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First written reference to the city of Kaniv dates back from 1144, when Kyivan Prince Vsevolod founded there the Church of St. George, later named the Assumption Cathedral. Its authentic appearance has not been preserved through the reconstruction of 1805-1810. The town successfully developed until the Mongol onslaught in 1240. The invaders correctly appreciated its strategic location, converting Kaniv into the place of residence of their governors. The Lithuanian rule of the 14 th-15 th centuries was the time of economic revival. For the Ukrainian Cossacks Kaniv became an important center of spiritual and political life. Cossack settle­ments concentrated on the slopes of the Chernecha Hill and around the local mon­astery. Due to Ostap Dashkevich – head of Kaniv (from 1511) and Cherkasy (from 1514) – Cossack campaigns were regularly organized from Kaniv to the Crimea and Turkey. On the hill which is named Taras’ Hill today, there were buried the glorious Cossack chieftains and folk heroes such as Ivan Pidkova, Yakiv Shakh and Samiylo Kishka. However, Kaniv became really famous throughout the world after the death of T. Shevchenko whose testament was to bury him on the steep slopes of Kaniv. The Shevchenko National Reserve was created in 1925. The literary-memorial museum of the poet has acquired wide popular­ity and recognition. Today its collection contains 21 thousand objects and articles, among them the house of Ivan Oleksiyovich Yadlovsky (1846-1933), the man who took care of and guarded the poet’s grave for many years. This house was actually the first folk museum of the poet. In the 1930 s it was taken apart and fully restored only in 1991.

It is worth visiting Kaniv historical museum and Kaniv museum of folk decorative art.

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