CHURCH-DEFENSIVE COMPLEXES 17th CENTURY IN CHERNIHIV REGION

2021;
: 26-34
Authors:
1
Department of Culture and Tourism of Chernihiv city council, Chernihiv

The article considers such a historical and fortification phenomenon as church defense
complexes. Their existence dates back to the late Middle Ages and Early Modern Times. This type of
fortified structures was spread on the territory of such modern countries as the Republic of Poland,
the Czech Republic, the Republic of Belarus, and Romania. Ukraine is no exception.
The question of the existence of church defense complexes or defense churches was considered
by Ukrainian historiography during the 20th century exclusively on the territory of the Western
Ukrainian and part of the Right Bank of Ukraine. However, the question arises whether such
complexes existed on the Left Bank of Ukraine including Chernihiv region? The problem with the
allocating of this type of fortifications in Chernihiv region is problematic due to the fact that they
were wooden. Today there are almost no traces of them left on the earth's surface. These complexes
can be studied only by a small number of written sources, as well as archaeological remains.
Therefore, by the beginning of the 21st century they did not come in a view of researchers. A brief
review of the above issues in this article allowed us to make some conclusions. The article gives an
example of 7 complexes that could be classified as defensive. These are primarily churches in such
settlements as Stolne, Loknyste, Veresoch, Kladkivka, Pechi, Olenivka and Saltykova Divytsia. In
general, these were architectural ensembles consisting of a wooden fence or a stockade, the church
sometimes with the bell tower. The bell tower also simultaneously served as an observation and signal
point, defensive tower. Such defensive churches were not stationary fortresses. They served as
temporary fortifications in case of sudden Tatar attacks. Тhe military and political situation in the
Left Bank of Ukraine stabilized at the beginning of the 18th century. Due to that fact church defensive
functions gradually disappear with its fortification elements.

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