Korsun-Shevchenkivskiy State Historical and Cultural Preserve

Korsun-Shevchenkivskyi park

План міста Корсуня. 1789.
Архів Скарбу Коронного.- XLVI. № 4 План Корсуня. Фрагмент. 1799 – 1810.
Інститут рукопису Національної бібліотеки України ім. В.І.Вернадського. Ф.XXVIII. – Спр. № 1045

Among the ancient parks of Ukraine, a special place is occupied by the park in Korsun-Shevchenkivskyi. Its history dates back to the eighteenth century, to the time of the owner of the Korsun starostvo, Polish Prince Stanisław Poniatowski, who decided to make Korsun his residence on Ukrainian lands.

The French artist, architect, and military engineer Jean-Henri Muntz developed the scientific concept of the palace ensemble and the design of the one-story house. With the construction of the building in 1782, he began landscaping the Island. Then, on the flat part of Deni Island, connected to the Island by a ferry, he laid out a French (regular) garden with a clearly defined compositional axis. The small-leaved linden trees were planted on both sides of the wide pedestrian straight alley. Narrower straight paths led off from it, dividing the garden into six “salons” or “offices,” the so-called ornamental gardens, where garden plants were grown alongside flowers. Fruit trees also flourished here. In May 1787, Polish King Stanisław II Poniatowski, during a visit to his nephew Prince Stanisław Poniatowski in Korsun, spent two hours admiring the garden and the surrounding landscapes on the island of Deni.

By 1789, a traditional orchard was laid out on the mainland, connected to Deni Island by a bridge over the Ros arm. At the end of the eighteenth century, the forms of the regular composition of the Korsun Garden were supplemented by an irregular (landscape, English) style, in which the garden was laid out in the area of the modern Mermaid’s spring.

Князівська алея. 
Світлина Ірини Коваленко. 2021 Рік Корсунь. Статуя Венери в парку.
Поштова листівка. Початок 1900-х рр.

During the time of the owner of the Korsun estate, Prince Petro Lopukhin, the garden was extended towards the Lower Sides, where there were almost no trees before, only fields where flax and hemp were grown. The trees in the park were planted in single or clumps, which made it possible to create winding paths. Black alders were planted to brighten up the swampy area. The garden increasingly acquired an English landscape style.
On the mainland of the garden, on the banks of the Ros River, in 1826, poplars were planted in a dense backstage in a single row, and pine trees were planted in an alley, some of which have survived to this day. In the same year, European spruce trees appeared above the pedestrian path leading to the Lower Sides, the remains of which are called the “Prince Alley.”
In 1828, the new owner of the estate, Prince Pavlo Lopukhin, began to invest heavily in the development of the garden. It was a time when the palace in Korsun, along with the garden, was said to be one of the wealthiest places in the Russian Empire and Europe.
In the early 1840s, a ceremonial greenhouse was built on the Island, where, among other things, tropical plants were grown

The prince expanded the territory of the garden to 100 acres. Its main trees were oaks, alders, poplars, lindens, hornbeams, and pines, again planted in single or clumps. The orchards likely disappeared at that time. The undergrowth was planted in some parts of the garden, and Lilac bushes appeared on Yantalka Mountain.
Alexander von Junck, Oleksandr Konysky, Pavlo Chubynsky, Mykola Kostomarov, and others visited the prince’s garden. It left a mark in the art of Taras Shevchenko, who lived in Korsun with his cousin and brother-in-law Bartholomew Shevchenko from June 28 to July 12, 1859. In particular, his work “In Korsun” and the sketch “Trees” are known. The landscapes of the garden of that time have come down to us from the lithographs of French artists, lithographers Francois Joseph Dupressoir and Eugene Huot.
Since 1873, the owners of the Korsun estate have been the Lopukhin-Demidov princes. During the reign of Prince Mykola Lopukhin-Demydov, the garden area, which was more often called a park, increased, and its landscapes continued to resemble Switzerland or the Caucasus. It is likely that in 1881-1886 fruit trees were planted, including eleven varieties of pears, three varieties of peaches, and apricots. Eleven grape varieties grew in the orchard. Separate areas were set aside for ornamental gardens, where vegetables, berries, and flowers were grown. There was a nursery of deciduous and coniferous trees. Caucasian pheasants lived in the equipped pheasantry and on the island of Deni, and peacocks and pigeons nested there.

The park’s decline began with the Ukrainian Revolution of 1917-1921 and lasted over 70 years. In those years, the park was leased to the Vacation House of the Southwestern Railway (1926-1941), was on the balance sheet of the Museum of the History of the Battle of Korsun-Shevchenkivskyi (1945-1952), and the Park of Culture and Recreation of the Korsun-Shevchenkivskyi City Council (1956-1994). The park was protected by a resolution of the Council of Ministers of the Ukrainian SSR on January 29, 1960. The park was classified as a nationally significant park-monument of landscape gardening art.
Since 1994, the park’s territory of 100.3 hectares has been part of the Korsun-Shevchenkivskyi State Historical and Cultural Reserve

Світлина Ірини Коваленко. 2020 рік «Чортів міст». Світлина Ірини Коваленко. 2020 рік

The modern park welcomes visitors to its shady alleys, mysterious winding paths, and amazing landscapes. The Ros River impresses with its picturesque beauty, calm and sometimes stormy rifts, and quiet backwaters. There are five bridges across the Ros within the park, one of which, mysteriously called the Devil’s Bridge, is a suspension bridge.
The park’s territory is a part of the lands of the nature reserve fund and lands for historical and cultural purposes. It is subject to the legal regime provided for the territories of the National Ecological Network of Ukraine. According to the Law of Ukraine, “On the List of Cultural Heritage Monuments Not Subject to Privatization” (2008), Korsun-Shevchenkivskyi Park is included.