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On the left bank of the Desna-river at the place where its tributary the Oster-river inflows into it there is a small town that bears the same name – Oster. Now the town is aside from the modern highways but initially it lay on the main road that led from Kyiv to the northern lands of Rus. With the lapse of time the road has shifted slightly to the east. And Oster turned out to be out of circulation, although located only 15 km away from the road.

On the outskirts of modern town there is a surrounded with rampart hill which is the site of ancient settlement on the bank of slowly flowing Oster-river. That is the place where stood Old Rus fortress on the Oster-river. The rise of the settlement dates back to 1098. Annals mention: «That year Volodymyr Monomakh laid the Town (Gradets) on the Oster». The fortress was a part of Pereyaslav appanage principality which long remained the patrimony of Monomakh family. In 1136 the fortress was transmitted to the son of Volodymyr Monomakh, Duke of Suzdal Yuriy (Gurgiy). He is known in history as Yuriy Dolgorukiy (Long-handed), a founder of Moscow. Founded to play an important defensive role on the approaches to Kyiv the fortress soon earned the dashing glory. It turned into the springboard for attacks on Kyiv of challengers for Kyiv throne. The fortress was transmitting from one prince to another and was ruined several times. That is why the territory of ancient settlement is rather small. It was purely a military settlement. On the edge of the ancient settlement one can see the remains of temple (the Michael’s Church). It is the main tourist attraction of Oster as there are not many preserved monuments of the XI century in the world. And this is one of 19 architectural monuments in Ukraine dated the period of princely era.

In 1240, the fortress was destroyed by the Mongols, and the settlement shifted a little farther from the river. The place where the fortress was located became known as Old Oster and later – Stargorodok (Old Town). And new settlement, which arose in the early 14th century got the name of Oster.

Modern Oster is a small, provincial town on the banks of the Desna. But it preserves cultural heritage. There is a museum which is the oldest in Ukraine and large stone Resurrection Church (19 century).

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