Tarascha district

Tarascha district is located in the southern part of the Kyiv region. Its area is 758 km2. The town of Tarascha, the district center, lies on the 34th kilometer of the highway, which goes from Stavysche to the south-east along the little rivers of Kotlui and Hlubochutsia. The forests are its decoration and pride; they occupy more than one third of its area, which up until the seventeenth century was a pristine tract. If pine trees dominate in southern Kyiv districts, oaks and deciduous prevail in Tarascha pristine forests. This deciduous «elite» grows slowly and always marks ancient and noble groves.

Life never ceased on this land: since the most ancient and up today a family tree continues, and an uninterrupted history can be traced. Some experts even trace etymology of the word «Tarascha» from the Sumerian: «the one that approaches the Sun». The modern district flag proves that its inhabitants are truly proud of such proximity!

Since 1569 the Polish magnates possessed Tarascha and for a long time they had trouble populating this locality. In 1611 Tarascha tract was conferred to the Lisovychi, the boyars of Bila Tserkva Palace, as a gift, under the condition that they would serve in the military. In the early seventeenth century mainly the peasants from Polissia began settling here; they were escaping from serfdom. A fortified castle was built in the town. In 1722 Polish King Stanislav August granted the town of Tarascha the privileges to conduct auctions and fairs.

While traveling in Tarascha one enjoys the simplicity, which is so characteristic of this town’s layout: street blocks are right-angled with parallel sides. It is difficult to get lost among them, and very easy to find the necessary place. Some buildings of unusual architectural style can be found there, most of them have been built after the designs of the famous architect A. Zakharov, for instance, a private residence in the downtown, a fire security tower. This part of the town reminds of the central-European provincial and cozy «burghs». One of the ordinary buildings has unusual history: a famous scientist, physician and atomic scientist Oleksandrov was born here, in a mansion of the former Roman-Catholic church, which now houses a musical school. A little further — a local museum of regional studies hospitably opens its doors. The Tarascha Folk Museum has over 20 thousand exhibits, which justify the rich past of the glorius town.

Over 500 different tree species, among them — «re-settlers» from America, Africa, and Asia, grow in Taraschanka park, established with the help of employees from the Botanical Garden of the Academy of Sciences of Ukraine.

In 2003 a cross and a memorial to Georgii Gongadze appeared on the outskirts of the town. That journalist was violently killed in 2000. The be-headed body of Georgii was found close to site of the monument. The violent murder of a young person stirred up the Ukrainian society, a wave of mass meetings rolled over the country with the people demanding to find and prosecute the people behind it and the murderers. But this is not done yet. The monument, built on the side of the road, reminds all of tragic pages in the modern history of a young and independent country.

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