Old Chernihiv's main architectural symbol is probably the magnificent white-stone Catherine's Church that is rightly recognized as one the most beautiful in Ukraine. Its golden cupolas that play in the sun like a jewel is the first thing that guests see, arriving in town from Kyiv's side.
The Catherine's Church is rightly considered to be one of the most vivid Ukrainian baroque's architectural monuments, built in the late 17th - early 18th centuries. The Church became the key landmark for Ukraine's cultic architecture of those times and maintained its authentic look until now.
The elegant stone church was built in 1715 on the place of Old Russian temple to commemorate the heroism of Chernihiv regiment's Cossacks, who took part in Russian Emperor's Peter the First Southern campaigns and, in particular, helped to siege Turkish fortress Azov, in 1696. The temple was built in Chernihiv's historical part, on the small hill opposite to ancient Stronghold. Thanks to such location, it remained an important fortification center near city's main fortress for some time.
The orderly and solemn Catherine's Church is a cross temple crowned with five domes. Its composition is reminiscent of wooden Ukrainian temples. The exterior is not luxurious: it is modestly decorated with pilasters and intricate window and door trimmings.
The Catherine's Church was almost never reconstructed. The only minor reconstruction was carried out in the middle of the 19th century, when the building was restored from the fire. At that time, vestibule was adjoined to the church, and 50 years later, the bell tower was built. True, after the World War II, during another reconstruction from fire, they were recognized as inappropriate to the church's historical look and were pulled down.
Since the late 20th century, Chernihiv's Museum of Folk-Ornamental Art was situated on the premises of the Catherine's Church. Not for a long time, though: in 2006, the Church was returned to believers, and now it is a functioning temple.