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It is believed that Chernihiv, the capital of the Chernihiv Oblast, first existed in the ninth century according to archaeological evidence excavated in the area, which included unearthed settlements and artifacts from the immensely powerful state, Khazar Khaganate. However, the first formal mention of Chernihiv came in the 907 Rus’-Byzantine Treaty. By the end of the 10th century, Chernihiv was believed to be under its own rulership according to the findings of one of the earliest royal mounds to be excavated in Eastern Europe, which is referred to as the ‘black grave’ and was discovered in the 19th century.

Chernihiv was greatly respected as the second in power and general wealth accumulated in the whole southern area of Kievan Rus. During the 11th century it became the seat of the great ‘Grand Principality of Chernigov’, considered to be the largest in Kievan Rus due to its influence and support by those in the Severian towns all the way to Murom, Tmutarakan and Ryazan, some of the remotest regions. Population of the city soared, reaching 25 000 by 1239, but in the same year it was crushed under the power of Batu Khan. Domination of powers in region changed by rotation. Sadly Chernihiv was razed twice in 1482 and 1497.

By 1623 Megdeburg rights were granted to Chernihiv, allowing it to govern itself, and by 1635 it became the seat of Czernihow Voivodship. Once again Chernihiv grew in power during the seventeenth century whilst the uprising of Khmelnytsky was taking place. During 1667 the members of the ‘Treaty of Andrusovo’ became the main controllers of the area before surrendering it to Muscovite Russia. Chernigov still remained the self-governing centre of ‘Cossack Hetmanate' until this status was abolished, and reduced to a common administrative center belonging to the Russian Empire. However, it did become the capital of the local administrative units.

It must be noted that through most of the trying periods of Chernihiv’s history it managed to keep its ecclesiastical importance, being the seat of the archbishopric. To this day, there are the ancient caves of the Eletsky monasteries on the outskirts of the city, the original residence of the bishop. Its astounding 6 pillar cathedrals with traces of some historical murals still seen today were constructed in the period ranging from the 11th to the 12th centuries.

The city is located in east part of the Chernigov Polesye, on the right bank of the river Desna where its valley merges with Ljubech-Chernigov morenno-zandrovoy plain.

Area climate is Atlantic-continental with short and moderate-soft winter and warm long summer.The average ammount of precipitations in the warm period is 359 mm; in the cold one - 180 mm. Total evaporation from a land surface is 540 mm. The snow cover is from November, 2nd till February, 9th, the height of a snow cover is from 7 to 42 centimeters (average - 19 centimeters). Number of days with a snow cover is 95-110. Depth of ground freezing is from 24 to 141 centimeters.Dominating winds during the warm period has North-western direction, during the cold period – South-western direction. The biggest possible speeds of wind is 17 km/s - annually, 20-21 km/s - 1 time for 5-10 years, 22-23 km/s - for 15-20 years.On calculations the temperature of the coldest five-days makes 22°С below zero, duration of the heating period is 191 days, at its average temperature 1,7°С below zero.

How to get to Chernihiv:

The distance from Kyiv is only about 140 km. The most convenient and economical variant of getting to Chernihiv from Kyiv is to take a route taxi-bus (“marshrootka”):
Departure – from Lisova (Лісова) subway station each day from 6 a.m. till 10 p.m. approximately every 30 minutes; Fare – 30 UAH, arrival – the Ukraina Hotel or Megacenter department stores, both situated in the downtown of Chernihiv.
Return direction – from the points of arrival on the same schedule.

You are certainly free to choose other variants of traveling to Chernihiv – renting a car, taking a taxi etc. There are also other variants of traveling to Chernihiv (by railway etc.).And as soon as you are in Chernihiv, you can choose from the several variants of the city transport: bus, route taxi-bus, trolleybus and taxi. However, you might not need either of them because the city is rather small and comfortable for walking.


Travel to Ukraine and visit Chernihiv, which belongs to the most ancient European cities. Here you will find a lot of historical attractions from the medieval churches to the WWII battle machinery...  Below you'll find the "eight wonders" of Chernihiv according to our own rating, but please mind that there are much more than 8 of them!

St. Anthony's Caves

Among Chernihiv's many antique sites, St. Anthony’s Caves were burrowed as an underground cloister founded in 1069. Chenihiv's Caves are an interesting labyrinth complexof underground corridors about 350 meters in total length, under the 11th Century Illinsky Church. Visit St.Anthony's Caves to see if the rumors of 'paranormal activity' are true.

Rampart of Chernihiv
is Chernihiv's historical and spiritual cradle. The Rampart is rich with ancient buildings and points of interest, dating through several centuries. Also ftwelve 18th Century cast-iron cannons featured along the perimeter of the Rampart are an irresistible clambering spot for children and backdrop for many family snapshots. Visit the Rampart of Chernihiv and add this historic picturesque spot to your own collection of memories.

Cathedral of The Transfiguration
boasts a position amongst the most ancient of Ukrainian and Russian churches. The unique quality lies in its architecture, which is a combination of Byzantine style with Romanesque elements. Inside, the sarcophagi of several Kyivan Rus royalty are set in a somber presence. The Cathedral is rich in historical lore: it is said that a mysterious underpass to the Desna River exists on the site.

Cathedral of Boris and Gleb
is a popular historic sight of Chernihiv, named after the two princes who were murdered by their brothers, and later canonized. The most famous feature of this Cathedral is the stunning silver Royal Doors, set on behalf of Cossack leader Ivan Mazepa and crafted from an ancient pagan idol.

St. Paraskeva’s Church
was built at the end of the 12th Century, in a sturdy fortress-like style popular for that period, but has been nearly destroyed and rebuilt many times throughout the centuries; nearly two-thirds of the building was destroyed in World War II. It has since been reconstructed to original form, but you can still see the building’s nine-hundred-year-old foundation and enjoy the original look of an ancient Slavic church. There is a “magic” stone in its wall — touch it to make a wish come true.

Yeletsky Cloister
This cloister is the oldest and the largest one in Chernihiv. It was founded in 1060 on the place where the Chernihiv prince found the wonderful icon hanging on a fir tree in the wood. Now it's a functioning nunnery. You can visit it, see the baroque-styled buildings and hear interesting legends about this place. Traveling in Ukraine you should have a tour to Chernihiv and get acquainted with this outstanding place.

The Trinity cloister
is situated in a historical land of Chernihiv, at the “Hills of Bolda”. Relics of Saint Feodosiy are housed on the sight, which are quite popular in the orthodox religion. You can visit the magnificent cathedral here and climb up the bell tower to have a bird-eye view of the ancient city in all its quiet magnitude.

St. Catherine’s Church was founded in the 17th century by the Chernihiv Cossacks. St. Catherine’s is lit in the evening, providing a glorious viewpoint in nighttime as well as at daytime.
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photo. Ukraine. Chernihiv

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photo. Ukraine. Chernihiv

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photo. Ukraine. Chernihiv

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photo. Ukraine. Chernihiv


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