The district of Kaharlyk has an area of 925 km2, which makes up 3.2% of the total area of the Kyiv region. The district center, the township of Kaharlyk on the Rosava river sprang up a very long time ago. There are archeological sites that are the evidence of its existence by the first half of the twelfth century. A Tatar detachment stayed near the township during the Mongol-Tatar invasion. The township is called after two words in the Tatar language — «yarlyk» (an official document) and «Kaha» (possibly the name of the «yarlyk» holder).
Kaharlyk belonged to the Polish count Yan Yatsek Amor Tarnovs’kyi till 1793. He had an estate with an orchard, flowerbeds and other plantations, cultivated by a gardener and his men. A wooden bridge was thrown from the estate to the grove across the ravine, and paths were laid in the grove. Unfortunately, the estate has not lasted to our time.
Following the second Partition of Poland and the incorporation of the Right-bank Ukraine into Russia (1793), Catherine the Great granted Kaharlyk estate to Dmytro Troschyns’kyi (1754—1829).
In 1800 D. Troschyns’kyi provided the funds for the construction of Holy Trinity church in Kaharlyk. A well-known painter Volodymyr Borovykovs’kyi painted The Last Supper icon for it. Unfortunately, the church has not remained to our time.
A palace, outhouses and utility buildings were constructed across from the church in 1811. The palace and the park around it were decorated by sculptures. A hill called «Mashuk» was thrown up in its soutern part. There was a view of the palace from the hilltop down the alley. The park symbolized a globe in miniature. They dug a small pond with an islet that could be reached by ferry. The pond and islet were meant to symbolize the «ocean» and the «mainland» ere also a «strait», a «gulf», and a «peninsula». Nikolay Gogol’ saw this place when he visited Kaharlyk.
The estate changed hands until Mykailo Chortkov, a well-known military leader and a statesman, purchased it.
During the war of 1941 — 1945 the estate buildings were blown up. When a stadium was constructed at the palace site in 1967, they simply buried some sculptures. You can see a scupture of a little Amur and a head of Gera at the Kaharlyk District Studies and History Museum. These are just tiny bits that remind us of bygone days. However, the museum building is unique since its brick «appereance» conceal a wooden house built more than 200 years ago. It is quite probable that the Empress Catherine the Great of Russia stayed in this very part of Kaharlyk when traveling about Ukraine in 1787.
The Kaharlyk lands are rich in archeological sites. There are remains of a three-line earthwork in the township of Balyko-Schuchynka. Excavations revealed some military installations and dwellings.
Balyky was founded in the late sixteenth century. In the early seventeenth century the village of Chuchynka sprang up nearby. It was called after a small river of Chuchynka that runs through the village. After some time people bagan calling it «Schuchynka». In 1921 the villages of Balyko and Schuchynka were merged into Balyko-Schuchynka.
The village became well known during the Great Patriotic War because of the neighboring villages of Velykyi Bukryn and Malyi Bukryn, which were the scene of an offensive code-named Bukryn Bridgehead. It was here that the First Ukrainian Front troops made an abortive attempt to liberate the capital of Ukraine from Hitler invaders in autumn 1943. A memorial to the Bukryn bridgehead heroes was erected at the site of the old Rus’ settlement.
Many archeological sites have been also discovered in the area of the village of Hrebeni on the Dnipro bank. The most ancient ones are Trypillia culture settlements (fourth millennia B. C): one is located north to the village in the Vasylyshyn Yar tract, the other is in the village and the last four are to the south in the Vynohradne, Yancha and Popova Levada tracts. Excavations at the first site revealed traces of buildings above the ground level. The artifacts are on display at the Archeology Museum of the Kyiv Archeology Institute and the Regional Archeology Museum in the village of Trypillia. South of the village, traces of a Scythian epoch settlement were found in the Yancha tract. There are settlements belonging to the Cherniakhiv culture in the Vasylyshyn Yar and Yancha tracts. The site of a settlement belonging to the Zarubynets’ culture (the second century B. C. — the second century A. D.) was found in the Vynohradne tract on the Dnipro bank. Across from it there are traces of ancient Slavic settlements (eighth century), settlements and a tumulus that date back to the Kyiv Rus’ period. In the eighteenth century there was a customs office in the Vynohradne tract area (at the Russian-Polish border). North of the village there is a redoubt in the forest, constructed in those times.
One can see traces of the Second World War earthworks on the hills overlooking the Dnipro and in the Yancha forest — covered tract. This area was the scene of heavy battles at the Hrebenivskyi bridgehead in autumn 1943.
T here are remains of an old Rus’ settlement in Staiky, a Dnipro riverboat station. Some scientists consider this site to be the annalistic town of Sviatopolk, founded in 1095 by Sviatopolk, son of Iziaslav. During the 1648 — 1654 Liberation War of the Ukrainian people, Staiky was the township of a sotnia (company) in the Kaniv regiment and a stronghold of insurgent peasants and Cossacks. Maps of that time marked the place as a fortress. Settlements belonging to the Trypillia and Cherniakhiv cultures were found in the village. A tumulus dating back to Kyiv Rus’ rises north of the village on the Dnipro bank.
South of the town of Rzhyschiv is the picturesque village of Ulianyky, known in the documents as «Hulianyky» since the eighteenth century. In the village you can see remains of the site of a twelfth-thirteenth century settlement as well as that of a village dating back to that time. In central Ulianyky there are remnants of St. Michael’s Church built in brick in the nineteenth century at the site of a more ancient wooden one. The early Iron Age settlements were found on the outskirts of the village, and remains of houses built from the Bronze to the Middle Ages in the Ripnytsia gully. The Ripnytsia gully stretches towards the town of Rzhyschiv and is a unique place, where herbs and plants abound. There are well-known springs of healing «live» and «dead» water in the village area.
The village of Cherniakhiv lies 20 km from Kaharlyk. The first annalistic record of it dates back to the seventeenth century. There are remains of the earthworks built in that time in the village. In 1900—1901 archeologist V. Khvoika explored an old Slavic tumulus of the second-fifth centuries near Cherniakhiv and named an arche-ological culture after the village. Two more settlements of that time and Roman coins were later found here. The last find led to a number of important conclusions. Firstly, a precise chronology of archeological events was developed. Secondly, it proved that people of Cherniakhiv culture used money. Thirdly, money meant trade, above all with the Roman Empire! What did Roman merchants look for in those far away lands, why did they come here on long travels? Was it something necessary and absolutely indispensable? Yes, overseas merchants were above all interested in the produce of Cherniakhiv people. Grain and cereals were the reason why Roman emperors would send expeditions and look forward to their coming back.
The finds are on display at the National History Museum of Ukraine. By the way, during the Second World War Germans took out much of the Cherniakhiv culture collection to Germany, since at that time it was believed that there was only Goths’ and no Cherniakhiv culture. Some Cherniakhiv artifacts have not been returned yet.
A Trypillia culture settlement and a tumulus of nomads were explored near the village.
The regionally controlled town of Rzhvschiv is located 76 km from Kyiv on the Dnipro right bank where the Lehlych falls into it. Under the Kyiv Rus’ a fortified town of Ivan-Horod sat on hilltop by the Dnipro. An annalistic record of this place dates back to 1151. Remnants of a rampart have remained to our time, and parts of houses were explored at the site of an ancient settlement. The Mongols destroyed the town in 1240.
In central Rzhyschiv there was a Roman-Catholic church, which belonged to the Order of Trinity Monastery till 1982. The Voronychi, the then landlords of Rzyschiv, had it built in the eighteenth century. Some monastery cells have remained after the reconstruction. Across from this place is St Trinity Cathedral, erected in the nineteenth century.
The Rzhyschiv Transfiguration monastery has been renowned since the seventeenth century. It was subordinated to the Holy Dormition Kyiv Monastery of the Caves.
Rzhyschiv has been a sort of «archeological excavations capital» since quite a while. Archeological diggings are currently under way on its outskirts. If you are lucky to get here in summertime, do call on these sites, which are studied by scientists every year not far from the town. The residents of Rzhyschiv will be happy to show you the way to the place where the people, who are not indifferent to the past of this land, work under supervision of scientists. Students are eager to participate in the studies during their summer vacation. Young people live in tents on the Dnipro bank, where they not only relax but also learn about historic events, the material remains of which are found during excavations.
Meditation over the ancient finds has allowed recreating the clothes, worn by ancient Trypillia people. Enthusiasts made a dress from the fabric, which is similar to the one of those times (made of hemp). Picture fragments found on numerous earthenware pieces suggested its cut and style. The attire was made per ancient technology and seems to be surprisingly comfortable. The view of a person in an ancient dress on the remains of a Trypillia house is a moving one, and everyone who happens to see it will remember this for a long time.
Burty is located on the banks of the Rosavka river fifteen kilometers from Kaharlyk (old name — Lychanka). It is a village, where young Taras Shevchenko was learning to draw from his first «teacher» — clerk Efrem.