Baturin Citadel, Baturin

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The citadel of the Baturin Fortress is a unique architectural and memorial building, which the modern generation has managed to restore from scratch.
During the reconstruction, special attention was paid to historical documents giving accurate descriptions of the shapes and sizes of the fortress.
This approach allowed to effectively revive the magnificent structure of wood, which is almost consistent with the destroyed original.
Therefore, a visit to the fortress is not just an exciting pastime, it is an opportunity to travel through time.
Indeed, here, at one time, the official residence of Ukrainian hetmans was located: Demyan Mnogogreshny, Ivan Samoilovich, Ivan Mazepa and Cyril Razumovsky.
Given all the features and historical value inherent in this attraction of the Chernihiv region, the citadel was rightly included in the list of the National Historical and Cultural Museum-Reserve “Hetman’s Capital.”

The significant political history of Baturin during the Cossacks and the anniversary of the Baturin tragedy contributed to the beginning of the reconstruction of the once key political center of Left-Bank Ukraine. Initial work to restore the national and cultural heritage of the Ukrainian people began in 2004. Perhaps it is worth noting that from the original fortress, our generation got only earthen fortifications and a rather distinct moat.
According to researchers, their age reaches more than 900 years.

As a result of reconstruction, on the day of Unification of Ukraine, in 2009 the Citadel of Baturin Fortress was revived. Today on earthen embankments majestically towering copies of the three towers, a wooden defensive wall, a house of hetmans, a treasury and the Resurrection Church.
Perhaps it is worth noting that the church is operating, it was restored according to similar shrines of that period, since the exact plan of this building was not preserved.

The process of restoring the historical structure was not easy, as the archaeologists collected the necessary information for reconstruction bit by bit.
Specialists had to process a lot of information from historical documents that mentioned the hetman’s capital.
We studied archival data from 1654 and 1726, documents from the time of Mazepa 1708, even paid attention to paintings by artists of that period and legends.
Archaeologists have done tremendous work to restore the planned structure of the historical object. Today, in fact, the fortress is rebuilt according to the results.
During the excavation, it was found out not only the exact location of each structure on the territory of the Citadel, but also clear and undeniable evidence of crimes against the Ukrainian people.

The found mass burial under the castle wooden church, which burned down in 1708, only confirmed the veracity of the historical events mentioned in documents of Mazepa.
Archaeologists at the site of the shrine documented and in detail managed to testify to the discovery of two layers of burials of the civilian population of Baturin.
The first refers to 1669, which indicates the transfer of the Hetman capital to the local area.
But the second half-meter layer of fire, already refers to 1708.
During this period, one of the terrible events in the history of Ukraine took place.
At the state level, its official affirmed as the “Baturin tragedy”, which caused huge losses to the Ukrainian people.
Opinions differ in the exact number of casualties among Cossacks and civilians, but statistics balance between 5 and 15 thousand.
In memory of the terrifying Baturin massacre, a memorial cross silently rises to heaven on the territory of the fortress.

The cause of the sad tragedy is the dissatisfaction of Peter I with the conclusion of a peaceful alliance between the hetman Ivan Mazepa and Charles XII.
Since there was a military conflict between the Russian Empire and Sweden (the Russian-Swedish war), Peter I was furious when he heard about the agreement of the Ukrainian hetman.
As a result, he ordered Alexander Menshikov to destroy Baturin, destroy the Cossacks and the entire civilian population. The king’s desire was fulfilled soullessly …
The city, the fortress, residential buildings, including churches and monasteries were looted and burned.
Some of the captured Cossacks were brutally tortured and executed in Glukhov.
Many were crucified alive on crosses, which were fixed on rafts, and lowered into a free rafting on the Seim river. Such was the price of Baturintsy for God’s right to live freely on their land …..

This tragedy of 1708, clearly demonstrates the relationship between Ukraine and Russia to this day. Even after centuries, absolutely nothing has changed.
Russia, as it was an enemy for the Ukrainian people, will remain so!

Walking around the surroundings, pay attention to the magnificent work of sculptors:
Monument to the mother that says goodbye to her sons;
Three grieving women;
Getmans. Prayer for Ukraine.
Each exposition touches the living! As for me, these are not just frozen images ….. They clearly reflect the severity of the war period, which is so relevant in our time.

Sights of Baturin

Palace of Cyril Razumovsky;
House of the General Court (museum);
Church of the Intercession;
Baturin fortress and the Resurrection Church.

Interesting Facts

  1. During the time of Hetmanism, I. Mazepa, and this is 21 years old, the city of Baturin was considered an economically developed region with a population of more than 20 thousand. 40 churches towered on its territory, as well as about 2 monasteries.
  2. Baturin fortress had a network of underground passages. One of the tunnels was accidentally discovered in 2008 near the Resurrection Church.
  3. According to historical data,the Baturin fortress had a rather large territorial extent, more than 20 hectares.
  4. The only residential building that remained almost intact following the Baturin massacre is the house of Judge V. Kochubey. It was here that Mazepa requested the permission of Kochubey to marry his daughter Motri. Subsequently received a categorical refusal.
Address: st. Samoilovich, Baturin, Chernihiv region.

GPS coordinates: 51°20’33”N 32°53’13”E  

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