Hlukhiv (Ukrainian: Глухів) or Glukhov (Russian: Глухов) is a historic town and a city of regional significance in the Sumy region of Ukraine, just south of the Russian border (see map). It is known for being an administrative center of Zaporizhian Cossack Administration after deposition of Ivan Mazepa as part of the Government of Kiev. As of 2005, the city's population is 36,100. It is near the Chervone Pustohorod air base.
First noticed by chroniclers as a Severian town in 1152, Hlukhiv became the seat of a branch of the princely house of Chernigov following the Mongol invasion of Rus. Between 1320 and 1503 it was part of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania before being conquered by the Grand Duchy of Moscow. In 1618 it became part of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth (in the Czernihów Voivodeship of the Crown of Poland) and was granted Magdeburg Rights in 1644 by Władysław IV Vasa. 1654 it became part of Russia in accordance with the Treaty of Pereyaslav. In 1664, during the siege of Hlukhiv the Russo-Cossack garrison of the town successfully defended against a superiour Polish army which suffered great losses during the following retreat. Hlukhiv was revived by Peter the Great who transferred the hetman's capital from Baturin to Hlukhiv in 1708. It served as the capital of the Cossack Hetmanate in 1708-22 and 1727-34. Under the last hetmans of Ukraine, the town was remodeled in the Baroque style. Subsequently it declined in consequence of frequent fires, so that very few of its architectural gems survive.
Since the first school of singing in the Russian Empire was established there in 1738, the town has a rich musical heritage. Composers Dmytro Bortniansky and Maksym Berezovsky, whose statues grace the Bortniansky Square of Hlukhiv, are believed to have studied there.
The oldest building in the town is the church of St. Nicholas (1693), modeled after traditional wooden churches and executed in the Ukrainian Baroque style. The church, repaired and renovated in 1871, has three pear-shaped domes and a two-storey bell tower (picture).
The church of the Savior's Transfiguration (1765) straddles the line between Baroque and Neoclassicism, while the massive Neo-Byzantine cathedral (1884–93) resembles St. Volodymyr's Cathedral in Kiev.
Probably the best known landmark of modern Hlukhiv is the conspicuous water tower (1927–29), though more historical interest attaches to the triumphal arch, dated either to 1744 or 1766. It has been suggested that the architect of this rather plain structure was Andrey Kvasov. The arch, the oldest in Ukraine, sustained damage during World War II but was subsequently restored.
Due to the traditional cultivation of industrial hemp in the area, Hlukhiv has become home to the Institute of Bast Crops of the Ukrainian Academy of Agrarian Sciences, working on breeding improved hemp and flax cultivars. In the 1970s, the institute developed low-THC hemp varieties for industrial cultivation.
- (English) Encyclopedia of Ukraine: Hlukhiv
- (Russian) "Glukhivtower" - About Glukhiv businesses and community.
- (Russian) Unofficial information site about Hlukhiv
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