Kharkov or Kharkiv? - this is a discussion often talked about, well the city was actually named after the Cossack hero called "Kharko" who was the founder of Kharkov in 1654.
According to legend, the monument to Cossack Kharko was built in honor of the founder of the city of Kharkov. The sculpture was installed in the middle of the roadway at the beginning of the Lenin Avenue in August 2004. The monument depicts a Cossack with a spear seating astride his horse.
This solid bronze statue was made for Kharkov citizens by the famous Russian sculptor called Zurab Tsereteli. The official name of the monument is "To the founders of Kharkov in honor of the 350th Anniversary of the City." On the 7-meter pedestal there is a statue of the Cossack seated astride his horse. The bronze statue of the Cossack Kharko weighs 12 tons. According to Tsereteli, he spent 6 months on the sculpture , that has now become very important to the people of Kharkov. During the opening ceremony in 2004 a metal box was buried under the statue with items of interest dedicated to the "future residents of Kharkov"
Kharkov is in the north-east region of Ukraine. The city was first founded by the settlers on a plateau at the junction of two rivers in 1654 – 1655. Legend has it that the city was named after the Cossack Kharko, who was a centurion of noble birth. According to the story, he was defending his people from the Tatars , Kharko chased the enemy and drowned them in the river. Remembering this brave Cossack centurion, the locals gave his name to the river, and later to the city that grew there.
At the beginning Kharkov was built as a fortress of the Russian Empire to protect its borders from nomadic invasions. Later the city became a scientific and cultural centre, with museums and theatres, schools and universities all established in the city. Education has had a special influence on the city’s destiny – here you can still find "University Street" as well as "University Hill" (in the Old Town) and there is also a "University Metro station" .
It all began in 1805 with the foundation of Kharkov Imperial University located in the building of the governor's palace which was constructed specifically for the arrival of Catherine II in Kharkov.
Today Kharkov is a renown educational center with 11 Universities and over 50,000 students from all areas of Ukraine and international countries.