Chernihiv region: Klondike of historical sites. The most fascinating routes to visit
Chernihiv region is just a Klondike of historical landmarks. It was so hard for us to choose the TOP marvels that we decided to group them by the geographical principle, referring to the city or village. The Chernihiv region is the land where Baturyn and Nizhyn, Ichnia and Pryluky, the famous city of Oster, and the "Ukrainian Maldives" are located. When planning a weekend trip, we advise you to choose one of the destinations from our list and stock up on preparedness to be impressed and open to beauty. Let's go!
🚙 CITY OF BATURYN
220 km from Kyiv, 153 km from Chernihiv
The city of Baturyn is a historical landmark. Everyone must remember this name from school history textbooks. In the 17th and 18th centuries, the city was the residence of the hetmans of Left-Bank Ukraine. Philip Orlyk, Ivan Mazepa, and Kyrylo Rozumovskyi lived here.
If you're in a car, you should stop in the town of Kozelets on the way to the town of Baturyn. Here is the beautiful Cathedral of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin.
It was built in the middle of the 18th century by order of Countess Natalia Rozumovska as a thank you to God for the fortunate fate of her sons (they could express gratitude!)
Even if you're not a fan of religious tourism, the building's beauty will amaze you. Inside has almost the largest (27 m) iconostasis in Ukraine and a 50-meter bell tower next to it.
In Kozelets, there are also St. Nicholas Church and Ascension Church, and the Museum of Chernihiv Region Weaving.
But back to our trip to Baturyn. Here you should visit:
Palace of Rozumovskyi
In 1764, Catherine II forced Kyrylo Rozumovskyi to resign as hetman. He came to Baturyn and planned to build a palace. The Scottish architect was building the house for 4 years. As it turned out, the owner died just in the year the construction was completed. After Razumovskyi's death, the house was abandoned. And only in 2001, the palace was restored.
In the palace, there's a museum with a portrait gallery, a chapel: everything as it was during the heyday of the building.
Hetman's Capital National Historical and Cultural Reserve
In 2008, the Citadel of the Hetman's capital was built from scratch, based on historical assumptions and research by archaeologists.
There's a hetman's house, a wooden Church of the Ascension, and a Cossack treasury.
In fact, it's all reconstruction. But there's one building that remained from Ivan Mazepa's time. This is the house of Vasyl Kochubei.
We'll tell you the love story of Judge Kochubei's daughter Motria and her godfather Ivan Mazepa. Motria fell in love with 65-year-old Mazepa when she was 16 years old. And the Hetman even proposed to the girl. But his parents refused and sent his daughter to a convent. She fled to Mazepa on the way there. However, not to create a conflict with the godparents, the godfather sent her back to her parents. The girl later married another man.
In general, you can spend the entire weekend in Baturyn.
You can walk in the park, look at the church, book tours, chat with guides.
However, we recommend planning a few more places to visit.
How to get there: If you travel from the capital in your own vehicle, it will take 2 hours and 42 minutes from the Lisova metro station. From Chernihiv, it's almost 2 hours by car. There are buses from Chernihiv to Baturyn, the cost is from 100 hryvnias.
🚙 CITY OF NIZHYN
Nizhyn has 117 architectural landmarks and 12 monumental buildings. The city has three cathedrals and 16 churches. Not bad for a city with a population of 70 thousand people. In the 18th century, this city was larger than Kyiv and Chernihiv.
You can easily find more facts about this city on Google, but we've selected for you a few places that are definitely worth a visit.
Nizhyn Mykola Gogol State University
Yes! Mykola Gogol studied here at one time. And then he wrote his first works here. There's a Museum of Rare Books, and an art gallery, and a room entirely dedicated to Mykola Gogol.
Although, besides him, Yevhen Hrebinka, Viktor Zabila, and Leonid Hlibov also studied here.
Even if you don't like museums very much, still visit the Museum of Rare Books.
There are rare editions of Shakespeare and Cervantes, a collection of French philosophers, and, also, a unique landmark: the first edition of The Tale of Igor's Campaign. Here is the first edition of Plato's works (Venice, 1513).
Please note that to get to the museum, you need to contact the university administration in advance.
University Art Gallery
Besides the museum, Nizhyn University has an art gallery. Here is a collection of paintings by one of the most expensive artists of our time, Serhii Shyshko. One of his paintings in Ukraine was sold for 250 thousand dollars.
Monument to Cucumber
Besides "spiritual and historical" things, Nizhyn evokes other associations. The city's brand is Nizhyn cucumber. In Europe, Nizhyn was known as the "city of cucumbers." Salty snacks were exported to 56 countries around the world. For a long time, the recipe for Nizhyn cucumbers was a mystery (a kind of "Ukrainian Coca-Cola"). Moreover, 100 wagons of cucumbers were salted in 1897. Interestingly, in Soviet times, Nizhyn remained the cucumber capital, but for the locals, cucumbers were in short supply because everything went to the tables of leaders or abroad.
How to get there: If you travel from the capital in your own vehicle, the road from the Lisova metro station will take 1 hour 58 minutes. From Chernihiv, it's 1 hour 19 minutes by car. There are buses from Chernihiv to Nizhyn, which cost about 80 hryvnias per person.
🏦 Halahan Palace, Sokyrnytsi village
Anyway, the Chernihiv region is an area where the ruling elite of Ukraine once lived. That is why there are palaces, estates, ancestral estates of the richest nobles.
These include the Halahan Palace.
This estate was once called "Ukrainian Parnassus." Taras Shevchenko, Panteleimon Kulish, Mykola Lysenko, Ostap Veresai gathered here.
If you come here, you should go into the house and take a walk in the park.
The palace has 60 rooms, a large ballroom, where the tiles of the building's heyday have been preserved.
Sokyryntsi Park is about 200 years old. This is an English-style park, its area is about 40 hectares, so you will definitely have some room to walk. There are sculptures and a beautiful pond. One of the most beautiful places in the park is "Holy Valley," a glade with steep slopes.
Remember Shevchenko's poem "By a spring a sycamore
On the hilltop grows…"? So, most likely, it was written right here, under the oldest tree in the park, a sycamore. We don't know why the poet was so drawn to write poems under the trees, but the coincidence with the tree name and the main object in the poem is obvious.
How to get there: The location of this place isn't as convenient as in Nizhyn or Baturyn. Therefore, it is best, of course, to go there on your own transport. From the Lisova metro station, the road takes two and a half hours. From Chernihiv, it's 2 hours 46 minutes.
🛣️ Several more palaces of the Chernihiv region
Taranovski Palace, Kachanivka village
This is one of the most romantic places in the Chernihiv region. Like the Halahan estate, the Kachanivka Palace once hosted famous artists.
Arriving here, take a walk in the park, full of aristocratic charm. There is a pond with the park stretching on both sides. Its area is 568 hectares (the largest in Europe).
In the palace, stucco molding has remained in the interior of halls. However, during the Soviet era, the building was looted and everything disappeared without a trace.
Interestingly, the stove in the palace was heated once in one winter. The heat remained in the thickness of the walls for three months.
How to get there: By own transport from Kyiv, it takes two and a half hours to travel, from Chernihiv, it's 2 hours 18 minutes.
Lyzohub Palace in Sedniv
Another estate associated with the names of Shevchenko, Hlibov. The founder of the estate is Colonel Yakiv Lyzohub. At the end of the 18th century, he received the town as property and began to build an estate in it. He located it on the slope of the right bank of the Snov river.
And again. Here, you should take a walk in the park too. There is a Hlibov gazebo, and "high mountain" (which, unfortunately, is gradually collapsing), and Shevchenko linden, which is about 600 years old.
How to get there: Travel time by car from Kyiv will take about two and a half hours, from Chernihiv, it's half an hour.
💦 Blue Lakes, Oleshnia village
Yes, these aren't palaces, not historical monuments, not oaks, under which Shevchenko wrote. But it's definitely worth going here. This is a great place to relax. The color of the reservoirs is blue, sometimes a shade of green or turquoise.
These are former quarries of quartz sand filled with underground springs. That is why the water here is crystal clear. Reservoirs are located in the forest. Therefore, the atmosphere here is especially cozy. In the summer on weekends, there are plenty of vacationers, but you can have a picnic on the beach or walk in the woods in search of mushrooms or berries.
How to get there: By own transport, the distance from Kyiv will be about 220 kilometers (travel time is about three hours). You can try to get there by bus; the nearest town is the village of Oleshnia, and the lakes are only 4 kilometers away. However, the road will take a lot of time; from the capital, there are no direct buses to Oleshnia.
⛲️ CHERNIHIV: fountains and caves
Finally, we left Chernihiv. You can't just not go to the regional center, traveling in the Chernihiv region.
In fact, this article could only be devoted to Chernihiv. To see the entire city, you should come here for a few days. We've selected the places you should definitely visit.
Chernihiv is home to a third of the Eastern European architectural monuments of the pre-Mongol period. These are the Cathedral of the Transfiguration of the Saviour, St. Borys and Hlib Cathedral, the Cathedral of the Assumption, St. Elijah's Church, St. Paraskeva Church, St. Anthony's Caves.
Each of these monuments deserves attention. We advise you to arrange a spiritual and architectural weekend, and walk around the city and go to the light and music fountain in the evening.
Locals and guests of the city love to walk here. Chernihiv fountain has an original design: its bowl ends with a rim with broken forms.
Evocative place. Therefore, we'll tell about it in more detail. It's always cool in the caves. However, if you touch the walls of the cave, they give off heat.
This is a complex of caves, founded in the early eleventh century. Its total length is 350 meters. According to legend, Anthony of Pechersk (founder of the Kyiv-Pechersk Monastery) dug caves and founded a monastery.
In ancient times, the monastery consisted of relatively small underground structures. These are caves that were used by monks to perform religious rites and live.
On the territory of the cave complex, one of the ground structures of that time has been preserved, the Church of St. Elijah.
How to get there: it will take about two hours to travel from Kyiv in your own car. Buses from the capital also go to Chernihiv.