Krestchatik History

Krestchatik Kreschatik is quite modern place comparing to overall Kiev age. While Kievo-Pecherskaya Lavra and St.Sofia - St. Michael areas were well established and blooming, the valley where today Kreschatik is was wild area covered with forest. One version of the ravine name comes from the stream flowing to the place where the Kyivans were christened while the other version explain that the name Kreschatik comes from the ravines which were heavily crossed there (cross sounds khrest in Ukrainian). The last version is very plain but most likely as the place is located between two hills and ravine itself leads to Dnipro River.

For the long time the place remained wild and was popular hunting place for Kiev Dukes.

But finally the convenient location was noted and area started to develop.

Old center of Kiev First urban estates were established here at the end of 18th century. Wooden theatre was located at the place where Ukrainian House is. Lately the theater was replace with Yevropeyskaya hotel which gives the name for the square - Yevropeyskaya square (European square), and the name is back again. The square different names are another notable story as at different times it bear number of names marking different Kiev history periods: Konnaya (Horse's Square), Teatralnaya (Theatres Square), Yevropeyskaya (European Square), Tsarskaya (Tsar's Square), III Internationala (named after 3rd International), Stalina (named after Stalin), Leninskogo Komsomola (named after Lenins Komsomol organization), and Yevropeyskaya (European Square) again.

First stone building was the manor of the landowner O. Golowinskiy which stood at current Ukrteleradio headquarters. Lately at 1849 it was replaced with City Post Office which were there till replacement by new Post Office building at 1914. At that time Kreschatik was already blooming. City Duma (City Hall), the exchange, banks, trade companies, luxurious residential houses, theaters and cinemas were established and prospered.

At this background the spot to the south from nowadays Independency Square was completely preserved with a lake and country style housing. The land plot of 1.5 hectares belongs to Kiev University Professor Dr Mering. As the history says his wealth comes from his philanthropy. He treated poor Jewish for free and in exchange they let him know about profitable deals.

Old krestchatik After his death the land was acquainted by Kyiv Landlords Society which planed there a square (I.Franko square) and four streets (Gorodetskogo, Olginskaya, Stanislavskogo and Zankovetskoy), one of the most prestigious Kiev locations now. The area was developed fast with advanced technology inside of the buildings and astonishing luxury facades.

Area was build so well and fortunately passed all turbulences so we can enjoy its beauty now.

Among offices and "to let" apartment houses the Neo-Greek Style theater was construct (1896-1898 by architects G.Shleifer and E.Bradtman). A Russian drama troupe led by N. Solovtsov with such remarkable actors as S. Kuznetsov, E. Nedelin, E. Polovetskaya and others performed there. Now the Ivan Franko National Drama Adcademic Theater performs there. From the former 8th Kyiv Gymnasium (1897 by architect N. Dobachevskiy) the future ballet soloist Sergey (Serj) Lifar began his way to world celebrity.

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