T. Shevchenko Gardens

The Shevchenko Gardens is the oldest green area in the city center. It was planted as far back as 1804. The gardens central path is a beautiful chestnut-tree alley leading from the  Taras Shevchenko Monument to the University building. The gardens area of 25 hectares has over 15,000 trees and bushes of more than 100 varieties. It also has gigantic oaks, which are over 200 years old. One of these grows close to the monument to the great Kobzar (Bard). The gardens are being expanded and improved every year. After the war, their western slope was reconstructed with a water cascade and stairs leading down to the Klochkovska Street. A color and music fountain is located in the center of the gardens.

At the far end of the Shevchenko Gardens, there is a Movie and Concert Hall Ukrayina for 1,850 seats, known for its excellent acoustics. The originally shaped building merges well with the gardens green environment. It was designed by architects V.Vasilyev, Yu.Plaksiyev, V.Reusov, and L.Fridhan, and engineer A. Biletsky. The Movie and Concert Hall Ukrayina was inaugurated in August 1963.

  Not far from the Concert Hall there is the main entrance to the Zoo. The Kharkiv Zoo was founded in 1895 and has already celebrated its centenary. It now has about five thousand animals representing 340 species of mammals, reptiles, amphibia, birds, and fishes from all continents. Of a great interest is the aquarium with exotic fishes of 80 species. The Zoo occupies the area of 22 hectares. As it is located in the wonderful gardens in city center, it is always populous with about 1 million visitors annually. 
On the grounds of the T.Shevchenko Gardens there is an astronomical observatory of the Kharkiv National University founded in 1808. Scientists study solar processes, observe planets of the Solar system and satellites. Study of the moon occupies an important place in the research  program. For many years, the observatory was headed by prominent scholar Academician N.P.Barabashov. In recent years, his name is more often associated with the Metro station named after this prominent scientist and Ukraine's largest Barabashov Market. So, the T.Shevchenko Gardens provide an opportunity to recall who really was Academician Barabashov.

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