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VITA ANTIQUA                                                                                     ISSN 2522-9419 (Online), 2519-4542 (Print)
Center for Paleoethnological Research

Kyrylo Tretiak1
Stylistic and Aesthetic Transformation of the Historical Buildings of Kyiv Caused by the Destruction during the Second World War
1Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv

DOI: 10.37098/VA-2023-14-140-160


The article is about the transformation into historical buildings in Kyiv caused by destruction during the WWII. The author analyses the losses of ruined architectural buildings and objects in 1941-1943, the damages to preserved buildings which have been reconstructed after the war. The architecture of pre-war buildings of Khreshchatyk, Prorizna, Luteranska, Instytutska and other central streets are compared in the article to the post-war architecture of the same streets. The style, the layouts of the streets, the architectural details, the quality of materials and constructions of separate objects are analyzed as well.

The destruction of Kyiv during the World War II with the subsequent reconstruction of the city brought significant changes both in the appearance of entire streets and districts and in the architecture of specific objects of the historical buildings of the central part of the city. The streets that suffered from great destruction were significantly re-planned with a change in the architectural concept. Homestead development according to individual projects was replaced by the complex ensemble development in a single stylistic key. Architectural pathos of post-war buildings as well as entire ensembles have low quality of construction materials and works, which led to the gradual destruction. Regardless of the cultural and historical value of such ensembles as the post-war buildings of Khreschatyk, one can state a certain stylistic monotony, which is significantly inferior to the pre-war architectural diversity of Kyiv.

Most of damaged Kyiv buildings were renovated with loss of architectural and decorative details. Other buildings were reconstructed. Such reconstructions mostly caused the loss of important architectural accents as towers, bay windows, gables and attics. Only a small number of houses were renovated without loss of decoration. Even fewer buildings were restored with reconstruction that improved their architectural expressiveness.

The Second World War caused catastrophic consequences for Kyiv: tens of thousands of Kyivans died or lost their relatives, hundreds of thousands were left homeless, hundreds of buildings and structures were destroyed. But this is not the end of the tragedy of the war for Kyiv. As a result of the destruction of the city, a large-scale reconstruction of its central part was carried out. The complex building in the spirit of a single ensemble, the architecture of which bore clear features of the ideological propaganda of the communist regime was created. We can state the partial loss of architectural authenticity and aesthetics of the city historical buildings. Neither the economic, nor the political, nor the legal systems of the communist regime were able to create higher quality and highly artistic buildings in the conditions of total totalitarianism. In the absence of private ownership of real estate, all buildings of post-war Kyiv were repaired and reconstructed without taking into account their values and aesthetics. As a result, a significant proportion of the rebuilt objects lost a significant part of their decor and were distorted during the construction works.

Key words: WWII, Kyiv, architecture, rebuilding, destruction, reconstruction, transformation, aesthetic.

Language: Ukrainian


Cite as:

Tretiak, K.O. 2023. Stylistychno-estetychna transformatsiia istorychnoi zabudovy Kyieva vnaslidok ruinuvan pid chas Druhoi svitovoi viiny (Stylistic and aesthetic transformation of the historical buildings of Kyiv caused by the destruction during the Second World War). VITA ANTIQUA, 14. Culture Heritage and the War : challenges and solutions.


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