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Chyhyryn

The name of the city of Chyhyryn originates supposedly from the wonder-working grass of chyhyr, which is found in these places. The renovation of the complex Chyhyryn Castle started in 1989. It was located on a hill which has the name of “Bohdan’s”- in honor of Khmelnytsky. The hill consists of sandstone. The castle was founded in place of the site of an ancient settlement by the head O.Vyshnevetsky in 1589. In 1648 it was Khmelnytsky’s official residence. Military plans were discussed there and foreign ambassadors received. It is possible that wooden fortifications were replaced by stone ones during Khmelnytsky’s time, us­ing an old-Italian system. Defensive equip­ment of the fortress was highly evaluated by foreign travelers – the Arab P. Aleppsky and the Turk E.Chelebi. From 1676 Chyhyryn began to lose the status of hetman’s capital, however, all the same it managed to withstand the Turkish siege of 1677. The Scotch engineer Patrik Gordon fortified its walls, but in 1678, unable to resist the pre­vailing Turkish army, he took the garrison and citizens out of the fortress and blew up the powder-magazine. A few thousand janissaries perished as a result of explosion. With the destruction of the fortress the city fell into decay. However, the greatest harm was done to Chyhyryn in the 19 th century, when the remains of the walls were used for making millstones for mills. The so-called bastion of Doroshenko is the only one that has been preserved to our time. It was only in 1912 that a stone cross was set up on the hill in honor of the heroes of the battles with the Polish and Turkish invaders. In the second half of the 20 th century a monumental composition with Bohdan Khmelnytsky was added to the complex (sculptors O.OIiynykand M.Vronskiy, architect V.Gnezdilov).At the foot of Zamkova Hill, in the center of town, there is the museum complex built in 1995 (arch. S. Kilesso and M.Andruschenko) after pictures and drawings of the early 19 th century. In the 16 th-17 th centuries there was the oldest church of Chyhy­ryn in that place with a Cossack cemetery, and in the early 18 th century, the Church of the Transfiguration. The present-day muse­um complex consists of the central two-storied building – Bohdan Khmelnytsky Museum – and three one-storied outhouses re-arranged for the administration of the reserve and reproduced in compliance with the city’s old architecture de­stroyed in the 20 th century.

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