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Dykanka

The name of Dykanka is connected with the thick woods that made the locality look wild. In the past it was the family estate of the powerful and rich Cossack family of Kochubey. In 1687 the village belonged to the general judge of Zaporozhian Army V. Kochubey, the grand-son of Andriy Kuchuk-bey, a native of the Crimean horde who adopted Orthodox Christianity and settled in free lands over the Dnieper, First written reference to these lands dates back to 1658. On Kochubey’s demand the Italian architect Djacomo Cvarengi built a magnificent palace in Dykanka. According to contemporaries it was filled with paintingsand porcelain, had a library, a ball room and museum. Unfortunately the palace has not survived.

Only the alley at the entrance and four 800-year-old oaks remind one of the lost grandeur. In 1709, before the battle of Poltava, the headquarters of Hetman Ivan Mazepa was set up in Dykanka.

The triumphal arch at the entrance to the settlement, if you come from Poltava, was built in 1820 by architect Luidji Rusa in the likeness of Roman counterparts. It was raised in honor of czar Alexander I who visited the estate in 1817. In the past bas-reliefs devoted to the events of the Patriotic war of 1812 decorated the facade.

In 1794 Petersburg architect M.Lvov built the Church of St. Nicholas not far away from the Kochubeys’ palace. Five princes and three princesses from Kochubey family were buried in the crypts of the church. The temple looked like a rotunda with a double cupola system.

The functioning of a special system of heating and ventilation equipped in the temple remains a secret for specialists. In 1851-1852 the church was reconstructed and a new iconostasis of fumed oak was installed. The bell tower (19 th c.) adjacent to the church and built after the design of L. Ruska completes the architectural ensemble. In the 1930 s the crypts and the temple were robbed. Today the church is functioning. It is in wonderful harmony with the surrounding landscape. The baroque Church of the Trinity (1780,1T. Shevchenko St.) in the center of Dykanka became famous due to Nikolay Gogol. It was inside this church that smith Vakula in the story “The Night before Christmas” painted the devil. More detailed information can be obtained at Dykanka Museum of Local Lore (68 Lenin St.).

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