1888 A view from the steep descent to the Bessarabsky square Bessarabsky Boulevard
1890s Bessarabian market to build a sheltered building
1908 Bessarabian Market Project
Lazar Izrailevich Brodsky
In the very center of Kiev, on against Shevchenko Boulevard (formerly Bessarabsky) and crossing Khreschatyk Street, Bessarabskaya Square is located. And on it is one of the most beautiful and oldest Bessarabian covered market.
Today there are two versions of the account of where the name of the square and the market went:
The first to say that many traders from the southern provinces of the Russian Empire and Bessarabia came to this place. From here and the name of the area and the market. But the well-known historian and priest of the nineteenth century, Peter Lebedintsev, thought otherwise. He argued that it was in this way, in the thirties of the nineteenth century, that the local bosyachnya was called, which found refuge in the area.
As early as the middle of the 19th century, there was a wasteland on the site of the square, which was constantly flooded with the surrounding hills. Later the inns were located here, festive booths were held and circus pavilions were established.
In 1869, intensive construction of Khreschatyk Street began with modern buildings of offices, banks, restaurants, etc. In this regard, it was decided to improve the wasteland by equipping the square on it by putting a monument to Bogdan Khmelnitsky on it. But the favorable location and convenient delivery of goods predetermined the fate of the square. In 1870, it was decided to move the market from Khreschatyk Street to the square.
The neglected, unqualified market was strongly dissonant against the backdrop of the magnificent, bright splendor of Khreschatyk Street. Contemporaries even ironically called him “purulent blister on a beautiful nose.”
And in 1910, with the money bequeathed to the city by one of the richest people of the empire, a major industrialist, patron of the arts Lazar Brodsky and the design of the Polish architect Heinrich Guy, the construction of the market began. And already on July 3 (16), 1912 its grand opening took place. The market was equipped with the latest technology. In the basements was installed, the first in Kiev and the third in the empire, refrigeration unit. The building was built in the style of late modernism, its facade was decorated with bas-reliefs and sculptures, and above the main entrance was placed the bas-relief of the Archangel Michael, the defender of the city of Kiev.
From those times to the present day, Bessarabka remains the most popular place of market-based bargaining in Kiev. In fairness it must be said that the appearance of a covered market did not immediately destroy the spontaneous trade near it. It existed right up to the end of the forties of the twentieth century.
It was in the history of Bessarabka and the tragic period. Thus, in the thirties of the last century, a medical-forensic laboratory was located in the market building, and in the basements they took the corpses of the dead from starvation, selected in different parts of Kiev for further burial in mass graves in the city’s cemeteries.
In the early eighties of the last century, the market wanted to tear down the market at all, and in its place to build a traffic interchange. Fortunately, the beginning of perestroika and the collapse of the USSR prevented these plans.
Today, the Bessarabian market is one of the largest shopping centers in Kiev and one of the oldest and most beautiful covered markets not only in Ukraine, but also in Europe.
1912 Building of the Bessarabian covered market
1912 Refrigeration plant of Bessarabian market
1935 Building of the Bessarabian covered market
1955 Building of the Bessarabian covered market