survived). Later the building was purchased and reconstructed for the needs of Kharkiv Collegium - the first college in Slobidska Ukraine, which grew from a Slavic-Greek-Latin school, transferred to Kharkiv from Belgorod in 1726.

The college was initiated by the Bishop of Belgorod Yepifaniy Tikhorskiy (that’s why the Collegium was called Tikhorskiy Academy), and by a Kharkiv resident General-Field Marshal Prince M.

Interior design of the churches of the Holy Shroud Cathedral
 Golitsyn. This educational establishment, modeled after Kyiv-Mohyla Academy, trained its students for different forms of spiritual and secular activities. The students of the Collegium were the children of clergy as well as representatives of other estates who, prior to their admission, had to get primary training at parish schools or in bursa, opened by the Collegium. The bursa was located nearby - on the site of the current main building of the Academy of Culture (4, Bursatskyi spusk).

Experienced teachers were selected; among them Hryhoriy Skovoroda, who taught here in 1759 - 1764. In his honor in the monastery yard there was erected a granite stele with the following inscription: «Hryhoriy Savych Skovoroda - an outstanding Ukrainian scholar, poet and philosopher, worked as a teacher at the Collegium that used to be located on this site».
Monument to Hryhoriy Skovoroda
Among the students of Kharkiv Collegium were a lot of prominent representatives of science and culture, such as N. Gnedich - translator of Iliad and Odyssey from ancient Greek; M. Kachenovskiy - Russian historian, President of Moscow University; professor G. Basilevich - first Russian clinician and many others.

After the opening the Holy Shroud College Monastery in 1729, the Holy Shroud Church is part of the monastery. From 1800 to 1846 the upper Holy Shroud Church served as the town’s cathedral, and the lower Three Saints’ Church had belonged to the Collegium until it was closed. After the closure, the Collegium building housed the Eparchy clerical office, and at the end of the

19th century on its site there was erected the Fraternal House, designed by V.

Interior design of the churches of the Holy Shroud Cathedral
 Nemkin (nowadays it’s the building of the Seminary). Part of the old basement was preserved and included into the new structure.

In the 19th century on the territory of the monastery there were built the Pontiff’s House and the Ozeryanska Church (1896), which together with the Holy Shroud Cathedral create an unforgettable architectural ensemble.

The Ozeryanska Church, erected in 1896 by the Eparchy architect V. Nemkin, is a unique construction. It’s the only church in town that uncharacteristically combined in its design Roman and Old-Russian motives: it’s built as a basilica and at the same time is decorated by 13 small domes and intricate stone ornaments.

The name of the church is connected with a miraculous icon of Our Lady, who presented herself in the village of Ozeryanka not far from Kharkiv in the middle of the 17th century.

Interior design of the churches of the Holy Shroud Cathedral
The icon was mostly kept at the Kuriazh Monastery out of town (founded in 1663). Since 1863 at the request of the congregation, the icon used to be brought from Kuriazh to the village of Ozeryanka, where Our Lady presented herself, for two weeks every year. Since the end of the 19th century religious processions also took place in Kharkiv.

Unfortunately, the relic disappeared in 1926, the year of the last procession. There are several versions of what happened. The most plausible one finds the cause in the precious frame, decorated with gems and jewelry donated as charity. The only thing preserved is the icon scroll that is on display at the church.

The founding of the Kharkiv Eparchy was an important event in the spiritual life of the city.

Domes of the Ozeryanska Church
It was opened by the decree of the Emperor Paul I on October, 16, 1799, on the report of the Holy Synod. The new Eparchy was referred to the 3d class and the Holy Shroud College Monastery became the seat of the Pontiff. Later, to the right of the Holy Shrine Cathedral, there was erected the Pontiff’s House, a two-storied building of white stone in the Russian Classicism style. Today this building houses the Eparchy clerical office.

The construction of new buildings and landscaping had continued on the territory of the monastery throughout the second half of the 19th century up to the beginning of the 20th century, when specifically for this purpose the post of the Eparchy architect was introduced. The House of the Monastery Superior (architect V.
Holy Shroud Cathedral
 Nemkin, 1892) with its the main entrance gate, decorated with a small elegant dome with the icon of Our Lady, and the cell building with a dining hall and apartments for the

high-rank clergymen (nowadays - the building of the seminary) have survived from that period.

Two monuments have been erected in front of the Pontiff’s House: one is dedicated to Kharkiv bicentennial, the other - to the 2nd millenium of Christianity.

Leaving behind the gate to the Holy Shroud Monastery, let’s have a look at the beginning of Universytetska Street, from Bursatskyi Spusk to Khalturin Spusk. The western side of the street belonged to the Monastery. Among the buildings of interest there is a former Consistory (architect V.
Terrace Square
 Nemkin, 1893). Today it’s the building of the Central State Scientific and Technical Archives of Ukraine (4, Universytetska Street). The three-storied house is built in the classical style. The portico with the pediment on the base of the building demonstrated the impressive character and respectability typical of that period.The facade of the building follows the canonic pattern: base, purposefully made heavier by rustication, beautiful platbands on the

second-floor windows, wall piers to accentuate the central part of the building, rustication of the corners. The building at 8, Universytetska Street is an elongated two-storied structure, erected for trade purposes. Today it’s an icon shop. The left wing of the building used to house the office of Gerard Manufacture of Gille and Dietrich.

View of the terrace park and the Holy Shroud cathedral
In 1879 this wing was reconstructed by the architect V. Nemkin and in - once again by V. Pokrovskyi. As a result, the building received its original facade in the Modernist style.

The elaborate forms of the cornice, the unusual contour of the roof, the intricate floral patterns, the asymmetry of the facade, the individual features - all this unusual design of the building makes it stand out in the row of other buildings in the street.

There are many similar buildings in our city: the architects of that period and style made their facades very decorative: they abundantly used stylized flower patterns and majolica.

The architectural ensemble of the street has been in the process of formation for three centuries. The buildings in Ukrainian Baroque, Classicism, Modernist style, together with the building of the Soviet period create a unique ensemble.

Adjacent to Universytetska Street is the terrace square (architects G. Vegman, I. Zhilkin, M. Lutskiy, 1951 - 1952) located on Stepan Khalturin Spusk.

This is the site that used to house the Old Passage building, which belonged to the merchant Pashchenko-Tyapkin, and was destroyed by nazis during the occupation period of World War II. After the war the local residents voluntarily worked on Sundays, helping in the reconstruction of their city. They cleared the ruins, took away the debris, planted the trees and bushes, lay out flowerbeds and pathways. Today one of the terraces is occupied by a summer cafe and from the upper terrace we can enjoy a wonderful view of the city districts on the opposite side of the Lopan river.The monument to H. Skovoroda was erected on one of the terraces of the park. A few dozens of meters away from the monument is the border of the former Kharkiv fortress. The fountain is the approximate location of the wooden Derkachevska corner tower. a little further to the south, at the end of the ravine (now Khalturin Spusk), there stood the Lopanska gate tower. If we walk along the imaginary fortress wall, we shall get to the central part of town. It was here that on the site of the ancient Slavic settlement the first Kharkiv fortress was erected in 1659. The tallest Nikolska corner tower was about 20 meters high. That is why the Holy Shroud Cathedral, located nearby fortress walls, with its dome at the height of 48 meters, dominated the cityscape for decades. Even the stone Dormition Cathedral, built of at the end of the 17th century, was not so tall.

As years had passed by, the Cossack clay huts within the fortress walls were replaced by the brick palaces, the town was growing, and the territory of the fortress turned into a type of observation deck. This is the place from which we can enjoy a magnificent view of an ever-changing city. And from here we are going to have a closer look at Proletarska square and the Annunciation Cathedral.

postaltiburon says:
Fantastic photographs and very useful information!
Posted on: Apr 05, 2008
jefrois says:
Great photos, did u take all of these pics?
Posted on: Apr 03, 2008
missandrea81 says:
Thanks so much for all the work you are putting into this!!!
Posted on: Apr 02, 2008
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The Ozeryanska Church
The Ozeryanska Church
Interior design of the churches of…
Interior design of the churches o…
Interior design of the churches of…
Interior design of the churches o…
Interior design of the churches of…
Interior design of the churches o…
Monument to Hryhoriy Skovoroda
Monument to Hryhoriy Skovoroda
Interior design of the churches of…
Interior design of the churches o…
Interior design of the churches of…
Interior design of the churches o…
Domes of the Ozeryanska Church
Domes of the Ozeryanska Church
Holy Shroud Cathedral
Holy Shroud Cathedral
Terrace Square
Terrace Square
View of the terrace park and the H…
View of the terrace park and the …
Kharkiv
photo by: viktosha