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Ovruch

The St. Basil Church
The St. Basil Church
Ovruch (16,800 residents) is an oldest cities of the Northern Ukraine and a regional center on the high left bank of Norin River. The chronicles mentioned the city of Vruchiy for the first time in 977. Toward the end of the century it became the center of Drevliany land having a fortress with high wall and ditch with a bridge spanning it. At the beginning of the 14th c. Ovruch was a part of Halych-and-Volyn Principality, and later in the century it was controlled by Lithuanian Duchy. In 1399 Crimean Khan Edigey defeated Lithuanian Prince Witowt and ruined Ovruch. It took long years to revive the town, and later it joined the newly formed Rzeczpospolita. They built a castle and made the city the center of starostwo (Polish locality). In 1648 Kozak Colonel I. Holota captured Ovruch, and to the end of Russian-Polish war (1667) it remained the sotnia city of Kyiv regiment. From the second half of the 17th c. to the first half of the 19th c. local population opposed expanding Catholicism. The fighting stopped when Ukrainian lands were annexed by the Russian Empire in 1793. In 1797, Ovruch became the center of povit (county), Volyn Province. The oldest building in the area is the St. Basil Church. It was built in the 12th c. on the high bank of Norina (according to the legend, Prince Volodymyr the Great erected here a wooden church in 977) by order of Prince Ryurik Rostislavich; therefore his Christian name became its appellation. At first the dome of the church was gilded and people called it "Golden-topped". Toward the end of the 19th c. the church was practically ruined, and in 1908-1909 architect A. Shchusev developed a plan of restoration, after which the St. Basil Church revived. The same was done with the buildings of St. Basil monastery. The grandiose Transfiguration Cathedral was erected on a nearby hill in 2001.


 
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