Bobritsa: history and modernity

The village of Bobritsa is located in Buchansky (previously called Kievo-Sviatoshinsky) District of Kiev Oblast, just 20 km far from Kiev.

The village was named after the word “bober” (beaver) as nearby rivers used to house large numbers of these animals. One of the local rivers was also named Bobritsa (previously, this river used to be called Sviatets).

The first information about Bobritsa village dates back to the X-XI centuries. Back then, this area belonged to the Polans, and was a part of Kievan Rus. The most famous and mysterious fortification system protecting the Kievan lands — the Serpent’s Wall, used to stretch across here, along the Vita and Bobritsa rivers. A section of the wall can still be seen not far from the village. Historians claim that the wall was built back in the V century AD to protect a number of settlements.

1648 is believed to be the official founding date of the village, recorded as an administrative unit called “sloboda of Bobritsa”. Back then, it was populated by escapees from the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, as well as by members of Cossack, haidamaka and oprishki squads. During that time, these lands belonged to St. Michael’s Golden-Domed Monastery in Kiev, which was confirmed by Hetman Ivan Mazepa’s Universal from August 20, 1699.

The ancestors of Bobritsa people didn’t know slavery, since the area around Irpin was a land of free Cossacks at the time. This region supplied manpower to the Belogorodka, Boyarka, Motovylovka, Borshchagovka, Makarov, Pryvalov and Yasnogorodka fighting units.

Sculpture park and a church in the center of Bobritsa village

In 1886, Bobritsa got its first parochial school, which became possible thanks to Zabiria parish and the efforts of the parson from the village of Zabiria — a priest by the name of Sergei Chulaievskyi. The laypeople set out to provide everything the school needed with great enthusiasm. 34 boys and one girl studied there.

Bobritsa village council was an elected body that concerned itself with issues of road maintenance, education, land allocation and army supplies.

The Cossack fighting spirit has always been present in Bobritsa residents. The village’s archives retain information about its residents that took part in the Russo-Japanese War and the First World War. Everyone who returned from the war received land from the village council, money to set up a household, as well as some other benefits. Khutir of Kovbasyn near Bobritsa was fully settled by combat veterans who fought in the Carpathians. During the Second World War, in 1942, village resident Nechypor Tyshchenko saved other villagers from execution at the hands of occupying Nazis.

Bobritsa was a home for poet Petro Korol and Lilia Labunets — a two-time Olympic champion, multiple champion of Ukraine and many international tournaments, international master of sports in artistic gymnastics.

Yurii Shundrov, the goaltender of the Kiev hockey team Sokol and the USSR national team, is buried in the Bobritsa village cemetery.

You can learn more about the history of the village by visiting the Bobritsa village museum of ethnos and history, as well as from the books by Mykola Kovalchuk: “The Immortal Part of Ukraine — My Little Bobritsa” and “My Beautiful Family”, both about the history of Bobritsa.

Bobritsa village has an operating manor gallery dedicated to modern Ukrainian artist Volodymyr Slepchenko, the People’s Artist of Ukraine, member of the National Union of Artists of Ukraine, professor, and academician.

On the village premises, there are two large lakes — Dobre and Kazkove.

Bobritsa’s Village Day is celebrated on October 14.