Here in this article we`ll try to explore the history of development of Ukrainian architecture and the final trends of it nowadays. The story of building can tell us a lot about Ukrainian traditions, so let`s merge deep into this important branch of modern Ukrainian state.
Ancient (Pre-Mongol-Tatar invasion on Rus) architecture
Secular architecture of the ancient Russian state barely survived. Until the twentieth century, only the Golden Gate of prince Vladimir, despite the great restoration work of the eighteenth century, could be regarded as a true monument to the pre-Mongol period. Although both of them unfortunately at the time of the restoration preserved only in fragments, and the restoration was done without having the full picture.
However, we can make a decision about predominant gigantism in ancient Rus architecture with colossal attention to fortifications. This thesis can be proved by ancient Ukrainian and Russian architecture of an old cities. Central part of Velikiy Novgorod, Suzdal, Pskov, Chernigov and other modern cities saved the remains of ancient fortifications.
Ukrainian Cossack` baroque (XVII – XVIII)
Dawn of baroque culture falls on hard times of the national liberation movement under the leadership of B. Khmelnitsky. This distinctive style is most clearly manifested in the architecture of the Dnieper Left Bank and Slobozhanshchina, joined with Russia as a result of the liberation war of the Ukrainian people in 1648-1654.
Of course main buildings of that time were churches and it were more than 100 churches built in short time span of approximately one century. Most of them were wooden so they had no chance to be saved to our time without taking into account eternal battles of Cossacks for their freedom. But about 50 temples were made of stone. One of the best examples of Ukrainian Baroque is the St. George's Cathedral (1741-1770yy) is the main construction of Kozelets George Convent.
This period is notorious of total Soviet atheism and subsequent attack on churches. Many pre-revolutionary Ukrainian priceless landmarks were just blown up. Instead of it with age of Stalin came so called Stalin Empire style in middle of 1940 and this is the main stream in Soviet architecture which affected many generations of architects till the our days. The style combines the elements of Baroque, Empire or Napoleon, late Classicism and Art Deco, it combines the pomp, luxury, grandeur and monumentality.
Another severe blow to the architecture of Ukraine (Kiev in particular) made the Second World War. Many of the buildings have been suffered such destruction that there was no subject to restoration after the war. Were destroyed such buildings as Assumption Cathedral of Kiev Pechersk Monastery, the Cathedral of the Archangel Michael St. Michael's Monastery, Church of the Assumption at the hem ("Pirogoscha"), Vasilyevskaya (Three Saints) church and others. Some of them were later recovered, but not always in its original form. Meanwhile, this era has brought many new and interesting architectural solutions as for the benefit of the USSR worked great galaxy of truly outstanding architects who were able to bring the country and its capital, a special color.
After obtaining independence in Ukraine continued construction of modern buildings, and along with the restoration of historical monuments. Was restored monument to Princess Olga (1996), Church of the Assumption at the hem ("Pirogoscha") (in 1998), St. Michael's Golden-Domed Monastery (in 1999) and many others.
But it`s not the only way of development of modern Ukrainian architecture. We can state with proud that our architects do not fall behind latest European traditions of modern construction. Nowadays business centers and fashionable houses and blocks of flats replaced churches and fortifications.
Very sad, but we haven`t got enough finance to embody all the fantasies of modern creative architecture and new buildings in big cities are rare pieces of architectural mastery among grey and sullen brick houses of Stalin`s or Khruschev`s era but still. Little by little the process goes even despite all real and unreal problems. And for example I can suggest you to enjoy with modern buildings of "gem near sea", beautiful Odessa. Most of buildings are projected and constructed by Ukrainian professionals.