Alex van Terheyden
A weekend in Chernihiv, Ukraine
You find yourself in the beautiful capital of Ukraine - Kyiv. And yet, you feel it’s time to visit another city in Ukraine - but where should you go? Lviv, Odesa, Kharkiv or some place else? Well, the easiest option as it’s very close and accessible in a city some two hours by car to the North East of Kyiv. After you have navigated that well-travelled route, you will find the lovely historical city of Chernihiv. A city that has undergone recent renovation and has at least 1000 years of history to make it worthy of all history enthusiasts attention.
Chernihiv has a population of just over 280,000 - however, with the investment that seems to be flowing into the city and the region I believe it won’t be long before the population increases dramatically even if it is simply tourism.
To get to Chernihiv I took a BlaBlah bus from the centre of Kyiv. However, you could get a bus, train or even a private jet if you have the means. If you are curious about how best to travel around Ukraine - Check out this article. (How to Travel in Ukraine).
Viking explorers, Mongolian hoards and Islamic warlords have all found themselves passing over the land that makes up the present-day city of Chernihiv. If you had a time machine to take in the last 1000 years of Chernihiv you would witness much bloodshed from those I just mentioned as well as the carnage from formidable Nazis and the communist loving Soviets. It’s fair to say life hasn’t been easy for the Ukrainians who built this city to what it is today.
Thankfully we are living in a time of relative peace despite the Globalist driven war in eastern Ukraine this part of Ukraine is a place many older Ukrainians actually go to retire because they like the peaceful way of life here. Upon arriving in Chernihiv I personally was here to explore as many of the cities sights over the course of the weekend. As I was travelling solo and simply needed a comfortable bed for a couple of nights I picked the very Soviet hotel “Hotel Ukraine”. For the money it cost, I really couldn’t complain and if I was coming back to Chernihiv as a solo warrior again I would happily stay there again (that’s a solid recommendation in The Wondering Englishman’s world).
The first impression of the city was how green and well-manicured the centre of the city was. Trees are certainly loved in this unique northern Ukrainian city and while it may not have the old cobbled streets that Lviv and Poltava may have it certainly has charm and elegance that took me by surprise.
From the grand central Square which is aptly called “Krasna Ploshcha” which literally means Beautiful Square to the bustling promenade of “Heroiv Alley” which leads locals and tourists to the Ancient Chernihiv National architectural and historical reserve where you find many Orthodox Churches and Museums. The city has more than enough to gawp at and take in over a weekend escape from Kyiv.
As someone who is a fan of Soviet Monuments that celebrate the bravery of those who gave their lives for the Soviet Union the city of Chernihiv does not disappoint. Although the De-Communisation of Ukraine that was set into Law after the 2014 Revolution has swept away all statues of Lenin and statues celebrating Bolsheviks. However, you won’t be disappointed as you wander around the city as many impressive monuments still remain.
No trip to Chernihiv would be complete without marvelling at the ancient Monastries that are to be found dotted around the city. The stand out one for me and I think many tourists is the Monastry established by Saint Antoni (Anthony). The Monk at the time who was influenced by the monastery caves in Kyiv built a labyrinth of caves under the monastery where he and other men of worship would spend the remainder of their lives before TB, Black Lung or Trench Mouth took hold of them in the dark damp cave networks.
If you are curious to learn more about Chernihiv and what you might see over a weekend break there, please check out my latest video on Chernihiv “48 hours in Chernihiv Ukraine”. Also if this blog, my videos or any of my other blogs on Ukraine inspired you to visit. Do leave a comment below and let me know how you got on. I would love to hear all about it - it humbles me when people reach out and let me know I may have inspired them and I also love it when you fire back tips and suggestions for my next adventure. Do not be shy - reach out anytime!
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