Liberty Square (Svobody Square)
It is the main city place, the biggest square in Ukraine and one of the biggest in the world. Musical concerts, trade fairs, demonstrations, meetings and other mass events are constantly hold here.
This huge square has two parts: “rectangular” and “round.” The unique and majestic architectural complex of the Derzhprom (in Russian the Gosprom) is situated in the centre of the “round” part perimeter. This high-rise building of reinforced concrete — the first one in the USSR — was built in 1925—1928.
To the right of Derzhprom the biggest Northern Building of the V.N.Karazin Kharkiv National University (one of the oldest and most prestigious higher education institutions in Ukraine) is situated. The next to it is the five-star Kharkiv Palace Hotel, which have adorned the square ensemble.
To the left of Derzhprom the Main Building of the V.N.Karazin Kharkiv National University rises to heavens. It was built in the early 1930s as the Government of Ukraine Building. The University founder Vasyl’ Karazin monument is set up in front of the building. This monument was opened in 1906 and then moved to the current place. On this side of Liberty Square the municipal park, which is named by Kharkivites the Shevchenko Garden, spreads out.
Taras Shevchenko Municipal Garden
The oldest park of the city was laid as long ago as 1804. More than 15 thousand trees and shrubs of more than 100 strains grow in its 25-hectares area. The famous lilac and chestnut alley is an adornment of the park. In the garden there are giant oaks of age more than two centuries! In the western part of the park a water cascade framed with stairways is created. In the heart of the garden the fountain of colours and music operates. The best in the world (on the opinion of many art historians) Taras Shevchenko Monument is situated at the side of famous Sums’ka Street (in Russian Sumskaya Street). This monument — one of the city symbols — is a must-see for the visitors of Kharkiv.
Also in the Shevchenko Garden the excellent Kharkiv Zoo is situated. It has about a million of visitors yearly. Not far off the Kharkiv City Dolphinarium – Nemo – has been recently built. It provides very fascinating performances for audience of all the age groups. Leaving the park near the opera theatre, we come to the “Mirror Spurt” Fountain.
“Mirror Spurt” Fountain
It was built in 1947 in honour of the Victory in World War II. The small but very picturesque Public Garden of the Victory is adjacent to the fountain. If going down by Sums’ka Street, soon we shall come to a huge square named after the Constitution of Ukraine.
It is framed with many beautiful buildings. The northern part of east side of the square is the most picturesque. Four buildings, which initially were intended for the biggest banks of the Russian Empire, have remained here. Also in the square the City Hall is situated. In 2012 the monument in honour of the Independence of Ukraine has been erected here. All the three cathedrals of Kharkiv are situated not far off the square.
Cathedral of the Intercession of the Holy Virgin (Pokrovsky Cathedral)
It is the oldest remained building in the city, erected of the early Ukrainian Baroque style in 1689. Now it acts as an Orthodox temple.
Cathedral of the Assumption (Uspensky Cathedral)
It was built of the Russian Baroque style in 1771—1777. The new bell-tower was erected of the classicism style in 1821—1844. This bell-tower, which is of 89.5 metres height, remains the architectural dominant of the Kharkiv city centre. Now the House of Organ and Chamber Music of the Kharkiv Philharmonic Society operates in the cathedral and bell-tower buildings.
Cathedral of the Annunciation (Blagoveschensky Cathedral)
It is the “youngest” among the Kharkiv cathedrals. The building of this beautiful temple was finished in 1901. Its internal decoration is very magnificent. Now the temple operates as the city Cathedral of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church affiliated with the Moscow Patriarchy.
Maxim Gorky Central Park of Culture and Recreation
This famous Kharkiv park occupies the area of more than 66 hectares. Its first trees were planted as long ago as in 1893—1895. Officially the park was opened in 1907.
The complete reconstruction has been realized in 2011—2012. Now the largest in Ukraine observation wheel, more than 30 other attractions, numerous restaurants and cafes, the cinema-house, the children’s railroad, the suspended steel-rope road and tennis-courts function in the huge amusement park.
Memorial of Fame
It was opened in the Kharkiv Forest Park in 1977. This majestic memorial ensemble immortalized heroic deeds of Soviet people during the years of World War II. 186,306 Soviet warriors were killed in the battles for Kharkiv. The sculpture of woman symbolizing the Motherland is in the centre of the ensemble. In front of it the Eternal Flame burns.
Theatres, Museums, Etc.
In Kharkiv there exist several wonderful theatres, among them the Mykola Lysenko Kharkiv National Academic Theatre of Opera and Ballet and the Kharkiv Academic Theatre of Musical Comedy. The Kharkiv Philharmonic Society proposes splendid musical concerts. The Kharkiv Circus is famous. The Kharkiv Art Museum is one of the most important museums of this kind in Ukraine. Also the Kharkiv Historical Museum has a unique and very interesting collection, which consists of more than 300,000 objects.