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Kharkiv Sights | Taras Shevchenko Monument
Individual and group tours to Kharkiv

Ukraine Kharkiv Sights | Taras Shevchenko Monument
Kharkiv is known as the city where was installed one of the first in Ukraine Taras Shevchenko Monuments. The initiators of the first Taras Shevchenko Monument was Alchevsky family. In 1897 Alexey Alchevsky ordered to St. Petersburg's known academician Vladimir Beklemishev bust of Taras Shevchenko of white marble. In 1898 the bust was installed near the homestead of Alchevsky family illegally - without the permission of Russian Empire tsar's power.

In 1901 on the eve of the fortieth anniversary of the death of Taras Shevchenko the monument was removed. According to another version - during the economic crisis Alexey Alchevsky went bankrupt and the family had to sell the estate to merchant Shabelsky. When the new owner of estate wanted to destroy the bust of Taras Shevchenko Alchevsky family took it and kept for twenty years. In 1932 Nicholas Alchevsky transferred the bust of Taras Shevchenko to Picture Gallery and now this exhibit is located in the Kiev State Museum of Taras Shevchenko.

Taras Shevchenko Monument that was made in USSR

Kharkiv as the capital of Ukraine (from December 1919 - to June 1934) just had to have Taras Shevchenko Monument. That is why on 2nd of June 1929 the Kharkiv City Council adopted a resolution on the construction of the monument. Next in 1930 was declared the first international competition for the construction of Taras Shevchenko Monument in Kharkiv. It was three stages of competition for 1930-1933 years. The winning design of Taras Shevchenko Monument was done by sculptor Matvey Manizer.

The first draft of the monument in 1929 sculptor Matvey Manizer performed in constructionism style. Head of Taras Shevchenko of enormous size was set on a cylindrical pedestal with bas-relief of kneeling gaydamaks. In another project in 1931 Matvey Manizer placed on the pedestal of the statue of Taras Shevchenko with a low bas-relief which depicted characters from the poetry of the poet. The third version of the monument in 1933 finally brought the sculptor satisfaction and long-awaited victory in the competition.

Working on the project Matvey Manizer traveled to Shevchenko's places and made a lot of landscape etudes. He carefully studied the correspondence and portraits of Taras Shevchenko. Particularly valuable for the sculptor were self-portraits of the poet, his few photos and a death mask. Matvey Manizer repeatedly reread book "Kobzar".

The co-author of the project of Taras Shevchenko Monument Iosif Langbard masterfully designed architectural part of the monument - form pedestal in a harmony with design of the sculptures.

To create 16 sculptures of the monument to Matvey Manizer posed actors of famous Kharkiv Theater "Berezil": Natalia Uzhviy - "Catherine", Susanna Koval - a young peasant woman, Ambrose Buchma - Rebel of Koliyivshchyna and the farmer with the millstones on the shoulders, Ivan Maryanenko - old Zaporizhzhya Cossack - chained but not vanquished, Les Serdyuk - a young lad with a scythe in his hand and the serf with hands tied, Rostislav Ivitsky - solder of Red Army.

The figures of Taras Shevchenko Monument was cast by the best casters of Leningrad. Timing and quality of the order supervised personally secretary of the Central Committee of the CPSU Sergei Kirov.

At a time when the sculptures were cast in Leningrad in Kharkiv Iosif Langbard and builders processed labradorite work on pedestal.

The efforts of 200 people: painters, sculptors, artists, builders is great because Taras Shevchenko Monument was erected in a one year.

Taras Shevchenko Monument was opened on 24th of March 1935. At the opening brought a delegation of collective of farmers from the village of Moryntsi - the birthplace of the poet. Scarlet cloth was removed with the sounds of the International. Next were fireworks and a large choir of 700 singers performed "Zapovit" of Taras Shevchenko.

The only documentary evidence about opening of Taras Shevchenko Monument in Kharkov was an amateur panoramic photo of master of photography Diya Guy who had to go to the risk of taking photographs of the event. The risk was because in the 1930s photographing any social events that took place in the Soviet Union was forbidden and punished. In addition the photographer risked another way - she took pictures from the window of the fourth floor of someone else's apartment.

Taras Shevchenko Monument Legends

Among the students there is a tradition - if you rub shoe of worker of sculpture of Taras Shevchenko Monument then the fortune and luck will come during the exams.

Among the statues of the monument there is hidden part of the composition - the tractor wheel of the first collective farms. So there is a belief - who himself will be able to find the wheel will soon find love or will remain forever in Kharkiv.

You could visit Ukraine Kharkiv Sights | Taras Shevchenko Monument with Ukraine Tour East Ring

Pavel Korsun | Ukraine tours travel guide


Pavel Korsun
Tour Guide
Ukraine tours and Kiev tours

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