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The largest city in Kyiv region: what to see in Bila Tserkva

Albina PanchenkoNews
What to see in Bila Tserkva

The cultural and educational center of the Kyiv region is located 80 kilometers from the capital, on the banks of the Ros River. The first mention of a settlement on this site dates back to 1032. At that time, Prince Yaroslav the Wise built fortifications on the southern borders of Rus'. Until the middle of the XIII century, the settlement was known as Yuryiv. But after the arrival of Lithuanians, this name sank into oblivion. It was then that the modern name Bila Tserkva appeared.

The town itself is small compared to other regional centers of Ukraine. But it is the largest in the Kyiv region. And there are plenty of tourist attractions here. We'll tell you which locations you should visit.

Oleksandria Arboretum

This is a real competitor to Sofiivka in Uman. They even have a similar history. The natural complex symbolizes the pure love of Franciszek Branicki for his wife Oleksandra. The crowned hetman adored his wife so much that he decided to immortalize his love for her. That's how this beautiful monument was born.

There are 25 ponds on its territory. More than 2500 species of plants from different parts of the world grow here: South America, Europe, and Asia. Among them, you can see a tulip tree, red oak, Japanese rhododendron, Cobus magnolia, and others. Of course, in winter it is impossible to fully enjoy all the beauty and admire the riot of green colors.

However, it is beautiful here even in the cold season, because the arboretum is decorated with interesting architecture and sculptures. It is said that Prince Potemkin of Tavria is buried here. According to legend, his grave is located under the Rotunda.

The largest city in Kyiv region: what to see in Bila Tserkva

Museum of local lore

In 1924, Stepan Drozdov-Myshnivskyi founded a gallery where the first exhibits were the local historian's belongings. After 50 years, the exhibition hall was moved to another building built in the style of constructivism. Since then, the museum has been housed here.

The collection is divided into nine expositions. Here you can learn about the history of Bila Tserkva's foundation, the events of the Polish-Lithuanian period, and the Cossacks. Learn how the city developed during Soviet rule, how it lived during World War II, and how it flourished after Ukraine gained independence.

Among the exhibits, you can see ancient Russian women's jewelry, the flag of the Cossack hundred of the Bila Tserkva regiment, the Scythian sword akinak, and the Cherniakhiv lamp with the image of a human face. Unique icons, paintings, coins, weapons, sculptures, etc. are also kept here. So it's definitely worth a visit.

The largest city in Kyiv region: what to see in Bila Tserkva

Church of St. John the Baptist

The Polish nobleman Branicki is a good example of a leader and philanthropist. During his reign, the city experienced a cultural boom and prosperity. By order of Franciszek Xavier, many buildings were erected that have survived to this day.

One of his creations was a church built on Castle Hill. The church is made in the style of classicism and has expressive columns typical of the architecture of ancient Greece. It is said that Domenico Botani himself was involved in its construction. But this has not been officially confirmed.

For a long time, the church served as a religious center for all Christians in the city. But with the advent of Soviet rule, it was closed. When World War II broke out, everyone was allowed to enter the church again. But after the end of the fighting, the cathedral was closed again.

By the way, nowadays it welcomes believers and sometimes hosts concerts of organ music.

The largest city in Kyiv region: what to see in Bila Tserkva

Branicki Winter Palace

The family of the Polish nobleman Branicki liked to spend winters in this complex. In summer, they preferred a country cottage located on the territory of the Alexandria Arboretum. Unfortunately, the latter residence has not survived to this day. But the first one is still standing, although it had to be reconstructed.

This two-story building is made in the style of classicism. Its main facade is decorated with an Ionic portico. The windows are rectangular and there is a large basement under the house. The layout of the building was radically redesigned, as the building went through hard times during the Communist era. At that time, the party district committee was housed here, and later a hospital. Today, the interior has been restored and the Yurii Pavlenko School of Art is now open.

The largest city in Kyiv region: what to see in Bila Tserkva

Trade Rows (BRUM)

Once again, Xavier Branicki was involved in the construction. In five years, a giant building was erected, where the townspeople later sold a variety of products. Interestingly, even today it is still used for its intended purpose. Nowadays, you can buy goodies here and visit a cozy coffee shop. Among other buildings in Bila Tserkva, this one is the best preserved.

By the way, BRUM stands for "Branytskyi's General Store." There was also a Soviet version, but it does not shine with originality.

The largest city in Kyiv region: what to see in Bila Tserkva

Small Ukrainian cities deserve your attention. And Bila Tserkva is no exception. If you have a chance, visit it.

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