Freedom Square (Kharkiv)

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Freedom Square, Kharkiv, showing half of the square area (only the circular neighbouring park on the north-western edge). The square proper begins at the large statue of Lenin, seen in the lower right corner, casting a long shadow which points into the square.
The vacant plinth where the statue of Lenin stood before it was pulled down on the night of 28 September 2014.

Freedom Square (Ukrainian: Площа Свободи, Plóshcha Svobodý; Russian: Площадь Свободы, Plóshchad' Svobódy) in Kharkiv is the 8th largest city-centre square in Europe.

Upon the Soviet takeover the square was named 'Dzerzhinsky Square' in 1926 after Felix Dzerzhinsky, the founder of the Bolshevik secret police (the Cheka, precursor to the KGB). After the independence of Ukraine it was renamed Freedom Square. During the brief German occupation the name of the square changed twice: in 1942 the square was named German Army Square, and in 1943 Leibstandarte SS Square.[1] A monumental statue of Lenin was erected in 1964 and was torn down by protesters on September 28, 2014.[2]

The main part of the square is bordered to the west by the site of the statue of Lenin, to the east by Sumska street, to the north by the Hotel Kharkiv and to the south by Shevchenko park. It is approximately 690–750 metres (2,260–2,460 feet) long and 96–125 metres (315–410 feet) wide. The area of the complete square is approximately 12 hectares (30 acres).[citation needed] A notable landmark of the square is the Derzhprom building, a prime example of constructivist architecture.

Queen + Paul Rodgers kicked off their Rock the Cosmos Tour at Freedom Square on September 12, 2008 & gathered 350,000 audience members, the show was recorded for a DVD release, entitled Live in Ukraine, which was released on June 15, 2009.[3]


New Year, 2009

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Coordinates: 50°00′16″N 36°14′00″E / 50.00444°N 36.23333°E / 50.00444; 36.23333