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Moshny

The village of Moshny was first mentioned in 1494 in the donative deed of the Grand Lithuanian Prince Alexander. At that time its habitants were on watch duty, having set on the hill Moshnohir (known also as Spire) a high Cossack tower the flash­lights of which could be seen on the left bank of the Dnieper. The Tatars destroyed the settlement in summer 1482. But in 1494 the boyar V.Yershovych populated the village again. The next owner, prince of Cherkasy and Kaniv, head O.Vyshnevetsky, built there a Roman Catholic Church and a castle. Obviously, the habit­ants were well-to-do people, because the word “moshna” in the old Ukrainian meant a fat purse. From 1649, Moshny became a settlement of a company of one hundred soldiers of the Cherkasy regiment. Many habitants took active part in the haydamak’s insurgency. After the revolt the next owners, the Lyubomyrskies, sold Moshny to Prince Potemkin. From him the town was inherited by Oleksandra Branytska. In 1819 the Moshny estate passed on to Count M.S.Vorontsov as a dowry. In 1823, by his order, his serf craftsmen built the steamship “Pchelka,” the first on the Dnieper. And the experienced blacksmith Vernyhora installed on it a steam-engine of 6.5 horse-powers.

Vorontsov’s park near the estate was laid out in English tradition with adaptation to the natural landscape. The building started in sum­mer 1823 under the direction of the gardener Karl Minto. For greater originality the owners built on the verge of the hill the 60-meter-high “Tower of Svyatoslav” on top of which a fire was burning in a lantern. In 1853 the writer P. Hrabovsky, enchanted by the beauty of the park, wrote that “the park of Prince Vorontsov by its location and ampli­tude … may rank first in the whole field of Europe. Those who have never been to England and want to have an idea of a real English park must go to Moshny.” Today, unfortunately, nothing reminds one of the past and grandeur of the park any more.

However, it is worth making a stop in Moshny all the same. You should see the local Church of the Transfiguration (1830-1840, arch. G.Toricelli), which was built in an interesting style combining features of romanticism with Gothic elements. The facade of the temple is terminated with indented parapets, and the bell tower is crowned with Gothic merlons.

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