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09/12/2012

The Kontraktova Square


The Kontraktova Square

The oldest square in Kiev – Kontraktova square (the Red Square during USSR times). It dates bacxk to the Kiev Russ period, it used to be the center of the city for some time, as the Upper City was destroyed after the tatar-mongol invasion. It is situated not far from the river port. In fact it’s because of this port that the square got its name, all the trade deals were held there. (“kontrakt” – en. deal).

A few years ago there were the last stops of the trams that were leading from the Podol district to the left bank. But then the tram lines on the Patona bridge were closed and the railway is the only thing that reminds us of those times. Vast, beautiful Kontraktova Square is surrounded by many wonderful buildings, each one of them deserves a separate story.

Here you can see the former coaching inn Sinaiskoe with the bell tower. Now it is the building of the main Administration of the National Bank of Ukraine in Kiev and Kiev region. Nearby you can find the building of the Kiev Mohyla Academy, that used to hold the naval military school. There is also a fountain Samson. Inside the rotunda the Biblicalhero is tearing the lion’s mouth. When it is warm the water comes from the lion’s mouth.

On the Kontraktova square you can find the oldest church in Kiev – the Assumption Church Pirogoshcha – mentioned in the Tale of Igor’s regiment. In the middle of the square there is a shopping arcade – “Gostinniy Dvor”. The name means a long line of shops. More than 50 shops and also many workshops were opened there. There is a little public garden near the shopping arcade, where you can see the monument to hetman Petro Sagaidachnyi. On the other side, in the opposite part of the public garden there is a different monument – to Grigoryi Skovoroda, the philosopher who led the life of a traveller.

Places of attraction: the shopping arcade, Kiev Mohyla Academy, the monument to Grigoriy Skovoroda, the monument to Petro Sagaidachnyi, the fountain Samson. 

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