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Things about Kharkov we are be proud of! Part I

This stereotypical view has become ingrained in the minds of Ukrainians and Kharkov’s inhabitants themselves. Still, we don’t know so much about our city! Kharkov is very multifaceted in many aspects of life. Based on the latest historical research, there are many important and interesting occurrences that took place in Kharkov region that haven’t been studied or talked about until today. Trust me – there are things we can be proud of!  

Let’s start from the beginning. Most of what we know about the city comes from the Soviet times. Kharkov was the first capital of the Soviet Ukraine. In the first half of the 20th century several great factories were built here. These included Kirov’s turboelectric (now turbine) factory, machine tool builder, “Electrotyazhmash”, tractor parts factory “Porshen”, and many others. In1940 Kharkov had 1200 operating enterprises, with factory production turnout 12 times bigger than the one in 1913. Kharkov factories produced 40% of machine tools in Ukraine, and 6% of those in the entire USSR.

Kharkov gradually grew bigger and bigger, a lot of Soviet architecture appearing in the city. Here we also have something to be proud of. Kharkov has the largest square in Europe and the second largest one in the whole world (the first place is taken by Tiananmen Square in Beijing). On this square stands the first Ukrainian skyscraper – Gosprom. This grandiose reinforced concrete administration building with the area of 17 hectares has 4500 windows. Its construction lasted for about three years (from 1925 to 1928). Gosprom was built in Constructivism style without the use of a building crane. German troops were unable to blast it during World War Two. By the way, area around Gosprom has most attarctive Kharkov apartments for rent.

Ukraine’s systematic radio broadcasting originated in Kharkov. In 1921 the first radiotelegraph station was built on the territory of Kharkov’s equestrian center. It received an odd name “Powerful radio station of the international intercommunications”. The first broadcast was attempted during a literary meeting in “Gryadushee” garden (today city garden “Shevchenko”). That evening, as arranged with Berlin radio, Kharkov inhabitants were able to hear a symphony orchestra from Germany. The first center of amateur Ukrainian television also appeared in Kharkov, with 20 km radius picture in 1951.

This is translation of the article written by Nataliya Buynova.

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