In times of Kievan Rus (9th-13th centuries) this area was a wooded valley through which flowed a stream. In ancient times it was a hunting ground, where people of Kiev were hanging nets to catch wild animals (hence the old name - Perevisische). Later it was called Kreschatoy valley (it crossed, criss-crossed ravines). Documents from 16th - 17th centuries stated that this area is known as Evseykovoi valley, in the documents of the 18th century - under the name of Sands. From the lake near the modern Independence Square flowed a stream
Khreschatyk on the postcard dating beginning of 20-th century
The first residential wooden houses appeared at Kreschatik in 1797 (the area between European Square and Independence Square). In 1803 at the beginning of the street was built the first theater in Kiev (in those days it was called the Theatre of Khreshchatyk Street).
The first stone house on Kreschatik was the house of Golovinsky, until 1849 it housed the provincial post office with the office for Stagecoach. In 1978 - 1982 years here was built a new Lenin Museum. Now it is the Ukrainian House and it held a variety of exhibitions, concerts, conferences, etc.
Rapid development and the formation of Downtown of Kreschatik began in the 30 - 40s of the 19th century. In 70 - 80 years of the 19th century Khreschatik was consisted mainly of three-storey buildings with shops, rooms for offices and banks and in those days Khreschatik actually became the main street. Bit later it was extended to the Bessarabska square (total length reached 1.2 km).
First tram to appear in Kiev on Khreschatyk - end of 19-th century
In 1891 the began to run on Kreschatik street. In 1936 Khreshchatik was asphalted and tram line replaced by trolley. In September 1941 the vast majority of homes and buildings on Khreshchatik and near streets were blown up by Soviet radio-controlled mines (the destruction of Khreschatik was blamed on Nazis by Soviet propaganda).
Nowadays on Kreschatik you can find enormous amounts of shops, restoraunts and offices. Here are also situated Kiev City Council and the Kiev City State Administration, the State Committee for Television and Radio, Ministry of Agrarian Policy, Ukrainian House, main post office, Central Department Store, Metro Station "Kreschatyk" and "Independence Square".
Khreschatyk - picture taken just before the start of WW2
On weekends and public holidays the whole street is blocked for transport. The street becomes a pedestrian which creates a sharp contrast with Kreschatik weekday. All the citizens, residents and visitors enjoy the opportunity to walk along Kreschatik, feel the atmosphere of the city, listen to street musicians, artists, participate in contests, as well as look into the fashion and gift shops. Walk along Kreschatik and you will not get tired easily, because the length of the main street only a little over a kilometer. Also, walk around the downtown area and combine it with a few "sittings" in one of the many coffee shops Downtown. Enjoy an interesting ride throught Kreschatyk street during our City tours.