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Related to Chernigov: Chernigov Oblast
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



a city and administrative center of Chernigov Oblast, Ukrainian SSR. Port on the right bank of the Desna River. Railroad junction of lines to Gomel’, Ovruch, and Nezhin; highway junction. Population, 233,000 (1977; 69,000 in 1939, 90.000 in 1959, and 159,000 in 1970). Chernigov is divided into two city raions.

Chernigov, one of the oldest cities in Russia, was the center of the East Slavic Severiane tribes in the ninth century. At the end of the ninth century, it became part of Kievan Rus’. It is first mentioned in the chronicle for the year 907. From the tenth through 12th centuries it was a major artisan and trade center. From the 11th to 13th centuries it was the capital of the Chernigov Principality. In 1239 it was destroyed by the Mongol Tatars.

In the second half of the 14th century, Chernigov came under the rule of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania. In 1503 it became part of the Muscovite state. In 1611 it was captured by Poland. The population of Chernigov fought in the Liberation War of the Ukrainian People (1648–54), and in 1654 it became part of the Russian state. In 1782 it became the administrative center of the Chernigov Namestnichestvo (Vicegerency), in 1797, of the Little Russian (Malorossiiskaia) Province, and in 1802, of Chernigov Province. It quickly developed as a local trade center. At the end of the 19th century, it was linked by rail with Kiev by way of Bakhmach.

Soviet power was established on Jan. 19(Feb. 1), 1918. During the Civil War, Chernigov was captured by Austro-German troops, the Ukrainian Directory, and the Denikin forces. Soviet power was restored on Nov. 7, 1919. In 1932, Chernigov became the administrative center of the oblast. From Sept. 9, 1941, to Sept. 21, 1943, it was occupied by fascist German troops, who inflicted enormous damage. The city was rebuilt after the war.

Among the industries developed in Chernigov are the chemical industry (the Khimvolokno chemical-fiber production association), light industry (worsted-wool combine, factory for the primary processing of wool, and garment and shoe factories), and the food-processing industry (meat-packing combine, milk plant, brewery, and plants for the production of confectionery and macaroni products). Chernigov also has a plant for the production of spare parts for motor vehicles, an instrument-making plant, a large-panel home-building combine, and factories for the production of pianos, cardboard, and other goods.

Numerous examples of Kievan Rus’ architecture have been preserved in Chernigov, including the Spaso-Preobrazhenskii Cathedral (11th century), the Cathedral of St. Boris and St. Gleb (12th century), the Uspenskii Cathedral (12th century), the St. Elias Church (late 11th or early 12th century) and Paraskeva Piatnitsa Church (late 12th or early 13th century). Architectural landmarks of the 17th and 18th centuries (Ukrainian baroque) include Lizogub’s house (1690’s), the collegium (1702), the cathedral (1679–89) and refectory (1677–79) of the Troitskii Monastery, and St. Catherine’s Church (1715). At the beginning of the 19th century, Chernigov was built up according to a grid plan, with buildings in the classical style, such as the governor-general’s residence (1804; archiect A. D. Zakharov; since 1975 the Historical Museum).

Heavily damaged during the Great Patriotic War, Chernigov was rebuilt in accordance with a number of general plans (1945, 1958, and 1966); the central section was built up (1950–55; architects P. F. Buklevskii and I. D. lagodovskii), and theater buildings were erected (1958; architects D. S. Fridlin, S. P. Tutuchenko, and others), as were the oblast committee building of the Communist Party of the Ukraine and the House of Political Education (1974). The city has a monument to V. I. Lenin (bronze and granite, 1967; sculptors A. E. Belostotskii and O. A. Suprun, architect V. M. Ustinov) and a memorial to the victims of fascism (granite, 1974; architect A. A. Karnabed, sculptor G. P. Gutman).

Educational institutions include the T. G. Shevchenko Pedagogical Institute, a branch of the Kiev Polytechnic Institute, an evening mechanical and technical technicum, a cooperative technicum, a technicum of Soviet trade, a law technicum, a medical school, and a music school. There are two museums—the historical museum and the M. M. Kotsiubinskii literary memorial museum—in the city and a branch of the Sofia Museum Preserve. Chernigov also has an oblast theater of music and drama, an oblast puppet theater, and a philharmonic society.


Logvin, G. N. Chernigov, Novgorod-Severskii, Glukhov, Putivi. Moscow. 1965.
Karnobed. A. A. Chernihiv. [Photographic album with text by M. Romanika and photographs by V. Sychova. Kiev, 1967.]
Chernihovu 1050 rokiv: Rekomendalsiini spysky literatury. Chernigov, 1957.
Istoriia mist i sil Ukrains’skoi RSR: Chernihivs’ka oblast’. Kiev, 1972.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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