The stone church in Chernihiv region, which is a century-old architectural monument.
Throughout Ukraine’s history, the fate of Ukrainian churches frequently took tragic turns. In the past, they were either destroyed by invaders, captured by various denominations, or closed because there was allegedly no God: in the Soviet Union, it was believed that religion was the opium of the people.
A similar destiny befell the Ascension Church in the village of Lukashivka in the Chernihiv region. The first wooden church was built on its site in 1781 and dismantled at the beginning of the 20th century. Instead, a stone temple was erected here in 1913. It was cruciform, with a two-tiered belfry, and designed in the style of eparchial architecture, which was popular in the Russian Empire of that time.
After seizing power in Ukraine, the Bolsheviks closed the church and used it as a warehouse until 1988. It was the fate of many temples that were unfortunate enough to fall under Soviet control.
No one could have imagined, however, that the Russian army in the 21st century would convert a century-old architectural landmark and the spiritual centre of a community into a military headquarters and ammunition depot. Unfortunately, this was exactly what happened to the Ascension Church in 2022 when the Russian troops came to Lukashivka on the 21st day of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Half a thousand Russian soldiers with dozens of equipment units stayed beside and inside the temple until the end of March. During fierce battles, the church was destroyed: its facades, domes with crosses, and interiors were mutilated. When the Armed Forces of Ukraine expelled the Russian forces from the Chernihiv region, rescuers found not only the remains of ammunition and garbage but also human bodies on the temple’s territory.
Entire generations in Lukashivka have united around the local church for centuries. Here, they exchanged vows, baptised their children, prayed, and accompanied family and friends on their final journey. Until barbaric Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in 2022.
The site that once held memories has now turned into a memory itself.
The first building of the Vasyl Tarnavsky Museum of Ukrainian Antiquities, modern library and hub for youth. For 120 years, this place protected Ukrainian history, culture, and spirituality.
The site that is famous for the mosaics by a Merited Artist of Ukraine Volodymyr Zinchenko, which became invaluable Ukrainian monumental artworks.
The stadium was built in the 1930s and is the base of Olympic training in Chernihiv.
An integral part of the historical heritage of Chernihiv and one of the oldest sanctuaries of the Orthodox world.
A historical monument of local importance, where the KGB archive was kept.
Building of Regional Youth Center, earlier – Cinema named after Shchors, built in 1939.
An outstanding monument of history and architecture built in 1820–1827 in honour of the victory in the war with Napoleon’s army.