In 2024 we will celebrate the 1000th anniversary of the Principality of Chernihiv. The date is conditional, but it was in 1024 that the brother of Yaroslav the Wise, Mstislav the Brave, occupied the Chernigov throne. And this date is included in the annals.
Chernihiv is one of the oldest cities in Ukraine, the first mention of which dates back to the year 907, when the Kiev prince Oleg, as a result of a successful trip to Byzantium, concluded an agreement with the Greeks, according to which they were to “give orders to Russian cities: the first to Kiev, the same to Chernihiv, to Pereaslavl, to Poltѣsk, to Rostov, to Lyubech and other cities … ”
Witnesses of the greatness of princes
The city arose as a merchant at the crossroads of merchants and became the center of the Principality of Chernigov, which at its height was the size of France. City fortifications amounted to 350 hectares.
Since the city was a commercial city, it is not surprising that its central temple was dedicated to the great martyr Paraskeva Friday – the patroness of trade, agriculture and the family.
This temple was built as a refectory church of the Pyatnitsky Monastery in the late XII – early XIII centuries. According to one legend, the church was built at the behest and at the expense of Prince Igor, the same prince – the protagonist of the “Tale of Igor’s Campaign”.
According to another legend, during the raid of the Tatar-Mongols, the church remained the last fortress of the city, in which monks, women and children locked themselves and defended themselves. Despite all the attacks, the invaders could not take it, and most of the conquerors went to Kiev. And when the last stocks of bread and water ran out – the monk defenders rose to the top of the temple and threw themselves on the spears of the nomads.
For eight centuries, the church once burned, collapsed, and was completed, including the 17th century at the expense of Ivan Mazepa. But the greatest harm was done to her during the Second World War, when the church was blown up from the inside. The guides say that they were not Germans, but Communists. The church was resumed by the forces of the architect Baranovsky, and not in a baroque form, but as it should have been during the time of the Chernigov princes.
Perhaps the most princely churches in Chernigov in Ukraine are the Spassky Cathedral, which, according to one version, began to be built earlier than St. Sophia Cathedral, and completed in 1033-1034, where the remains of Prince Igor are stored.
It is also worth seeing the Borisoglebsky Cathedral (1120-1123) – the tomb of the princes of the Davidovich clan, later the main temple of the cathedral monastery, liquidated by decree of the Russian Empress Catherine II in 1786 ..
If you want to look at the legacy of Ivan Mazepa, then take a walk to the Trinity Cathedral, built in 1695 with the money of the hetman. Here you should climb the cathedral bell tower and look at the city from a 58-meter height.
Another place associated with the legendary hetman is Mazepa’s residence in Chernigov – the house of Lizogub or the Regimental Chancellery. The house was built by Colonel Jacob Lizogub, and later it was bought by Ivan Mazepa from the widow of the Colonel. Lizogub’s house changed its purpose many times. He was a regimental chancellery, and the Chernihiv city hall, and the city archive. Someone says that the gold of the hetman is hidden here, someone that the spirit of the beloved hetman Motri Kochubey lives here.
From Mazepa’s estate you can take a walk to Detinets to look down at the Chernihiv hem, where houses decorated with wooden lace are still preserved.
Most often, photos are taken of the cannons at Detinets, which either Peter gave to the city, or Peter I forgot. Chernihiv fortress lost its strategic importance and was eliminated in 1799. Konstantinovsky Boulevard appeared on the site of the former fortifications. And only after 100 years on the initiative of local authorities in the southwestern part, it was decided to establish fortress guns, some of which were transferred from Kiev.
In addition to the obligatory Detinets, go to Boldiny mountains – this is the right high bank of the Desna. Ancient oaks grow here – some 200-400 years old.
The name of the place comes from the old Russian word “bold”, which means oak. Perhaps there used to be pagan temples here, but no one found them. And the burials of ancient Russian soldiers are located here – the largest necropolis at 232 mounds. In 1872, the archaeologist Samokvasov unearthed a sword 126 cm long in the “Gulbische” barrow, its owner should have a height of 2.5 meters. The sword was attributed to the epic hero Ilya Muromets, who could have come from the village of Morovsk, Chernihiv region.
Places of inspiration Glinka and Shevchenko
After you walk around Chernigov and try the local borsch and dumplings, go to Kachanovka. Here is the Tarnovsky estate, where Taras Shevchenko, Nikolai Gogol, Marco Vovchok, Mikhail Glinka, Nikolai Markevich, Mikhail Vrubel visited.
In fact, the estate was built in the 1770s by Count Rumyantsev-Zadunaysky. But the Tarnowski is already its third owners. But it was they who made her the center of cultural life.
The last owners of the estate during 1914-1918 were the eldest daughter of the “sugar king” Pavel Kharitonenko Elena and her husband Mikhail Olive. According to eyewitnesses, on the day of their wedding, the entire avenue from the palace to the manor church with a length of 500 meters was strewn with sugar as a symbol of the future sweet life of the young. Something we have already heard in the Zhytomyr region about Tereshchenko …
During the presidency of Viktor Yushchenko, the people’s deputy and deputy prime minister Nikolai Tomenko put a lot of effort into restoring Kachanivka.
In the interiors of the estate, mahogany, oak, marble, metlah tiles and stained glass were once used. But now the estate is clearly not enough historical artifacts destroyed during the scoop.
On the way to Kachanovka you can visit Sokiryntsi.
Here is a manor in the romantic style of the Galaganov family. It was erected by order of the Prilutsky Colonel Pavel Galagan by Ukrainian architect Pavel Dubrovsky during 1825-1831. In the style of classicism. The Galagan family received land from Tsar Peter for dubious service – the betrayal of Ivan Mazepa and the transition to the side of Moscow. But the sixth of the descendants of the clan became famous as a philanthropist, ethnographer and an outstanding public figure.
He was personally acquainted with Taras Shevchenko and Nikolai Gogol, and also took an active part in the development of the peasant reform of 1861.
The entire palace complex consists of three main buildings – the central and two side buildings, and the central one stands out for its massive volume. The composition of the main building is typical of estates built at the beginning of the 19th century. Symmetrically placed wings are connected to the central building, which are connected to it by covered one-story passages.
It is much more interesting to look at the palace in Sokiryntsi from the outside than inside – the transformation into a Soviet educational institution was not in vain.
But it’s worth a look. As well as visit the Trostyanetsk arboretum.
Inheriting the Rothschilds
A descendant of the hetman clan Ivan Skoropadsky, having risen in the hussars, decided to build a manor on himself in the Chernigov lands in the village of Trostyants.
A wooden palace with towers with outbuildings, utility and guest outbuildings, built in Trostyants in 1833. A dam was erected on the creek, the surrounding swampy beams were aggravated, resulting in a large pond 100 meters wide and more than a kilometer long. A year later, trees began to be planted around him. The first plants die and Skoropadsky decides to create his own nursery. The divorce from his wife Elizabeth Tarnovskaya makes Skoropadsky go deeper into park construction. He invites gardeners from St. Petersburg to work. A visit to James Rothschild Park in the town of Ferrier inspires Skoropadsky to create something similar. Artificial reliefs were created over 20 years. Then the owner is fond of breeding rare trees.
Since the palace was inherited by Pavel Skoropadsky, the Bolsheviks burned his estate. But they did not begin to destroy the park and created an arboretum on its basis.
On the way to Chernihiv from Kiev, it is also worth stopping by Kozelets, which was the center of the Kiev regiment under the Hetmanism. The main attraction of the city is the Cathedral of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary of the 18th century, built by the Countess Natalia Razumovskaya, the mother of Cyril Razumovsky.
The cathedral houses the regiment’s office building built in the same style, and on the outskirts of the city the Parschina estate was preserved, also associated with the Razumovsky family.
If you go to Chernihiv for a few days, you can rent a house on Desna (there are many such services) and enjoy the river, which Alexander Dovzhenko so loved.