Merchant's house in Novhorod-Siverskyi


Coordinates: 51°59′N 33°16′E / 51.983°N 33.267°E / 51.983; 33.267Coordinates: 51°59′N 33°16′E / 51.983°N 33.267°E / 51.983; 33.267
Country Ukraine
Oblast Chernihiv Oblast
Raion Novhorod-Siverskyi Raion
  Total 11.81 km2 (4.56 sq mi)
Population (2001)
  Total 15,200

Novhorod-Siverskyi (Ukrainian: Новгород-Сіверський, Novhorod Siverskyi, Ukrainian pronunciation: [ˈnɔwɦorod ˈsʲiwersʲkɪi̯]; Russian: Но́вгород-Се́верский, Novgorod-Seversky; Polish: Nowogród Siewierski) is a historic city in the Chernihiv Oblast (province) of Ukraine. It is the administrative center of the Novhorod-Siverskyi Raion, and is situated on the bank of the Desna River, 330 km from the capital, Kiev, and 45 km south of the Russian border. Current estimated population: 15,000.


The town was first chronicled in 1044. From 1098 it was the capital of the Siverian Principality, which served as a buffer zone against incursions of the Cumans (Polovtsy) and other steppe peoples. One of the numerous campaigns of local princes against the Cumans produced the great monument of early East Slavic literature, the Tale of Igor's Campaign.

After the town's destruction by Mongols in 1239, it passed to the princes of Bryansk and then to the Grand Dukes of Lithuania. It was ruled by Dymitr Korybut (Kaributas), son of Algirdas. Muscovy obtained the area following the Battle of Vedrosha in 1503, but lost it to Poland after the Time of Troubles. The town finally passed to Russia as a result of the Russo-Polish War (1654-1667). During the Cossack epoch, it received the status of military company town (sotenne misto) and later regimental town (polkove misto); these were military and administrative divisions in the Cossack army and country. Also Novhorod-Siverskyi became a cultural center of Left-Bank Ukraine. It was made the capital of a separate namestnichestvo in 1782–97. Thereafter its importance steadily declined.

During World War II, Novhorod-Siverskyi was occupied by the German Army from 26 August 1941 to 16 September 1943.


Despite historic disasters, the town has preserved many architectural monuments, and a branch of the Chernihiv State Historical and Architectural Preserve has been established. The town has managed to keep random planning in its landscape. The boundary of the town historical center is vague. The tourist attractions are located on two high capes divided by ravines: the ensemble of Our Savior and Transfiguration Monastery and the town centre. The architectural monuments of state significance are scattered on five separate areas which compose the territory of the preserve. The biggest area is the territory of Our Savior and Transfiguration Monastery. The other areas are Uspensky (Dormition) Cathedral, the wooden St. Nicolas church, a triumphal arch, and shopping arcades. There are constructions and residential buildings from the 18th and 19th centuries in the town centre. The main point of interest in the town is the former residence of the Chernihiv metropolitans, the monastery of the Saviour's Transfiguration. It features a ponderous Neoclassical cathedral (1791–96, design by Giacomo Quarenghi), seventeenth-century stone walls, and several ecclesiastic foundations dating from the sixteenth century. Other landmarks include the Cossack Baroque Assumption cathedral, a triumphal arch (1787), and the wooden church of St. Nicholas (1760).

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