Kharkiv (Kharkov in Russian) is one of the most important cultural, scientific, educational, communicational, and industrial centres of Ukraine.
Kharkiv boasts over 80 establishments for higher education including 13 national universities. The Kharkiv University is the oldest Ukrainian university, being founded in 1805 thanks to the efforts of Vasyl Karazin in 1805. Kharkiv is home to over 150,000 students including more than 9,000 students of foreign countries.
As an important cultural centre, Kharkiv is where the first Ukrainian theatre performances were begun, it is also where most of the first Ukrainian literally, linguistic, ethnographic, and historical works were written.
In Kharkiv you will find majestic cathedrals, small churches, a philharmonic hall, exquisite old buildings of different architectural styles, outstanding theatres, libraries, and a number of historical museums, as well as a circus. Among the sights of Kharkiv we have the Kharkiv Historical Museum, the Kharkiv Art Museum, Gorky Park, Shevchenko Park, the 17th century Pokrovsky Cathedral, the Blagoveschensky Cathedral (1771), and the 18th-century Uspensky Cathedral including their Bell Tower built to celebrate Napoleon's defeat in 1812. Kharkiv is embellished with more than 100 open parks.
In the downtown area of Kharkiv there is a huge and impressive main square: the Freedom Square (Ploshcha Svobody) which is the 3rd largest city square in Europe, and the 7th largest square in the world.
Its location at the intersection of the trade routes between Russia and the Black Sea and Central Ukraine has made of Kharkiv an important industrial centre, the city is home of a wide variety of industrial companies such as Morozov Machine Building Design Bureau, The Kharkiv Aircraft Works, Malyshev Factory, Hartron; and Turboatom.
Geographically, Kharkiv is the second largest city in Ukraine after Kyiv; the city is located in the north-eastern Ukraine at the confluence of the Lopan, Udy, and Kharkiv Rivers. Kharkiv is also the capital of Kharkiv Oblast which borders on Belgorod Oblast of Russia in the north, on Luhansk in the East, on Donetsk Oblast in the southeast, on Dnipropetrovsk Oblast in the South, on Poltava Oblast in the West, and on Sumy Oblast in the northwest.
The name of the city is most probable derived from the Kharkiv River, although a popular legend says that the city was named after the legendary founder of the city: Cossack Ivan Karkach. The city is also referred to as Harkiv, Charkow, Harkow, and Kharkov.
Kharkiv climate is moderately continental with cold summers and hot summers. Average temperature is 70ºF around the middle of the year.
Kharkiv is considered the quietest and safest city among the Ukrainian cities. Not much English language spoken.
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