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Encyclopedia > Khreschatyk
Khreschatyk
Khreschatyk

Khreschatyk (Ukrainian: Хрещатик, Khreshchatyk, Russian: Крещатик, Kreshchatik) is the main and probably the best-known street in Kiev, the capital of Ukraine. One of the widest among the main city streets in the world (1,225 metres long and 75 to 100 metres wide), Khreschatyk goes through the very centre of Kiev. The famous Maidan Nezalezhnosti (Independence square), where most of the events of the Ukrainian Orange Revolution took place, is located on the street and is integrated into the architectural complex of Khreschatyk. Image File history File linksMetadata Kiev_8. ... Image File history File linksMetadata Kiev_8. ... A monument to St. ... The metre, or meter, is a measure of length. ... Maidan Nezalezhnosti (literally: Independence Square ) is a main square in Kyiv, capital city of Ukraine. ... Orange-clad supporters of Viktor Yushchenko gather in Independence Square in Kiev. ...


The entire street was completely destroyed during World War II by the retreating Red Army and rebuilt anew in the neo-classical style of post-war Stalinist architecture. The street has been significantly renovated during the modern period of Ukraine's independence. The short forms Red Army and RKKA refer to the Workers and Peasants Red Army, (in Russian: Рабоче-Крестьянская Красная Армия - Raboche-Krestyanskaya Krasnaya Armiya), the armed forces first organized by the Bolsheviks during the Russian Civil War in 1918. ... Never executed design for the Palace of Soviets in Moscow. ...

Contents


History

Legendary accounts and early history

The name of the street derives from the Slavic word krest or khrest ('cross'). This may be explained by the fact that the surrounding valley used to be crossed by many ravines, hence its ancient name Kreshchataya, or Khreshchata, 'crossed'. The Slavic languages (also called Slavonic languages), a group of closely related languages of the Slavic peoples and a subgroup of Indo-European languages, have speakers in most of Eastern Europe, in much of the Balkans, in parts of Central Europe, and in the northern part of Asia. ... A Greek cross (all arms of equal length) above a saltire, a cross rotated by 45 degrees For other uses, see Cross (disambiguation). ... Grand Canyon, Arizona A canyon, or gorge, is a valley walled by cliffs. ...


According to a popular though erroneous legend, the valley owes its name to the Baptism of Kiev (Kreshchenie or Khreshchennya) that took place in 988. Legend has it that Vladimir the Great, ruler of Kiev, herded his subjects through the valley into the Dnieper River to have them baptized. Clandestine Christian communities existed in Kiev for decades before the official baptism. ... Detail of the Millennium of Russia monument in Novgorod (1862) representing St Vladimir and his family. ... A monument to St. ... The Dnieper River (also: Dnepr, Dniapro, or Dnipro) is a river (2,290 km length) which flows from Russia through Belarus and then Ukraine. ...


Times of the Russian Empire

Khreschatyk remained a mere ravine between the older neighborhoods of Kiev: Podil, the quarters of early trade and commerce, the ancient Upper City, where most of administrative buildings were located, and the prosperous Pechersk built around the ancient Pechersk Lavra ('Monastery of the Caves') with the latter district being poorly connected to the other two by a shabby road that went through ravines, woods and swamps. Podil is a historic neighborhood in the city of Kiev, which houses the citys funiculaire and the Dnieper river station. ... It has been suggested that Artisan#Artisan guilds be merged into this article or section. ... Pechersk or Pechersk (Ukrainian: ) is a neighborhood in Kiev (Kyiv), the capital of Ukraine, located on the hills adjoining the right bank of the Dnieper river. ... Roofs of the Holy Trinity Church Kievo-Pecherskaya Lavra, 1890s Kiev Pechersk Lavra (Ukrainian: ; Russian: ), also known as the Kiev Monastery of the Caves, is an ancient cave monastery in Kiev. ...

Khreschatyk at the end of the nineteenth century. The first tram lines in the Russian Empire were built in Kiev.
Khreschatyk at the end of the nineteenth century. The first tram lines in the Russian Empire were built in Kiev.

The development of the area only started in the nineteenth century. The ravine was filled and accelerating construction quickly followed. By the mid-nineteenth century Khreschatyk was developed as Kiev's main thoroughfare in the climate of rapid growth of the city during the Industrial Revolution in Imperial Russia. The street soon became the centre of Kiev's commercial life, as the city itself developed into the main commercial centre in the Empire's south-west. Image File history File links Khresch_XIXcent. ... Image File history File links Khresch_XIXcent. ... A Philadelphia PCC trolley car in 1965 Volkswagen Cargo-Tram in Dresden on a section of grassed track. ... Imperial Russia is the term used to cover the period of Russian history from the expansion of Russia under Peter the Great, through the expansion of the Russian Empire from the Baltic to the Pacific Ocean, to the deposal of Nicholas II of Russia, the last tsar, at the start... A monument to St. ... Alternative meaning: Nineteenth Century (periodical) (18th century — 19th century — 20th century — more centuries) As a means of recording the passage of time, the 19th century was that century which lasted from 1801-1900 in the sense of the Gregorian calendar. ... A Watt steam engine in Madrid. ... Imperial Russia is the term used to cover the period of history from the expansion of Russia under Peter the Great, through the expansion of the Russian Empire from the Baltic Sea to the Pacific Ocean, to the deposal of Nicholas II of Russia, the last tsar, at the start...


In 1892 the first electric tram line in the Russian Empire was running in Kiev and by 1894 the line was extended to Khreschatyk. The street was served by the tram for about forty years. A Philadelphia PCC trolley car in 1965 Volkswagen Cargo-Tram in Dresden on a section of grassed track. ... Imperial Russia is the term used to cover the period of Russian history from the expansion of Russia under Peter the Great, through the expansion of the Russian Empire from the Baltic to the Pacific Ocean, to the deposal of Nicholas II of Russia, the last tsar, at the start...


Times of revolutionary unrest

During the period of chaos after the Russian Revolution of 1917 many Khreschatyk buildings were heavily damaged as the city changed hands many times among Bolshevik, German, and Polish forces, as well as the forces of several short-lived Ukrainian states. On May 9, 1920, the Polish army of General Rydz-Śmigły celebrated their capture of Kiev by a ceremonial parade of "victors-liberators" on Khreschatyk, only to be driven out by the Bolshevik counter-offensive within weeks. The Russian Revolution of 1917 was a series of political events in Russia, which, after the elimination of the Russian autocracy system, and the Provisional Government (Duma), resulted in the establishment of the Soviet power under the control of the Bolshevik party. ... Leaders of the Bolshevik Party and the Communist International, a painting by Malcolm McAllister on the Pathfinder Mural in New York City and on the cover of the book Lenin’s Final Fight published by Pathfinder. ... Ukrainian Peoples Republic (Ukrainian: ), also sometimes translated as Ukrainian National Republic, abbreviated UNR (УНР), was a republic in part of the territory of modern Ukraine after the Russian Revolution, eventually headed by Symon Petliura. ... May 9 is the 129th day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar (130th in leap years). ... 1920 (MCMXX) was a leap year starting on Thursday (link will take you to calendar) // Events January January 7 - Forces of Russian White admiral Kolchak surrender in Krasnoyarsk. ... Polish Army (Polish Wojsko Polskie) is the name applied to the military forces of Poland. ... Edward Rydz-ÅšmigÅ‚y (March 11, 1886 - December 2, 1941); nom de guerre ÅšmigÅ‚y, TarÅ‚owski, Adam Zawisza) was a Polish politician, an officer of the Polish Army, painter and poet. ... Kiev Offensive (1920) Conflict Polish-Bolshevik War Date April-June, 1920 Place Ukraine Result inconclusive The Kiev Offensive (or Kiev Operation) was an important military operation, carried out by Polish Army and allied Ukrainian forces during the Polish-Bolshevik War, from April 1920 to June of the same year. ... Kiev Offensive (1920) Conflict Polish-Bolshevik War Date April-June, 1920 Place Ukraine Result inconclusive The Kiev Offensive (or Kiev Operation) was an important military operation, carried out by Polish Army and allied Ukrainian forces during the Polish-Bolshevik War, from April 1920 to June of the same year. ... Combatants Russian Soviet Federated Socialist Republic Second Polish Republic Commanders Mikhail Tukhachevsky Józef PiÅ‚sudski Edward Rydz-ÅšmigÅ‚y Strength 950,000 including reserves 5 million 360,000 including reserves 738,000 Casualties Unknown, dead estimated at 100,000 - 150,000 Unknown, dead estimated at 60,000 The Polish...


Interbellum

During the inter-war period, Khreschatyk underwent major development and reconstruction in the booming city. Between 1923 and 1937 the street carried the name of Vaclav Vorovsky — an early Bolshevik diplomat assassinated in Switzerland. In the mid-1930s the electric tram lines were dismantled, and the trams replaced by electric trolleybuses. Leaders of the Bolshevik Party and the Communist International, a painting by Malcolm McAllister on the Pathfinder Mural in New York City and on the cover of the book Lenin’s Final Fight published by Pathfinder. ... Trolleybus public transfer in Bratislava, Slovakia A trolleybus (also known as electric bus, trolley bus, trolley coach, trackless trolley, trackless tram or simply trolley) is a bus powered by two overhead electric wires, from which it draws electricity using two trolley poles. ...


Second World War: total demolition of the street

Destroyed Khreschatyk (1943).
Destroyed Khreschatyk (1943).

During World War II, almost every building on the street was mined with explosives by the retreating Red Army. In September 1941, after German troops occupied the city, explosions were set off by radio-controlled fuses from over 400 kilometres away. The demolition of over three hundred buildings on Khreschatyk became the first operation in history where the long-distance radio-controlled explosions were used for the miltary purpose. Fires raged on the street for weeks following the first blasts, and much of the surviving historic centre of Kiev was demolished. This unprecedented method of warfare caused panic and brought heavy casualties among both the occupiers and city's remaining civilian population. Image File history File links Destroyed_Khreschatyk_1943. ... Image File history File links Destroyed_Khreschatyk_1943. ... Combatants Allies: Poland, British Commonwealth, France/Free France, Soviet Union, United States, China, and others Axis Powers: Germany, Italy, Japan, and others Casualties Military dead:17 million Civilian dead:33 million Total dead:50 million Military dead:8 million Civilian dead:4 million Total dead:12 million World War II... The short forms Red Army and RKKA refer to the Workers and Peasants Red Army, (in Russian: Рабоче-Крестьянская Красная Армия - Raboche-Krestyanskaya Krasnaya Armiya), the armed forces first organized by the Bolsheviks during the Russian Civil War in 1918. ...


Under German occupation, the street was renamed Eichhornstrasse, after the German World War I Field Marshal Hermann von Eichhorn, the "Military dictator of Ukraine" during the previous German occupation, who had been assassinated in Kiev in 1918.[1] Combatants Allies: Serbia, Russia, France, Romania, Belgium, British Empire, United States, Italy, and others Central Powers: Germany, Austria-Hungary, Bulgaria, Ottoman Empire Casualties Military dead:5 million Civilian dead:3 million Total dead:8 million Military dead:4 million Civilian dead:3 million Total dead:7 million The First World... Note: This article is about the military usage of the word marshal. For other usages, see the end of this article. ... Hermann von Eichhorn, portrayed by Reinhold Lepsius Hermann von Eichhorn (born February 13, 1848 in Breslau, Germany; assassinated July 30, 1918 in Kiev, Ukraine) was a Prussian army leader. ...

Kievans cleanup the Khreschatyk following the destruction in the war.
Kievans cleanup the Khreschatyk following the destruction in the war.

Image File history File links Khreschatyk_cleanup. ...

Post-war Soviet times

During the late 1950s to early 1960s, Khreschatyk was rebuilt anew (currently, there are just a few pre-war buildings standing on the street). The street was widened to 75 to 100 metres and new buildings were erected in the Neoclassical Stalinist architectural style. Important buildings of the new ensemble include the City Council House (Kyivrada), the Central Post Office (Poshtamt) and Trade-Union House (Budynok Profspilok). Never executed design for the Palace of Soviets in Moscow. ... Kyivrada (Ukrainian: ) is the city council of Kiev municipality, the highest representative body of the community. ...

Parade on the avenue, late 1960s
Parade on the avenue, late 1960s

The avenue was one of Kiev's first landmarks that was served by the Kiev Metro in 1960, and was the system's first transfer point upon opening of the second line in 1976. Image File history File links Kreshchatik_1960s. ... Image File history File links Kreshchatik_1960s. ... Official Logo The Kiev Metro (Ukrainian: ; Russian: ) is a metro system that is the mainstay of Kievs public transport. ... 1960 (MCMLX) was a leap year starting on Friday (the link is to a full 1960 calendar). ... 1976 (MCMLXXVI) was a leap year starting on Thursday (the link is to a full 1976 calendar). ...


On May 1, 1986, a few days after the Chernobyl nuclear accident about 110 km north of the city, Soviet authorities held a traditional May Day parade on Khreschatyk, in order to "calm people" and "prevent panic" caused by the disaster. Thousands of Kievans, including many children, were exposed to dangerous doses of radiation. May 1 is the 121st day of the year in the Gregorian calendar (122nd in leap years). ... 1986 (MCMLXXXVI) was a common year starting on Wednesday of the Gregorian calendar. ... The nuclear power plant at Chernobyl prior to the completion of the sarcophagus. ... May Day is a name for various holidays celebrated on May 1 (or in the beginning of May). ... Radioactive decay is the set of various processes by which unstable atomic nuclei (nuclides) emit subatomic particles. ...

Kreschatyk in the early 1980s
Kreschatyk in the early 1980s

In the late 1980s, the porch of the Central Post Office building partially collapsed during a heavy rain, killing a dozen people and injuring some. The porch was rebuilt in the following years according to its original design. Image File history File links Kreschatik_classic. ... Image File history File links Kreschatik_classic. ... A porch is an architectural feature relating to a floor-like platform structure attached to the front or back entrance of a residence. ...


In July 24, 1990, the first ceremonial raising of the yellow-and-blue Ukraine's national flag in the modern times took place on Khreschatyk, on the large flagstaff of the Kiev City Council. Due to its central location in nation's capital city the street became the traditional place for political rallies. July 24 is the 205th day (206th in leap years) of the year in the Gregorian Calendar, with 160 days remaining. ... This article is about the year. ... Flag ratio: 1:1 Article 20 of the Constitution of Ukraine states: „...Державний Прапор України – стяг із двох рівновеликих горизонтальних смуг синього і жовтого кольорів.” Translation: “National Flag of Ukraine is a banner of two equal-sized horizontal strips colored blue and yellow” The flag of Ukraine was adopted in 1918, and is interpreted as the blue sky (symbolizing peace) over fields of... Kiev City Council or Kyivrada (Ukrainian: ) is the city council of Kiev (Kyiv) municipality, the highest representative body of the city community. ...

Khreschatyk at the turn of the millennium.
Khreschatyk at the turn of the millennium.

Image File history File links Khresch_1998. ... Image File history File links Khresch_1998. ...

Independent Ukraine

In 2000–01, Khreschatyk and Maidan Nezalezhnosti, a main city square located on the street, became the centre of the mass protest campaign known as Ukraine without Kuchma. Allegedly to keep the protesters out, the city Mayor Oleksandr Omelchenko ordered a major reconstruction of the street, which led to significant rebuilding of Maidan Nezalezhnosti, and construction of two large underground shopping malls. Maidan Nezalezhnosti (literally: Independence Square ) is a main square in Kyiv, capital city of Ukraine. ... Ukrayina bez Kuchmy! or UBK (Ukrainian: Україна без Кучми!—Ukraine without Kuchma!) was a mass protest campaign that took place in Ukraine in 2000–2001. ... Oleksander Omelchenko was a candidate in the 2004 Ukrainian presidential election, nominated by the Unity party, which he chairs. ... The Mall of America in Bloomington, Minnesota — the third-largest in the world. ...

Tent city on Khreschatyk during the Orange Revolution
Tent city on Khreschatyk during the Orange Revolution

In the winter of 2004, Khreschatyk, especially its parts adjacent to Maidan Nezalezhnosti, became the center of the main public protests of the Orange Revolution. The protesters' main tent encampment was situated in the street, and many Khreschatyk buildings served as makeshift feeding and warming sites for the protesters, including the City Council House. At its peak, over a million people from all around Ukraine attended the rally. Image File history File linksMetadata Orange_rev2. ... Image File history File linksMetadata Orange_rev2. ... Orange-clad supporters of Viktor Yushchenko gather in Independence Square in Kiev. ... Orange-clad supporters of Viktor Yushchenko gather in Independence Square in Kiev. ...


Attractions

Khreschatyk is a popular destination for tourists and Kievans. During weekends, the street is closed to road traffic and reserved for pedestrians. Khreschatyk contains many upscale stores, cafes, and restaurants. A Car Free Day is an event organized in different places in different ways, but with the common goal of taking a fair number of cars off the streets of a city or some target area or neighborhood for all or part of a day, in order to give the...


Points of interest situated along Khreschatyk are the following (south-west to north-east):

  • Besarabska Square, including:
    • Besarabsky indoor Market (nineteenth century)
    • "Besarabsky Quarter" (shops and offices complex, partly nineteenth century)
    • Metrohrad, underground shopping centre
  • Central Department Store (TsUM)
  • City Council Building (Kyivrada)
  • Maidan Nezalezhnosti, including:
    • Central Post Office (Poshtamt)
    • National Musical Academy Concert Hall
    • Globus underground shopping centre, and the preserved ruins of Medieval Liadski Gate beneath the square
    • Hotel Ukrayina (previously called Moskva)
  • European Square ("Yevropeyska Square"), including:
    • Hotel Dnipro
    • UNIAN news agency building
    • Ukrayinskyi Dim ("Ukrainian House") conference and exhibitions hall
    • Kiev Philarhmony building (nineteenth century)

Khreschatyk is a traditional setting for outdoor concerts and festivals, and is frequented by street musicians. Major parades and celebrations are held on Kiev Day (the last Sunday of May), Victory Day (May 9) and Ukrainian Independence Day (August 24). The Besarabsky Market (Ukrainian: ), also frequently called Besarabka (Бесарабка) is an indoor market located in the center of Kiev at the west end of Khreshchatyk, the main and best known street of the city. ... Kyivrada (Ukrainian: ) is the city council of Kiev municipality, the highest representative body of the community. ... Maidan Nezalezhnosti (literally: Independence Square ) is a main square in Kyiv, capital city of Ukraine. ... The Middle Ages formed the middle period in a traditional schematic division of European history into three ages: the classical civilization of Antiquity, the Middle Ages, and modern times. ... Yevropeyska Square (Ukrainian: , literally: European Square) is a square situated at the northern end of Kievs famous street Khreschatyk. ... The UNIAN or Ukrainian Independent Information Agency (Ukrainian: Українське Незалежне Інформаційне Агентство, УНІАН; Ukrayinske Nezalezhne Informatsiyne Ahentstvo) is a Kyiv-based Ukrainian news agency. ... May 9, Soviet poster based on the famous photo of the Soviet flag being raised over the Reichstag in 1945. ... An Independence Day is an annual celebration commemorating the anniversary of a nations assumption of independent statehood, usually after ceasing to be a colony or part of another state. ...


References

  • (Ukrainian)/(Russian) The concept of Khreschatyk architecture after WWII
  • (Ukrainian) Article in Wiki Encyclopedia Kyiv
  • (Russian) 19th-century views of Khreschatyk
  • (Russian) (1986) edited by Анатолий Кудрицкий[2] Киев. Энциклопедический справочник, УРЕ. LCC DK508.923.K54 1986.
  • (Russian) Александр Анисимов (1992). Скорбное бесчуствие. На добрую память о Киеве, или грустные прогулки по городу, которого нет, Tabachuk Ltd.. ISBN 5770721502.
  • (Ukrainian) edited by Анатолій Кудрицький (1995). Вулиці Києва, Довідник, УЕ. ISBN 5-88500-070-0.
  • (Russian) Khreschatyk, the history of the main street, in Zerkalo Nedeli, September 13-19, 1997
  • (Ukrainian)/(Russian) "Khreschatyk, the dry bed of the future river", in Zerkalo Nedeli, January 13-19, 2001, in Russian, in Ukrainian
  • (Russian) Khreschatyk was blown up by saboteurs
  • (Russian) An optimistic avenue in Vokrug Sveta (Around the World), November, 2005.
  • (English) Kyiv and Kreshchatyk: The Paradox of War, in the Ukrainian observer
  • (English)/(Russian)/(Ukrainian) Khreschatyk at Kiev History Site.

 
 

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