Day of Architecture of Ukraine

What day is it?

In a purely practical sense, the work of architects is to create an environment for people to live. But in reality, architecture is much more than just buildings, because it is not for nothing that the profession of an architect is considered both a science and an art. Architectural objects are an important part of history and of each of the national cultures, because they reflect certain ideas and values, testify to the flourishing and decline of civilizations. Ukrainian architecture is no exception – it is original, filled with national features, it makes our country a real treasury of architectural masterpieces. A special holiday is dedicated to domestic architecture — Day of Architecture of Ukrainewhich is celebrated annually on July 1.

How the idea to celebrate came about Day of Architecture of Ukraine?

It is accepted that architectural art on the territory of Ukraine began to develop during the period of Kyivan Rus. The cities of that time were traditionally fortified with defensive structures, and in the center of the settlement, which was called “Dytynets”, the princes’ palaces and the townspeople’s dwellings were located. The main building material was wood, stone was used much less often. The streets usually had a direction towards the city gate.

The most beautiful buildings of Kievan Rus’ were temples – mostly pyramidal in shape, with smooth walls decorated with brick or stone details, which gave the structure elegance. Our ancestors also used painting and mosaics as decoration. The Pyatnytskyi Church in Chernihiv, which was built at the end of the 12th century, can serve as an example of the expressiveness of the silhouette and the decorative decoration of the facades of that time. The Church of the Epiphany in Ostroh and the Trinity Church in the village of Mezhirych testify to the fact that the composition of the churches gradually acquired more slender forms in the form of a cube, completed by a high cylindrical base of the dome.

In the western territories of Ukraine, urban buildings were characterized by a more precise geometric layout — the networks of streets, squares, and quarters tended to be rectangular in shape. Characteristic architectural objects were buildings of defensive purpose, for example, the castles of Lutsk, Kamianets-Podilskyi and other ancient cities, built during the 13th – 16th centuries. In the 16th century, the style of the European Renaissance entered Ukrainian architecture, which is clearly visible, in particular, in the buildings of Rynok Square in Lviv.

Ukrainian Baroque

The victory in the national liberation war led by Hetman Khmelnytskyi contributed to the overall development of Ukraine, and therefore to the development of national architecture. At the end of the 17th – beginning of the 18th century, a new style – Ukrainian Baroque – was formed in our lands. Buildings of this style are distinguished by soft forms and a balanced composition, as well as decorative decoration, which has a clear reference to folk art.

The five-headed St. George’s Cathedral of the Vydubysky Monastery in Kyiv is considered a baroque masterpiece, which has an extraordinary purity of proportions and a refined harmony of forms. Manifestations of the Ukrainian Baroque style have certain differences depending on the regions. For example, in the forms of the Trinity Monastery in Chernihiv, the influence of Russian architectural traditions is noticeable, while in St. George’s Cathedral in Lviv, details characteristic of Western European buildings prevail.

From the end of the 18th century, the Baroque Ukrainian architecture began to be replaced by classicism. Such cities as Kherson, Odesa, Yelysavetgrad, Katerynoslav, Oleksandrivsk and Mykolaiv were built under the influence of this style – with a geometrically clear system of streets. Significant architectural objects appeared in other cities as well, among them the building of the university in Kyiv by the architect Vikentii Beretti, the Round Square in Poltava, designed by Mykhailo Amvrosimov and Andriyan Zakharov, the palace in Baturin by the architect Charles Cameron.

In general, different eras can be clearly traced in the construction of Ukrainian cities, especially in cities with a long history, such as Kyiv, Chernihiv, Lviv, Lutsk, Kamianets-Podilskyi. The natural factors of our country also had a great influence on the development – for example, in the south of Ukraine, settlements are quite compact, while the Carpathians are characterized by dispersion.

Modern and neo-baroque

At the beginning of the 20th century, new architectural styles – modern and neo-baroque – appeared in Ukraine. These styles are most vividly reflected in the buildings of architects Vladyslav Horodetskyi, Vasyl Krychevskyi, Serhiy Tymoshenko, Volodymyr Maksimov, and Pavel Alyoshin. The house with chimeras in Kyiv, the building of the Poltava provincial zemstvo, the church of St. Andrew in Lviv, the church of St. George the Victorious at the Cossack graves near Berestechko – among many others, these creations of talented masters have adorned Ukrainian cities.

International Union of Architects

After the Second World War, the architects of European countries faced a large-scale task — the reconstruction of destroyed cities and the reconstruction of architectural monuments. This became one of the reasons for the foundation of the International Union of Architects — 27 national delegations in 1948 became the founders of the new association, which currently includes architects from 115 countries. In 1985, the International Union of Architects announced the establishment of an annual holiday — World Architecture Day, the date of which was chosen to be July 1.

In 1995, our country received a national holiday of architecture, which, according to the presidential decree, coincided with the World Architecture Day. Despite the fact that in 1996 the date of the worldwide event was moved to the first Monday of October, the Day of Architecture of Ukraine is traditionally celebrated every year on July 1.

Day of Ukrainian architecture in history

  • 1037
    Sophia Cathedral was built in Kyiv, which is a combination of Byzantine and Baroque styles. Since 1990, the building has been included in the UNESCO World Heritage List.
  • 1887
    The construction of the Odessa Opera House has been completed, the building of which harmoniously combines several architectural styles – Renaissance, Baroque and Rococo, and the theater hall is noted for its unique acoustics.
  • 1918
    The Society of Ukrainian Architects was founded, headed by the Ukrainian architect Dmytro Dyachenko. In 1937, the Union of Architects of the Ukrainian SSR was established on the basis of this organization.
  • 1949
    June 28
    The International Union of Architects was formed in the city of Lausanne (Switzerland) with the aim of uniting national organizations of architects into a world federation.
  • 1985
    The International Union of Architects announced July 1 as World Architecture Day.
  • 1995
    June 17
    In Ukraine, the Presidential Decree “On the Day of Architecture of Ukraine” was issued, according to which the date of the new national holiday coincided with the date of World Architecture Day.

Frequent Questions and answers on the Day of Architecture of Ukraine

What organization currently unites Ukrainian architects?

Such an organization is the Union of Architects of Ukraine, which was created even before the acquisition of the official status of independence of our state, when in August 1990 Ukrainian architects at their congress decided to withdraw from the union and found their own organization.

Which city of Ukraine has the most notable architectural structures?

Such is Lviv in our country, because there are more than 2,000 masterpieces of architectural art. There are so many of them in the historical center of Lviv that this part of the city is on the UNESCO World Heritage List.

What famous architectural structures appeared in Ukraine after the Second World War?

Among the notable buildings of the post-war period, as well as of the 1960s and 1970s, are the Kyiv Palace of Sports, metro stations, and the Kyiv National University complex.

What was the architecture of residential buildings in Ukraine during Soviet times?

Housing in cities after the Second World War was built mainly in 2-story form, in the 1960s, most residential buildings were 5-story, and in the 1970s, 9-story buildings became the standard. Housing construction was carried out according to typical projects, which led to a significant loss of individuality in the construction of various cities.

Are there architectural objects of unusual shape in Ukraine?

There are many such buildings, among them the Flat House and the Wave House in Odesa, the Stariy Mlyn restaurant in Ternopil, the House of Sea Containers in Kharkiv, the Upside Down House in the village of Polyanytsia in Ivano-Frankivsk Region.

How to celebrate the Day of Architecture of Ukraine?

This holiday is designed to honor the work of architects, as well as design institutions and urban planners. Exept this, Day of Architecture of Ukraine emphasizes the importance and value of those buildings that today are the pride and heritage of our country.

Therefore, on July 1, it is necessary to congratulate those people whose profession is connected with both creative and accurate work – architecture. Traditionally, on this day, ceremonial events are held for Ukrainian architects and the presentation of state awards for professional excellence, as well as open competitions for architectural projects.

In Lviv, in the last days of June – the first days of July, the architecture and art festival “Tower” is held every year, within the framework of which numerous exhibitions, round tables, lectures, quests and other interesting events take place. The festival unites architects, artists, designers and people of other relevant professions with the aim of popularizing modern Ukrainian architecture.

Libraries join the Day of Architecture of Ukraine, arranging book exhibitions. They usually feature works on the history of Ukrainian architecture and publications on modern urban planning and building design.

The cities of our country are extremely rich in architectural monuments, so on the Day of Architecture of Ukraine it is appropriate to plan an excursion to any of them and see for yourself the greatness and beauty of this art.

Why is this day important?

This day is important because it shows the state recognition of the role of architectural structures in our life, and therefore the important role of professionals themselves, who create majestic “music in stone”. In addition, the events of this holiday, such as seminars, exhibitions and competitions, contribute to the growth of the professional level of Ukrainian architects, because they are informed about new trends and developments that appear in the world.

Day of Architecture of Ukraine also highlights the problems that have accumulated in this area, for example, frequent cases of construction of new buildings in the historical areas of our cities, which distort the appearance of ancient architectural complexes. There are also difficulties in the reconstruction of those architectural structures, the preservation of which requires the intervention of specialists.

Day of Architecture of Ukraine popularizes knowledge about this type of human activity, so all citizens who are far from the architectural profession today get a great reason to expand their worldview by learning more about the history of the landmarks that adorn our cities. In addition, it is no secret that architecture can influence the mood, health and productivity of people, intertwining with such sciences as psychology, sociology, economics and politics.

When will we celebrate the Day of Architecture of Ukraine?

Year Date Weekday
2021 1st of July Thursday
2022 1st of July Friday
2023 1st of July Saturday
2024 1st of July Monday
2025 1st of July Tuesday

Day of Architecture of Ukraine


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