|Holodna Gora church. Construction began on June 24, 1892. Blessed on October 23, 1901.|
So, when this city tour was proposed I thought it would just be a casual thing, Jack pointing out whatever he noticed as we wandered the streets. Instead, after the introductions and nice-to-meet-yous, he pulls out two handmade and bound tour guides: Харьков- сегодня и сто лет назад. Kharkov today and a hundred years ago. 20 pages of old photographs and background info! With these in hand, we enter the church grounds and circle the building. There's a priest in black outside on a bench and women covering their heads with scarves as they approach the imposing front door. Children play nearby, girls skipping together, boys crouched under a tree. Passerby cross themselves on the street as they walk down the sidewalk. I still feel timid around Ukrainian churches.
|Our group admiring beautiful Kharkov!|
We hop on a tram and for about 18 cents ride down the hill, over the train tracks, and along the highway until the tram stops at the Lopan river. Here we see citizens lazily rowing around in little rented boats, which ends up inspiring another adventure later on. The red-and-white-striped Annunciation Cathedral, one of Kharkov's main cathedrals, is a short walk away along the riverbank. I cannot stop photographing this amazing church!!!
|Built in 1888, blessed in 1901.|
Then back across the river to take a stroll through this open air market. It looks like a good place to get souvenirs and artwork. Not far from the vendors is Kharkov's eternal flame monument to "those who gave their lives in the October revolution."
We conclude the tour by continuing into downtown Kharkov. Jack and Yaroslav point out a lot of unusual architecture, especially the intimidating Stalin-era stuff. Can you picture this as a building from George Orwell's 1984?
|Ministry of Peace, Ministry of Truth, Ministry of Love, or Ministry of Plenty?|
|Yes, that's a leftover sickle and hammer|
Click here to read Kharkov Tour II.