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A group of buildings of Kharkiv University

Kharkiv University is the oldest higher educational establishment of the city. The decision to open it was taken in 1804 and in January 1805 an inauguration of the first Imperial University in the Left-Bank Ukraine took place.

It was located in the former Governor’s Mansion (16, Universytetska St.) designed by architects M. Tikhmenev and A. Vilianov in 1767–1776.

The facade of the building is decorated with memorial plaques honouring the most famous alumni and lecturers. Some alumni of the University became Nobel prize winners, including microbiologist E. Metchnikoff, and economist S. Kuznets, whilst another Nobel prize winner, physicist L. Landau, worked here. Many famous German, Polish, English and Italian scholars lectured at the University at different times. They included Alexander Mickiewicz, a brother of the outstanding Polish poet Adam Mickiewicz, a well-known German philosopher J. Schad and others.

One of the University buildings (25, Universytetska St.) is situated just opposite the former Governor’s Mansion designed in the style of late Baroque. Designed by E. Vasiliev in the style of strict forms of Classicism, this part of the University was built in 1831. It housed the University Church of Saint Anthony adorned with the icons painted by V. Borovikovsky and A. Venetsyanov, as well as by amateur painters from amongst the University faculty. With members drawn from professors and students, the choir of the church was the best in the city. The premises also included an assembly hall, an observatory and a library. Now this building houses the 'Yunist' Ukrainian Cultural Centre.

Next to the Cultural Centre is one of the buildings of Kharkiv National University Scientific Library (1903) and the City Archive, the premises which used to house a former Law Department of the University (25, 27, Universytetska St.). The functional design of these buildings (architect V. Velichko) allows them to be used as study rooms even today: it became Alma Mater for students of Engineering and Pedagogical Academy, while the major building of Kharkiv National University is situated on Svobody Sq. (Liberty Sq.).