Independence square (Maidan Nezalezhnosti) is the main square of Kiev. It became famous after Orange revolution of 2004, when thousands of people gathered there and stayed for a while demanding honest elections.
Independence square as we know it appeared in 1830’s when it was freed of defensive embankments that dated back to Yaroslav the Wise. At that time the square was called Khreshchatytskiy, because of the nearby Khreshchatyk street. In 1876 the building of city council was erected and the square became Dumskiy (Duma is a council). After the Revolution of 1917 in 1919 the square was called Soviet and then renamed to Kalinin square in 1935. The square was greatly damaged during the war and its council building totally burned out in 1941. In 1944 the project of reconstruction started and due to it the square was to become the main square of Kiev.
The buildings that you can see now on the Independence square are mostly constructed during 1950’s – 1970’s. In 1976 underground station was open near the Independence square. It changed its names together with the square itself and now it is called “Independence square”. Global reconstruction took place in 2001, when the square dramatically changed its appearance. New fountains were opened as well as new sculptures and monuments. At the center of the square there is a monument of a woman with a snowball tree branch in her hands. This woman symbolizes Ukraine and its independence. Also large shopping center called Globus (the Globe) was built under the square during the reconstruction of early 2000’s.
As for Khreshchatyk, it is the main street of Kiev. In fact it became the main street only about 150 years ago and before that time there were just trees and bushes on this place. First buildings arose on Khreshchatyk at the end of 18th century. The formation of the street took place in 1830’s- 1840’s. About 1880’s three-story buildings were built on the street, which were used as banks and shops. From that moment on Khreshchatyk became the main street of Kiev. In 1895 the last free space on the street was occupied by buildings. However nowadays you won’t find almost any of those buildings as Kiev was greatly damaged during WW2. Occupation had lasted for 778 days and during that time the street was ruined. The reconstruction began at the same time as it was with Independence square – in 1944.
In Soviet times Khreshchatyk was developed the most during 1936 – 1941. In this period the main department store (TsUM) appeared. In addition to that ground-floors of the buildings were reconstructed and improved. Famous trees were added in that time too. If you look at the picture of Khreshchatyk of the first half of the 20st century you will notice how full of green trees is it.
Most of the buildings