Square of Contracts (Kyiv)

Square of Contracts or Contract Square (Ukrainian: Контрактова площа, translit.: Kontraktova ploshcha) is a square in the historic Podil neighborhood of Kyiv, the capital of Ukraine. The square is an important economic, cultural, and transport center of the Podil, containing numerous architectural and historical monuments.

Map of the Contracts Square in Kyiv
The former Greek Monastery on the square (center). The building currently hosts the city branch of the National Bank.
The central church of Podil - The Pyrohoshcha Dormition of the Mother of God Church, 1132, ruined by the Soviets in 1935, rebuilt in 1998


Contract Square is known since the Kyivan Rus' times as an important part of the Podil merchant neighborhood.[1] The square lies in between the Andriyivskyy Descent, Sahaidachny, Pokrivska, Florivska, Prytisko-Mykilska, Kostiantynivska, Mezhyhirska, Spaska, Skovorody and Ilynska streets.[1][2]

The construction of the Contracts House, a permanent trading center where contracts were signed, at the end of the 18th century gave the square its current name.[1][2] During 1748-1749, the Fountain of Samson was built to repair the water distribution system of the area[3] to a design by Ukrainian architect Ivan Hryhorovych-Barskyi.[2] The compound of the National University of Kyiv-Mohyla Academy, one of Ukraine's leading universities dating back to 16th century,[4] adjoins the square.[1]

In the 1970s, archaeological works conducted by the Institute of Archaeology of the Ukrainian SSR were done on the square, as well as reconstructions of the square's main constructions.

The square was renamed several times during its history: in 1869-1919 the square was named Alexander Square in honour of the Russian emperor Alexander II; in 1919-1944 it was named Red Square, dedicated to Communism; between 1945 and the 1950s, it was renamed back to Contracts, although Red continued to be widely used among elder people; in 1990, the original name was re-established.[2]

Modern squareEdit

The Hosting Court building with the monument to Petro Konashevych-Sahaidachny.
Two Kyiv tram cars on the square, seen with the roofs of the St. Andrew's Church in the background.
Inside the Kontraktova Ploshcha Metro Station.

Today, the Contracts Square is an important center of the Podil neighborhood, and also a recreational, cultural and transportation point of the city.

The square is often used for various outdoor public festivities, including music concerts and fairs. The Petro Sahaidachnyi Street which leads to the square is limited to pedestrians on weekends.

Buildings and structuresEdit

Listed clockwise from the Sahaidachnyi Street:

Transportation centerEdit

Contracts Square is one of the largest and oldest transport hub of the Kyiv tram system, end stop for several tram routes. However, tram lines crossing the square are being gradually phased out since the 1980s.

Most importantly, Contracts Square adjoins the Kyiv Metro Kontraktova Ploshcha Station (  Obolonsko–Teremkivska line), thus forming a multi-modal passenger knot with the tram and minibus lines. The station has a sub-surface design with four entrances, two of them being outside the square.[7]

References and footnotesEdit

  1. ^ a b c d Kudrytskyi, A. (1981). Kyiv, Encyclopedic Directory. Kyiv: Ukrainian Soviet Encyclopedia. pp. 306–7.
  2. ^ a b c d "Kontraktova Ploshcha". Wiki-Encyclopedia Kiev (in Ukrainian). Retrieved 2007-12-13.
  3. ^ Hewryk, Titus D. (1982). The Lost Architecture of Kiev. New York: The Ukrainian Museum. ASIN: B0006E9KPQ. (Out of print)
  4. ^ "HISTORY OF NaUKMA". National University of Kyiv-Mohyla Academy. Retrieved 2007-12-13.
  5. ^ Zharikov, N. L., ed. (1983–1986). "Gostiniy Dvor, 1809-1833 yrs.". Monuments of urban development and architecture in the Ukrainian SSR. 1-4 (in Russian). Kyiv: Budivel'nyk. p. 28. LCCN 84179019. Retrieved 2007-12-13.
  6. ^ Zharikov, N. L., ed. (1983–1986). "Kontraktovyi Dom, 1815-1817 yrs.". Monuments of urban development and architecture in the Ukrainian SSR. 1-4 (in Russian). Kyiv: Budivel'nyk. p. 28. LCCN 84179019. Retrieved 2007-12-13.
  7. ^ "Station "Kontraktova Ploshcha"". Kyivskyi Metropoliten (in Ukrainian). Archived from the original on 2008-01-01. Retrieved 2007-12-13.

Coordinates: 50°27′50″N 30°31′5″E / 50.46389°N 30.51806°E / 50.46389; 30.51806