History of Chernihiv

Chernihiv municipal arms For the first time  is mentioned in 907 in the contract of Russia with Byzantium when Kiev prince Oleg, confirmed the victory over Greeks.

In his territory archeologists total not less than four most ancient sites of ancient settlement that were small patrimonial fortresses, separated by deep ravines of Boldinye mountains. Archaeological materials of these settlements concern VII century, and in 1992, 1300 anniversary of the city was celebrated. Chernihiv quickly grew and developed and few time later it turned to well-strengthened city, which could compete to Kiev adequately. In 907, the first written mention of Chernihiv testifies it as the big city, which was the second after Kiev.

In 1024-1036 and 1054-1239 Chernihiv - is economic and political centre of Chernihiv princedom. The first Chernihiv prince Mstislav - was the son of great Kiev prince Vladimir, Baptist of Russia. At Mstislav political and religious centre of «capital hailstones» the so-called Detinets, which was on territory of modern Val, was formed. New fortifications, princely palace were constructed, building of majestic Spassky cathedral, which, saved up to nowadays, and which is the coeval of Sofia Kiev, began. As for the end of 12 centuries Chernihiv occupied the space over 200 hectares and consisted of the princely centre - Detinets, Roundabout hailstones, Tretyak, trading quarter of foothill, and the Hem. Crafts, trade, and building were developing in the city. In that time Spassky cathedral, Ilinsky church, Pyatnitsky church and other temples were built at that time.

During Svyatoslav reign, who was the son of Yaroslav I the Wise, the Yelets monastery was based. Prince David, Svyatoslav's son, constructed Borisoglebsky cathedral. On the boundary of ХІІ-ХІІІ centuries, the Pyatnitsky church was constructed. Those majestic stone constructions testify to considerable economic development of Chernihivo-Severskaya land and its capital. There was an intensive trade with Byzantium and Arabian East, with countries of Western Europe and Scandinavia. Crafts were developing, works of art were created, and books were written. Just at that spot bylines about Ivan Godinovich, Illya Muromets, and the Nightingale Robber were created. The header hero of «Lay of Igor's Warfare" the last years of life reigned in Chernihiv and was buried under the floor of Spassky cathedral, as well as the majority of princes of Chernihiv dynasty.

Chernihiv suffered from princely internecine wars, attacks of stepnyaki-cumans, and the Tatar-Mongol hordes. In 1239, the city was grasped, plundered and burnt by the Tatar-Mongol army of khan Mengu. In a terrible fire the majority of Chernihiv citizens were lost, temples and other constructions burnt down, many cultural values were lost. The city was so devastated, that only in four centuries it reached that territory with occupied in the beginning of XIII century. It was not fated to return the former glory of Chernihiv any more.

In beginning of ХІV century Chernihiv was under the power of Lithuania. In 1320, Poles grasped the city. In 1340 it passed under the power of the Kiev princes, and then again under the power of Lithuania.

Because of war between Lithuanian and Moscow states, lasting until 1503, Chernihiv and all Seversky land was a part of Russia for a long time. The city became frontier. For cover of Russian borders from Lithuania and Poland in the middle of ХVІ century the city was strengthened. In 1618, Chernihiv under the Deulinsky agreement between Warsaw and Moscow passed under the power of Poland. In 1623 under the reading and writing of Polish king Sigismund ІІІ the city acquired the Magdebourg right, Chernihiv city council, szlyachta courts, equalized in the rights with Kiev, were established, voivodship was divided into two povets.

With the beginning of liberation war of Ukrainians under the guidance of Bohdan Khmelnitsky (1648) the Cossacks epoch began in city history. Then Chernihiv became a regimental city (up to 1782). That regiment became famous in many fights and campaigns.

Chernihiv colonels and Cossack supervisor were not only brave soldiers and commanders, but also wise political leaders, generous patrons of art. They cared of restoration of destroyed cultural monuments, temples, monasteries, built new cathedrals. In the end of XVII century on Jacob Lizogub's means the house of the regimental office was built, now it is one of few samples of housing stone architecture of Cossacks epoch. In 1700 on means of hetman Ivan Mazepa building of collegium began - the first in Left-bank Ukraine secondary educational institution, which played a considerable role in the spiritual life of edge. The life and activity of the colonel and hetman Pavlo Polubotok, the defender of rights and interests of Ukrainian people, who was courageously lost in Peter and Paul fortress in Petersburg, was connected with Chernihiv. One of the central streets of the city on which near the river Strizhen there was the manor of Polubotok, was named after him.

In Chernihiv, the annals (fragments of Chernihiv annals of 15 century revealed in the Ipatevsky arch) were conducted. At churches of Chernihiv parish schools operated. In 1689 at archiepiscopal chair, the Slavo-Latin school started to function. On its base in 1700, Chernihiv collegium was opened which in 1776 transformed into a theological seminary. In 1789, Chernihiv main national school opened. From 1679, the Chernihiv printing house operated in the city. In 17-18 centuries, old architectural instructions were restored and updated- Spassky, Borisoglebsky, Uspensky cathedrals, Pyatnitsky and Ilinsky churches. At that time, there were architectural complexes of the Yelets Uspensky monastery, Troitsk-Ilinsk a monastery. The Ekaterina's church, house of Lizogub were built.

In 1802 by the Senate decree Ukrainian province was divided into Chernihiv and Poltava provinces. From that day, Chernihiv became a provincial city for more than one century. Its historical administrative part: Old Russian Detinets or modern Val considerably varied.

Alexander Frolov-Bagreev (1818 -1824) was one of the first governors in Chernihiv region. By that time the largest landowners had been counts Tolstoy, Kushelev-Bezborodko, Musiny-Pushkiny, Golitsiny, Dolgorukie, Goloviny, Ljubomirskie, Yakubovichy, Durnovo. They had big quantity of peasants.

The guidebook of those years informed on Chernihiv as about rich capital of Severyansk land and a specific princedom of Chernihiv - «nowadays one of poorly populated provincial cities of Russia» where the patriarchal life with solemn campaigns during imperial time prevailed, with noble family and ground gathering, with balls and banquets. Such the city remained throughout all XIX century.

In 1912, there was 35 thousand of population, the basic mass: officials and other employees of governmental and public institutions, the Jews, conducting local trade, and craft people. The city occupied 600 tithes.

In beginning of ХХ century thanks to highway Kiev - Petersburg between Chernihiv and Gomel, Chernihiv and Kozelets horse stagecoaches constantly plied. In Chernihiv post and telephone offices, and telephone station worked, which in 1912 served about 138 subscribers.

From the end of ХІХ century, branches of banks started to function in the city. In 1875, the city civil bank was based. Well-founded inhabitants of Chernihiv used a pawnshop, three savings banks and society of mutual credit. The important role in the city life of Chernihiv was played by trade, which concentrated on Krasnaya (or Bazarnaya) squares, with shopping streets, built in the beginning of ХІХ century. In Chernihiv, fairs were held four times in a year and three times per week: on Mondays and Fridays, markets took place. The quantity of trade institutions quickly increased: in 1910, there were 428 shops and small shops in the city, and in 1910, there were already 734.

Economy development promoted growth of specialized education. In the beginning of ХХ century in Chernihiv operated three specialized schools, two trading schools, medical assistant's school, and also theological school and theological seminary. In 1916, the Teacher's Institute, which gave an incomplete higher pedagogical education, was created. According to data of first general population census of 1897, about 53 % citizens of Chernihiv could read and write. Before the First World War the total number of pupils in Chernihiv made 6,2 thousand people.

Until 1925 Chernihiv was the province centre, then - the centre of the Chernihiv district, and since 1932 - the regional centre. At years of the Great Patriotic War during fascist occupation, the underground organizations operated in the city. Chernihiv was released on September 21, 1943 because of Chernihiv-Pripyat operation.

The military glory of Siversky edge was embodied in the glory Memorial - granite plates with bronze bas-reliefs-: from a known campaign of Prince Igor Svyatoslavich against cuman in 1185, to feats of Chernihiv citizens on fronts, in guerrilla groups and in an underground in days of the Great Patriotic War of 1941-1945. Granite obelisk on a high hill finished it, it is over a tomb of the Unknown soldier where the fire of soldiers Memory who released Chernihiv on September 21, 1943 from fascist aggressors does not die away. Twenty-eight soldiers and officers are awarded the rank of the Hero of the Soviet Union.

Economy development promoted growth of specialized education. In the beginning of ХХ century in Chernihiv operated three specialized schools, two trading schools, medical assistant's school, and also theological school and theological seminary. In 1916, the Teacher's Institute, which gave an incomplete higher pedagogical education, was created. According to data of first general population census of 1897, about 53 % citizens of Chernihiv could read and write.

For the last half of the century Chernihiv turned to a modern city with new streets and multi-storied residential areas, set of industrial enterprises, the largest: "Khimvolokno", "Cheksil", «CheZaRa», «Chernihivavtodetal», brewery works "Desna".
New buildings of educational establishments, including pedagogical and technological universities, buildings of cultural establishments are constructed; monuments of architecture of last centuries are restored and updated.

Chernihiv is proud of its historical museum, which is one of the oldest and richest on Ukrainian collections, in which it is stored more than 150 thousand exhibits of material and spiritual culture. Near to Historical museum there is the Art museum, which collections total more than five thousand works of painting, sculpture, arts and crafts. Literary-memorial estate of known Ukrainian writer Mikhailo Kotsjubinsky is by right named the temple of muses. The separate exposition of museum tells about literary traditions of Chernihiv region since the times of Kiev Russia up to now.

The city has perfect theatrical traditions. In the end of XIX century, founders of domestic theatre of Marko Kropivnitsky, Ivan Tobilevich, Athanasius Saksagansky, Nikolay Sadovsky went on tour in the city. There, on an amateur scene, outstanding Ukrainian actress Maria Zankovetskaya debuted. Now collective of the Chernihiv academic Ukrainian Musical-drama theatre of Taras Shevchenko stores and multiplies those traditions.

Eleven higher educational institutions of І-IV levels of accreditation worked in the city.

By quantity of outstanding architecturally historical instructions, Chernihiv occupies one of the first places among cities of Ukraine. Here 32 objects which are included into the State register of national-cultural property and 39 instructions of town-planning and architecture of local value, a significant amount of instructions of culture, art, archeology are located. In Chernihiv, there is third of instructions, which have saved in Ukraine before Mongolian period. The city with its architecturally archaeological instructions is entered in the list of World heritage of UNESCO.
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