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 along the international highway Odessa – Kyiv – St. Petersburg – Helsinki. It is also located 80 km east as the crow flies from the Lenin Chornobyl Nuclear Power Plant. Chernihiv is slightly more than 78 sq km with a population of 310,000.
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. A historical and archeological gem of Ukrainian history, Dytynets, a fortress with royal chambers and Boyar living quarters, is today called the M. Kotsiubynsky Central Park of Culture and Recreation. Transfiguration Church (XI cent.), Boryso-Hlibskyj Sobor (XII cent.), Pyatynska Church (XII-XIII cent.), Katerynska Church (XVIII cent.) and the Collegium (XVII cent.), and are also of significant historical interest.
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