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Konstytutsii (Constitution) Square

The Square was established together with the Kharkiv Fortress. In the 18th century it was a site for markets and trade fairs, whilst in winter sleigh rides were organised there. This way the square received its first name — the Market Square. Later is was called Nikolayevska Square, named after the St. Nicholas Cathedral which was demolished in 1930. The cathedral used to stand impressively where now are the crossroads at the beginning of Korolenka St. and Pushkinska St. During the Soviet times, the square was re-named to commemorate the Bolshevist-revolutionary M. Tevelev and still later received the name of the Soviet Ukraine Square.

The architectural outlook of the square was being created over a period of three centuries. That is why buildings of different styles and epochs can be seen here.

Behind the Palace of Labour there is a shopping centre (a former merchant Ryzhov’s hardware shop) built in 1899 in Baroque style (3, Konstytutsii Sq.). Behind it there is an apartment building at the corner of Radiansky (former Shlyapny, i.e. Hat) Lane which was built in 1955. On the opposite side of the lane there is an administrative building constructed in the late 19th century — the former Municipal Duma (City Council). Now it houses the departments of Kharkiv City Council. A competition for the best design of the building lasted for more than 10 years. Looking through the chronicles in the Builder’s Weeks newspaper which published discussions of the future construction design, one can easily imagine what strict requirements were set for the winning project. In 1885 the construction started; it was performed at a high pace and was finished by April 1886. Reconstruction of the 1950s was actually a new construction in which the designers preserved the style of an administrative governmental institution and at the same time underlined its national character. The tower — imitative of medieval town halls and magistrates — gives the building a special flavour. The national style of the building is specifically focused through sculptured ribbons and elements of Ukrainian ornament.

The building of the City Council is adjoined by the Dytiachy Svit (Children’s World) Arcade (9, Konstytutsii Sq.) designed in the style of Modern by A. Linetsky in 1925. Next to it there is a building of the Ivan Kotlyarevsky University of Arts (11, Konstytutsii Sq.) built in the style of Baroque in the late 19th century. Its ground floor houses the oldest confectioner’s shop called ‘Vedmedik’ (the Little Bear), a former confectioner’s of a well-known George Bormann Company.

Initially a two-storey building, 13 Konstytutsii Square, was reconstructed in 1925 by A. Linetsky to house the Labour Exchange. These premises were used for many different purposes. Currently the building houses a regional organisation of the Ukrainian National Composers Association.

Situated at the crossroads of Moskovsky Avenue and Konstytutsii Square, a four-storey building with a bay window captures a visitor’s attention. Designed by R. Danylov, it was built in 1849 for the clergy visiting the city. It was called the Assumption Cathedral Brethren’s House. It was one of the first multi-storey buildings in the city. In 1900 the building underwent capital reconstruction; its modern outlook was designed by B. Mikhalovsky and M. Lovtsov. Today it houses a varie­ty of institutions and offices.