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CHERNIHIV

CHERNIHIV
            St. Borys and Hlib Cathedral
                             1120-1123
          (click the image to enlarge it)
CHERNIHIV
       One of the famous iron cannons
          (click the image to enlarge it)
CHERNIHIV
      Trinity Monastery
     (click the image to enlarge it)
CHERNIHIV
    St. Catherine's Church
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CHERNIHIV
Monument to Bohdan Khmelnytsky
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CHERNIHIV
 Modern Railway Station
Acquaitance with the past of Chernihiv should start with the Val (Rampart), a former Chernihiv Detinets (Citadel). It is the oldest part of the city, its cradle, spiritual, and for centuries, administrative center. Not by chance, this is where the largest number of historical buildings and museums concentrated. Among them a special place belongs to magnificent Spasky (Saviour) Cathedral, the oldest surviving cathedral of Kyiv Rus. It was founded in the early XI century by the first known Chernihiv Prince Mstyslav, the son of Volodymyr, Baptiser of Kyiv Rus.

Nearby, there is Borysohlibsky (St. Borys and Hlib) Cathedral. Erected around 1123 the cathedral was dedicated to the heavenly patron of the Yaroslav family and was turned into a tomb. Currently, it is part of the National architectural  and historical reserve "Ancient Chernihiv" and a museum.

In the second half of the XVII century on the north-western side of Borysohlibsky Cathedral, which was then the main temple of the monastery with the same name, unfolds the erection of the bell tower with the church of St.John, the Divine. This monumental building, known as Chernihiv college, houses the reserve management and several museum exhibitions, including the exhibition of Ukrainian icons which is of special interest.

In the XVII century a beautiful stone house known as "Mazepa House" was built in the south-western part of the citadel. There is a legend that the old hetman hid in it his young mistress, god-daughter Motrya Kochubey whose mother cursed her for the relationship with the murderer of her father.

The territory of modern Citadel has long been the most fortified part of the town - its fortress. Iside the fortress was safer than outside, so churches, administrative buildings, houses, markets, and even a cemetery were located there. Until now remained Archbishop's palace built in 1780 (now the regional state archive is located in it).

When in 1799 the fortress was destroyed, the ramparts covered, and in their places a boulevard was made, the town was able to develop outwards. The market, cemetery and jail was moved from the territory of the Citadel. In early XIX century the Governor's House was built, shortly it was passed to the gymnasium ( now the regional Art Museum named after V. Tarnovsky is placed there). At the same time the Archbishop's Palace was repaired to accomodate various provincial organizations and the post office was built (now the building of Ukrbank). In 1900 near gymnasuim a park was laid, in the center of which was put a bust of Aleksandr Pushkin. There is another monument there, to Taras Shevchenko. The two great poets visited Chernihiv and undoubtedly wandered in the shady alleys of the local parks and boulevards.

One of the Citadel attractions is 12 iron cannons. Legend has it that they were given to Chernihiv by Peter, the Great, in recognition of the Cossacks heroism manifested in the fight against the Swedes. We will not refute this legend, since legend adorn history.

Another attraction of Chernihiv is one of the most beautiful churches of Ukraine - St. Catherine's Church. It is this church that meets those who come to Chernihiv on Kyiv highway. It is considered the hallmark of the city. St. Catherine's Church was built in 1715 by Yakiv Lyzohub, a Cossack Army General, in memory of his grandfather, Chenihiv colonel, and his military colleagues who have distinguished themselves in 1696 with the capture of an impregnable Turkish fortress of Azov. At present an exhibition of folk decorative art is located in it.

Since the beginning of the XIX century to the present day the administrative and cultural center of Chernihiv is Red Square. To get there from St. Catherine's Church, it's enough to walk through the Alley of Heroes, decorated with fountains. Red Square appeared on the Chernihiv map at the turn of XIX-XX century. First, the place was called Pyatnytske Pole. The name comes from the Church of St. Paraskeva which is located nearby. Many historian beleive that there was a convent here in ancient times. Before the Mongol invasion artisans and merchants live here; these are the results of archaeological excavations.

There are two more architectural ensembles in Chernihiv. They are ancient Yeletsky Monastery and Trinity Monastery. Their appearance is associated with the name of Reverend Anthony Pechersky. In ancient times both monasteries were located outside the town fortifications. Now the monasteries and bells determine the historical panorama of Chernihiv. They are clearly visible at the entrance to the town. The structure of Yeletsky Monastery includes Assumption Cathedral, built in the XII century, the bell tower, 1670, the cells of the XVI century, Peter and Paul Church, XVII century, and stone fence. In addition, in the territory of the Monastery to this day remains the only wooden structure of the Cossack time - the late XVII century house. As for the caves of Yeletsky Monaster, which origin was associated with the name of Reverend Antoniy Pechersky, they emerged not before the XVIII century. In front of the Monastery wall there is a huge earthern mound. This is one of the most famous ancient pagan mounds - Black Tomb.

The architectural ensemble of Trinity Monastery occupies the highest area of urban landscape - mountain Boldin. In the old days the Monastery was located on the terraces of a deep ravine, near the ancient pagan burial place. First, there were caves in that place, then in the XII century, Elias Church was erected. It survived to these days. During the archeological excavations ancient caves and remains of architectural constructions of different ages were found in the territory of the Monastery. Now both Elias Church and the caves are part of the National Architectural and Historical Reserve "Ancient Chernihiv" and available for tourists.

In the XVII century on the west side of Elias Church they started building a grandiose architechtural complex of Trinity Cathedral, blessed in 1695. Besides the Cathedral, it consists of Vvedenska Church, bell tower, cells, prior two-storey house, and a brick wall with towers. For a long time the Trinity Monastery was a presigious necropolis.

There are other churches and historical buildings in Chernihiv. They are scattered throughout old town. Among them Resurrection Church -  XVIII century, Kazan Church - XIX century, museum- reserve of Mykhailo Kotsyubynsky, Peasant Land Bank ( now library ), Governor mansion with a beautiful two-storey palace, Michael and Theodore Church, etc.

We touched only the past but Chernihiv has its present. The city remembers its history but thinks about its future....




May 26, 2016

 
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