Kreshchatik Street is a unique symbol of Kyiv, its heart and the center of many cultural and political events. Its length is about 1200 meters and width is 72 meters.
The street has had this name since 1837. Some time before Kreshchatik was a one unit with Bolshaia Vasilkovskaya street.
From 1923 to 1937 it had been named after Vatslav Vorovskyi. This Bolshevik, journalist and diplomat was shot by White Russians in 1923.
Kreshchatik Street lies in the valley between the Pecherski and Starokievski hills and includes three squares: Bessarabskaia, "Maydan Nezalezhnosti" and Europeiskaia squares.
In the eleventh century the fortification of the Upper Town and Lyadski Gates were situated in the current "Maidan Nezalezhnosti" area.
Ivanovsky road led from here to Pechersk.
The most beautiful buildings of Kreshchatik, that have put it among the greatest European cities (Krakow, Warsaw, Dresden, and others), were built in the late nineteenth - early twentieth centuries.
Functionally, the most important building was the City Council (it is not saved), that was built near the present "Maidan Nezalezhnosti" in 1876.
In the first Soviet plan of the city (in 1937) Kreshchatik stayed the main street of Kyiv.
During the Great Patriotic War almost all the buildings of Kreshchatik were destroyed. The exception was the block between the present Bogdan Khmelnitsky Street and Taras Shevchenko Boulevard.
The street was reconstructed during 1948-1957.
The post-war housing development of Kreshchatik is a unique phenomenon in the development of architecture of Ukraine.
Classical architectural motifs and forms served as the basis. They are clearly visible in such buildings as the hotels "Ukraine" and "Dnipro", the house of Ukrainian Cooperative Unions, Central department store, the building of Kyiv City Council, Ukrainian House, Passage, ministries and living buildings...
A lot of famous and interesting people lived on Kreshchatik. Among them: the bookseller M.Ogloblin (house number 12), the artist Sergei Grigoriev, actor Vladimir Dobrovolsky (house number 13), singer Peter Bilynnik, Boris Hmyrya, Nikolai Grishko, actress O.Kosenko, writer Vladimir Nekrasov, artists Yuri Timoshenko (Tarapunka ), Natalia Yakovenko, film director Sergei Yutkevich (house number 15), opera singer Elizabeth Chavdar (house number 21), actor Vladimir Dalsky (house number 25), actor and director Yuri Lavrov (house number 27), opera singer Vsevolod Timohin (home number 29).
The artist Mikhail Vrubel and the famous hetman of Ukraine Pavlo Skoropadskiy lived in the house number 40/1.
On July 24, 1990 in the front of the Kyiv City Council (house number 36), with a huge gathering of people, the national blue and yellow flag of Ukraine was raised for the first time.
And in 2001a monument in honor of independence of Ukraine appeared at "Maidan Nezalezhnosti".
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