Bila Tserkva

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Bila Tserkva
Бiла Церква
Collage of the views of Bila Tserkva
Collage of the views of Bila Tserkva
Flag of Bila Tserkva
Coat of arms of Bila Tserkva
Coat of arms
Bila Tserkva is located in Kiev Oblast
Bila Tserkva
Bila Tserkva
Location of Bila Tserkva
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Country Ukraine
Oblast Kiev Oblast
Raion Bila Tserkva City Municipality
Founded 1032
Magdeburg Rights 1589
 • Head of City
Vasyl Savchuk
 • Total 34.77 km2 (13.42 sq mi)
Elevation 148 m (486 ft)
Population (2015)
 • Total 211,100
 • Density 6,100/km2 (16,000/sq mi)
Postal code 09100-09117
Area code(s) (+380) 4563
Vehicle registration AI/10
Sister cities Barysaw, Jingzhou, Kaunas, Ostrowiec Świętokrzyski, Noginsk, Kremenchuk

Bila Tserkva (Ukrainian: Бiла Церква, Polish: Biała Cerkiew, Russian: Белая Церковь, Belaya Tserkov, literally White Church) is a city in central Ukraine, the largest city in Kiev Oblast.[1] Bila Tserkva is located on the Ros River approximately 80 km (50 mi) south of Kiev. The area is 34 km2 (13 sq mi).[2] Population: 210,919 (2013 est.)[3].

Administratively, Bila Tserkva is incorporated as a town of oblast significance. It also serves as the administrative center of Bila Tserkva Raion (district), though administratively it does not belong to the raion.


The town was founded in 1032 as Yuriev by Yaroslav the Wise, whose Christian name was Yuri. This event is also traditionally referred as foundation of Tartu, Estonia. The present name of the city, literally translated, is "White Church" and may refer to the (no longer existing) white-painted cathedral of medieval Yuriev. Since 1363 it belonged to the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, and since 1569 to the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. Was granted Magdeburg Rights in 1620 by Sigismund III Vasa.

The Treaty of Bila Tserkva between the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth and Ukrainian Cossack rebels under Bohdan Khmelnytsky was signed here in 1651.[4]

Beginning in the second half of the 18th century, Bila Tserkva (Biała Cerkiew), then the seat of the sub-prefecture (starostwo), was the property of the Branicki family. Franciszek Ksawery Branicki, Poland's Grand Hetman, built there his urban residence – the Winter Palace complex and a country residence with the park "Alexandria" (named after his wife). He founded a Catholic church of John the Baptist and started construction of the Orthodox church which was completed by his successor – count Władysław Grzegorz Branicki. The latter one built also the gymnasium-school complex in Bila Tserkva. Aleksander Branicki, the grandson of the hetman, renovated and finished the Mazepa's Orthodox church. Under the rule of count Władysław Michał Branicki, Bila Tserkva developed into a regional commercial and manufacturing centre.[5][6]

Bila Tserkva was annexed into Russian Empire as a result of the Second Partition of Poland in 1793.

After 1861, the Tzarist authorities converted the Roman Catholic church into an Orthodox Church.[7] During the Soviet times Bila Tserkva became a large industrial hub (machine building and construction industry).

During World War II, Bila Tserkva was occupied by the German Army from 16 July 1941 to 4 January 1944.[8] In August 1941 it was the site of the 1941 Bila Tserkva massacre.

During the Cold War, the town was host to the 72nd Guards Krasnograd Motor Rifle Division[9] and the 251st Instructor Heavy Bomber Aviation Regiment of Long Range Aviation.[10]


Church of John the Baptist, Bila Tserkva

Notable buildings include the merchant court (1809–1814) and the complex of post buildings (1825–31). There are also Palladian wooden buildings of the Branickis' "Winter Palace" and the district nobility assembly. The church of St. Nicholas was started in 1706 but was not completed until 1852. The Orthodox cathedral of the Saviour's Transfiguration was constructed in 1833–1839, while the Catholic Church dates to 1812.

A historical landscape park "Alexandria" of 2 km2 (0.77 sq mi) is situated in Bila Tserkva. It was founded in 1793 by the wife of the Polish hetman Franciszek Ksawery Branicki.


The city is home to football team FC Ros' Bila Tserkva. Ros is a team in the lower levels of the Ukrainian Football League.

Industry in the city includes Railway Brake product manufacturers "Tribo Rail", "Bilotserkivsky Zavod Tribo Ltd" and the major automobile tire manufacturer "Rosava".

Famous people

Twin towns – Sister cities



  1. (after Kiev which is the administrative center, but not part of the oblast)
  2. General information about the city, at Bila Tserkva official web-site
  3. "Чисельність наявного населення України (Actual population of Ukraine)" (in Ukrainian). State Statistics Service of Ukraine. Retrieved 21 January 2015.CS1 maint: unrecognized language (link)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. Paul Robert Magocsi, A history of Ukraine, University of Toronto Press, 1996, p. 205
  5. E. A. Chernecki, L. P. Mordatenko, Bila Tserkva. Branicki family. Alexandria, Ogrody rezydencji magnackich XVIII-XIX wieku w Europie Środkowej i Wschodniej oraz problemy ich ochrony, Ośrodek Ochrony Zabytkowego Krajobrazu—Narodowa Instytucja Kultury, 2001, p.114
  6. Marek Ruszczyc, Dzieje rodu i fortuny Branickich, Delikon, 1991, p. 148
  7. Lucjan Blit, The origins of Polish socialism: the history and ideas of the first Polish Socialist Party 1878–1886, Cambridge University Press, 1971, p. 21
  8., Allies support resistance in Europe
  9. Carey Schofield, Inside the Soviet Army, Headline Book Publishing, 2001, 132.
  10. Michael Holm, 251st Instructor Heavy Bomber Aviation Regiment, accessed December 2012.
  11. "Miasta Partnerskie". Retrieved 1 May 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  12. For more images of the park "Alexandria", see

External links