The second largest city in Ukraine was founded in the middle of the 17th century as a small settlement, which further grew into one of the most important industrial, cultural, scientific and educational centers in the country.
In the aftermath of the Russian revolution, when Bolsheviks took over the major parts of the former Russian empire, Kharkiv was proclaimed the capital of the Ukrainian Socialist Soviet Republic. At that time Kyiv was the capital of the Ukrainian People’s Republic.
In the Soviet times, Kharkiv has developed into the main industrial city in Ukraine with top heavy industry, machine building and electro-technology plants. At times nick-named the city of students, Kharkiv became a home to many universities specializing in a large veriety of subjects.
When in Kharkiv, you won't miss the approximately 750 meters long and 100 meters wide Freedom Square, which is considered the third largest city-centre square in Europe. Another sight worth seeing is the Derzhprom (abbreviation for State Industry) or the Palace of Industry building, which is located on the square.
Among the religious buildings of the city, the most notable are the Assumption and the Annunciation Cathedrals. Built in 1901 the beautiful Annunciation Cathedral took the title as the main Orthodox Church of Kharkiv. Before that the title belonged to the Assumption Cathedral on the University Hill built at the beginning of the 19th century, which with its 90-meter tower bell, had been the tallest building in the city for almost two centuries.