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Kozelets

The next stop is in Kozelets. It bounds round the city so take care that you don’t miss the needed turning. If you travel by a fixed-route taxi, you should find out if it goes to the city center, or drives around. It is but a step from the highway to the city; places of interest are waiting for you immediately beyond the outskirts. As to the name of the city, there are several versions: according to one of them there was a forest here where numerous goats peacefully grazed, according to another – the Lithuanian prince Olgerd liked very much the local meadows adorned by starry valerians (Ukr. kozelets)… What was the real reason for the city’s name is not known for certain, however, a silver billy-goat stood out on the city’s old coat of arms.

Some old architectural memorials can be seen on the approaches to the city. Among them is the magnificent Cathedral of the Nativity of the Virgin, which stands to the right beyond the bridge spanning the Oster River. This wonderful creation of art came into being thanks to Natalia Rozumovska’s solicitudes, who, as fate willed, turned from an ordinary Cossack woman into a noble court lady, the mother-in-law of the empress herself. The son of Rozumovska, Oleksiy, secretly married the daughter of Peter I. It is considered that this event took place in Kozelets.

The majestic temple was designed as a family burial-vault, although no one except Natalia Rozumovska was buried there. Built in 1763 after the project of the Ukrainian architect I. Hryhorovych-Barsky and the Russian architect A. Kvasov, the cathedral combines the elements of Petersburg and Ukrainian baroque. The interior is beautified by a magnificent rococo iconostasis. Unfortunately, today it is only a copy, the remains of the original being kept at the Chernihiv museum (the building of collegiums). The bell tower was built later, in 1779. From I the tower one can see both Kyiv and Chernihiv. Opposite the church complex, in Danevych Street, there is a fragment of a wooden construction. Once Kozelets was adorned by the sumptuous “Alekseyev’s House,” but it hasn’t survived. If you walk along Danevych Street to the intersection with Zhuravliov Street and turn right, you will find yourself in front of St. Nicholas’Church. The history of this church is rather interesting. It was built by clergyman Kyrylo Tarlovsky. For the first time he appeared on the historical scene in 1744, when Yelizaveta Petrovna arrived in Kozelets, the native land of her beloved. There exists a version that father Tarlovksy churched the secret wedding in St. Nicholas’ Church (at that time a wooden structure). Later the clergyman moved to Petersburg, where he became the spiritual mentor of the future empress Catherine II. However, after his pupil mounted the throne, the father had to leave the capital. Some time later father Kyrylo appeared in Khortytsia, where the Zaporozhian Cossacks gave him the name of “wild priest.” After the empress destroyed the Zaporozhian Sich, her relations with Tarlovsky improved. The “wild priest” obtained several villages as a gift. In his declining years Tarlovsky built the stone Church of St. Nnicholas in Kozelets.

Moving along Komsomolska St. to the central square, you will see on the left yet another sacral construction – the Church of the Resurrection. Built in 1874, today the former temple houses Museum of the history of weaving in Chernihiv region. The museum collection displays embroidered towels, thick linen sheets, clothing and other articles of folk creative work.

Noteworthy is the building of the former regimental office raised by Vira and Yukhym Darahan. Today the premises belong to the city library. The building is found in the park beside the Cathedral of the Nativity of the Virgin. Yet another historical memorial of that period is linked with the name of Vira Darahan: it is Darahans’ estate – formerly Rozumovsky’s khutor, and today, one of the districts of Kozelets on the way to Danivka. A wooden cottage and a coach-house have been preserved here; the state of the memorials needs better care.

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