Discover Bila Tserkva for yourself!
Oleksandria Dendrological Park
It is the biggest (400,67 ha) and the oldest (since 1788) dendrological park in Ukraine, which fascinates by its beauty over the seasons.
It was a country seat of Branicki’s aristocratic family, which Count Ksawery Branicki granted to his wife Countess Aleksandra Branicka in 1784. The Countess was a charismatic woman who willing to have her own park. She got the inspiration from all those beautiful European parks that she visited when travelling. The author of the park’s site plan was the French architect. Along with the creation of parklands, there were being built different architectural structures.
Today the park is where about 5 thousand trees older than 200 years are growing (including about 700 of introduced). There are unique collections of over 2500 plant species including the largest in Ukraine collection of taxus (4 species and 22 cultivars), juniper (4 species and 83 cultivars) and 117 cultivars of apple. It also has Amphitheater (Colonnade “Echo”) with unique acoustic properties, Chinese bridge which is a delicate pavilion with a curved roof created in the spirit of South-east Asian architecture, Architectural composition “Ruins” which resembles a ruined castle and others that can easy catch your eye.
Zamkova Hora is the modern name of the early settlement of the ancient city of Yuriv located in the city centre of Bila Tserkva on the left bank of the river Ros.
It is an archaeological monument of the national importance of XI – XIII centuries. Zamkova Hora had a strategic importance during the reign of Prince Yaroslav the Wise when a southern border of Kievan Rus’ was moved to the Ros river.
Yuriv city was found in 1032 where Zamkova Hora was as an outpost to protect the city against of nomadic peoples’ attacks. In XI century the Church of St. George the Conqueror who was the encourager of the city was built on Zamkova Hora.
Yuriv city was burned by Kipchaks in 1095. After reconstruction the city was operating until 1240 then again fell under the onslaught of the Mongol-Tatar invasion. Since XIV century the city named as Bila Tserkva.
Monument to Yaroslav the Wise
Monument to Yaroslav the Wise (Ukrainian: Yaroslav Mudryi) was opened on 950th anniversary of Bila Tserkva and installed on Zamkova Hora. In XI – XIII centuries the citadel of Yuriv ancient city founded by Yaroslav in 1032 was located here.
Sculptor of the monument is M. Konstiantynov and the architect is V.Hniezdilov. Museumificated remains of St. George the Conqueror Church foundation of XI century, which gave a new name to the city – BilaTserkva, are between the monument and the building of local history museum.
St. John the Baptist Church
Church of St. John the Baptist is an architectural monument of national importance. It was built in 1812 on Zamkova Hora by order of Ksawery Branicki.
There are assumptions that Italian architect Domenico Botani was involved in the construction.
The building is 27 meters high and was built in the Ukrainian classicism style. The pediment has the all-seeing eye which is in a triangle surrounded by angels. The interior is decorated with stucco works of Italian masters. The parish church became Branicki’s family vault.
The House of chamber and organ music is located in this church since 1990 and Roman Catholic worships are conducted here as well.
Museum of Local Lore, History and Economy
Bila Tserkva Museum of Local Lore, History and Economy was founded in 1924 as a District Museum of Antiquities and located in the Winter Palace of Branickis’. S. L. Drozdow the founder and first director of the museum presented part of his private collection to the museum.
In June 1926 the museum was transferred to a former Roman Catholic priest house on Zamkova Hora. In 1947 the museum was granted the status of Bila Tserkva Museum of Local Lore, History and Economy. Later, in 1978 the museum was closed for renovation, and in 1983 the new display was opened in the new building of the museum.
The museum collection includes more than 78 thousand items. The museum celebrated its 90th anniversary in 2014. Now the institution is a powerful scientific centre on the Right Bank of Kyiv oblast, where local history readings named after Petro Lebedyntsev and scientific conferences are conducted.
St. Mary Magdalene Church
Church of St. Mary Magdalene was built in 1843 with funds of Vladislav Branicki. The church was built in a late Ukrainian classicism style. The architect is unknown.
Three icons for the church iconostasis were created by I. Mishchenko, who was a student of I. Repin and a graduate of the St. Petersburg Academy of Arts. He was buried in the church cemetery.
The church was placed under state protection as a monument of civil architecture of local importance in 1990.
In the 90s of XX century, the church chapel was built near the church. Since 2001 the convent of Bila Tserkva episcopacy of Ukrainian Orthodox Church (Moscow Patriarchate) has been functioning.
Branickis’ Winter Palace
The Winter Palace was built on the site of the starosta’s castle in 1796.
For some time the palace housed the Branickis’ museum of weapons, later in the XIX century there was a Head Office of Branickis’ estates. In this building was situated the District Museum of Antiquities in 1924, District party organization in 1930 – 1941, German military hospital in 1941 – 1943, special hospital #2686 for German prisoners of war in1944 – 1949, Bila Tserkva Regional Executive Committee of the Communist Party and district committee of people’s control since the 50s to 60s of XX century.
Currently, Art School #1 and Archives Department of Bila Tserkva Rayon Administration are situated in the building of the Winter Palace.
The Palace was built in the classical style. It is a valuable example of Ukraine civil architecture of the end of the XVIII century and an architectural monument of national importance.
Gymnasium Building Complex
Gymnasium Building Complex is an example of civil architecture of local importance. The campus of men’s gymnasium was built at the expense of Branickis’ during 1843 – 1847 next to the Jesuit Monastery of the XVIII century on the project of F. Wolman architect.
In 1863, with the assistance of the gymnasium headmaster N. Chalyi, was opened a parish school at the gymnasium, and a women’s gymnasium in 1890.
The outstanding teachers worked at the gymnasium: M. Chalyi – the director, a friend and the first biographer of T. Shevchenko, I. Soshenko – the drawing teacher and a friend of T. Shevchenko, K.Stetsenko – the teacher of music and singing.
In 1920, the gymnasium premises were transferred to the agricultural technical school, which was renamed as the Veterinary Zootechnical Institute in 1931.
In 1931 – 1935 on the project of Kyiv architect A. Kobelev (1860-1942) a new three-storey building of Bila Tserkva Agricultural Institute was built in the style of Soviet neoclassicism. In 2007 Bila Tserkva State Agrarian University, where 10 thousand students study, was granted the status of the national university.
Transfiguration cathedral was built in 1833 – 1839 biennium on order of Countess O.V. Branitcka in the classic style on a typical project. Building is 40 meters height. The cathedral was consecrated by Metropolitan of Kiev and Galicia on October 24, 1839. Countess Branitcka had passed away before the building was completed and she was buried on August 15, 1839 in the unconsecrated cathedral. The cathedral was the only first class church among the rural churches of the Diocese of Kyiv. In the middle of the XIX century its parish was up to 2 483 men. In 1956, the Transfiguration Cathedral was listed as a monument of national importance, in 1989 was transferred to the ecclesiastical parish. Transfiguration cathedral became the center of Ukrainian Orthodox Church under the Moscow Patriarchate in 1994.
Saint Nikolas Church
Foundation for St. Nicholas Church was laid on August 25th in 1706 by hetman Ivan Mazepa and Bila Tserkva Colonel Konstiantyn Mokiyevskyi.
Due to the great historical events, the church was not completed, and in 1799 it suffered from the fire. In 1839, after the consecration of the Transfiguration Cathedral the northern side of St. Nicholas Church was taken to pieces, and the southern (current St. Nicholas church) was in ruins.
In 1852, the archpriest of the Transfiguration Cathedral Petro Lebedyntsev (1819- 1896) author of many works on the history and archaeology of Kyiv and Bila Tserkva, editor of “Kyiv antiquity” journal, reconstructed the southern part of the church to keep it for descendants.
The building is 11,7 meters height and was built in the Ukrainian Baroque style. In 1967 the church entered the list of architectural monuments of national importance.
Taras Schevchenko Square
Taras Schevchenko square is located in the historical centre of the city. In 1925 the City Council decided to rename Smoliana street on Taras Shevchenko street.
During the temporary German occupation the city centre significantly was affected by bombings, and as a result, the square was formed in the beginning of Taras Shevchenko street.
According to the decision of Bila Tserkva City Council the square was named after Taras Shevchenko in March 1961 to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the poet’s death.
Monument to Taras Shevchenko
Monument to Taras Shevchenko was grandly opened on 22 September 1991, on the City Day.
The authors are the sculptor and People’s Artist of Ukraine O. Kovalov, architects V. Fedotov and V. Shtuchnyi. The filial branch of “Prosvita” society organised several times the communal works to improve the area around the monument. At the rally on the occasion of the monument opening the authors were present.
The monument was established in honor of Taras Shevchenko’s stay in Bila Tserkva, which he visited for the first time in 1831, when he served the pan P. Engelhard as a boy servant, and the second visit was in 1846 to explore the “Oleksandria” park and to take a look at historical and architectural monuments of the city. Taras Shevchenko described his feelings about Bila Tserkva in the novel “The Walk with Pleasure and not without Moral”.
Torhovi riady (Merchant’s rows)
Merchant’s rows were built to order of Ksawery Branicki in the Empire style in 1809-1814. The architect is unknown.
The square building has an open courtyard of 1300 square meters. The loggias which are situated around the inner and outer perimeter of the rows protect visitors from the sun and the weather. In the middle of each of the three frontages were entrances to the courtyard for carts with goods. The main entrance has a high granite staircase. The special value of this monument of national importance is that it is one of the few buildings in Ukraine which are preserved.
Torhova Square appeared in the beginning of XIX century in trade and crafts centre of Bila Tserkva, where Merchant’s rows were and where four streets met. The area was built up by small shops and workshops of craftsmen. Only wealthy commoners lived here.
Its previous titles are Large square, Market square, Selling square the area received because here were held fairs. In 1893, out of the local taxes was allocated 25 000 rubles to lay stone-block pavement on the marketplace; in 1899 two gardens were planted here. In the 30s of the last century, the market moved to Yarmarkova street and the square was named after Lenin.
By 1991, the building of the city committee of the Communist Party was located on the square, which now serves as the city council. The temporary memorial in honour of the Heaven’s Hundred Heroes and ATO soldiers is established on the square.
City Park of Culture and Recreation of Taras Shevchenko
City Park of Culture and Recreation of Taras Shevchenko for the first time was marked on the map in 1913 as a public garden, the favourite place to walk and rest for the wealthy burghers.
In May 1924 the garden named after H. Petrovskyi was opened on the territory of the park. The official founding date is considered to be 1932.
After World War II started an active reconstruction of the park, there were two summer theatres, a place for reading, a shopping pavilion, a dance pavilion, rides, a shooting gallery and a fountain. In 1950 – 1970-ies the military brass band played here on weekends.
The park was renamed in honour of Taras Shevchenko on 28 August 2003 to his 190th anniversary. In 2010 Space Heroes memorial was opened in the park next to the chestnut tree planted by Soviet cosmonaut Popovych. Today the park covers 5,2 hectares. Every year there are competitions, festivals and exhibitions are held and celebration of traditional holidays in the park are becoming popular.
Monument to Bohdan Khmelnytskyi
The monument to Bogdan Khmelnitsky was installed to Bila Tserkva 950s anniversary in May 1983.
It was made at the local plant “Silmash”, model to the monument is an effort of the plant artist Hubrii. The lettering on the pedestal says: “During the liberation war of 1648 – 1654 under the leadership of Bogdan Khmelnitsky Bila Tserkva was a strong point of the struggle of the Ukrainian people against Polish enslavement.”
In the late 80s shortly before the establishment of the independents of Ukraine at the time of activation of national identity “Narodnyi Ruh Ukrainy” party held meetings and special events near the monument.