Yagotyn district is a land of blue rivers, lakes, ponds, and vast fields.
The district stretches in that part of the Kyiv region, where the borders of four districts converge, and it makes up 793.3 км2, which is 2.8% of the total area of the Kyiv region.
It is possible to learn about the most ancient settlers on these lands while visiting the museum in the village of Dobranichivka. Archeological excavations in 1953 revealed a unique finding to the world — the so-called Dobranichivka Site. Ten-twelve thousand years ago the primitive Cro-Magnon people lived at that site on the left bank of the Tashanka river. The remains of four separate households tell about the life of those people. They mainly consisted of a small rounded ground living place with internal hearth, a place for treating the stone, an outside hearth, and four pits, used as barns. Several thousand bones of mammoth and other ancient animals, implements, and different cut stone objects, as well as rock crystal have been collected in the museum at the location of the site… A unique find is the woman statuette made of amber. All these exhibits as well as documentary pictures, artistic paintings and studies of the site can be seen at the Dobranichivka Site museum, which was inaugurated on 30 October 1977.
There are several legends that describe the origins of the name of district center, the town of Yagotyn. According to one of them, Yaho led a Tatar detachment, which invaded the town. Local inhabitants killed and crucified him on a high fence. The other legend says that allegedly in the old times a Yaho settled there, and he had his lands fenced. There are also stories that the name comes from the family name «Yagotyn», the name of the first settler on that land.
We do not have an exact date, when the town of Yagotyn was established. Thus, we are guided by the first reference to the locality made in 1552, when the owners of Yagotyn were documented in the early seventeenth century. In 1637 Yagotyn district is mentioned in the Decree of Yakov Ostrianyn. This means that Yagotyn was an administrative center at that time.
It is possible to reach Yagotyn from Kyiv by car, driving along the same road, which leads to Kharkiv. There is an international airport near Boryspil and the road, which goes along it, is very convenient because up to Boryspil it is an eight-lane highway, and these 25 kilometers are covered quickly. Further on it narrows down to four lanes but keeps being very convenient, and the distance of 90 kilometers between Boryspil and Yagotyn does not seem a long one. The highway passes around such towns as Berezan’, Baryshivka, and that is why there are not much segments with speed limits on it, however, there are enough cafes, restaurants, and places to have a rest. One of such restaurants with hotel services is located in the village of Bzov at the 53rd kilometer, which makes it almost half of the way to Yagotyn. Here it is possible to have a lunch that would cost you 15—20 hrynvia, and to stay overnight if you wish. You can reach this facility at 8-276-5-16-66.
The asphalt highway goes through historical places. To the left and to the right one can see numerous remains of ancient Rus’ tumulusus. The name of the Stupoy river, the main waterway for Yagotyn district, is mentioned in such a famous work of literature as Precepts of Volodymyr Monomakh to his Sons, which dates back to 1085. The Stupoy banks near Yagotyn had been populated even before 1240, i. e., before the Mongol invasion. Since the ancient times local fertile lands had attracted Ukrainians, who are prone to agriculture, to settle at that very place. The hard working nation should never complain of famine on these black soils (chernozems)! The person that likes to work will never suffer from hunger. However, a black monument in the village of Kapustyntsi with the names of the villagers, who had died during that terrible «communist» epoch on it, is the terrible reminder of the famine in 1930—1933… By the way, that memorial was built in the early 90’s of the twentieth century (and that way it became the first one in Yagotyn district, and possibly — in the whole of Ukraine), when it was strictly prohibited to even talk about those frightening deeds of the Bolshevik regime. Let us give the due to the courageous, which were not frightened of punishment and erected the monument, which cautions their successors against genocide!
The memory of a visit of the Great Kobza-Player to Yagotyn goes from one generation to another. Beginning from his first visit on 2 July 1843, he stayed in the estate of prince Repnin. They gave an outbuilding at his disposal, and he decorated its walls with his own pictures.
K. V. Bilokur, the prominent folk painter of Ukraine, who is well known abroad, was born and worked in Yagotyn district. There is a museum in Bohdanivka, at her birthplace, and her paintings are exhibited in Yagotyn picture gallery.
Kateryna Bilokur is a glorious daughter of the Ukrainian nation. The wonderful achievements of her incomparable talent are known and respected in the world.
When you have time to visit Bohdanivka, a village 18 km to the east of Yagotyn, pay a visit to that wonderful place, where on 7 December 1900 she saw the world for the first time, and made her first steps. Her family house was destined to become known in the most distant regions of the world. After a major repair it turned into a museum, inaugurated on 26 November 1977. Just a common Ukrainian village… However, have a look at the local club: do you notice the paintings on the walls? A kindergarten, in which one has not heard the children’s noise for a long time (lately the birth rate in Ukraine has dramatically decreased) is called «The little Sun», and it is also decorated with much taste and color. And here is the painter’s house. A wicker fence from the street and the same giant elm-tree that used to grow in Kateryna’s lifetime has broadly spread its branches.
Next to the gate there is a monument of polished granite bearing the words, addressed to people: «Let us bow to the land, where Kateryna Bilokur used to live and work. Here, out of the white village house the creative work of the folk painter walked into the big world, and the poetry of her painting went to the people. Let us take care of this sacred thing!»
The people, who remember their fellow-villager are still alive. Even the museum keeper is the lady, who visited the painter and helped her around the house.
Bohdanivka memorial consists of a patch of land and the building, where the trees that are contemporary to the painter grow. There is also a wonderful live sculpture of Kateryna. She passed away on 9 June 1961. And the paintings were left to successors…