National Opera House of Ukraine named after Taras Shevchenko is an elegant Neo-Renaissance building in the city center, a monument of architecture, history of which began thanks to ... fire. In 1896 the fire destroyed Kyiv city theatre. After 5 years on this place a new monumental building appeared, designed by the chief architect of the Directorate of the Imperial Theaters, academician Viktor Shreter.
Semiovale main facade on Volodymyrska street is decorated with deep arches and rich stucco. When standing in front of the theatre, visitors see mythical creatures – two winged women over the main entrance, the roof of the National Opera is guarded by two griffins. During some exterior repairs and restoration, theatre appearance hasn't changed – except that in 1936 a two-storey extension rehearsal halls appeared on the back side. In addition to the main entrance, the theater has 20 entrances. Total floor area – more than 40 thousand sq. m. (430 000 sq. ft.)