In the medieval times area where now Maidan is located was known as hunting territories for Kiev citizens. The official border of Kiev till 13th century was marked by Lyadski Gates that were one of the Kiev’s entrances.
In the 18-th century modern Independence square was known as a swamp - a vacant ground called Kozyne Boloto (Goat Swamp). The first wooden houses were built here in 1830s, first stone constructions - in 1850s. Maidan began to develop rapidly contemporaneously with the later main Kiev street - Kreshchatik. To the end of the century the square became one of the busiest Kiev places and commercial central of the city. In 1876 here was erected a Kiev city Duma (parliament) building (destroyed by communists), in 1894 the first electric tram line launched in Russian Empire in 1892 reached Maidan (those times Dumskaya square).
Maidan on the picture dating back to the beginning of 20-th century
During Warld War 2 Independence square was hardly damaged and most of the buildings were blown up by NKVD people.
Ruines of modern Maidan in Kiev after the WW2
The restoration of modern Maidan began immediately after the end of WW2 in the architectural style of neoclassical Stalinist architecture (Stalin’s baroque). Were built the main central Post office building and the Trade-Union House with the big clock placed on the top. In the 1976 here was opened subway station (nowadays “Independence square station”).
Soviet Maidan on the 1980-th with the Lenin statue as the central composition
During soviet times square had changed many names - Soviet Square, Kalinin Square, October Revolution Square.
The modern name was given to the square in the times of independent Ukraine in 1991. The contemporary look that Maidan has nowadays was gained in 2001 after the major reconstruction of the square - was set a number of monuments, opened an underground shopping mall "Globe", eliminated a large fountain - so called "Roulette", constructed by communists and also was erected the independence statue.
Orange revolution on Maidan - Winter of 2004
Ten years after - new revolution against Janukovich regime took place here
In 2004 Maidan became the center of “Orange revolution”. Almost ten years after a new revolution again a corruptioned regime of Viktor Janukovich had it;s beginning also on Maidan. Please, if you are interested in Maidan's history - our guides are keen to tell you more during our Kiev tours.