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Tulchyn

Tulchyn (82 km. away from Vinnvtsia) is a small town over the Silnytsia River, first mentioned in 1607 under the name of Nestervar (Hungarian = Dniester fortress). The fortress was built for defense against Tatar assaults. King Sigismund III Vasa made it the property of the Kalinowskies, and in 1726, when the family died away, passed it to the Potockies. In 1787 the city was granted Magdeburg rights. In 1793 it was joined to the Russian Empire.

A group of Russian noblemen, known in history as “Decembrists,” founded there the board of the “Union of Welfare,” which in 1823 became the leading center of the Southern Society.

The palace of Stanislaw Potocki (Nezalezhnosti St.) is an architectural gem of Tulchyn’s. He transferred his capital city there from Krystynopil (today Chervonohrad, Lviv oblast). Great money and vanity made it possible for the magnate to complete the building of a marvelous architectural ensemble within a few years, which comprised a palace and two outbuildings executed in classical style. Over the parapet of the central building there was an inscription “Let it be the abode of the free and benevolent for all time…” Plenty of Lombardy poplar saplings were delivered there from Italy and planted in all estates of Potocki’s. The main residence was adorned by the Dutch architect Merks, and the park was under the care of Englishman Miller. According to many sources the park was called “La Roche.” In 1787 the last Polish king Stanislaw Poniatowski visited the palace and was impressed by its richness and magnificence. He gave freedom to all inhabitants of the city and the neighboring terrains, eight kilometers away. In the center of the city there was installed a stone column on a granite pedestal, crowned with a ball and spire.

The dimension of Tulchyn palace is 400 x250 m. It is the largest palace complex in Ukraine. According to the contemporaries the palace, apart from living quarters, had premises for a theater, riding school, and Turkish bath. The great Russian poet Aleksandr Pushkin, the Polish poets Stanislaw Trembecki, Juliusz Slowacki, the writer Franciszech Kowalski strolled along the park alleys. The palace was filled with works of art and objects of luxury. Most of them were transported to Paris in 1862 by Meczislaw Potocki, and the rest perished in the storms of revolutions and wars. From 1892 to the beginning of the Bolshevik revolution it served as a casino for army officers. In 1928 the palace was damaged badly by fire. It was only in the 1970 s that attempts were made to restore it. Today it functions as a cultural and enlightener school.

M.Leontovich memorial apartment (8 M.Leontovich St.) in Tulchyn tells about the life and creative work of the well-known Ukrainian composer, conductor, and founder of the Ukrainian choral singing. Mykola Dmytrovych taught at the local diocesan woman’s school, and organized a choir.

Photographs, personal belongings, books and paintings represent the personality of the author of numerous arrangements of folk songs, church liturgies, psalms, thanksgiving services. Mykola Leontovych is the author of the arrangement of the world-famous Ukrainian “Epiphany Carol.” It’s a pity that singing this tune the Christians of the world often don’t know the name of the composer.

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