Ukraine: Fastiv

Fastiv (aka Fastov) is a small town south of Kiev and a major railroad hub (in fact, just driving here required crossing over a dozen railroad crossings). The town dates back to 1390. In the 17th century Cossack colonel Semen Paliy actually proclaimed an independent state here – “the State of Paliy”. There are two architectural attractions here – a mid-18th century wooden church and an early-20th century Catholic church. The former is the Church of Intercession – a beautifully preserved 1740 tan-painted wooden structure with three-metal covered domes and a stand-alone belltower. It stands on a high point in town with great panoramic views toward the river and beyond. Across the river, you can see the second attraction – gothic Catholic Church of Exaltation of the Holy Cross from 1903. Its structure is actually asymmetrical, styled in art nouveau with a tall spire and many stone statues. There is also a tank monument for the liberation of Fastiv in WWII. Finally, Fastiv has some sad history to it – in 1919, an anti-Soviet general Denikin of the White Army butchered over 9000 Jewish residents in a massive pogrom, while in 1941 invading Nazi Einsatzgruppe C killed every single other remaining Jewish person in Fastiv down to absolute zero.