Battlefield of Berestechko National Historic Memorial Preserve

Image - A monument (by Anatolii Kushch) at the Battlefield of Berestechko National Historic Memorial Preserve.

Battlefield of Berestechko National Historic Memorial Preserve (Національний історико-меморіяльний заповідник «Поле Берестейської битви»; Natsionalnyi istoryko-memoriialnyi zapovidnyk ‘Pole Beresteiskoi bytvy’). A historic site and museum on Zhuravlykha Island on the Styr River near the village of Pliasheva, Rivne oblast. It was built in 1910–14. In 1966 a museum was opened there and the site was named the Kozatski Mohyly Museum and Preserve. In 2008 it was granted a national preserve status and assumed its present name. Located on the grounds of the preserve is the Church of the Holy Protectress, designed by V. Maksimov, constructed by Volodymyr H. Leontovych, with frescoes by Ivan Izhakevych. The church was built in 1912–14 with money donated by the local population. It is dedicated to the memory of the more than 10,000 Cossacks who died in the Battle of Berestechko (1651) and located on a mass grave of Cossacks (from which the entire preserve takes its name). Also located on the site are the preserve’s museum, which houses numerous artifacts from the Cossack period, the monument to fallen Cossacks by Anatolii Kushch, and the wooden Church of Saint Michael (1650), which was moved from the village of Ostriv. Bohdan Khmelnytsky is said to have prayed in this church before going to battle against the Poles. Throughout the centuries, the local villagers staged annual commemorations of the Cossack struggle against social and national oppression at the mass graves on the site, and now the entire complex is a major tourist attraction.

[This article was updated in 2016.]

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