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Okhtyrka

The Patronage Cathedral
The Patronage Cathedral
Okhtyrka(49,600residents) isaregional center located on the left slope of Vorskla River Valley. The migrant Ukrainian peasants and Kozaks from Right-Bank Ukraine founded the settlement in 1641. It stood in place of old Slavic church, where, after the invasion of armies of Batu Khan (13th a), there had been Tatar nomad's tents. Before 1647, these lands belonged to the Rzeczpospolita; later here was the boundary outpost of Muscovy. Before 1658, the Okhtyrka Kozak Regiment was formed under the Bilhorod voivode. In 1663-1689 the Crimean Tatars devastated Okhtyrka four times, and in 1708-1709 there was a bitter fight with Swedes on the territory controlled by the regiment. Having received city rights in 1703 Okhtyrka often administratively belonged to Kyiv (from 1708), Bilhorod (from 1732), Slobidsko-Ukrainian (from 1765), and Kharkiv (from 1780) Provinces.
The oldest landmarks belong to the 18th c. Architect Bartolomeo Rastrelli participated in working out the design of the Patronage Cathedral (1753-1768); architects S. Dudynsky and D. Ukhtomskiy realized the project. 20 meters away, opposite the main entrance to the cathedral, there is the Church of the Presentation in the Temple (1774-1784) (local architect P. Yaroslavsky), which looks like a belltower of the cathedral. In 1825, the classical Church of the Nativity of Christ was built nearby; its clear proportions, austere and laconic decoration make it the best sample of architecture in the oblast. The St. Michael Church (1884) looks rather unusual; its relief red brick laying with Byzantine and Romanesque decorative elements reminds the silhouette of the Right-Bank military chapels of the early 20th c. (Volodymyr-Volynsky, Starokostiantyniv etc.). There are also the majestic St. George (1908) and cemetery (mid-19th c.) churches.


 
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