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Nizhyn

The St. Nicholas Cathedral
The St. Nicholas Cathedral
Nizhyn (75,200 residents) is a regional center and the major oblast city on the banks of Oster River. For the first time chronicles mention Unenezh Town about 1147; its current name is known from 1514. In the 12thc. here was a fortress of Chernihiv principality. In 1239, the Mongols ruined the settlement and next reliable information about Nizhyn was registered in the 17th c. In 1625, the site of old settlement was used to erect a log-and-earth fortress and develop a new settlement. From the mid-17th c. to the mid-18th c. Nizhyn was a major regimental center of the Left-Bank Ukraine. Under B. Khmelnytsky, many Greeks were brought here to form a colony in Nizhyn. These townsfolk had a special council, developed trading and handicrafts, and founded famous Nizhyn fairs. The town rapidly expanded to become a considerable trading center of Ukraine. There is a variety of civil and religious architectural monuments erected during a century of hectic development. The oldest preserved building in Nizhyn is the St. Nicholas Cathedral (1669), an excellent sample of Ukrainian architecture of the second half of the 17th c. In 1716, Metropolitan S.Yavorsky built the Annunciation Cathedral, in honor Russian victory over Swedes near Poltava. There are over a dozen of buildings for public worship erected during 70 years after that event. The rich Greek traders sponsored some of them. The showiest is the classical Church of All Saints (1780). The development of Nizhyn was crowned with inauguration (1820) of the Gymnazium of Higher Sciences, founded by senator count I. Bezborodko. He donated his manor built by architect I. Ruska in 1805-1817 to this school. In 1832, it became a lyceum, and now it is a building of Nizhyn Pedagogical University. Among the gym nasium-lyceum pupils there were many celebrities. M. Gogol was the best-known one (the university bears his name); there is a plaque above the entrance commemorating him. A few downtown mansions remind of the past grandeur of Nizhyn as a trading center. The monuments to M. Gogol (1881) and known seafarer Yu. Lysiansky (1974) are among the best in the city.


 
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