The first stationary circus theater in Kiev was called the “Alcazar” and was opened in 1875 by the Austrian Ignatius Sobbot. It was at the crossroads of the modern B. Khmelnitsky and Pushkin streets. The building of the circus was two-story, built of stone. There were more than 60 artists, ballet from Naples, clowns from London, orchestra with 35 musicians and actions with the participation of 40 horses. However, the content of the circus was unprofitable and the following year it was closed, and the premise was leased to the tour of theatrical companies.

The next 14 years there were not permanent circus in Kiev. Meanwhile in the neighboring cities was started the opening of stationary circuses: in Odessa in 1862, in Moscow in 1868, the second circus in Odessa in 1879, in Kharkov in 1883, in Riga in 1888. Kiev, which experienced at that time a rapid development of culture and economy, could not lag behind. Hence the Kyiv City Сouncil held a competition for the best project of the construction of a stationary circus. The first person who introduced the project was the famous Albert Salomonsky, then, no less authoritative Scipio Ciniselli and other outstanding representatives of the circus world. Despite such a variety of projects, the Counsil rejected all proposals and decided to create a special city commission for the construction of a city circus. It was headed by the famous Kiev architect Georgy Shleifer.

The construction was entrusted to the son-in-law of the Kiev Governor-General Mikhail Dragomirov – Peter Krutikov. The son-in-law of the Kiev official was more suited to this role than anyone else – he was a great admirer of horses. Petr Krutikov’s horse performances were distinguished by an unusual manner of performance and entertainment. Only 2-3 times a year he held public appearances. In 1897, this talented trainer went on tour – Petersburg, Moscow, Odessa. Tickets for his performances were sold out a month in advance, and during the tour in Paris, he was visited by former President of France Casimir Perier.

The old circus of Kiev - Courtesy of The-Circus-Collection.Com
The old circus of Kiev – Courtesy of The-Circus-Collection.Com
The old circus of Kiev - Courtesy of The-Circus-Collection.Com
The old circus of Kiev – Courtesy of The-Circus-Collection.Com

When Mikhail Krutikov received success and recognition he engaged in circus activities professionally and headed the construction of a stationary circus in Kiev. On November 23, 1903, a circus was built on the site of the modern street of the Architect Gorodetsky. Kutikov named it Hippo-palace (“The Horse Palace”), the final project of the building was executed by the architect Eduard Bradtman.

It was the largest European circus – bricked, two-storied, arranged according to the latest technology. A spacious three-storied hall, a huge dome over an arena, electric lighting. Comfortable chairs were awaiting each of the 2 thousand spectators (after a chapel with wooden benches, this luxury amazed).

The building of the Krutikov Circus was destroyed in 1941, and in its place in 1964 the cinema “Ukraine” was erected. In November 1960, the construction of the new building of the Kiev circus was completed. The building can accommodate 1,900 spectators.

National Circus of Ukraine / Kiev State Circus
Національний цирк України
2, Peremohy Square
Kyiv 01135

Scroll to Top