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Articles

10/09/2012

Khreschatyk


Khreschatyk

In times of Kiev Rus, this area was a forest-covered valley with brook. In ancient times it was the hunting ground, where Kievan arranged net for catching wild animals (hence the ancient name - Perevisische). Later it was called Kreschaty valley (it was being crossed). In the documents of 16-17centuries, this area was known by the name Evseykovaya Valley; in 18th century – by the name Sands. In the XVI century, when the hole Perevesische became Evseykovaya valley, this area for a few centuries almost entirely deprived of its flora and fauna. Its best forests went for constructing streets and fortifications, water resources taken to the collector.

Road ran along the creek, which directed to the Dnieper. Since the 18th century the road was being built up gradually and changed into street. The fame came to Khreschatyk owing to theater, which was built in 1807. The theater had a high triangular pediment, porch of four columns and two flashlights, which decorated a semicircular staircase. Ancient hero was depicted on the curtain, standing in a triumphal chariot and greeted by the crowd of confederates, and in the clouds winged Cupid was soaring with a scroll, which in Latin meant: "Laugh purifies customs". Henceforth, Khreschatyk started its development. Mansions of wealthy aristocrats and administrative buildings of the Kiev general- governor were built in this area. The first stone house in Khreschatyk was the house of Golovinsky.

Until 1849 the provincial post office with the department for diligences was located at this house. In 1978 - 82 years it was replaced by new building of Lenin Museum. Now it is the Ukrainian House, variety of exhibitions, concerts, conferences are conducted here, etc. By 1914, Khreschatyk was completely built up - they were mostly three-story building with shops, restaurants, hotels, banks, and offices. From here on out Khreschatyk has acquired the status of the main street in Kyiv. It was extended to Bessarabskaya square. The length of the street reached 1200 meters. All commercial, administrative and business life of the city began to move here from Podol, there had already been provided a water-supply system, sewer, gas, electricity. By 1892 there appeared an electric tram (the first in Russia, the second in Europe) that connected Khreschatyk with Podol.

During the Second World War Khreschatyk was almost completely destroyed, only a block of buildings remained near the Bessarabian market. In 1948, a plan of restoration of Khreschatyk was approved - they created new architectural ensemble of the street, the street was widened, and on the one part laid Chestnut terrace-boulevard, especially beautiful during blossoming in the spring. Khreschatyk has long been considered as a symbol of the Kiev. It seems that Kiev has always been developing through Khreschatyk. Here is an interesting mention that the Khreschatyk became the main street only one hundred or one hundred and fifty years ago. Up to now Khreschatyk is considered to be the longest main street of capital in Europe.

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