Kharkov Sights and Landmarks Guide, Ukraine
Kharkov is situated in a region known as Sloboda Ukraine. The city is the confluence center of three rivers, the Kharkiv, Udy, and Lopan.
Freedom Square Kharkov has got several tourist attractions and sightseeing spots. Freedom Square in Kharkov is the third largest of all the city squares in Europe, with an area of about 11.6 hectares. The Freedom Square is also the seventh largest city square in the entire world. This square was originally called as Dzerzhinsky Square. Felix Dzerzhinsky was the founder of the Cheka or the Bolshevik Secret Police, the forerunner of the dreaded KGB. The name, Freedom Square, was given to it after the independence of Ukraine in 1991.
Gosprom / Derzhprom
The Gosprom building, situated in the Freedom Square, is also called as the State Industry Building and as the Palace of Industry. The building is a constructivist structure, with the name approximately meaning ‘State Production’. The building was designed by architects Sergei Serafimov, M. Felger, and S. Kravets in the 1920s, when Kharkov was the official capital of the Ukrainian SSR. In 1936, the capital was moved to Kiev. However, the building remained popular for its innovative symmetrical construction and was not destroyed during the Second World War. Reyner Banham listed the Gosprom as a major architectural achievement in his ‘Theory & Design in the First Machine Age’.
Taras Shevchenko Monument is in memory of the famous Ukrainian humanist, poet and artist, Taras Hryhorovych Shevchenko. Shevchenko is considered to have pioneered the modern literature of Ukraine, as well as the present Ukrainian language itself, though he had written in Russian language also. He had also left behind several masterpiece paintings and illustrations. The Taras Shevchenko monument is in front of the Shevchenko Park in Kharkov.
The other major attractions in Kharkov/Kharkiv are the Uspensky Cathedral, the Pokriv Cathedral, the Dormition Cathedral, the Annunciation Cathedral, the Intercession Cathedral, the Mirror Stream, the Militia Museum, the Shevchenko Gardens, the Children’s railway, the Cable Road, etc. The Shevchenko Gardens was created in 1804. The 25-hectare park is near the Taras Shevchenko Monument on the road to the University building, with more than 15,000 trees and 100 varieties of bushes. The tall oaks in the park are more than 200 years old.
The Gardens has a colorful music fountain in the center. The Upensky Cathedral, also known as the Assumption Cathedral, was built in 1771-1777 in the Russian Baroque style. The gold-domed new bell tower designed by Vasilyev is the tallest building in Kharkov, with a height of 89.5 meters.
The Pokriv Cathedral is actually the Pokrovsky Cathedral built as the Protection of the Virgin Cathedral in 1689. This cathedral is a valuable representation of the Ukrainian architecture prevalent during the latter half of the seventeenth century. The damage to the cathedral in the Second World War was rectified only in the 1990s, when restoration work was undertaken. The Mirror Stream fountain, built in 1947, is in a small but scenic garden in Sumska Street, opposite the Kharkov Opera Theater. The Militia Museum or the Police Museum is admired even by the higher police officials of the other Ukrainian cities. The Kharkov police celebrate their police day in this museum, with the young officers conducting the swearing ceremony on that day. The Children’s Railway in Kharkov is called the Small Southern. It is 3.6 km long, connecting the Forest Park and the Gorky Park, including a real railroad bridge. This narrow guage railroad was built in 1940. Youngsters could drive locomotives and work as yard masters, switchmen, and train attendants here as a practical learning process. The Gorky Park is a highly popular tourist destination, with more than five million visiting this park every year. The park is spread over an area of 136 hectares. An aerial cable car links the Spring area to the Gorky Park. The park contains, an open air theater, a movie theater, a library & reading room, dance pavilions, concert arenas, tennis courts, cafes & bars, etc. Kharkov might not be known as a famous tourist destination till now but those who had visited Kharkov admit that it is a city definitely worth visiting as a tourist spot, with lots of sightseeing opportunities.
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