Khreshchatyk in Kyiv before the outbreak of World War II: cinemas, a tram, and even a circus. Archival photos
Until September 1941, Khreshchatyk Street in Kyiv looked completely different: incredible architecture of hotels, theaters, and even a circus and tram. Unfortunately, after the center was blown up by Soviet partisans, the beauty of the city remained only in archival photos.
The old photos and the story were published in the community "Spraha: Kyiv is interesting" on Facebook. Of the 324 buildings destroyed, only 56 were to be restored.
"Khreshchatyk underwent radical changes due to the bombing by Soviet troops at the beginning of the German occupation of Kyiv. The explosions and the firestorm were so powerful that the city center burned down completely," the authors of the project said.
For example, on the site of the current city hall (36 Khreshchatyk Street), there was the first Kyiv cinema by Shanzer, which amazed the citizens with its beauty and had a capacity of 1100 seats. An unfinished house burned down on the site of the Khreshchatyk metro station, and a department store, the former shop of the merchant Ludmer, a beautiful four-story building, burned down on the corner of Lutheranska Street.
The Grand Hotel and the old post office were destroyed, and now the building of the Main Post Office stands in their place.
Before the explosions, there were five hotels, five theaters, a circus, a radio theater, a pawnshop, a post office, five educational institutions, 19 institutions, 8 commercial establishments and a large number of residential buildings on Khreshchatyk and the surrounding streets. All this has turned into ruins...
"Out of 324 destroyed buildings, only 56 were to be restored. For example, the Central Department Store building. Only houses No. 5, 24, 53 survived. On the facade of the Kyiv State Architecture Committee building (32 Khreshchatyk Street), you can still see traces of a terrible fire," the authors of the project added.
As OBOZ.UA reported, today Khreshchatyk Passage in Kyiv is a street of expensive shops. However, until the fall of 1941, Malyi, or Old Passage, was located in a completely different place - approximately where the KCSA building stands today.