Kharkov (Kharkiv), Ukraine
Kharkov or Kharkiv is nowadays the city of scientist and engineers, intelligentsia speaking Russian language and they turned this place into the brain center of the defense industry of USSR in the ’60s of previous century. Younger population is more into alternative and rock music and they have set up one of the most influential and liveliest scenes compared to other ex-USSR countries.
Kharkiv is the second-largest city in Ukraine, counting about 1.5 million people, but it’s the main industrial, educational and cultural city in the country. It’s founded in the 17th century and located nearby the Russian border in the northeast part of Ukraine. In the early 20th century, Kharkiv even served as Ukraine’s capital. If you plan to visit Kharkov, don’t miss the zoo, Ploscha Svoboda (Freedom Square), the Holy Shroud Cathedral and the history museum.
Kharkov is not one of those cities that will make you wonder around old buildings, admiring architecture and enjoying the sunset view. Keep in mind that you are in eastern Europe. Here buildings have more meaning than you would imagine, but their outer image might not take your breath away. Those travelers interested in history, foreign affairs, politics and society in general will certainly find a lot interesting stuff. Kharkov is similar to other ex-Soviet cities, it has much to say about itself, but there is fairly little to show. Soviet development and wars reduced the historical center of the city so now there is a narrow triangle between Pushkinska and Sumska. The rest of the city, when it comes to architecture, is pure Soviet monumental-ism. Nevertheless, Kharkiv is one of those cities you have to visit, especially if you are too tired of “beauty and makeup” of typical western European towns. Kharkov apartments for rent are waiting for you.