Besarabsky market is one of the top landmarks in Kyiv

The Besarabsky Market is an indoor market, located in the center of Kyiv, the most expensive in the city and probably in Ukraine. But, despite this, the market for many has remained the favourite place of Kyivans and guests of the Ukraine’s capital.

Besarabsky market in Kyiv

Until now, historians do not have a single version regarding the market’s name. Some believe that the Besarabsky bargain got its name due to the import from the southern provinces, in particular, from Besarabia. However, according to the version of the Kyiv historian-priest of the XIX century Petro Lebedyntsev, Besarabka received its name from the “local society’s outcasts”, who lived there and were called “Besarabs”. Initially, Besarabka had a vicious reputation. There is the third version, which says that a kind of labor exchange was organized there, and a significant part of the employees, who were hired, came from Besarabia.


Before 1869, Bessarabka had been a wasteland. In 1874, the square was renamed Bohdan Khmelnytsky Square. The city authorities intended to close the local spontaneous market in order to erect a monument to the Hetman. But the monument was destined to appear on the Sophia Square. The transformation of the area from spontaneous shopping into a beautiful covered market had been discussed for a long time, but it was impossible to get the necessary 500 thousand rubles for it with an annual city budget of 2-3 million. However, Besarabka could remain an area of uncertain significance, but the fate of the square and the whole city was decided by the good will of the philanthropist and owner of sugar factory in Kyiv Lazar Brodsky.


Lazar Brodsky, who died in 1904, in his will, left the necessary 500 thousand rubles to build a market, while indicating the condition: the city authorities must pay an annual percentage of the amount received for the maintenance of all objects that were previously sponsored by the sugar factory. The amount was 22 thousand a year, but the Duma decided not to take risks, as the market could burn up, and you would have to pay the debt forever.


However, a way out of the situation, which would suit all parties, was suggested by the professional lawyer Avraam Goldenberg. The city issues bonds of a 4.5 percent loan, they are completely redeemed by the heirs of Brodsky for the same half a million, the benefit to charitable institutions goes as a percentage of the loan. When the market begins to generate income, the city will redeem the bonds from these funds, and the heirs will acquire new securities. Thus they will guarantee a subsidy to the charitable institutions of Lazar Brodsky for eternal time. The bonds were issued in 1907. A special commission announced a competition for the development of the project in which the Warsaw citizen Heinrich Guy won, who had previously designed a covered market in his hometown. The net profit of the city was to be 10-12%. The project provided 204 trading places, a restaurant, and a library with a reading room, which, if necessary, could "serve also for concerts and evenings", cheap dining room and other facilities.


The market building was built in just two years and consecrated on July 3, 1912. The building of the Besarabsky market, one of the symbols of the capital, is one of the best examples of Art Nouveau style in Ukraine, successfully combining functional and artistic qualities. Today it is protected by the status of a monument of architecture and art.


Address: Besarabska square, 2, Kyiv.

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