Pereiaslav-Khmelnytskyi – Historical Sanctuary

Visitors to the town of Pereiaslav-Khmelnytskyi, located at the confluence of the Alta River and Trubizh River in the Kiev Oblast of Ukraine, will find that there are plenty of interesting attractions to visit. In fact, the entire town has been proclaimed as a historical sanctuary, with a history going back to before the year 911 where it was first recorded in the text of the treaty between the Byzantine Empire and Kievan Rus. Pereiaslav-Khmelnytskyi is situated 95 kilometers south of Kiev and serves as the administrative center of the district of the same name.

In 992, under the direction of the Prince of Kiev, Vladimir I, a large fortress was built at Pereyaslav-Russki – the name of the town as recorded in the Rus’-Byzantine Treaty – in order to protect the southern border of Kievan Rus’ from invading nomads in the area which is now southern Ukraine. From mid-11th century through to its destruction in 1239 by the Tatars, the town served as the capital of the Principality of Pereiaslavl. The settlement was rebuilt and by the latter part of the 1500s, serving as the base for Ukrainian Cossacks. The town was the venue for the Council of Pereyaslav, also known as the Treaty of Pereyaslav – an agreement detailing a military alliance between the Ukrainian Cossacks, led by Bohdan Khmelnytsky, and the Tsardom of Russia. The Russo-Polish War of 1654-1667 resulted in the Russians being ousted and the town was renamed Pereiaslav-Khmelnytskyi in 1943 in acknowledgement of this event in history.

The attractions in Pereiaslav-Khmelnytskyi include the Museum of Folk Architecture, displaying a comprehensive collection of historical items relating to the architecture and traditions of the people of Ukraine. Other museums visitors to the town may want to see are the Museum of Space Exploration, Museum of Beekeeping, Museum of the Cossack Glory, Museum of Rushnyk, Museum of Ukrainian Traditional Dress, and the Museum of Bread. The St Michael’s church in the town was built in the mid-1600s, as was the Ascension monastery, with its cathedral being added at the end of the 17th century. Excavated ruins of 10th and 11th century buildings also offer some fascinating insight into the history of this beautiful region of Ukraine.