Detinets Park is the oldest part of Chernihiv. It was the location of ancient Chernihiv, founded around 700. The park is part of the Ancient Chernihiv National Architectural and Historical Reserve, and contains several historic buildings and monuments. It’s also a nice place to relax and have an ice cream while sitting under the shade of the trees.
In the center of the park, there are two religious buildings that have been converted into museums. The first building I came to is the Collegium. Once the residence of the Archbishop of Chernihiv, it now houses a museum of Ukrainian iconography.
Next is Saints Boris and Gleb Cathedral. It was built in 1120 and also houses a small museum. The church was founded by Prince David, a grandson of Yaroslav the Wise. A statue of Igor II, a Grand Prince of Kiev and saint in the Orthodox Church, sits behind the cathedral.
The two museums are not worth the price of admission. It’s better to admire the buildings from the outside and save the 35 UAH (as of May 2013) to visit them. I also found one of the old ladies at the door to be very rude when she realized I didn’t understand Ukrainian or Russian.
Transfiguration Cathedral, a functioning church built in 1033, sits in the center of the park near the first two buildings. It’s apparently the oldest church in the Ukraine. Prince Mstislav of Chernihiv is buried inside.
Other buildings in the park include the Chernihiv State Archives, the Tarnovsky Chernihiv Regional History Museum, and the Chernihiv Regional Art Museum. I didn’t visit either of the museums.
Across from the park is St. Catherine’s Church, which was built in 1715. It was constructed in honor of the bravery of the Chernihiv regiment of Cossacks during the storming of the Ottoman fortress of Azov. The Soviets used the building as a museum.
Near the church is the Monument to the Fighters for Freedom and Independence of the Ukraine. The flowered Heroes’ Alley leads from the church into central Chernihiv.