Constitution Square is the central square of Kharkiv, which arose between the Kharkiv Fortress and urban settlements.
Constitution Square is the central square of Kharkiv, which arose between the Kharkiv fortress and urban settlements in the north and east and became the place of formation of the commercial “power” of the city. In 1659, the first city Assumption Fair took place here.
Fair Square – from the second half of the 17th century. and until the 19th century, since the annual Assumption Fairs were held there.
Nikolskaya Square is the name of the watchtower, which previously stood on the site of the modern University of Arts (house No. 13).
M. S. Tevelev Square – from January to June 1919 and from 1920 to 1975, named after a Bolshevik, a member of the underground provincial committee of the RCP (b), who was killed by the German invaders in 1918.
Square of Soviet Ukraine – from 1975 to 1996
Constitution Square – since 1996
Houses of the Constitution Square
From the square there was a road to Moscow – Moskovsky street (now Moskovsky Prospekt), to Sumy – Sumskaya street. From the Constitution Square also originate street. Korolenko per. Mechnikov, Bursatsky descent, prov. Soviet, prov. Spartakovsky. In the southern part, the square adjoins Rosa Luxembourg, Armenian, Pletnevsky and Kostyurinsky lanes.
The square as a beautiful urban ensemble began to be created in the 19th century. Currently, almost every house on the Constitution Square is an architectural monument.
The western part of the square begins with a large beautiful building in the neoclassical style, now the building is called the Palace of Labor (Constitution Square, No. 1). The house was built in 1914-1916. (architect I.O. Pretro). The name “Palace of Labor” is associated with the capital period of Kharkiv’s life – the People’s Commissariat of Labor and the All-Ukrainian Council of Trade Unions were located here. On the ground floor of the house there are various shops, and the upper floors are occupied by numerous offices.
The house of the former Ponomarev and Ryzhov iron goods shop (Constitution Square No. 3) was built in 1894 in the Baroque style according to the project of an unknown architect. In 1954, two floors were added to the house (architect D.L. Zelichenko), and a year later a residential building with shops was added. In Soviet times, it housed the Lux store – Everything for Women, and in our time the Adidas store.
Kharkov City Council
In the house at Constitution Square, No. 7, the Kharkov City Council is located. The first building for the city council on this site was built in 1885 according to the project of Boleslav Michalovsky. The house, close to its modern look, was acquired in 1932 after reconstruction in the style of post-constructivism (architects V. Trotsenko and V. Pushkarev).
During the Second World War, the building was practically destroyed, so in 1947-1950. restoration and reconstruction measures were carried out with elements of the Stalinist Empire style according to the project of architects V. Petit, Yu. Chebotarev, V. Kostenko and engineer V. Kharlamov.
Between houses No. 3 and No. 7 there is a small Sovetsky Lane, connecting Constitution Square with Kvitki-Osnovyanenko Street. At one time it was Hat Lane, because there were workshops for the manufacture of hats.
In 1925, instead of a small house with columns, which belonged to the publishing house of the newspaper “Southern Territory”, the building of the passage “New” in the Art Nouveau style was built (architect A.V. Linetsky). Currently, there is a store “Children’s World” (Constitution Square, No. 9).
University of Arts. Kotlyarevsky
Further, on Constitution Square, No. 11, there is the building of the University of Arts. Kotlyarevsky. The house was built in 1900 using elements of the Renaissance and Baroque styles (architect B. Mikhalovsky).
At first, the house was two-story and belonged to the merchant Gladilin. In 1929, it was built on without changing the architectural forms (architect PZ Krupko). In the house on the first floor there is a shop “Mishka”, where the interior of the con. 19th century Georges Bormann confectionery shop. Chocolate and waffle cakes “Delis” were a kind of brand of the factory and enjoyed success throughout the russian empire.
Another building continues the architectural theme, which also belongs to the University of Arts. Kotlyarevsky (Constitution Square, No. 13). At first the house was two-story. There was a haberdashery shop of the Alschwang company. In 1925, the building was built on (architect O.V. Linetsky). During the NEP, the Commodity Exchange was located here, then before the war – the publishing house of the Kommunist newspaper. In the 60s. 20th century the sculptures decorating the building were irretrievably lost.
Right behind this house there is a small Spartakovsky lane (former names Yarmarkovy, Monastyrsky lane), connecting the Constitution Square with the entrance to the Pokrovsky Monastery. Currently, the entrance is slightly shifted to the north. The entire building of the street was lost during the Second World War.
In the first years of Soviet power, the building was reconstructed, expanded and lengthened (architect A. Linetsky), after which it housed the All-Ukrainian Central Executive Committee of the Ukrainian SSR (VUTsIK of the Ukrainian SSR). After the transfer of the capital to Kyiv, in 1935 another reconstruction was carried out (architect P. Shpar), after which the first Palace of Pioneers in the country was opened here. By the way, the first New Year tree in the USSR was lit in the Kharkov House of Pioneers in December 1935.
During the Second World War, the building was destroyed and, despite the possibility of restoring the building, it was dismantled, and a square was arranged on this site, where in 1975 a Monument was erected in honor of the proclamation of soviet power in Ukraine.
The monument was not popular with Kharkiv residents and was ironically called “Five from the pawnshop are carrying a refrigerator.” Behind the monument is a five-story pawnshop building (since the 1970s the Kharkiv Historical Museum), and in 1948 a high-profile criminal trial called “Six from the Pawnshop” took place in the city. They tried employees of the Kharkiv city pawnshop, who took things from citizens at low prices and, in case of non-return, reissued them at the real price, falsified accounting data, made illegal re-pledges of the same thing, bought and sold stolen goods. On June 17, 1948, the defendants were sentenced to capital punishment – execution.
In 2011, work began on the dismantling of the monument, which is planned to be installed near the House of Culture of the Kharkov Tractor Plant on Sergo Ordzhonikidze Avenue. August 22, 2012 after reconstruction in 2011-2012 President of Ukraine V. Yanukovych opened a new monument to the Independence of Ukraine – “Flying Ukraine” (sculptor A. Ridny, G. Ivanova). The total height of the monument is 16.5 m. The pedestal is made of gray granite slabs, the figure of a woman and a bronze ball.
In this part of the Constitution Square there are also two metro stations: the Historical Museum of the Saltovskaya line and the Sovietskaya of the Kholodnogorsko-Zavodskaya line, connected by an underground passage
The beautiful building of the Trade Bank (Moscow Merchant Bank) on Constitution Square, No. 26 was also built by architect A. Beketov in 1899 in the traditions of Western European Art Nouveau. The building was damaged during the Second World War and was restored in 1949 (architect N. Podgorny), after which it housed the All-Union Scientific Research Institute for the Organization of Mine Construction, and then the House of Science and Technology.
Another creation of the architect A. Beketov in the Art Nouveau style is the building of the Volga-Kama Bank, 1907. (Constitution Square, No. 24). Before the revolution, I. Kabeshtov’s exotic plant shop worked in the house. During the metropolitan period, the building was occupied by the People’s Commissariat of Health. In 1960 the building was reconstructed for the Puppet Theatre. V. Afanasyev (architect B. Klein, E. Lyubomilov).
Nearby is the building of the former International St. Petersburg Bank in the style of the French Renaissance built in 1913 (architect V. Velichko). Since 1992, the Kharkiv Regional Office of Oschadbank OJSC has been located here (Constitution Square No. 22).
The residential building of the 1950s closes the row. (architects V. Kostenko and E. Ponomarev) erected on the site of the Krasnaya/Metropol Hotel, which was destroyed during World War II, 1914, architect. B. Korneenko (Constitution Square, No. 20).
The house on Constitution Square No. 16 was at first a three-story building, and in the 20-30s. 20th century built on one floor. Stucco molding and part of the balconies were dismantled, and the house was given the features of fashionable constructivism at that time. Currently, the building is lined with slabs of different colors, which to some extent ennobled it and is used by various administrative institutions. On the ground floor there is a popular jewelry store “Volshebnitsa”.
The series is completed by one of the first stone buildings on the square, built in 1849 (architect F. Danilov) on the site of a small Fraternal House of the Assumption Cathedral (Constitution Square, No. 12). In the house there were apartments for visiting representatives of the clergy. In 1900, the building was built on two floors and decorated with a bay window and a small tower (architect B. Mikhalovsky, M. Lovtsov). The house was also well known to the Kharkiv residents of the Yakovlev Clock workshop. Currently, various organizations are located here.
At the intersection of Constitution Square and Moskovsky Prospekt, one cannot fail to notice the huge building of the Kharkiv Transport Engineering Plant. V. Malysheva (KhZTM), which is also called the “House with a Spire” (Constitution Square, No. 2/2). The eleven-story part of the house is located on the corner of Constitution Square and Armenian Lane. Another side of the house overlooks Korolenko Lane.
The small houses that were on the territory of the current building were almost completely destroyed during the Second World War, so in 1950 the Kharkov Pipe Plant began building housing for its employees according to the project of architect P. I. Areshkin in the Stalinist Empire style. In 1954, the main 7-story part of the house was completed with an 11-story tower topped with a spire. Actually, this spire gave the name of the building in the future. In 1967, the construction of a 9-storey wing of the building on Armenian Lane with a post office was completed. This part of the building was erected during the struggle against “architectural excesses” begun by N. Khrushchev, therefore it is unattractive in architectural terms.
In 2008, the “House with a Spire” took seventh place in the city competition Seven Wonders of Kharkov.
Russian invasion of Ukraine (2022)
On March 2, 2022, during the battles for Kharkiv, the Palace of Labor was shelled by the Russian army, neighboring buildings, nearby residential buildings, the city council and others were also damaged.
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