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Cherkasy

First written reference to Cherkasy was made in Hustynskyi chronicle in 1305. The founders of the city were the peasants who escaped from their landlords to the waste districts of the Dnieper reaches. Most of them settled on the hill near the castle which had existed there for almost two hundred years before. However, the remains of the burial mounds near the city testify to the fact that formerly the locality was inhabited by the Scythians. In Cossack days and especially under Hetman Boh­dan Khmelnytsky quite often important diplomatic negotiations were carried on in Cherkasy. In 1797 the city became the dis­trict center of Kyivan province. The build­ing and opening in 1912 of the railway bridge across the Dnieper, and the estab­lishment of direct railway communication between Odesa and Bakhmach played an important role. During World War II Cherkasy suffered very much and that is why surviving historical monuments are very few. Now it is an urbanistic center the main street of which is T. Shevchenko Boulevard, which runs along the Dnieper for 10 km. Most remains of the historical sights and monuments of the period of socialist realism are concentrated in and around V. Lenin Square.

It is worth visiting the Cathedral of St. Michael (2002). The highest temple in Ukraine as it is (72 m, 12 thousand believers), it was built after the project of the architect-archbishop of Cherkasy and Kaniv, Sofroniy. The Tsybulskies’ house (1852,217 Khreschatyk St.), which formerly belonged to the family of merchants of the first guild, for a long lime remained the highest building of the city. Taras Shevchenko sojourned in this house. Now it is Kobza-player’s museum. Male gymnasium (1891, 6 B.Vyishnevetsky St.) was built after the project and with the participation of architect V.Gorodetsky. Now it is Cherkasy musical school. An interesting object for a separate visit is the Kremenchug Sea. It was formed by a dam on the Dnieper. During its building many villages and outstanding historical sights were flooded. Its average depth is 6, 5 m. The reservoir abounds in fish and contains 10 billion cubic meters of water. It can be crossed by the dam which is 13 km. long (40 min.).

The regional museum of local lore was built after an individual project in 1985. The authors of the project were awarded Shevchenko prize. Its exhibi­tion area occupies 2904 sq.m. so it is one of the largest museums of Ukraine. The museum collections contain over 80 thousand exhibits. The most valuable collection displays archaeological finds, the relicts of the Cossack age, articles reflecting the cults and way of life of the local population.

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