The National Kyiv-Pechersk Historical Cultural Preserve
Address: str. Lavrska, 9, building 8, Kyiv.
Opening times: Open daily 9.00 – 18.00, last admission till 17.00
Almost a thousand years above the Dnipro steep slopes golden domes of Kyiv-Pechersk Monastery – one of the most important shrines of the Christian Orthodox world, are shining. In ancient chronicles “Tale of Bygone Years” there is a mention, dated by 1051year, of the monastery establishment by the monks in the caves near Kyiv. The first inhabitant of the monastery was Anthony, who took vows on Mount Athos. People came to him for a blessing, and then his supporters expanded the caves, arranged cells and a church. Later, when monastic life was transferred to the surface, the monks buried their dead for seven centuries in the labyrinths.
The monastery was given its name from the caves (pechery) of the monastery – Pechersk. As a large and influential Orthodox monastery it received the status of Lavra (Greek: Λαύρα is a name for some biggest orthodox friaries, that were of great historic and spiritual significance) before the Mongol times. In the 16th-17th centuries Kyiv-Pechersk monastery established itself as one of the centres of Christian culture. Famous chroniclers, writers, scientists, artists, doctors, publishers lived and worked here.
The resolution on the recognition of the Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra historical and cultural national preserve was adopted in 1926. In 1988, during the celebration of the 1000th anniversary of Christianity in the Russian land, Holy Dormition Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra reopened. Individual objects of the preserve, in particular Near and Far Caves, were given to the Ukrainian Orthodox Church. It was opened here the Theological Academy and Seminary, there is here the residence of the Primate of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, His Beatitude Vladimir. Given the uniqueness of the Lavra Art architecture ensemble, the value of the reserve in the development of national and world science and culture, the 14 session of the UNESCO Intergovernmental Committee brought Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra in the List of World Heritage.
Today, the preserve is one of the largest Ukrainian cultural, educational and scientific institutions. There are on its territory: Museum of Historical Treasures of Ukraine, Museum of Theatre, Music and Cinema of Ukraine, Museum of books and printing of Ukraine, micro miniatures’ Exhibition, Museum of Ukrainian Decorative Folk Art. Here you can see the unique monuments of art and architecture XI-XX centuries, Near and Far Caves labyrinths, permanent and temporary exhibitions that complement the main exhibition. During the existence the preserve was visited by 50 million tourists from all over the world.
The Museum of Historical Treasures of Ukraine
Address: 9 Lavrska Str. aka 21 Ivan Mazepa Str. , Kyiv (Building № 12, in Kyiv-Pechersk Reserve aka Lavra), Kyiv.
Opening times: Tuesday to Sunday 10.00 – 16.45
Closed every Monday and last Friday
The Museum of Historical Treasures of Ukraine was open as the branch of the NHMU in January 1969. The most ancient collections are the archaeological artefacts, discovered in the Ukrainian territory mostly during the twentieth century.
There are various decorations of ancient people, their weaponry, horses harness, ritual vessels, etc. These original objects reflect the culture of the nomadic Cimmerians, Scythians and Sarmatians who ruled on the Ukrainian lands since the 9th century BC till the 4th century AD. Many adornments were created for the nomadic elite by the goldsmiths from the Greek cities that appeared on the Northern Shore of the Black Sea since the mid 7th century BC.
Since the 4th century AD the steppes saw a succession of Turkic tribes arriving from Asia. Thus the Middle Age collection houses the decorations of the Huns, Avars, Khazars, Cumans and other nomads from the 4th – 14th centuries.
The highlights of the Museum are the most ancient silver decorations of the Early Slavs (the 6th– 8th centuries) and the works by the goldsmiths of the Kyivan Rus (the 9th– early 13th centuries). There are also outstanding collections of Ukrainian Goldsmithery and the works by the goldsmiths of Russia from the 16th -early 20th centuries. The Museum also houses magnificent collections of Silver Judaica and European Silver.
The Kyiv Regional Archaeological Museum in Trypillya Village
Address: 12, Geroiv Trypillya str., Trypillya, Obukhiv District, Kyiv Region
Opening times: Monday to Friday 9.00-17.00
Saturday to Sunday 10.00-16.00
The Museum is located on the ancient steep slope of Dnipro. People first inhabited this mountain during the Stone Age, over ten thousand years ago. A settlement of Trypillian civilization existed here, six thousand years ago. The village is located where the site of the ancient town of Trepol’ was, some 40 km from Kyiv and 10 km from Obukhiv. Three fertile valleys, three fields, meet here delimited by the rivers Stugna, Krasna, and Bobritsya.
The Divych mountain, which contains the site of an ancient town, sanctuary, and a burial ground of the Zarubinets’ka culture (the 2nd century BC), is included into the museum complex. There several hoards of coins from the Byzantine, Ukrainian princely times, and English, German, and Polish origins were found
The museum’s display tells about historical events which took place in the Kyiv region, from the Paleolithic period to the end of 18th century. A considerable area is occupied by exhibits of the Trypillian culture: finds of clay and daub houses, multicolored thin tableware, refined statuettes and wares made of copper
In 2002, the museum territory landscape was changed and a bust of the famous Ukrainian archaeologist Vikentiy Khvoyka was installed near the museum. The village of Trypillya was the very place where the greatness of that previously unknown culture revealed itself before the scientist, in 1893, and it was named the Trypillya culture.
The archaeologist Vikentiy Khvoyka discovered the most prominent of the Ukrainian historic cultures, such as the Trypillian, Zarubinetska, and Chernyakhivska archaeological cultures. Among other discovered by him locations of Paleolithic period are various sites near Kyiv and Kaniv, and the Pastyrskoe Skolots’ ancient town, a settlement of the Kyiv Russ times.
In 1900 the Parisian Anthropological Society arranged an exhibition of the scientist’s archaeological findings. For the first time, the attention of the world community was focused on the Trypillya culture of Ukraine.
The Kaniv Nature Reserve
Near the town of Kaniv at the right bank of Dnieper River and islands on the floodplain is situated the Kaniv Nature Reserve. This place was interesting for biologists, geologists, geographers, historians, archaeologists since the end of the 19th – beginning of the 20th centuries. On the banks of profound gullies can be read very clear the geological chronicle of the region.
Kaniv hills are a unique (for flat areas) plicate geological stratification. They are parted by ravines (up to 100 m deep), old and recent powerful landslide bodies of the mountain bedrock. It is believed, that these hills have appeared as a result of the Dnipro river basin ice array pressure. About 60 million years ago, the Kaniv district was part of the Kharkov Sea. The petrified remains of shellfish, ammonites and belemnites, marine reptilian bones, and shark teeth, are all on display. Later, the sea floor became part of the mainland, where giant horse-tails and ferns bloomed. Paleobotanists found petrified remains of a bog cypress, which is in the same family with the mightiest modern tree (a giant sequoia), and other new to science extinct plant types that were unearthed. During the last hundreds of thousands of years, in the middle part of the Dnipro river basin, climate became considerably more severe. Several ice ages forced the heat-loving types of plants and animals to relocate to the south, and some simply became extinct. Other kinds of plants and animals, those better adapted to the severe environment, replaced them. Some 8-10 thousand years ago, giants-mammoths, woolly rhinoceroses, giant deer and bison, still roamed along the vast Kaniv district steppes. The saber-toothed tigers, cave lions and bears hunted their prey in the forests.
For the last 35-40 thousand years, people lived in the Kaniv district territory as suggested by numerous discovered stone tools and extraordinary, unique stone female figurines of the paleolithic epoch. In 1966, nearby, in the village of Mezhyrich, a mammoth hunters’ dwelling was found. It was built in the 16-14th millennium B.C
The Kaniv Nature Reserve was created in 1923. It is the only one that presents a forest-steppe area, which occupies a third of our country.
For decades, tedious scientific work was conducted by numerous researchers on the territory of the reserve. The remains of the Trypillian, Zarubinetska and ChernyakhivCultures’ settlements, and also Skolotts’ and Scythians’, were uncovered here.
In 1939 the Reserve was transferred to Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv. Professors and students of the Biological, Geographical, Geological and Archaeological faculties participated in investigations of the Reserve. The Kaniv Nature Reserve has become an important experimental and educational base of University.
Today the area of the Kaniv Nature Reserve is 2027 hectares. It consists of gullies and forested hills (1415 hectares), two islands on floodplain of Dnieper River: Kruglyk (92 hectares) and Shelestiv (394 hectares), and Zmijini islands in the Kaniv Reservoir (116 hectares).
Main functions of the Reserve are the conservation of unique natural complexes of the Ukrainian forest steppe, conservation of biodiversity, monitoring of natural processes in ecosystems.
For the last 100 years, Kaniv district has been the spiritual cradle of the whole Ukrainian community, because here, on the Chernecha hill, the Great Kobzar – Taras Shevhcneko is resting forever. The nature of the Kaniv district is majestic and unique, it has captivated the hearts of geniuses, and millions of ordinary people that once visited this land of plenty it is the heart of Ukraine.
The Kaniv Nature Museum
Address: in the Kaniv Nature Reserve, Cherkasy District.
Opening times: Monday to Friday 8.00-16.30
Closed every Saturday and Sunday
It was opened in the age-old memorial house of academician M. Bilyashivskyj, on the territory of the Kaniv Nature Reserve in 1969.
The paleontology, archaeology, zoology, botany, forestry, and ecology departments of the museum present the history of the Kaniv district’s nature from the Mesozoic and Paleolithic times up to present day. The scientific value, originality, and variety of exhibits make this museum unique.
Petro Domashenko, an artist, historian, student of local lore, is the founder of the museum. The wall frescos and pictures, stylish, decorative patterns on the floor characteristic for each department, wonderful stained-glass windows, numerous portraits of research workers and people that devoted their lives to the study of the Kaniv district, are the results of his long-term effort.
The Kaniv History Museum
Address: 15, Lenin st., Kaniv, Cherkasy District.
Opening times: Tuesday to Sunday 09.00-18.00
Closed every Monday.
It has a rich collection of over seven thousand exhibits. They are mainly materials excavated in the Kaniv district. In the large collection of ceramics, from the Neolithic times until the 20th century, are wares of the Trypillian era. The ornamented tableware and sacral statuettes made over 6 thousand years ago.
The National Historical and Ethnographic Preserve ”Pereyaslav”
Opening times: Wednesday to Sunday 09.00-17.00
Closed every Monday and Tuesday
The National Historical and Ethnographic Preserve ”Pereyaslav” is situated in town Pereyaslav-Khmelnytskyi, one of the oldest cities of Ukraine, first mentioned in the Chronicle in Prince Oleg’s treaty with Constantinople in circa year 907. The “Pereyaslav” Preserve complex is the pride and decoration of the town, consisting of 27 museums of various subjects. In 2003, the rich storage collection of the prehistoric archaeological cultures’ exhibits made it possible to open another museum on the territory of the preserve – the Museum of the Trypillya culture.
The Museum of the Trypillya culture.
Address: 10, Taras Shevchenko str., Pereyaslav-Khmelnytskyi, Kyiv District.
Opening times: Wednesday to Sunday 09.00-17.00
Closed every Monday and Tuesday
A special part of museum is devoted to Vikentiy Khvoyka, who in 1893 excavated the settlement of an unknown before culture nearby Trypillya village. That culture was named Trypillian. Copies of the finds and the Kyiv research drafts are presented, as well as the original materials from sites on the right bank of the Dnipro River. Among the exhibits there, one can even see V. Khvoyka’ spicture executed in the style of painting on the Trypillian tableware. Side by side with these, materials about the research history and about the researchers themselves are exhibited – photos and works of many prominent scientists: V. Khvoyka, V. Scherbakivskyy, M. Bilyashivskyy, M. Makarenko, S. Gamchenko, S. Magura, T. Passek, E. Krychevskyy, S. Bibikova, 0. Kandyba(Ol’zhich), V. Danilenko, and others.
The unique exhibits of the museum testify to our predecessors advanced agriculturefrom VI millennia B.C. Among those, the imprints of wheat corn ears, ears of the relict wheat and wild polba, cultural double and single corned wheat, visible on burnt outer clay coverings of the dwellings from the settlements of Dobrovody and Grym’yachka, A pronged hoe was used for planting of the grain cultures, and a sickle made from flint plates was helpful for harvesting the crop; the latter was almost as good as a metallic one.
Grain graters are exhibited next to those in the museum, which could grind the grain into grouts and flour. The porridges could then be prepared in the special kitchen pots. During the meal, porridge was put into bowls.