Kharkiv National University named after Vasyl Karazin, founded in 1804, is one of the oldest institutions of higher education not only in Ukraine, but also in Eastern Europe.
Kharkiv is considered the student capital of Ukraine. And Kharkiv National University, named after Vasyl Karazin, founded in 1804, is one of the oldest institutions of higher education not only in Ukraine but also in Eastern Europe. It co-signed the Magna Charta Universitatum alongside the other leading European universities, which initiated the Bologna process. This educational institution is also part of the European Nuclear Education Network Association. Remarkably, several renowned Nobel laureates, including Ilya Mechnikov, Lev Landau, and Simon Kuznets, once worked there.
Nowadays, Kharkiv National University is a robust educational institution that comprises 8 institutes and 17 departments. Its School of Economics is located in the very city centre in the historical building where the so-called People’s Commissariat of Labor was located during the Soviet times. The School of Economics’ building is a cultural landmark because it exemplifies the evolution of Ukrainian modernism towards new architectural forms, a trend that was sparked by the First World War and the revolutionary events of the late 1910s. The house of the School of Economics is one of the first ferroconcrete buildings in Ukraine. It was erected in the 1920s and designed by Serhii Tymoshenko, who is considered the father of modern Ukrainian architecture of the early 20th century.
It is noteworthy that Tymoshenko’s name was erased from the history of architecture in the Soviet era: during the struggle for independence of Ukraine and before the seizure of power by the Bolsheviks, he was authorized by the Ukrainian government to conduct negotiations with allies regarding joint anti-Bolshevik military operations. As revenge on an architect, the Bolsheviks destroyed Tymoshenko’s architectural heritage, but Ukrainian researchers did not forget it. After the collapse of the USSR, the author’s name and the building’s original purpose as an educational institution rather than an administrative site were reinstated.
However, at the end of February 2022, the studies at Kharkiv National University were interrupted by the war, like at all other universities in Ukraine. Several university buildings were damaged by the Russians’ shelling, e.g. the building of the School of Economics and Karazin Business School, as well as the School of Physics and Technology, the Central University Library, the central and north buildings of the university, the hospital and the museum of nature, the sports complex, and the building of the Institute of Public Administration. The building of the School of Economics was almost completely destroyed by Russian missiles.
Unfortunately, the Russian military’s shelling did not spare the university buildings, some of which are national monuments. In particular, the St. Anthony’s Church, built from 1823 to 1831 and designed by the Ukrainian architect Yevhen Vasyliev, suffered from bombs. In the church, which is almost 200 years old, all the windows and many religious items were broken. One of the oldest book collections in Ukraine, the Central Scientific Library of Kharkiv National University, also suffered. It was founded, as the university itself, in 1804. The Classical building with Neo-Renaissance elements that has been housing the library was constructed in 1901–1903 upon a project of Viktor Velychko, one of the most outstanding architects of Kharkiv.
Due to Russian aggression, not a single building of one of the oldest universities in Eastern Europe remained undamaged at the end of March 2022, as reported by the university’s press service. Nevertheless, Kharkiv Karazin University continues the educational process and is ready to accept new students.
The site that once carried the light of knowledge for many years may now turn into a memory itself.
National Literary Memorial Museum of the Ukrainian Philosopher and Poet (18th-century building).
The central square of Kharkiv. It ranks sixth in Europe. Here are the most important administrative institutions of the city.
190-years-old architectural monument in the classical style, built in 1832, which used to be the manor of Kharkiv officials and became an excellent illustration of Kharkiv’s life in the 19th century.
Built thanks to the cooperation of students, professors, and institute personnel of the Kharkiv Polytechnic between 1985 and 1991, the sports complex became the site for practising over 30 different kinds of sport, as well as an Olympic training base and the only sports facility in Ukraine to receive the State Award in architecture.
An ancient building, erected in one of the historical neighbourhoods of Kharkiv in the early 20th century. Several generations of Ukrainians have studied at this school for more than a hundred years.
A building of the beginning of the ХХ century in eclecticism style, which housed a female gymnasium from the time of construction and until the 1920s.
Church in the largest residential area of Kharkiv – Saltivka. The architecture of the building, built in 2013 for the Independence Day of Ukraine, resonates with Ukrainian Baroque traditions.
One of the largest Fine Arts museums of Ukraine. The museum’s collection is one of the oldest and most valuable artistic properties of Ukraine.
One of the oldest musical theaters and the first permanent opera house of Ukraine. Its history dates back to the end of the 18th century.
The main center of ensuring the accuracy of measurements in Ukraine with more than a century of history.
Former House of Judicial Institutions was constructed in the best Neo-Renaissance traditions. The building has the features of Italian palazzos and the exterior of the house stands out due to its sophisticated design.
An extraordinary building of the early 20th century in the architectural ensemble of the Constitution Square in Kharkiv built in the Art Nouveau and Neoclassicism styles.
In 1940, 3809 captive Polish officers and 500 Polish civilians were shot here by order of the Soviet government.
The oldest square in the city. From XVIII to early XX centuries, this place became the centre of the city culture.
This house became a home for Ukrainian writers and artists in 1928. The Soviet government built it for the Ukrainian intellectuals, but soon this place turned out to be a trap.
Holocaust Memorial Complex (menorah monument of 2002).
The cathedral is the oldest Orthodox church in Kharkiv and has great historical and art value.
A brick church constructed on the site of a wooden temple. The first mention of this building dates back to 1691.
Architectural monument, built in 1884–1886. For more than 130 years, the building has helped save the city and its citizens from fires.