Khreshchatyk is the main street of Kiev city. It is the shortest (1,3 kilometers) and the widest (reaching 75-100 meters) main street in the world. Khreshchatyk street passes over three squares – European square, Independence square (Maidan Nezalizhnosti) and Bessarabska square. As the street it started existence only at the end of 18th – beginning of 19th century. The first building was constructed here in 1797 – a two story stone palace in classic style. Later the lands here were devided and provided primarily to the dominant class, then to the tradesman and after all to miner officials.
Kiev actively developed and city trade and economic functions slowly moved to Khreshchatyc. By the end of 19 century the street was mostly built up. The shops, boutiques, banks and offices were concentrated here thus the street became a city business center. Most of the buildings were residential and had 3-4 floors, had water supply system, canalization, electricity and gas. But during the World War II Khreshchatic was totally ruined.
In 1948 a project of Khreshchatic reconstruction started. Original structure of streets was saved but the buildings were totally new made in “stalin ampir” style. From the beginning of 1990th the street on weekends gets closed for automobiles and becomes pedestrian. Today it place an imortant role in a city life being central traffic artery, popular place among the tourists walking the city, is full of shops, restaurants, trade spots and business offices.