Shevchenko Garden is situated in the Kharkov’s centre and is a city park. It was founded in the years 1804 – 1805 by Vasily Nazarovich Karazin, the famous founder of the Kharkov University. The Garden was initially laid out in the virgin oak grove, located on the outskirts of the city. There are a landscape park on the upper terrace of the Garden and a botanical park – on the lower terrace. Three years after its founding an observatory was built in the Garden and in 1896 a zoo was also opened in its western part, which now became the oldest park, founded in Ukraine.
In the Great Patriotic War this Park suffered from military actions very much: the greater part of green plantings has been destroyed. During the city occupation German-fascist invaders turned the street, which went parallel to the Garden, into a military cemetery for the high-ranking officers. The German planed to turn the Garden and the adjoining territory into the Pantheon of German Military Glory, but in 1943 the cemetery was completely ruined after a final liberation of Kharkov.
In the post-war years the Shevchenko Garden has been restored and reconstructed. So, in 1955 a cascade staircase was built in the Park, in 1963 there was a cinema and concert hall “Ukraine”, in 1967 a fountain was erected in the central alley and at the end of 20th century – a building of Kharkov State Ukrainian Academic Opera and Ballet Theatre named after N. Lysenko. Later the Monuments to V.N. Karazin, T.G. Shevchenko, Archangel Michael, the Memorial Signs for Ukrainian kobzars, bandurists and lirniks, repressed for political reasons, a sculpture “Aksakal” and the monument to a football ball were also erected in the Garden. And the monument “50th parallel”, opened in 2010, became one of the most unique monuments of the city, because it was devoted to Kharkov, the largest city of the Earth on the 50th parallel.