So I found an old photo of a street in central Kyiv by the name of Nikolaevskaya.  The picture (from the Library of Congress website) was taken sometime between 1890 and 1900.  I think it’s safe to assume that the word Nikolaevskaya has something to do with Saint Nicholas.

Nikolaevskaya, back in the day
Nikolaevskaya, back in the day

A few decades later, sometime during or after 1921, the street was renamed ‘Karla Marksa’ (guess who).   With Ukrainian independence there was another name change, this time  to ‘Arkhitektora Horodetskoho’ after the Polish-Ukrainian architect Vladyslav Horodetskyi.

Street sign

Apparently, the street itself was designed by Horodetskyi in the first place, so it all sort of makes sense.

Horodetskoho streetIt does look rather gorgeous, check out more photos on Span Tourist’s blog.

Horodetskyi was also responsible for several other interesting works of architecture in Kyiv, including the impressive looking House with Chimaeras.

House with Chimaeras
Photo by Сарапулов used with permission

Here’s a short, slightly odd, video of Arkhitektora Horodetskoho street.

Given the street’s proximity to the centre of town, it was the scene of barricades during the Maidan.

To bring us back to where we started, I found a  few mentions of Nikolaevskaya street by searching Google Books.  It makes an appearance in Bulgakov’s ‘The White Guard’ (note to self: take a copy to read in Kyiv)

Mikhail Afanasevich Bulgakov,

And there we have it… a street to head for when I visit Kyiv, full of history, action and intrigue.


Here’s a handy map showing Arkhitektora Horodetskoho street (blue) and the House with Chimaeras (red).

Got something interesting to say about Nikolaevskaya street?
Let us know in the comments below

3 thoughts on “On Nikolaevskaya street

  1. Thanks for the history of the street – I love the first photo of the street and the image of the House with Chimaeras!! The latter almost seems like it is out of a scene in a fantasy movie!!

  2. i would assume the street had the name Nikolaevskaya because of the imperor Nikolay
    the street was also one of the richest when it was built – there were 9 main janitors and around 100 other working for the street in 19th century. a lot of local businesses located there as well: Kimaer’s furniture factory, tobacco shops, photo atelier etc
    so many historical places here – take at least the cinema Ukraine, that used to be the first in Europe 2-floors circus, and later – the venue for presenting “The shadows of forgotten past”, after which many descedents were arrested and sent to the camps in Siberia.

    really enjoy taking a stroll there, especially at night

    1. Hi Alina, thanks for you comment and for filling in some of the history I missed. I agree, it is a sumptuous street, full of history!

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