History of Kozelets

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Every spring wide banks of the Oster-river resemble a carpet made of yellow flowers Scorzonera (Kozelets in Ukrainian). They say that it gave the name of the settlement Kozelets. Advantageous position on the highway from Chernihiv to Kyiv contributed to the rapid growth of the settlement which is known since XV century.

In the XVIII century. here happened one of many illogical events that was characteristic of that period. In the spring of 1731 Russian Colonel F.S. Vishnevsky stayed for night at the village of Chemer near Kozelets. Having entered the church to pray the officer was struck by a powerful bass voice, which seemed to make the wooden walls of the church swayed. That was singing shepherd Alexei the son of registered Cossack from neighboring village Lemeshi. Vishnevsky invited a capable boy to sing in court choir. That was a start of lightning careers of the favorite of Russian Empress Elizabeth I, future Earl and Field-Marshal Aleksey Razumovsky and his brother Kyrylo who would be President of the Petersburg Academy of Science, patron of Lomonosov and the last Hetman of Left-Bank Ukraine.

Natalia Rozumykha a Cossack woman and tavern-keeper from Lemeshi village in token of gratitude for happy fate of her children and being already the Countess Rozumovskaya ordered to erect in Kozelets the cathedral of gratitude and cathedral of burial vault. This amazingly beautiful Cathedral of the Nativity of the Virgin with a four-tier belfry is a real miracle which is worth seeing. But Kozelets can also boast of the churches of Ascension and St. Nicolas as well as the building of the Regimental Chancellery. In the XVII century it was a Cossack squadron town and later the center of Kyiv regiment.

On the eastern suburb of Kozelets there is located the Estate of Pokorshchyna. It was so named in memory of the event that took place there. The Russian Empress Elizabeth I resigned herself (pokorylas) to Nataliya Rozumykha an ordinary tavern-keeper, her future mother-in-law and mother of Oleksiy Rozumovsky. And the estate itself was owned by Oleksiy’s sister Vera who by a lucky chance out of simple Cossack girls became the wife of Kozelets Colonel Daragan.

And so it is! At first glance rather ordinary but in fact very interesting Kozelets.

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