Kyiv’s central square has been the city’s epicenter for generations.The area was known since the time of Kievan Rus', but it was not populated or developed until the 18th century, when stone-made fortified walls were constructed. Until the late 18th century/early 19th century, the area was a vacant ground known as Goat Swamp. In the 1830s the first wooden dwellings were built, and in the 1850s stone buildings appeared.
In World War II the square was heavily demolished after being mined with explosives by the retreating Red Army. The explosions were set off by radio-controlled fuses; this was the first operation in history where long-distance radio-controlled explosions were used for military purposes.
During the first years after the war, the square was completely rebuilt from scratch in the neo-classical Stalinist architecture style.
In 2001, as the square was the major center of the "Ukraine without Kuchma" mass protest campaign, the new extensive construction of the area was abruptly ordered by Kiev mayor.
In 2004 it gained notoriety for being the physical center of the Orange Revolution.