Red University Building

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Red University Building
Universidad Roja de Kiev.jpg
The front façade of the Red University Building
General information
Architectural style late Russian Classicism
Town or city Kiev
Country Ukraine
Coordinates 50°26′30.99″N 30°30′40.53″E / 50.4419417°N 30.5112583°E / 50.4419417; 30.5112583Coordinates: 50°26′30.99″N 30°30′40.53″E / 50.4419417°N 30.5112583°E / 50.4419417; 30.5112583
Construction started 1837
Completed 1843
Cost 3,000 000 rubles[a]
Client Nicholas I of Russia, the Emperor of Russia
Design and construction
Architect Vincent I. Beretti
Red and Black - colors of the stripes on the Order of St. Vladimir (founded in 1782)

The Red University Building (Ukrainian: Червоний корпус Київського університету; translit.: Chervonyi Korpus Universytetu, Russian: Красный корпус Киевского университета, translit. Krasnyi Korpus Universiteta) is the principal and oldest 4-story building of the Kiev University located at 60 Volodymyrska Street, in Kiev, the capital of Ukraine. This building is a worldwide famous symbol of the Kiev University and the Ukrainian fundamental higher educational system.


It was constructed from 1837–1843 and was built in a late Russian Classicism type construction, by Russian architect with Italian origins Vincent I. Beretti. The building forms an enormous figure enclosing a courtyard, the length of the facade makes 145.68m. The walls of the building are painted red and the heads and bases of the columns are painted black, corresponding to the colors of the stripes on the Order of St. Vladimir (founded in 1782), as Kyiv University used to bear the name of this Order. The motto of the Order, "Benefit, honor and glory" (Pol'za Chest' i Slava) became the motto of Kyiv University. Local tour guides sometime state that Tsar Nicholas I ordered the entire main building painted red in response to student conscription protests during World War I to remind students of blood spilled by Ukrainian soldiers. The legend does not reflect the historical fact, as the building was painted red before World War I, in 1842. Nicholas I of Russia (1825–1855) died long before World War I (1914–1918). Built at the top of a hill, this building has significantly influenced Kiev’s architectural layout in the 19th century

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