Having come 30 km from the capital on the Kyiv-Cherkasy highway, you will find yourself in the district of Obukhiv, situated in the center of the Kyiv region on the right bank of the Dnipro. It has an area of 773 km2, or 2.7% of the total area of the Kyiv region.
Throughout the human history all archeological cultures have left traces in the Obukhiv district. One of them, the Trypillia grain growing culture, has won international recongnition. The new Stone Age was marked by the Trypillia culture (called after the village of Trypillia in the Obukhiv district where sites of this paticular type were discovered).
Ramparts were a characteristic feature in Prince Volodymyr’s times. They have remained till our time being called «Serpent ramparts». The Stuhna group of earthworks stretched in three lines across the Obukhiv district. They started at the Dnipro edge close to Trypillia. Legend has it that these ramparts came around, when the epic hero Kozhum’iaka harnessed the Serpent and ploughed till the beast begged for rest, drank some water from the river, groaned and died. The river, from which the Serpent drank, was called Stuhna. It is the most beautiful attraction of this land.
Obukhiv is the center of the district. This township is located in the valley of the Kobryna river, which falls into Stuhna, a Dnipro tributary, some 45 km from Kyiv.
The first annalistic record of Obuk-hiv dates back to fourteenth century, when the settlement of Lukavyts’ia stood at its site. In 1482 the hordes of Manhli-Hirei Khan of Crimea devastated these lands. For some time the village belonged to some Obukh, a subject to Prince Y. Ostroz’kyi. Obukhiv is called after him.
The Obukhiv district is the homeland to a prominent poet Andrii Malyshko and an Honoured painter of Ukraine Heorhyi Kyiachenko.
The school at which Malyshko studied is called after him and is considered to be an architertural site.
The village of Trypillia (the annalistic town of Trepol’) lies 12 km from Obukhiv, on the right bank of the Dnipro in the valley of Krasna river, the name of which can be explained by the landscape features: it is the converging point of three fertile valleys split by the Stuhna, Krasna and Bobrytsia rivers. People have settled here since the times immemorial. In the 90’s of the nineteenth century a Ukrainian archeologist V. Khvoiko discovered remains of the settlements built by agricultural tribes in the Stone Age. It was the first finding of this type. Similar settlements were later found in the other parts of the country. They have been called the Trypillia culture sites. The Trypillia tribes cultivated the land with stone and bone hoes, and harvested with flint-edged sickles or knife-like blades. They reached a high degree of perfection at producing moulded earthenware, decorated with colorful patterns or incised ornamental design in the shape of loops, spirals and images of animals.
There are remains of an old Rus’ settlement on a hill in the village, where Krasna river falls into the Dnipro. It was the site of the township of ТгероГ, which was first mentioned in a chronicle in 1032 under Yaroslav the Wise. Aerial photography shows traces of ramparts on hilltop, and excavations have revealed remnants of the moats.
According to descriptions and archeological data, the town used to have three lines of fortifications and consisted of the upper and lower parts. The lower town was washed around by the Krasna river and a canal dug from the other side of the hill to the Dnipro, the remains of which were still visible in the late eighteenth century.
In 1239 the Mongol hordes destroyed the town, and Lithuanian princes had it rebuilt only in the fourteenth century. A castle with stone and brick structures was laid here. Trypillia became the scene for the battles between the Cossacks and the Polish troops during the uprising led by Severyn Nalyvaiko in the late sixteenth century.
In central annalistic Trepol’ there is the Regional Archeology Museum that relates the ancient history of the Kyiv region.
Close to Trypillia is the Divych Hill, on the top of which there were a fortress (second century В. С — second century A. D.), a burial ground, and a pagan sanctuary later on. In the seventeenth century windmills were built on the hill.
A wonderful view opens from the hill over the Dnipro and Trypillia. On a clear day one can see as far as the outskirts of Kyiv.
In old Rus’ chronicles there are many records of the port town of Vytychev (present-day village of Vytachiv), located close to the site of the annalistic town of Sviatopolcha (Novhorod-Sviatopolchev, founded in 1096). The sites of Bronze Age settlements and a Scythean burial ground were discovered in the vicinity of the village. Research has been done on the burial ground and the site of an ancient settlement, which date back to the Kyiv Rus’ epoch and believed by scientists to be connected with the annalistic town of Vytachev. It was mentioned as a big port on the Dnipro in works by the emperor Konstiantyn Bahrianorodnyi of Byzantine. In 1100 Vytachev hosted a council of apanage princes, held at the initiative of Volodymyr Monomakh.
The site of the annalistic «town of Khalepa» has remained in the village of Khalep’ia. Trypillia culture settlements have been discovered in the «Kolomyischyna» tract close to the village. The remains of 39 houses forming a circle were revealed at a depth of 30—40 cm. Such an arrangement kept the settlement closed. The floor in the houses was flagged in slabs of baked clay, sometimes in a few layers. The walls and partitions were made of wooden wattled framework plasted with clay.
There are remains of the annalistic town of Torcha (destroyed by the Polovtsi in 1093) near the village of Stari Bezradychi and those of the old Rus’ town of Krasna, located on the Krasna river.
Archeological and historical exhibits are on display in the museums of Obukhiv district — V. Khvoika Trypillia Regional Archeology Museum, the Cherniakhiv Culture Museum in Zhukivtsi, the Cossacks Museum in Hermaniv, the Obukhiv District Studies and History Museum, the Literature and Art in Pliuty Archival Museum in the village of Pliuty and the Memorial Estate of the family of Malyshko in Obukhiv.
Among the historical sites of the Obukhiv district the Pokrovs’ka (St Mary-the-Protectress) church erected in 1761 is quite famous. In 1850 a wooden belfry was built nearby. The church is a unique sample of the ancient traditions in Ukrainian wooden architecture.
The most known natural site in this land is the Lake of Ritsa, located 90 meters above the Dnipro level on its steep right bank in the Kalynove tract by Vytachiv. Every summer hundreds of people from all over the district come here to have a rest. To get to this marvellous place, you need to cross the meadows for two kilometers west of the village of Vytachiv up to the shallow gully, and go on down some 90 meters through a hornbeam forest.
The Koncha-Zaspa reserve lies 25 km away from Kyiv on the Dnipro right bank. There is a wonderful view of the Dnipro meanders and lush greenery. Blue lakes sparkle among the trees. Koncha and Zaspa are the biggest ones. They went down in history under Bohdan Khmel’nyts’kyi when the Cossacks won a battle here against the Polish troops led by the crowned Hetman of Lithuania Yanush Radziwill.
Koncha-Zaspa, Koncha-Ozerna, and Pliuty are the favorite recreation places of Ukrainians.