Part 4 (An Ancient City)
Chernihiv (Russian: Chernigov), a short tour
My grandfather Valentin was born in Kiev, but when he was young, his family moved to Chernihiv where his grandfather Stefan was a priest and where his father went to school. It is likely that Valentin's father grew up in Chernihiv as well. It was a cultural and economic center famous for its churches, museums and rich archeological sites.
I haven't spent much time putting together this short introduction to Chernihiv. Hopefully I'll give it more attention in the future. First, below are some facts, mostly from the English language Wikipedia article Chernihiv.
The first written record of Chernihiv dates from 907.
In ancient times it was the center of a large and powerful principality.
In 1897, when my grandfather Valentin lived there,
the population was 27,006,
there were about 11,000 Jews,
it was a commercial and and manufacturing center.
In 1926, the last year My grandfather lived there,
the population was 35,200,
57 % Ukrainian,
Chernihiv continues to be an economic, cultural, and educational center and now has a population of over 280,000.
There was easy transport to Kiev by river.
This is an etching of the "Black Grave", the lagest Kurgan (burial mound) in the Chernihiv area. It was excavated in the 19th century.
When I was looking for some more tidbits about Chernihiv, I found my grandfather's name (I put in it bold) among many other names below. Ukrainian historians don't like to leave anyone out. Source: Encyclodedia of Ukraine
At the turn of the century the writers Mykhailo Kotsiubynsky, Borys Hrinchenko, Volodymyr Samiilenko, Mykola Vorony, and Mykola Cherniavsky, the painter Ivan Rashevsky, and the historian Vadym Modzalevsky lived in Chernihiv. Young Ukrainians, most of them graduates of the Chernihiv gymnasium or seminary, gathered at the homes of these prominent artists or scholars. Some of these young people made important contributions to Ukraine's cultural and scholarly life after the Revolution of 1917. The writers Pavlo Tychyna, Ivan Kocherha, and Vasyl Blakytny, the historians P. Savytsky, Yevhen Onatsky, Mykola Petrovsky, Vasyl Dubrovsky, and Valentyn Shuhaievsky, and the art scholar O. Hutsalo spent at least some years of their youth in Chernihiv. In 1911 the 14th Archeological Conference took place in Chernihiv. The city maintained its importance as a cultural center in the 1920s and the early 1930s. It was the home of such institutions as the Chernihiv State Historical Museum (the greatly expanded former Tarnovsky Museum), a historical archives, a learned society, and an institute of people's education.
Just a few Churches for now. There will be more on Chernihiv here and on other pages.