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Holiday in Ukraine


Zhitomir (also spelled Zhytomyr or Jitomir) iis situated in north-western Ukraines near the border with Belarus,and lies along the Teterev River.

The territory was inhabited in 2,000 B.C. 884 A.D. According to legend the town received its name after one of Dir’s soldier Zhitomir refused to serve Princes Askold’s’ enemy and escaped to woods and later he settled on the rock near the rivers Kamenka and Teterev.

In 1240 The town was attacked by Khan Batyi’s hordes and was absolutely destroyed and plundered, citizens were either killed or taken to slavery. In 1320 Zhitomirsky fortress was occupied by Lithuanian princes. At the same time nomads’ attacks became more frequent. The local population constructed fortifications with underground passages and remnants of these passages have recently been found. 

The Liberation war of Ukrainian people headed by Bogdan Khmelnitsky caused a new stage in folk movement against Polish ruling. In 1648 Bogdan Khmelnitsky’s army attacked Zhitomirsky castle and occupied it.

In 1804 by tsar’s decree the City was officially declared the administrative center of Volynskaya gubernia. In 1846 Taras Grigoryevich Shevchenko visited the town. He was interested in folk tales, songs, ancient monuments and history of the area. At that time the City grew, new streets and squares were formed with houses built of stone and brick.

During World War II when the city was occupied nearly all industrial plants, institutions, hospitals, hundreds of houses, monuments were destroyed. It was only in late 1950s that the population in the City numbered the pre-war level. 

 Zhitomir Sights 

Museum of Cosmonautics named after S. Korolev. The founder of the practical use of outer space was born in Zhitomir in 1907. The memorial part of the museum is in a small house where Korolev’s family lived. The exhibition “Space” has originals and models of spacecraft, spacesuits and other equipment of the cosmonauts. One of the most valuable exhibits is a capsule with the soil from the Moon, a present from NASA. 

The Head of Chatsky. “Chatsky’s Head” is a bizarre cliff over Teterev River (30 meters), geological monument of national importance. According to local legend, Polish nobleman Chatsky, pursued by the Cossacks, threw himself into the river from this cliff. Another version is that the name is associated with the surname of the founder of Kremenets Lyceum T. Chatsky.

It is clearly visible from a viewing platform on the dam of Teteresvskoye water reservoir and from the hill near the Monument of Glory. The area is a popular summer resort place of people living in the City

Holy Transfiguration Cathedral. This magnificent cathedral is a symbol of the city. It was built in the Byzantine-Russian style with the characteristic features of ancient Russian architecture of the 11th-12th centuries.

 Park of Culture and Rest named after Yuri Gagarin. The park is the most popular recreation area of the local residents. Created in the 19th century, the park covers an area of 36 hectares. More than 80 species of trees and shrubs are growing on the territory of the park. Some of them were brought from all over the world.

 Prior to the main entrance you can see a beautiful cascade of fountains, behind the entrance - observation platforms. The most picturesque place is a suspended pedestrian bridge (350 meters) across the Teterev River.

 Cathedral of St. Michael. This cathedral is an outstanding architectural monument of the 19th century, one of the oldest stone religious buildings in the city. In Soviet times the building housed a puppet theater.

 Holy Cross Church (Museum of Nature). The church built in the Byzantine style in the 19th century is located on Zamkoviy Hill. In the 1930’s the church was closed by Soviet authorities

 Filippov’s Mansion. This two-storey house built in the Baroque style and belonged to local notary, lawyer I. Filippov. Originally the house built in 1886 was made of wood. Filippov reconstructed it in 1903 and turned it into a stylish mansion. Filippov’s Mansion is one of the lesser-known architectural gems of the City and is located on Bolshaya Berdichevskaya Str.,