|Beginning of Kreschatik - European Square
||The main street of the capital
||The end of Kreschatik - Bessarabskaya Square and the Monument to Lenin
Kreschatik is one of the most known central streets of the world. The center of commercial, political and cultural life of Kiev has been bustling here for two centuries. Kreschatik is famous as the site of the first Kiev telephone, telegraph, electric tram, plumbing and sewage system, gas and electric illumination. And finally the first Kievan sky-scraper was constructed on Kreschatik too. Here Kievans listened to Beethoven’s music. The exhibition of the Russian artists called peredvizhniki was organized there. Peredvizhniki, often called The Wanderers or The Itinerants in English, were a group of Russian realist artists who in protest at academic restrictions formed their artists' cooperative which was evolved into the Society for Traveling Art Exhibitions in 1870. Shevchenko, Schepkin, Chaikovsky, Shalyapin, Mayakovsky and Mandelshtam had always their walk along Kreschatik every time they visited Kiev.
Kreschatik is only 1200 meters long street. That is why it is often considered to be one of the shortest central streets of the world. Thus it is even more interesting to walk along Kreschatik. The walk will let you understand why history of Kiev of the last centuries has been concentrated there.
300 years ago there was a brook in Kreschatik valley. The brook was called Kreschaty as there Kievan prince Vladimir christened his soldiers and Russian nobility. Kreschaty is old Russian for christened. The city wall was situated on the northern slope of the Kreschatik valley. In the 19th century the area of the main street of Ukraine was the area of the construction boom. Soon Kreschatik was known as central trade district in Kiev. It was often called Kievan Broadway. Kievans were proud to have their own Nevski Avenue. The most luxurious hotels, shops were there. The City Hall building was situated in the Independence Square. The story of the fabulous pre-Soviet Kreschatik was finished in 1941. The main street of Kiev was almost completely destroyed during World War II. But Kreschatik was reconstructed in 1950s. And now any tourist can be amazed with the beauty of one of the best architectural ensembles in the Eastern Europe.
We begin our tour in the European square. The square is famous with its rich history. You will be amazed with the Ukrainian House, City concert hall, puppet theater building, water museum, some parks on the Dnieper river slopes. And you will see all of them on the area with the most «European» name. Making our short way to Independence Square, seeing buildings of banks of tsar's time we will arrive to the main square of Ukraine. Musical Academy building, main post-office building, the International Cultural Center (former institute of daughters of nobility), the monument to independence of Ukraine as well as a shopping center «Globus» are the dominating sites in the modern Independence Square.
Kreschatik is the masterpiece of post-war reconstruction of our city. The street is 100 meters wide there. On weekend it is turned into pedestrian zone. We are going to visit the most interesting area of the street. There are boutiques, shops, Kiev City Hall, French style Passage and the monument to the architect Gorodetsky, TV center, TSUM (Central Shopping Mall) in the central part of Kreschatik. There is also a movie theater «Friendship» in the building with a spire. That style of city architecture is called «Best Regards to Moscow!» All these masterpieces are set in the area of some 500 meters along the central Kievan street.
We can see the area of old original buildings starting on the crossroad with Khmelnitsky’s street. That is the way Kreschatik looked like in pre-Soviet days. That is the way to feel the charms of Kreschatik. Using your imagination you can enjoy the smooth transition from age ХХ into age ХІХ and that’s the way! Such is the magic of Kreschatik! Many secrets are to be found out there. For example, «Intimate theater» – do you want to know what it is and where it is? Then you must be attentive here!
We will finish our tour at Bessarabsky market. It is the most ancient market building in our city. Bessarabsky market is the most prominent art noveau style building in Kiev. It was constructed in 1912. There is entertainment and trade center nearby. It is called Mandarin-plaza. There is always something to see in the Mandarin-plaza. There is always something to buy in the Bessarabsky market. You can enjoy the view of Shevchenko’s boulevard. There is an ambiguous monument to the leader of world proletariat there. It is situated in the final part of Kreschatik. So if you stroll along our main street you cannot help learning the destiny of local people that lived in Kiev in different centuries as well as getting some knowledge about different architectural styles.
Here is some useful information:
- The tour is 2 hours walking tour.
- Our English and German speaking guides are at your service. All our guides are high qualified licensed tour guides.
- You can order your private tour any time.