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John the Apostle Church in Nizhyn.

Nizhyn ( ; ; Nezhin) is a city located in the Chernihiv Oblast of northern Ukrainemarker, along the Oster River, 150 km north-east of the nation's capital, Kievmarker. It is the administrative center of the Nizhynsky Raion, though the city itself is also designated as a district in the oblast. Its estimated population is 76,625 (as of the 2001 census).

History

The earliest known references to the location go back to 1147, when it was briefly mentioned as Unenezh. In the times of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, Nizhyn was granted Magdeburg rights (1625) as a self-governing town. Nizhyn was once a major center of Hasidic Judaism and is the site of the Ohelmarker (tomb) of the Hasidic master, Rabbi Dovber Schneuri of Chabad-Lubavitch. It was also the seat of a major Cossack regiment (until 1782) and of the thriving Greek community , which enjoyed a number of privileges granted by Bogdan Khmelnytsky.

In the nineteenth century Nizhyn became an uyezd capital of Chernigov Guberniya and, before 1808, of Malorosiyskaya (or Little Russian) gubernia. In 1805, the Bezborodko Lyceum was established there; its graduates include Nikolai Gogol, whose statue graces one of city streets. Nizhyn has also long been noted for its famous cucumbers.

In July 1969 two Tupolev Tu-22 aircraft from the nearby air base collided in mid-air. The crew ejected and the plane flew on unpiloted for 52 minutes, threatening the city of Nezhin before crashing 0.5 km from the city's railway station.The city of Nizhyn is one of the ancient cities of Ukraine. The architectural complex of the city forms an expressive ensemble of an ancient trade city. The experts’ estimates distinguish more that 300 ancient buildings, where 70 are of a great cultural and historical value. The expressive 200 years ensemble of Post Station (the only one preserved in Ukraine) deserves special mention. Nizhyn is a city of students (each fifth inhabitant of Nizhyn is a student). The following educational establishments operate in Nizhyn – State University named after Gogol; Agro-technical College, faculty of Kremenchyk Institute of Economy and New Technologies, College of Culture and Arts named after Zankovetska, Medical College, Nizhyn Professional Lyceum of Services, Nizhyn Agrarian Lyceum, vocational college, Lyceum at the University. There are four club institutions, the Drama Theater named after Kotsyubinskiy, the Choreographic school and park landscapes in the city. The city boasts 38 libraries with the total fund of 1736,5 thousand books, which caters for 44 429 readers, more than a dozen of museums, including Nizhyn Regional museum with the following sections: art, history, Nizhyn Post Station, with about 31 thousand of exhibits of the main fund, the Museum of the History of School No.3, the Museum of the History of School No.7 with a room of M.V.Nechkina, the Korolyov Museum in School No.14, the Glory Museum of Agrarian and Technical Institute, the Museum-Chemists shop named after M.Ligda. The following institutions function at Nizhyn State Pedagogical Institute named after Gogol: The Museum of Gogol, Art Gallery, the Museum “Rare book”, zoological museum, and botanical museum.Nizhyn is a well-known industrial center, where 16 industrial enterprises, which belong to 8 branches, operate.Nizhyn is also an attractive tourist city. It is included into the tour “Necklace of Slavutych”.

Sights

Architecturally Nezhin was shaped in the 18th century. Foremost among its buildings must be mentioned its seven Baroque churches: Annunciation Cathedral (1702-16, modernised 1814), Presentation Cathedral (1788), St. Michael's Church of the Greek community (1719-29), St John's Church (1752, illustrated, to the right), Saviour's Transfiguration Church (1757), Intercession Church (1765), and the so-called Cossack Cathedral of St. Nicholas (1658, restored 1980s), a rare survival from the days of Nezhin's Cossack glory, noted for its octagonal vaults and drums crowned by archetypal pear-shaped domes ( picture). Other notable buildings include the Trinity Church (1733, rebuilt a century later), the Greek magistrate (1785), and the Neoclassical complex of the Nizhyn Lyceum (designed by Luigi Rusca, built in 1805-17, expanded in 1876-79).

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