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Baturyn

Baturyn is a settlement in Bakhmach district, Chernihiv oblast, situated on the riverside of the Seym River. People populated these territories as early as the 12 th century. However, first written reference to the locality dates back to 1625. It is assumed that its name origi­nates from the royal Batoriy family, which possessed these terrains. In 1648 it was already the town of a “company of a hundred soldiers,” and after­wards, the residence of four Ukrainian hetmans, namely Demyan Mnohohrishny (1669-1672), Ivan Samoilovych (1672-1687), Ivan Mazepa (1687-1708), and Kyryl Rozumovsky (1750-1764). In 1669 the stone building of the General court of the Left-bank Ukraine appeared in the town. During the rule of Ivan Mazepa the population of Baturyn amounted to over 20 thousand, there were churches and two monasteries in the town. The Baturyn fortress had a powerful defensive rampart and a palisade. There were a rich collection of works of art and a library in the hetman’s palace. In 1708 the fortress and the city were destroyed by the Russian troops under the command of O.Menshikov, in revenge for Maz­epa’s attempt to revive the independence of Ukraine. Who knows whether the Russians would have overcome the stronghold, if not the traitor, Colonel Ivan Nis who showed them the secret passage. Bursting into the city, the assailants slaughtered the whole popula­tion, including women and children. The remains of the victims are found even today during archaeological excavations. By the czar’s order the hetman’s capital city was transferred to Hlukhiv.

The building of the court, which has survived in Baturyn from the times of Ivan Mazepa, is called the house of Vasyl Kochubey, after its proprietor, general judge. It is located in an old park. Het­man Kyrylo Rozumovsky made an attempt to revive the former glory of the city. He was instrumental in creating manufactories, drew up the project of the foundation of a university. The remains of the palace built in 1799-1803 in classical style after the project of the prominent English architect Charles Cameron have been preserved on the riverside to our time. As a matter of fact Charles Cameron built the gallery in the Czar’s Village near Saint Peters­ burg. The architectural ensemble included two two-storied wings. According to con­temporaries the interior of the palace was decorated with artificial marble, molded cornices, decorative parquet. After K. Ro-zumovsky’s death the construction work halted. In the course of time the palace was ravaged.

Besides the palace K. Rozumovsky built in 1803 the Church of the Resurrection (13 PartvzanskaSt.), which, according to his intention, was to become the family burial vault. In 1927 the burial vault with the hetman’s mortal remains was robbed by the local communist “activists.” Part of the vault, the upper urn and the bas-relief were rescued and presently located in the funds of the Chernihiv mu­seum; the tombstone is found in Baturyn museum (State historical and cultural reserve  “The Hetman’s Capital,” 74 Lenin St.,).

The Krupytsky Monastery of St. Nicholas is situated seven kilom­eters away from Baturyn. The history of its foundation has been almost lost. It is only known that it sprang up in the pre-Mongol period and was located about a kilometer away to the west of the present-day monastery, among the forest and bogs. The Cossacks took care of the monastery in the 15 th-17th centuries. St. Dimitriy of Rostov was its superior from 1682 to 1692. In the north-western part of the monastery there is a burial mound upon which a won­der-working image of St. Nicholas appeared in olden times. Ac­cording to another legend cereals fell from the sky for the inhabit­ants and monks who were hiding in the monastery and suffered from hunger during Tatar siege. In honor of this event the monas­tery was named “Krupytsky” (adjective formed of the word “cere­als”). The Cathedral of St. Nicholas built in 1680 was taken apart in Soviet times, although the Transfiguration Church (1803-1804) with a bell tower (mid-19th cent.) has survived.

Count Peter Rumiantsev-Zadunaisky was born into the family of Alexander Rumiantsev – the former batman of Peter I. While Hetman P. Polubotko was imprisoned in the fortress of SS. Peter and Paul, his father visited Ukraine to collect information against the hetman and senior officers, and conducted arrests. In 1735, holding the post of Astrakhan governor-general, he suppressed the revolt of the Tatars and Bashkirs. In 1738 he was appointed the ruler of Ukraine. His son Peter did not have systematic education, but Catherine II, knowing the “merits” of Rumiantsev the father in “calming down” Ukraine, used the services of his son as well. Peter actively carried out her instruc­tions, eradicating among the Ukrainians “the dissolute idea according to which they consider themselves a people quite different from the Russians.”

During the Russian-Turkish war he con­quered Crimea for the empire at the cost of thousands of Ukrainian Cossacks and peasants, for which he obtained estates and the title of Zadunaisky (beyond the Danube).

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