Cherven Cities
Narodowy Instytut Dziedzictwa pl
Cherven Cities

collection

Cherven Cities

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Cherven Cities

The Cherven Towns, located at the border between the Piast Poland and Kievan Rus, played an important role in the historical process of the development of Polish and Ukrainian statehood. After years of discussions, currently historians assume that the area designated as Cherven Towns in the written sources (Ruthenian chronicles), was located in the interfluvial zone of rivers Vistula and Bug. The most important and largest of the Cherven Towns was Czerwień of which a hill fort in the village of Czermno, Tyszowce commune, has survived until today.

Allegedly, it was the capital of the territory. Other important forts are: Wołyń (currently a hillfort in Gródek Nadbużny, Hrubieszów commune) and Sutiejsk (currently a hillfort in Sąsiadka, Sułów commune), referred to multiple times in written records. At the present state of research, as remnants of the Cherven Towns also such hillforts are indicated by historians as the hillfort in Grabowiec, Grabowiec commune; in Guciów, Zwierzyniec commune (along with cemeteries), the cemetery in Lipsko-Polesie (the location of the hillfort is not certain). The Towns repeatedly passed from the Polish into the Ruthenian hands, and vice versa. In 981, Vladimir the Great took them over from Poles, whereto Nestor the Chronicler refers in “The Tale of Bygone Years...”. In 1018, during an intervention in favour of his brother-in-law, Świętopełk, Bolesław I the Brave took them over from the Ruthenians. They remained in the Polish hands until 1031, when they were captured again for Ruthenia by Yaroslav the Wise. In the years 1208–1214, Leszek the White took control of the lands to the east from the Wieprz river, up to the Bug river. In 1219, they were reclaimed by Daniel of Galicia, and incorporated into the Kingdom of Galicia–Volhynia. In 1240, the Towns were attacked by Mongols led by Batu Khan, and probably destroyed. The end of their existence came in 1261, when khan Burondaj ordered to dismantle town fortifications. A major contribution to the knowledge of the history of Cherven Towns was made owing to archaeological excavations, which date back to the 1920s. They covered, to a greater or lesser extent, all the objects presented in the collection.

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