Cherkasy

Cherkasy Region: the land of Trypillia “megapolises”, unconquered Cossacks, and our Kobzar

Cherkasy region (Ukr. oblast) was the center of the formation of the Cossacks — people who fought against all those who encroached on their freedom.

And there were many of them. And although the state formations of the Cossacks were destroyed, their descendants continued to fight on other fronts. Not only with weapons, but also with the development of Ukrainian culture and industry in the region, with Cherkasy now serving as the region’s main center. And the descendants of the Cossacks continue to defend the most precious thing: freedom.

The ancient “megapolis”

The Trypillia culture is one of the main ancient agricultural cultures of the Eneolithic, it dates to somewhere in the 6th century BC, when humanity was just mastering the first metal, copper. The largest settlements in Europe appeared during this time.

And quite recently, an ancient “megapolis” was found near the village of Lehedzyne in the Cherkasy region. Its area is 450 hectares (1,112 acres), and more than 5 thousand years ago, from 6 to 25 thousand people could live here. The excavation site is in the middle of the field. The pottery they found here is older than the Egyptian pyramids. You can see the paintings characteristic of the people of Trypillia.

In addition to dishes, walls were found — the remains of Trypilian settlements. Do you know why the walls are so well-preserved? Because when the people of Trypillia left their settlements, they burned the house with a ritual fire — this is how the clay walls were “baked”, as in the manufacture of clay products. Employees of the local museum recreated the house of a Trypillia resident six thousand years ago, and now it is Lehedzyne’s business card.

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Cossack land

The history of Ukraine is written by the people, not by the ruler. These words will definitely help you understand the history of our country. Self-government and democracy have always reigned here. One of these examples of self-government is that of the Cossacks, and in the Cherkasy region there are many reminders of this glorious period of Ukrainian history.

Before us is the picturesque Trakhtemyriv. There was a Cossack residence in Trakhtemyriv. An important Cossack shrine stood here — the Zarubynetskyi monastery. If you overcome your fear of large spiders, you can explore the old cemetery, with traditional crosses, Maltese crosses, crescents, and, of course, sabers carved on the tombstones.

The city of Cherkasy was one of the main centers of the formation of the Cossacks until the founding of the Zaporozhian Sich. Here, under Bohdan Mountain, Severyn Nalyvaiko defeated a hundred thousand Turkish-Tatar horde. The trade route from Kyiv to the Crimea passed here, along which the enemies tried to sneak into the free lands from time to time.

Legend has it that the fortress beneath Bohdan Mountain was once besieged. Khmelnytskyi’s Cossacks had enough food, but they were running out of water. Then a spring unexpectedly broke out from among the stone cliffs, and Bohdan Khmelnytskyi and his army defeated the enemy. Because when you protect your native home, nature itself helps.

By the way, Bohdan Khmelnytskyi was buried in the ancestral burial church, the Illinska church in the Cherkasy region. But archaeological excavations revealed only numerous traces of digging. Neither the body nor the coffin was found.

The Land of Many Cultures

There is a place for all people and religions in Ukraine — otherwise, there would be no White Lotus Temple, the only Buddhist temple in the country. Here you can learn Thai boxing, the basics of self-defense, kung fu techniques of the Lao school “Sha-Fut-Fan”, yoga, oriental dances, the practice of correct breathing, the basics of healing, and the secrets of the tea ceremony.

Thousands of Hasids come to the city of Uman every year. This is the place of their pilgrimage: they gather to honor Rabbi Nachman. The largest gathering is on Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year. Even the danger of coming under Russian fire during a full-scale war did not deter the Hasidic holiday to mark the 250th anniversary of the rabbi’s birth

Now, a little about Palace Dahovskykh. On the one hand, there is a funny story with the Palace Dahovskykh: one of the owners hated drinking so much that he opened the Sobriety Society in the village, where he treated the villagers to tea with sweets. On the other hand, it is majestic: on the basis of the “Dahovskykh Manor” complex, they plan to create a state landscape park museum of the history of the Ukrainian Army.

Cherkasy region architecture still has a romantic history — the Shcherbyna mansion now houses the Palace of Marriages. By the way, since the beginning of the full-scale war in Ukraine, more than 100,000 marriages have been registered. Love and life wins!

Another beauty is the Poniatovskyi Palace, located on three granite islands in the Ros river. The architectural monument, and then the residence, consisted of a palace, an order gallery, a park, two stables, and three outbuildings. 10 out of 13 buildings have been preserved, museums are active, and the palace is open to tourists.

A cowl and a Cossack fur hat

There are 1256 monuments to Shevchenko in Ukraine and 128 around the world. The village of Moryntsi in the Cherkasy region is the place where Taras Shevchenko was born. He became an icon during his lifetime, had his own image — a coat and a Cossack fur hat — and, most importantly, had a strong and timeless connection with the Ukrainian people. Shevchenko was portrayed as a sufferer and a martyr, but in fact, his biography is a success story. Just think: from an unknown serf to a beloved student and graduate of the Academy of Arts. And public activity?

Mr. Shevchenko was an active member of the Cyril and Methodius Brotherhood, the first Ukrainian secret political organization, where, together with Panteleimon Kulish and other “brothers”, he participated in the formation of the Ukrainian national movement.

Each Shevchenko — poet, novelist, and artist — is unique. In the Soviet period, at first, they did not know what to do with the cult of Shevchenko, and then they used him — as a revolutionary, of course. But his prophetic saying, “Fight — you will win”, was directed precisely against Russia. Later, in 2013 and 2014, those words were heard on the Maidan during the Revolution of Dignity. They add morale to Ukrainian defenders now, during a full-scale war.

Shevchenko died and was buried abroad. Only later, in 1861, hundreds of people witnessed the fulfillment of his “Testament” — reburial on Chernecha Mountain or Taras Mountain in Kaniv.

An entire museum in Cherkasy is dedicated to his collection “Kobzar”, and many rare editions of this book have been collected here. And the premises of the museum used to be the house of Cherkasy entrepreneurs, the Tsybulski brothers.

Love your Ukraine.
Love her… In a fierce time.
At the last, most difficult moment
Pray to the Lord for her.

Kobzar commanded us to love not only Ukraine but also the Ukrainian language. At different times, they tried to ban, devalue, and humiliate it, calling it “rural” or “archaic”. And now language is a weapon where every word reminds us what we are fighting for. It helps to better understand who we are and to remember what we are fighting for.

Harm vs. benefit

There are many industrial enterprises in Cherkasy region. AZOT, the flagship of the chemical industry of Ukraine, manufactures fertilizers. Cherkasy Automobile Plant “Bohdan” manufactures passenger cars. Sweets are provided by the Cherkasy Confectionery Factory, “Svit Lasoshchiv”. Canned products and sauces are manufactured by “Veres” and delivered to more than 35 countries around the world. The poultry factory “Peremoha Nova” is part of the MHP agricultural holding, one of the three most powerful agricultural holdings in Ukraine.

Such intensive production is balanced by environmental initiatives. Since 2018, the law on waste sorting has been in force in Ukraine — an important and long-awaited step in caring for the planet! In addition, many initiatives have emerged from the citizens themselves. One such example is the history of the Preciouslab public organization and open workshop, which was opened by ecoactivists in Cherkasy. They threw themselves down, rented premises, and showed people that plastic is not garbage but a valuable resource — anything can be made from it.

 

 

People

This region is rich in writers. The poet Vasyl Symonenko, a literary rebel, moved here, lived here, and worked here. He did not tolerate injustice and wanted not only freedom but also recognition for Ukraine. The writer Ivan Nechui-Levytskyi was born in the village of Stebliv. We have already mentioned him — together with Panteleimon Kulish andIvan Puliui, he translated the Bible into Ukrainian for the first time.

The Symyrenko dynasty was one of the first sugar magnates in Ukraine. But it only sounds easy: the first Symyrenko, Fedir, first redeemed himself and his family from serfdom. Together with the Yakhnenko brothers, they created the first mechanical (steam) sand refinery in Ukraine. Such a thing was never heard of in the Russian Empire! And for the workers, the Symyrenko family built a whole town with everything they needed.

Symyrenko family were powerful patrons: Platon Symyrenko published Shevchenko’s “Kobzar” with his own funds and then donated a tenth of the profits to the development of Ukrainian culture. And Levko Symyrenko established one of Europe’s largest orchards of fruit trees.

Ukrainian wrestler of Cossack descent Ivan Piddubnyi is a six-time world champion in wrestling. They say that the boy was strong from an early age — he himself lifted sacks of grain and put them on the cart. The strongman performed in heavyweight and weighed 118 kg (260 pounds), and he was called the “champion of champions”. And before the first world championship in Paris, Piddubnyi ran with 20-kilogram (44-pound) dumbbells and walked in the evenings with a 30-kilogram (66-pound) metal stick.

Andrii Khlyvniuk is a very modern hero from Cherkasy. He is one of those who made the song “Oi u luzi chervona kalyna” a symbol of resistance. You could hear it in a joint performance with “Pink Floyd” called “Hey, Hey, Rise Up!”. This is an old “combat” song sung by Ukrainian Sich Riflemen a century ago. These guys are of great importance for the renewal of the Ukrainian liberation struggle at the beginning of the 20th century.

Missiles fly everywhere

Cherkasy region also suffered from shelling, although thanks to the resistance of the Ukrainian defenders holding the defense, it is not near the front line. Since the first months of the full-scale war, the region has sheltered tens of thousands of forced migrants, and in the fall and winter, people here learned to do the things they used to do again in conditions of blackouts. No matter what, there is a home for everyone, care, and a bit of peace from the surrounding nature because this is real Shevchenko’s land!

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Last updated 24.02.2023

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