Mirgorod Histrory

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Mirgorod is one of the most ancient settlements of the Left-Bank Ukraine. The explorers of the antiquity hypothesize that Mirgorod was founded in the 12th— 13th centuries, in the time of Kievan Rus, as an observation post of the Eastern area of the Old-Rus State. It was a convenient place for conduct¬ing peace negotiations between neighboring peoples and tribes. This is presumably where the name of the city takes its origin from — Mirgorod ("The City of Peace").

The history of the city is closely connected with the formation and development of Ukrainian Cossacks. Since the times of old it was a regi¬mental city of the Mirgorod Cossacks who took an active part in the libera¬tion war of Ukrainian people against foreign invaders. We know from liter¬ary sources that the Mirgorod Cossacks, leaded by hetman Yakiv Ostryanytsya, also participated in the peasant-Cossack revolt against Polish gentry in 1638. The Mirgorod Cossack regiment was one of the most battle-worthy and stable in Bohdan Khmelnytsky's army during the liberation war of 1648-1654.

In 1695, Mirgorod Cossacks included into Peter's I Russian army stormed the Azov and Taman Fortresses, and other Turkish fortifica¬tions. In those battles "Danylo Apostol, colonel of Mirgorod, displayed his braveness better than others".

With the resurrection of hetmandom in 1727 the Mirgorod colonel Danylo Apostol was elected hetman of the Left-Bank Ukraine. He held this respected by Cossacks post till 1734. Danylo Apostol is buried in Gogol's Velyki Sorochyntsi in the Preobrazhenska Church whose foundation he laid, which still remains one of the best samples of religious building of the Left-Bank Ukraine of the early 18th century. The Church is out¬standing for its lavishly decorated in the Ukrainian baroque style facades and its unique wood-carved iconostasis.

In this Church in 1809 Nikolai Gogol, a great writer, was christened.

The talented icon-painters D. I. and V. L. Borovykovskys, well-known far beyond the Ukrainian boundaries, take their origin from Mirgorod Cossack families. This city was often visited by V V. Kapnist, a prominent Russian and Ukrainian writer and public figure, the author of The Ode about Slavery and The Talebearer.

In 1802, Mirgorod became the dis¬trict centre of the newly established Poltava province. During the Patriotic war of 1812 the Mirgorod people took an active part in the struggle against Napoleonic inva¬ders. In that very time Mirgorod was the quarter-site of the Siversky dragoon regiment where the future author of The Aeneid, I. P. Kotlyarevsky, served.

In Khomutets, a neighboring town of Mirgorod, an interesting landmark has been preserved till nowadays — the mansion of a local nobleman, I. M. Muravyov-Apostol, the father of the brave Decembrists Matviy, Serhiy and Ipolyt who actively struggled against the Russian autocracy. In 1845, Mirgorod was visited by the man of genius Taras Shevchenko. Later a monument to Kobzar was erected in the street that had been named after him. Mirgorod is the mother town of the gifted Rudchenko brothers known as writers Ivan Bilyk and Panas Myrny.

In the late 19th century a railway Kyiv-Poltava was laid through Mirgorod. Davyd Huramishvili, a renowned classic Georgian writer, had lived in Mirgorod for 32 years. A monument to him was erected on his grave and another one — at the entrance to the literary-memorial museum. In 1896, the Gogol artistic-industrial school was founded in Mirgorod. Here 0. H. Slastyon, an outstanding Ukrainian artist and ethnographer, worked. Nowadays the Mirgorod Gogol State Ceramics Technical School is recognized all over Ukraine as an important centre of studio pottery.

According to the census of 1939, 18939 people lived in Mirgorod. The city had an electric power station, a resort, three secondary and four 7-year schools, a mineral water plant and other enterprises.

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