There is always something new about kharkiv. It’s a historically significant and an aesthetically pleasant city. It has remained shaded from large-scale public attention until recently when it was announced as a venue for the EURO 2012.
Kharkiv is located in the North-Eastern region of Ukraine, in a region that is termed as “Sloboda Ukraine”. The city lies in the confluence of the rivers, “kharkiv”, “Udy” and “Lopan”.
The city has a fascinating history. The foundations of the city were laid in 1654 by the eponymous warrior “Kharko”, whose legend endures till date in the form of a memorial on “Prospekt Lenina”.
During the times of the Russian Empire, the city served as a major centre of Ukrainian culture. Kharkiv became the first city in Ukraine where the Ukrainian SSR was proclaimed in December 1917 and the Soviet government was formed. Kharkiv was then declared the capital of Ukraine and remained so until 1934, when the country’s administrative affairs were shifted to Kiev. The “Derzhprom” building in Kharkiv was once the tallest building in the Soviet Union and the second tallest in Europe.
During the World War II, the city was occupied by the Germans on two separate occasions and saw a lot of bloodshed in the four battles that were fought. The city was ultimately freed from German occupation on August 23rd 1943.
It is a very well-known fact about Kharkiv that it is regarded as the Scientific, Industrial and Educational centre of Ukraine. It houses some of the best educational institutions of the country.
The 13 national universities in the city are attended by over 150,000 students (including over 9000 foreign students from 96 countries). The city has always been a centre of research and innovation and has contributed considerably to the development of fields such as Aerospace, medicine and cryology in Soviet-Ukraine.
On a personal note, I find the atmosphere of modern-day extremely invigorating and peaceful. The city represents a harmonic balance between the hectic rigours of daily life and the quaintness of nature and relaxation. Based on personal experience and observation, I would say that Kharkiv is an ideal city to both distinguish oneself and to unwind/relax.
Kharkiv has good infrastructure. It has an extremely functional/practical underground transit system and a relatively well-connected bus network. The inhabitants are friendly and passionate. In my early days in the city, I would often stop at an interesting sight and ask a passer-by about it. I used to be surprised at how almost everyone took time to satiate my instances of inquisitiveness. I was amazed at both the knowledge and the pride that the people of Kharkiv exhibited.
The hospitality towards foreigners is very warm (probably owing to it’s long-standing status as an educational town). This is one fact about kharkiv that I believe will make it a much-loved city for travellers in the future.
I sincerely hope this article enlightened readers in at least the smallest of measures about Kharkiv.