Kreshchatik from Bessarabka Square


This view of Kreshchatik (or Khreshchatyk) as seen from Bessarabka Square is from Souvenir of Kiev, an early 20th-century album showing the main sites of Kiev, the capital of Ukraine and at that time one of the most important cities of the Russian Empire. Kreshchatik developed as Kiev’s main thoroughfare in the 19th century and became the center of the city’s commercial life as Kiev underwent rapid economic growth during the industrial revolution. Bessarabka Square is located at the southwest end of Kreshchatik, and takes its name from the then-province of Bessarabia in the southern part of the empire. The first electric tram system in the Russian Empire was established in Kiev in 1892, and a tram line running the length of Kreshchatik began operating in 1894. The 25 views in Souvenir of Kiev are collotypes, made using a chemically-based printing process widely employed before the invention of offset lithography.

Last updated: June 13, 2017