Zhytomyr, Ukraine

History | 2022 Russian invasion | Administrative division | Microdistrict | Economy | Culture | Theaters and music | Museums | Libraries | Architecture : sights and monuments | Geography | Transport | Public city transport

🇺🇦 Zhytomyr is a city in the north of the western half of Ukraine. It is the administrative centre of Zhytomyr Oblast, as well as the administrative centre of the surrounding Zhytomyr Raion. The city of Zhytomyr is not a part of Zhytomyr Raion: the city itself is designated as its own separate raion within the oblast; moreover Zhytomyr consists of two so-called "raions in a city": Bohunskyi Raion and Koroliovskyi Raion. Important cities of Zhytomyr Oblast include: • Baranivka • Berdychiv • Korosten • Malyn • Novohrad-Volynskyi.

Zhytomyr is a major transport hub. The city lies on a historic route linking the city of Kyiv with the west through Brest. Today it links Warsaw with Kyiv, Minsk with Izmail, and several major cities of Ukraine. Zhytomyr was also the location of Ozerne airbase, a key Cold War strategic aircraft base 11 km (6.8 miles) south-east of the city.

Important economic activities of Zhytomyr include lumber milling, food processing, granite quarrying, metalworking, and the manufacture of musical instruments.

Zhytomyr Oblast is the main centre of the Polish minority in Ukraine, and in the city itself there is a Latin Catholic cathedral and large Roman Catholic Polish cemetery, founded in 1800. It is regarded as the third biggest Polish cemetery outside Poland, after the Lychakivskiy Cemetery in Lviv and Rasos Cemetery in Vilnius.


History Legend holds that Zhytomyr was established about 884 by Zhytomyr, prince of a Slavic tribe of Drevlians. This date, 884, is cut into a large stone of the ice age times, standing on the hill where Zhytomyr was founded. Zhytomyr was one of the prominent cities of Kievan Rus'. The first records of the town date from 1240, when it was sacked by the Mongol hordes of Batu Khan.

In 1320 Zhytomyr was captured by the Grand Duchy of Lithuania and received Magdeburg rights in 1444. After the Union of Lublin (1569) the city was incorporated into the Crown of the Polish Kingdom and in 1667, following the Treaty of Andrusovo, it became the capital of the Kiev Voivodeship. In the Second Partition of Poland in 1793 it passed to Imperial Russia and became the capital of the Volhynian Governorate. u Following the Union of Lublin, Zhytomyr became an important centre of local administration, seat of the starosta, and capital of Zhytomyr County. Here, sejmiks of Kiev Voivodeship took place. In 1572, the town had 142 buildings, a manor house of the starosta and a castle. Following the privilege of King Sigismund III Vasa, Zhytomyr had the right for two fairs a year.

During Khmelnytsky Uprising (1648) Zhytomyr was incorporated into Cossack Hetmanate state.

In 1667, Zhytomyr became capital of Kiev Voivodeship, and in 1724, a Jesuit school and monastery were opened here. By 1765, Zhytomyr had five churches, including 3 Roman Catholic and 2 Orthodox, and 285 houses.

In 1793 Zhytomyr was incorporated into the Russian Empire, and in 1804 was named capital of the Volhynian Governorate.

During a period of Ukrainian independence (1917-1920) in 1918 the city was for a few weeks the national capital of Ukrainian People's Republic. Ultimately Ukrainian fight for independence failed and Ukrainian People's Republic became occupied by Soviet Union. A new Soviet Ukraine state was formed under Soviet rule - Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic. From 1920 Zhytomyr was a part of Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic.

The city suffered from the man-made famine Holodomor of 1932-1933. In 2008, the National Museum of the Holodomor Genocide published the National Book of Memory of the Victims of the Holodomor of 1932-1933 in Ukraine. Zhytomyr region - Zhytomyr. The book has 1116 pages and consists of three sections. According to historical records, more than 8015 people died during Holodomor in 1932-1933.

During World War II Zhytomyr and the surrounding territory was, for two and a half years (first from 9 July 1941 to 12 November 1943, and again from 19 November 1943 to 31 December 1943) under Nazi German occupation and was Heinrich Himmler's Ukrainian headquarters. The Nazi regime in what they called the "Zhytomyr General District" became what historian Wendy Lower describes as

a laboratory for… Himmler's resettlement activists… the elimination of the Jews and German colonization of the East—transformed the landscape and devastated the population to an extent that was not experienced in other parts of Nazi-occupied Europe besides Poland. [While]… [u]ltimately, the exigencies of the war effort and mounting partisan warfare behind the lines prevented Nazi leaders from fully developing and realizing their colonial aims in Ukraine… In addition to the immediate destruction of all Jewish communities, Himmler insisted that the Ukrainian civilian population be brought to a 'minimum.'

During 1942-1949 Zhytomyr region was a territory of mild Ukrainian Insurgent Army (UPA) activity (UPA North), who fought for Independence of Ukraine against Nazi Germany and Soviet Union.

After Soviet Union defeated Nazi Germany, Zhytomyr fell under Soviet rule and became a part of Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic again.

On 24 August 1991 Ukrainian parliament announced Declaration of Independence of Ukraine. From 1991, Zhytomyr has been part of the independent and sovereign Ukraine.


2022 Russian invasion During the 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine, Zhytomyr and the surrounding area were subjected to several Russian air and missile strikes, such as the 2 March airstrike which damaged residential buildings, a thermal electricity plant, and two hospitals, killing at least two and injuring more than a dozen.


Administrative division The city is divided into two administrative districts: Bohunskyi District and

Korolyovskyi District.


Microdistrict The city of Zhytomyr contains the following areas (microdistricts): • Bohunia • Hydropark • Hinchanka the Second • Zavokzalny district • Railway station area • Korbutivka • Kroshnia • Maliovanka • Marianivka • Pavlykivka • Putiatynka • Rudnia • Smokivka • Smolianka • Sokolova Hora • Old Town • Eastern microdistrict (folk name Poliova) • Khmilnyki (folk name Malikova) • Center


Economy Zhytomyr is an important economic centre in the region. Enterprises in the city include glass, metal fabrication, electronic devices, screens, fabrics, furniture, shoes and others. In addition, there is a large pharmaceutical factory in Zhytomyr. Since 1944, a confectionery factory (ALC "ZhL") has operated in Zhytomyr; the enterprise is one of the leaders of the Ukrainian confectionery market.

The city is home to the Zhytomyr Armored Factory. The factory has been one of the main repair facilities in Ukraine since the start of the War in Donbass, running on 3 shifts. In September 2014 it was announced that the Ministry of Defence of Ukraine had placed a 280 million hryvnia order with the factory.

The economy of Zhytomyr Oblast mostly deals with mining of granite and other construction stone, forestry, agriculture and various machinery manufacturing.

The northern part of the province is highly affected by the Chernobyl disaster: some of the towns and raions are devastated and are included in the Chernobyl zone, while others are prohibited from producing their own agriculture.


Culture The city has 2 state theaters and a philharmonic, more than 10 museums, libraries and planetarium.

One of the world-famous museums of cosmonautics Serhiy Pavlovych Korolyov Museum of Cosmonautics is located in the city.


Theaters and music In 1809, the first stationary theater building was built in Zhytomyr on the initiative of Volyn governor M. I. Кomburley.

In 1858, the first stone theater in Ukraine was built (now it houses the regional state philharmonic). M. Kropyvnytskyi, M. Zankovetska, V. Komisarzhevska, I. Aldridge, P. Viardot performed here.

In 1966, a new theater building was built with a large auditorium for 943 seats and a small one for 70 seats, a lobby with an area of 550 m2, rehearsal halls, dressing rooms, offices, production shops.

Currently in the city work: • Academic Ukrainian Music and Drama Theater named after Ivan Kocherga; • Academic Regional Puppet Theater; • Philharmonic named after Svyatoslav Richter.

Since 1973, the Zhytomyr Academic Dance Ensemble "Sun" exists in the city.

The internationally renowned chamber choir OREYA is based in the city.

Famous composers Borys Lyatoshynsky and Sviatoslav Richter were born in Zhytomyr.


Museums The following museums operate in Zhytomyr: • historical and local lore museum; • art gallery; • museum of nature; • V. G. Korolenko Literary Memorial Museum; • memorial house-museum of academician Sergei Korolev; • literary museum of Zhytomyr Region; • museum of the history of fire protection; • Sergei Pavlovich Korolyov Museum of Cosmonautics.


Libraries • Zhytomyr Regional Universal Scientific Library named after O. Olzhych; • Zhytomyr Regional Scientific Medical Library; • Zhytomyr Regional Library for Youth; • Zhytomyr Regional Library for Children.


Architecture: ** sights and monuments** The city has 74 historical monuments, 24 archeological monuments, and 15 monuments of monumental art (one of which is of national importance). Monuments of architecture and urban planning of state importance — 10, local significance — 72.

Monuments of historical, cultural and religious significance in the city of Zhytomyr include: • Cells of the Jesuit monastery (1724); • Holy Dormition Bishops Cathedral in Podil (1874); • Church of St. James; • Seminary Church of St. John of Dukla; • Saint Sophia Cathedral; • St. Michael's Cathedral; • Holy Exaltation of the Cross Cathedral; • Transfiguration Cathedral; • Lutheran Church; • Water tower.

In 1996, the Memorial to the Victims of Fascism was erected in Bohunia by the sculptor Yosyp Tabachnyk (a memorable location of the Bohunіa concentration camp for prisoners of war).


Geography Zhytomyr lies in a unique natural setting; all sides of the city are surrounded by ancient forests through which flow the Teteriv, Kamianka, Kroshenka and Putiatynka rivers. The Teteriv river generally forms the southern boundary of Zhytomyr, though there are also some small areas of Zhytomyr city territory below the southern bank of the river. The city is rich in parks and public squares.

Zhytomyr is set out on a mostly radial type of street net with the centre at the main public square of the city, named Sobornyi Maidan (which means Cathedral Square). A building containing courts and some other institutions is in the west of the square. Before 1991, this building contained Zhytomyr Oblast Committee of the Communist Party. Just behind the building (that is to the west of Sobornyi Square) is a small quiet park, bearing the name of Zamkova Gora (Castle Mountain) and containing a monument-type boulder with an inscription stating that this is a place where Zhytomyr was founded. This historical centre of Zhytomyr is in the south part of the city. The old part of Zhytomyr is on three rocky hills over the river Kamianka: Okhrimova, Zamkova, and Petrovska.

The old town is surrounded by new housing estates, the names of which are often borrowed from the former suburban villages or reflect the longstanding occupations common in these places. The main streets connecting Sobornyi Maidan with the outskirts of Zhytomyr are Kyivska Street or Kyiv Street (going to north-east, to the railway station and also to the main bus station of the city), Velyka Berdychivska Street (going to southeast), Lech Kaczyński Street (going southwest; its further continuation is Chudnivska Street going to beaches and a forest-type park near the river of Teteriv), and Peremohy Street (going north).

The best-known street in the central part of Zhytomyr is Mykhailivska (named after St. Michael's Church at the northern end of the street). The street is about 500 metres to the east of Sobornyi Maidan and runs approximately from north to south, connecting some points at the above-mentioned Kyivska Street and Velyka Berdychivska. Mykhailivska Street is for pedestrian traffic: vehicles are forbidden, with the exception of some slow-moving ones. A puppet theatre is nestled in the middle of the street, while the building of the Zhytomyr City Council is at its southern end. Several small coffee houses and cafés have sprung up here recently, frequented by locals from all walks of life and of all ages. If one crosses Velyka Berdychivska Street from the southern end of Mykhailivska Street, then one finds oneself at Korolyov Square containing the building of the Zhytomyr Oblast Council. Crossing Kyivska Street from the northern end of Mykhailivska Street, one can continue to go along Pokrovska Street, another important long avenue of Zhytomyr (going north).

The best-known park of Zhytomyr is named after Yuri Gagarin, in the south of the city, at the left (northern) bank of the Teteriv River. It was formerly owned by the Baron de Chaudoir.


Transport In ancient times, the city was on the important road from Kyiv to the city of Brest-Litovsk. Now this road is of international highway M 06 E40 connecting Kyiv to the Hungarian border near Chop. Some other roads: • M 21 E583 connecting the cities Roman and Zhytomyr (through Vinnytsia) • H 03 Zhytomyr - Chernivtsi (through Khmelnytskyi) • P18 Zhytomyr - Stavyshche (through Skvyra) • P28 Zhytomyr - checkpoint "Vystupovychi" of the Ukrainian-Belarusian border (through Korosten).

Railways connect Koziatyn with Zhytomyr (through Berdychiv), Korosten, Zviahel, Korostyshiv and Fastiv. In 2011 a stretch of the Fastiv — Zhytomyr rail line was electrified. Zhytomyr is about 131 km from Kyiv (by road 140 km, by rail 165 km).

The following trains pass through Zhytomyr train station (both directions for all): • Zhytomyr - Korosten • Vinnytsia - Korosten • Zhytomyr - Korostyshiv • Korosten - Koziatyn • Zhytomyr - Koziatyn • Zhytomyr - Zviahel • Zhytomyr - Fastiv.

The city has an airport (however, it is not currently being used for passenger transport; it is intended for the use of strategic bombers, though not currently being used).

Zhytomyr has three bus stations connecting it with many other cities and villages in Ukraine and abroad. Zhytomyr has fifteen bridges and junctions built over rivers and roads. There is a 30-kilometer ring road around Zhytomyr. The most interesting bridge in Zhytomyr is one over the Teteriv River in Gagarin Park (named after Yuri Gagarin).


Public city transport Common kinds of public transport shuttling within Zhytomyr are trolleybuses, buses, and minibuses. There are also electric trams, but on one route only. Earlier there were several tram routes in Zhytomyr, but all excepting one were canceled during a period of domination of the opinion that a tram is a bad kind of transport. Trams began to shuttle in Zhytomyr in 1899. Thus Zhytomyr became the 5th city with electric trams within the territory of present-day Ukraine. Trolleybuses appear in Zhytomyr in 1962. The total length of Zhytomyr city electric transport routes (trolleybuses and trams) is 275 km. Zhytomyr is the first city in Ukraine to implement e-ticket system in all municipal public transport.


Zhytomyr has a population of over 263,500 people. Zhytomyr also forms the centre of the wider Zhytomyr Oblast which has a population of over 1,195,495 people.

To set up a UBI Lab for Zhytomyr see: https://www.ubilabnetwork.org Twitter: https://twitter.com/UBILabNetwork

Twin Towns, Sister Cities Zhytomyr has links with:

🇵🇱 Bytom, Poland 🇨🇳 Dazhou, China 🇬🇪 Kutaisi, Georgia 🇧🇬 Montana, Bulgaria 🇵🇱 Płock, Poland 🇵🇰 Shangla, Pakistan 🇨🇳 Wuhan, China
Text Atribution: Wikipedia Text under CC-BY-SA license

Antipodal to Zhytomyr is: -151.341,-50.254

Locations Near: Zhytomyr 28.659,50.2543

🇺🇦 Berdychiv 28.591,49.892 d: 40.5  

🇺🇦 Korosten 28.633,50.95 d: 77.4  

🇺🇦 Khmilnyk 27.942,49.552 d: 93.5  

🇺🇦 Vinnytsia 28.483,49.233 d: 114.2  

🇺🇦 Zviahel 27.633,50.583 d: 81.4  

🇺🇦 Novohrad-Volynskyi 27.625,50.59 d: 82.2  

🇺🇦 Fastiv 29.927,50.079 d: 92.4  

🇺🇦 Zhmerynka 28.109,49.038 d: 141  

🇺🇦 Bila Tserkva 30.109,49.811 d: 114.7  

🇺🇦 Bucha 30.217,50.55 d: 115.2  

Antipodal to: Zhytomyr -151.341,-50.254

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🇺🇸 Hilo -155.089,19.725 d: 12225  

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🇺🇸 Maui County -156.617,20.868 d: 12089.6  

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🇺🇸 Honolulu -157.85,21.3 d: 12032.8  

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