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Chernihov - The main sights

The main sights

Many ancient chronicles and other writings confirm the Ancient power of Chernihov. There are many interesting monuments which date back to the 9th and 10th Centuries-the burial places of princes and boyars-men-at-arms. During their excavations they unearthed objects, which characterize social relations, lifestyle and culture of the townspeople. A unique monument is the burial mound Chorna mohyla (the Black Grave), which according to legends is the burial place of the Prince Chornyy. In the burial mounds, many articles were located including swords, sabres, spears, chain mails, a shield with a copper mount, tableware, but the most precious find were two horns of an aurochs with silver ornamentation. Boldyna Hill, located near the center also, is dominated by two ancient and large burial mounds, Hulbishche and Bezimennyy. A sword, a shield, a chain mail, a battle axe and other battle equipment, which were founded in the Hulbishche mound. Due to the enormous proportions of these mounds, compared to the many smaller mounds surrounding them, is evidence that it was a burial place of a great and mighty warrior-bogatyr.

Chernihov, the capital of the northernmost region of Ukraine, is situated on the right (western) bank of the Desna River 87 miles (140 km) north of the Ukrainian capital Kyiv along the international highway Odessa-St.Petersburg. It is also located 50 miles (80 km) east as the crow flies from the Lenin Chornobyl Nuclear Power Plant. Chernihov is slightly more than 30 square miles (more than 78 sq km) with a poplation of 310,000.
Most of Chernihvites (about 75%) are Ukrainians, but there also many Russians, Jews, Belorussians and people of other nationalities. Traditionally, Chernihov is an orthodox city, but today many faiths are practiced here. A small part of its population are the adherents of Protestantism and Catholicism, and a few belong to the other religions as Judaists, Greek Catholics, Krishnas, Buddhists.
The main branches of industry of today's Chernihov are light, chemical and alimentary, in addition to motor-car assembling.
Chernihov is rich in ancient and historical sights. Here is a fact that speaks for itself: the city has preserved one quarter of all architectural monuments of Ukraine of the pre-Mongol period. In Chernihov's museums there are rich collections of Ukrainian antiquities and folk painting. An advantageous geographical location of the city, favourable climatic and natural conditions create great possibilities for development of tourism.

Chernihov is rich in ancient and historical sights. They are situated in three historical areas: The Val, The City Centre, The Boldiny Mountains.

Most of architectural monuments are situated in the Old City, which lies on the bank of the Desna, it is called Val. This area was the nucleus of the old Chernihov and in the 17th c. it became a Kozak fortress.

THE CATHEDRAL OF THE TRANSFIGURATION OF OUR SAVIOUR is the oldest Christian church which has remained in Ukraine. It was commissioned by the Prince Mstislav in 1030. It is a majestic five-domed church which was built in Byzantine style. The cathedral was not only a religious, but also a social centre of the Chernihov principality. Today it is an active church.

THE CATHEDRAL OF SAINTS BORIS AND GLEB was built in 1123. It is a classical example of Chernihov architecture of the Kyiv-Rus period. It is comparatively small one-domed church which is decorated with architectural details made of carved stones. The most interesting element of the church's interior are the Holy doors which were cast of a pagan silver idol. The cathedral is a now a museum containing many inertesting relics of Chernihov's past.

THE CHERNIHIV COLLEGE was built in 1700-1702 in the style of Ukrainian baroque and decorated with numerous architectural details. It was one of the first seculare higher educational establishments in the left-Dnieper-bank Ukraine. Today this structure houses the management of the Chernihov Architectural and Historical Preserve.

ST.CATHERINE CHURCH dates from the 18th c., it was built with money of Chernihov colonel Yakov Lizogub to commemorate the heroism of Chernihov Kozaks. The church is an excellent example of the Ukrainian baroque architecture.

Today's centre of the city is the Krasna Ploshad (Beautiful Square) and the adjacent streets and public gardens.

THE KRASNA PLOSHAD was reconstructed after the Second World War in the 50's. There stand the buildings of theatre of drama and musical comedy, of movie theatre, the administrative buildings.

THE CHURCH OF ST.PARASCEVE is the most beautiful monument of the pre-Mongol period. The structure was built at the edge of the 12th and 13th cc. It is a fruit of search of architectural ideal on the basis of creative alteration of Byzantine and Old-Russian architectural heritage. The architectural features of this structure were developed later in the architecture of Moscow and Novgorod.

Westward from the Val, over the Desna basin hills rise, they are known as Boldiny mountains.

THE OLD-RUSSIAN NECROPOLIS, which is situated on one of the plateaus of the hills, is unique in Ukraine. The barrows of the necropolis date back to the 9th, 10th and 11th cc. The most famous of the burial place is the barrow Gulbishche, there the remains of a noble warrior were found.

ST.ANTHODY'S CAVES are the most interesting sight of Chernihov. It is an underground monastery that was founded by Christian missionary Anthonius in 1069. After the Mongol destruction of the monastery was rebuilt in the 18th c. Thus the unique underground complex dating back to the 11th-18th cc. appeared. St.Theodosio's church dates from the 18th c. and is the biggest underground church in Ukraine. But the most fabulous aspect of the complex is perhaps the early Christian church which has remained to the present and is known as the cave of spectres.

THE TRINITY MONASTERY is comparatively new ensemble, it was built in the 17th-18th cc. near St.Anthony's Caves. It is the most picturesque monastery in Ukraine, it has good preserved to the present. The central building of the ensemble - THE TRINITY CATHEDRAL - is the largest religious building of Chernihov. The interior of the church is decorated with highly artistic murals. The ensemble also includes the 60 m (55 yd) high belfry, the refectory church and the archbishop's house. Nowadays the monastery houses the school of psalmreaders and presentors.

ST.ELIJAH'S CHURCH stands near the entrance of the caves and dates back to the 12th c.