The “European Ukraine: Mazepa Times” exhibition has opened its doors to visitors in Kyiv.

The opening ceremony for the exhibition was timed to coincide with Constitution Day, June 28, and was organized with the assistance of the National Museum of the History of Ukraine, the National Reserve “Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra”, the Vernadsky National Library, and the Central State Historical Archive.

These institutions provided a set of very precious artifacts telling the tale of the times of Ukrainian hetmans, when the upper echelons of Ukrainian society aligned with the ways of Polish gentry, forming a European model of Ukrainian culture through constant contact with Western neighbors and a focus on democratic values.

Ukrainians have always demonstrated their strong spirit and persistently fought to survive, but it is the epoch of Hetman Ivan Mazepa which clearly shows the vast scale of the struggle for their national identity.


That was why Mazepa was the only Ukrainian hetman to be anathematized by the Russian Orthodox Church.

However, times have changed and now, in modern Ukraine, the achievements of the golden age of Ivan Mazepa’s rule are on public display.

Unfortunately, many rare antiquities were over the ages stolen by imperial Russian authorities and can now be found in Russian museums or even private collections. However, certain interesting pieces have been preserved.

It is only here that you can see Ivan Mazepa’s personal belongings, precious gifts to the church from his mother Maryna (monastic name Mary Magdalene), the unique artifacts that belonged to Metropolitan Petro Mohyla, goblets, smoking pipes, 17th century engravings, the document under which the Kyiv Metropolitan was subordinated to the Ecumenical Patriarch, the Hetman’s treasury, the 1616 Constitution of Rzeczpospolita, a replica of the Pylyp Orlyk Constitution from the Russian State Archive of Ancient Acts and Sweden’s national archives, ancient Ukrainian and Russian coins, and much more.

Photo by: Marichka Palamarchuk
Photo by: Marichka Palamarchuk

The Treasury of the National Museum of History of Ukraine invites visitors to get a glimpse of the Ukrainian Cossack elite. The exhibition runs for 12 days, from June 29 to July 11.

While most museums hide their valuables, these are valuable artifacts you really need to see and experience close up and in person.

The exhibition is part of efforts supporting Ukraine’s heroic struggle for its European identity and is open to everyone who cares about Ukrainian history.

The exhibition of the treasures of legendary Hetman Ivan Mazepa and that era can be seen at 9 Lavrska Street (entrance through the main gate).

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