19-05-2024 History of Ukraine 686

Kharkiv: insightful facts about the largest historical city in Ukraine

Kharkiv: insightful facts about the largest historical city in Ukraine

Kharkiv is one of the largest and most significant Ukrainian cities. Founded in the 17th century (1654), Kharkiv has become a centre of culture, education, science and industry, attracting tourists and investors with its numerous monuments, architecture and historical heritage. Here are some interesting facts about this incredible city.

Interesting facts about Kharkiv

Kharkiv is one of the most renowned cities in Ukraine. Here are some insightful facts about this city.


According to one of the versions of its origin, the name 'Kharkiv' was derived from the name of the Cossack Kharko. This story is a legend, as well as, probably, the very existence of Kharko.

The largest market in Europe

There is a market in Kharkiv next to the Akademika Barabashova metro station, which is considered the largest in Europe, with its area covering 75 ha.

Kharkiv was a home for several Nobel Prize winners

Three scientists who had won the Nobel Prize lived in Kharkiv in different times:

  • Ilya Mechnikov, who received the prize for his research in immunology in 1908;
  • Simon Koval, expert in economics;
  • renowned theoretical physicist Lev Davidovich Landau.

The largest university in Ukraine

Founded in 1804, V. N. Karazin Kharkiv National University

Founded in 1804, V. N. Karazin Kharkiv National University is the largest university in Ukraine. There are more than 20 faculties, 125 departments and more than 20,000 students studying at the university.

The largest square in Europe

What else is Kharkiv famous for? Kharkiv boasts the largest square in Europe — Svobody Square. Surrounded by historical buildings and architectural monuments, it is really large.

‘Kharkivtsi’ (Kharkiv residents)

From the 18th century to the middle of the 20th century, the inhabitants of the city were called 'kharkivtsi'. The name 'kharkiviany' appeared only 75 years ago.

The first film

In 1896, the first film was shot on the Kharkiv grounds. There was nothing special about it - just a shooting of Katerynoslavska Street, which is called now Poltavskyi Shliakh, but that event had historical significance. The film was shot by Alfred Fedetskyi, who at that time worked in the city as a photographer.

Kharkiv introduced the first postal code

In 1932, Kharkiv (at that time the city was the capital of Ukraine) introduced a postal code consisting of four symbols. The letter 'U' indicated the country, the first two digits indicated the city, and the last one was for the district. Before World War ll, postal codes were canceled. They were introduced again in 1962 in West Germany.

The first trial of Nazi war criminals was held in Kharkiv

In December 1943, the military tribunal found two German servicemen guilty - a German police official and a Soviet collaborator (the driver of a mobile gas chamber) - of mass execution of people. They were sentenced to death by hanging. The trial was covered by the world's major publications, including the New York Times, The Daily Express, and The Times.

21 Kharkiv residents travelled to space

Kharkiv higher education institutions had trained the greatest number of astronauts who went into orbit. Some space explorers came to Kharkiv from other regions.

Serhii Volkov, who was born in the town of Chuhuiv, became the world's first second-generation astronaut, as his father Oleksandr also went into orbit in 1985. Two Kharkiv astronauts – Valentyn Bondarenko and Heorhii Dobrovolskyi – unfortunately died.

The first capital of Ukraine

Kharkiv was proclaimed the capital of Ukraine in 1919, the year when the Ukrainian SSR was officially founded. It kept the status of the main city of the country until 1934. Since 1934 and until present, the capital of Ukraine is Kyiv. 

The city of educated people

Kharkiv has a very well-developed educational system. So, according to official statistics provided by the Ministry of Education and Science of Ukraine, about half of the city's residents have obtained complete or incomplete higher education. And this is not surprising, since Kharkiv ranks first in Ukraine in terms of the number of higher educational institutions.

Kharkiv Art Museum

Kharkiv Art Museum

Kharkiv Art Museum is one of the largest in Ukraine. Today, there are about 20,000 works of art in its holdings. Apart from exhibitions, the museum hosts classical music concerts.

Сultural hub

In the 1920s, the city boasted thriving cultural scene, with a group of Modernists in its core, including Les Kurbas, Mykola Khvylovyi, Mike Johansen, and Vasyl Yermilov.

So, Kharkiv is a city with an eventful history and culture, which continues to develop and attract both residents of Ukraine and tourists, businesspeople, politicians, and artists of other countries. Major accomplishments in education, science and technology make Kharkiv a key hub of innovative development in Ukraine.

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