Chernihiv, the capital of the northern most province of Ukraine, is situated on the right (western) bank of the Desna river 140 km north of the Ukrainian capital Kyiv. Founded in the VII cent., this first capital of the slavic Siverian tribes joined Kyivan-Rus in the IX cent., was destroyed by the Tartars in the XIV cent., captured by the Lithuanians in the XV cent. and fell under Polish rule in the XVII cent. It is also located 80 km east as the crow flies from the Lenin Chornobyl Nuclear Power Plant. SunCity Travel suggests you to visit this beautiful ancient town. Top 10 Must See palces of Chernihiv are listed below:
1. Dytynets (Val)
Dytynets is the the spiritual center of Chernihiv. It’s a favourite place to walk for students and young mothers with children and elders. Walking around ancient Dytynets at the weekend, you should always see a happy newlyweds, who lay flowers at the monument to Shevchenko and take photos at this fantastic place. There is a lot of ancient temples and other historic buildings. Just imagine a long time ago princes, governors, ministers and even the Emperor walked there. It is said at night there you can see a ghost. Visit this magnificent place and feel its unique atmosphere of the ancient city.
2. Cathedral of Saviour and Transfiguration
A must see attraction in Chernihiv is the Spaso-Preobrazhensky Cathedral (Spassky Cathedral) in the old rampart of the town, built by the first Chernihiv prince Mstislav – the son of Kyiv prince Vladimir the Great, Baptist of Russia. Spassky Cathedral is actually the oldest orthodox cathedral surviving on the territory of Kyivan Rus. It was founded in 1024 and it is the oldest Orthodox church in Ukraine and in Russia, founded a few years even before the famous St. Sophia Cathedral and is under construction right now but still operates as a church. Today Spassky Cathedral is the only surviving monument (on the left bank of Ukraine) of architecture of the blossoming period of Kyivan Rus and is a part of the National reserve Old Chernihiv.
3. Borys and Hlib Cathedral
The Boris and Hlib Cathedral (Borisohlibsky Cathedral) is an example of the famous Chernihiv architecture. It was built in the 12th century and belongs to the oldest cathedrals in Europe. Several renovations took place after severe pillages in the 13th and 17th century and also after WWII devastations. It is a cross-domed, six pillar temple with the tomb of Kyivan Rus opposition clan princes. Now, it is a museum of medieval architecture and crafts.
4. St. Elijah Church and Anthony Caves
The St. Elijah Church (Illinska Church) dates back to the 12th century and stands on top of the Anthony Caves. The Anthony Caves (Antonievy Caves) belong to a sort of underground monastery which was build in the early 11th century by Anthony Pechersky who also founded the famous Kyivo-Pecherska Lavra.
5. Trinity Monastery
Initially it was founded by Saint Anthony of Pechersk in the 11th century, but ruined in 1239 during the Mongol invasion. The Trinity Monastery was reconstructed by the famed Ukrainian architect Lazar Baranovych in 1649. The main attraction of the monastery is the Trinity Cathedral, which was constructed in 1679 on the project of architect Ioanna Baptist. The cathedral is topped off with seven domes. [By Wikipedia.org]
6. Red Square
The spacious Red Square with its inimitably beautiful architectural ensemble, green boulevards and squares is one of the most attractive touristic sights in Chernihiv. It is an administrative and cultural center, the place, where ancient town’s heart beats. In Kyivan Rus times, the territory of today’s Red Square used to be a part of Chernihiv’s trade and handicraft district that was located outside the town fortress. Today square is a peculiar combination of graceful European buildings and monumental buildings in Stalin’s Baroque style that create an original and amazingly harmonic architectural complex. The most remarkable buildings surrounding the Red Square are those of the National Bank of Ukraine, the Chernihiv Regional State Administration, Shchors Cinema and Shevchenko Music and Drama Theater. Several parks and boulevards, where Chernihiv’s locals and guests like to recreate, border with the Square.
7. St. Katherine Church
This monument to the past is located in the central part of historic town near the Dytynets, in the view of Zemlyakiv avenue and Kyiv-Chernihiv motorway. It is one of the leading architectural dominants of the city. It was built in honor of heroism of Chernihiv regiment Cossacks showed up during the assault of turkey fortress Azov in 1696 under the commandment of Chernihiv colonel Yakiv Lyzohub. The church was sanctified in 1715 in honor of St. Katherine, who had been respected in Ukraine for a long time. St. Catherine church in Chernihiv is the greatest monument of Ukrainian (Cossack) renaissance of the XVII-XVIII centuries, which has authentically remained; it produced decisive influence on the development of Ukrainian church architecture of the XVIII century and it still plays the role of city building dominant of the historic part of the town.
8. Chernihiv Collegium
Chernihiv Collegium was founded in 1700 by Archbishop John as an educational institution. The building was built in the style of the Collegium of the Ukrainian baroque of the means of Hetman Ivan Mazepa. College was opened on the basis of the Slavonic-Latin School. It was intended to educate not only the children of the clergy, and nobles, burghers and the Cossacks. And reminded the Kyiv Theological Academy. Due to the level of training of students, the school has received wide popularity and in fact became the first seminary in Russia. Chernihiv Collegium became a model of education and later began to open seminaries in other dioceses.
9. Black Grave
The construction of the kurgan has been compared to that of the barrows of Gnyozdovo near Smolensk in Russia and is believed to date back to the late 10th century. When Russian archeologist Dmitry Samokvasov excavated the burial mount in 1872-1873 he found the bodies of two Norse warriors who had been cremated, noting that they were most likely father and son. The fact that they were surrounded by sacrificial animals, slaves, arms and armor, along with a variety of decorative items suggests that the buried warriors were two princes of Chernigov, although this has not been confirmed in the Slavonic chronicles, which name Vladimir the Great’s son Mstislav the bold as the earliest ruler of Chernihiv from 1024-1036. Among the items found in the Black Grave were two helmets and chain mail shirts, along with a cauldron of ram bones, gold byzantine coins, and a miniature idol made of bronze depicting the Norse mythological god Thor. There were also silver bound horns of aurochs intricately decorated with floral motifs and animals, and a commemorative stone was placed at the top of the mound. All these items are now on display in Moscow’s State Historical Museum, but visitors to Chernihiv Ancient can still view the mound from which they were removed.
10. Yeletsky Monastery
The Yeletsky Monastery is one of the oldest temples in Ukraine and is the biggest one in Chernihiv. Its magnificent complex stands on the Desna River’s right bank, not far from town’s historical heart – the Stronghold. It was among Kyivan Rus’s earliest and richest monasteries that – despite all the historical peripatetics and tough fate – managed to survive until nowadays. Old Russian Prince Svyatoslav Yaroslavich founded the temple in the middle of the 11th century. As legend has it, at the place of future construction, an icon of the Most Holy Mother of God appeared on a fir tree. One hundred years later, the 25-meter high grandiose stone Assumption Cathedral was built on the very place, where the shrine had been found. It became the central and the most fascinating building of the monastic manor.