Have you ever heard anything about Radomyshl? You haven’t, we are sure! Even not all of the citizens of Ukraine have been there and know what lurks behind this unusual, but such a euphonious name. However, although the town suffered from a decline during Soviet and post-Soviet era, it preserved the spirit of an ancient city, which greatly influenced the development of Ukrainian culture, history, philosophy and science.
Radomyshl is a small town (15 000 inhabitants) in Zhytomyr region, just 90 km from the centre of Kiev. Radomyshl is one of the oldest towns of Polesie and Ukraine, first mentions of it date back to 1150 (according to Ipatiev Chronicle). It is surrounded from all sides by forests, and Radomyshl itself lies at the river of Teterev, which is right tributary of the Dnepr. Even though it seems that the name of the town has ancient roots, it is not true. This name belongs to the town only from 1946. Earlier is was called Radomysl (since 16th century), and its first name was Mychesk (or Mickhorod) under the name of eponymous river. There are two versions of the origin of its name. According to one of them, Radomyshl means “joyful thought”, and the second version says that the town is named after unknown hero and since carries his family name. Its first name Mickhorod is still preserved in Radomyshl - now it is the name of the modern district of the town where for more than a century brewers produce their production.
Like most towns of the Ukrainian and Belarusian Polesie region, the town of Radomyshl was a multinational one, which for centuries was inhabited mostly by Jews (in the late 18th century, they constituted 77% of the population!), Ukrainians, Germans, Czechs and Poles, Belarusians, Russians and other ethnic groups, each of which has made its contribution to the history and culture of the country. Each nation had its own religious building. Here one can find orthodox churches, German Kirches, Jewish synagogues and six Jewish houses of worship. Radomyshl even had its own theatre, telegraph line and station, 2 Jewish schools and even male and female gymnasia! Unfortunately, the majority of these constructions were destroyed or rebuilt under the provisions of the Soviet authority, which did its best to erase historical memory from Ukrainians. For example, in Soviet times the Temple of the Holy Trinity was destroyed, though it was its unique and inimitable outset of the town.
The town embodied a threat to the atheistic Soviet Union, especially, taking into account the fact, that for many centuries Radomyshl belonged to the church, namely, to Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra. Significant role in the development of the town was played by Elisha Pletenezky, archimandrite of Kyiv-Pechersk monastery, who built in the town in 1615 for Lavra needs paper mill - papiernya. This paper mill was important not only for the history of Radomyshl, but also for the whole Ukraine. This was the first papiernya in Central and Easter Ukraine (at the moment, paper mills were already built in Lvov and the town of Ostroh), which marked the beginning of printing in Ukraine. Paper was transported via Teterev river to Kyiv Lavra, where printing occurred. Paper, which was not considered to be of high-quality, but still which was very tough, was used to print church, theological, academic and polemical literature for everyday use. Even then each page was printed with watermarks of personal emblem of Elisha Pletenezky. On October 9, 2009, the only in Ukraine stone monument on water of this eminent church leader, writer and educator of Ukraine was opened in Radomyshl, in the district which is called Papiernya. This is a unique installation worthy to be visited. It was built only for 150 days on the river of Micka from local materials - gabbros and labradorite. This installation weighs 5.5 tons and is 3.4 meters high and 1.7 meters wide. It represents a sculpture of a monk holding candle and reading a book in a stone boat. To install it, engineers had to build in the reservoir special foundation.
The place where, according to words of local people, once stood papiernya, now holds heavy building of mill, the only architectural sight and outset of the region which remained by today. This is a very picturesque place, where water that passes through the dam falls as waterfalls on granite boulders, and then continues to flow down the mill, through bows full of flowers.
Now the mill is being reconstructed, they plan to make a private home museum of icons in it - Ethnographic Museum “Castle of Radomyshl”. It is planned to restore papiernya work for tourists. Visitors of the museum will be able to make personally a souvenir sheet of paper with water marks in the form of an ancient emblem of Radomyshl.
Radomyshl once was a town where industry evolved with long strides. Imagine that, despite relatively small size of the town, only 100 years ago 19 plants and factories were operating in the town, the most famous among which were breweries (which production was in demand far beyond the town limits), plants of glass, cloth and crude iron. Today, industry in the town is represented by machine-building, brick, and canned feed plants, which for long time do not run at full power.
Business in Radomyshl. Now well known in Ukraine Brewery and non-alcoholic drinks’ plant “Radomyshl” works in this city. Brewery in Radomyshl was founded in 1886 by brothers Albrechts, who brought to Radomyshl European equipment and brewery technology, as well as samples of barley and hops to grow in local conditions. The brothers started production of the classic Czech Pіlsner, eventually expanding the range of products of the brewery by adding new beer sorts popular in Europe, as well as developing their own recipes. In 2001 the plant has undergone extensive reconstruction of the production capacity of barley beer. Two unique complex of production of wheat beer and juices were built. It was this plant where beer “Pshenychnoe Etalon” (Weissbier Etalon) was brewed for the first time, which also for the first time in the history of Ukraine was considered the best in the world in its class and received Golden Medal of the two the most prestigious competitions of beer. Now at this plant, except its own brands, also well-known in Ukraine high quality beer of Lvov First Private Brewery is produced. Beer from the brewery in Radomyshl is sold not only in Ukraine but also in Germany, Britain, and Russia.
In 1976 Radomyshl was included into the list of the ancient cities of Ukraine, which represented the outstanding sights of architecture, urban planning and archaeology.
There are legends that there are underpasses in Radomyshl, built several centuries ago for defensive purposes. But still local adventurers have not found anything like that, except old cellars for food storage. Can you be luckier than they?
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