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Zhytomyr

Zhytomyr. Monument to Sergei Korolev
Zhytomyr. Monument to Sergei Korolev
Zhytomyr (274,300 residents) is the old city, center of oblast and region, located on the rocky left bank of the Teteriv River where Kamyanka flows into it. By a legend a warrior of a Kyivan Prince founded the settlement on the high bank of Kamyanka River in 884; though for the first time Zhytomyr was mentioned in the records in 1305. Since 1362 the Ukrainian lands made a part of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania. In 1444, Zhytomyr got the Magdeburg right; however continuous devastating raids of Tatars hampered the development of the city. Moreover, in 1522 the fire destroyed the greater part of the city. In the 16th and 17th c the wooden castle on the high bank of Kamyanka River was the city-forming construction. The city development quickened when the newly-created Rzeczpospolita (1569) incorporated Zhytomyr.

In 1668 Zhytomyr became the main city of Kyiv Province, remaining the center of the district of the same name. In 18th c. the Catholic Church became more active proselytizing in the city. Among the novelties were the Jesuit College (1720) and monastery (1724) (monastic cells are still there). Then minor orders began to step in: in 1761 the monastery of St. Bernard appeared in Zhytomyr, followed by the convent of weepers of St. Vincent in five years. At the time there emerged the oldest late-renaissance and Baroque St. Sophia Cathedral (1737-1751) substantially reconstructed as classical temple in 1801. Three years after the Russian empire annexed Zhytomyr (1793), the tsar's government redeemed the city and neighborhood from their owners counts Illinskys, which became a symbolic event for the future development of Zhytomyr. After probation it won out and replaced Novohrad Volynsky as the administrative center of Volyn Province. In the 19th c. Zhytomyr's economy revived and trading expanded. Both civil constructions and buildings for public worship, which are praised today, were erected. The Cathedral of Transfiguration (1866-1874), main orthodox temple of Zhytomyr, replaced the Church of St. Basil (1777). It showed reflections of Old Byzantine and Old Rus styles.

In 1838, the austere Catholic Seminary Church appeared in the downtown. Among secular constructions there was the house of city council (18th c.) and postal premises (mid-19th c), including the postal station, hotel, stables and coachmen services. The Cathedral Square is an original sample of building of soviet oblast town planning. The monument to A. Pushkin is the oldest in the city (1899; sculptor H. Oleshkevych, architect M. Betaki). Among numerous monuments of the 20th c; the best one commemorated S. Koroliov, Zhytomyr born academician and founder of soviet rocket production (1971; sculptor A. Oliynyk, architect O. Korneyev). There are six museums in Zhytomyr; the S. Koroliov Museum of Cosmonautics is the most unconventional one. The Museum of Nature uses the premises of the Church of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross (19th c.). The most picturesque place is located on the western outskirts of Zhytomyr: here the Teteriv Canyon is transformed into the reservoir framed by Chatsky Granite Rocks and Chotyry Braty.


 
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