The historical corridor of Via Regia in Ukraine during the Kievan Rus - ViaRegiaUkraine
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The historical corridor of Via Regia in Ukraine during the Kievan Rus

There are a number of documents and finds from the period of VIII-X centuries, which confirm the exchange between the kingdom of the Franks and the Slavic lands. The connection to the east was protected by Slavic gross structures and fortresses, which were later replaced by cities.

During the existence of Kievan Rus, its territory was crossed by three international arteries: the Amber Way (from the Baltic Sea to the Black Sea via the Vistula, Xiang and Dniester), the way from the Vikings to the Greeks (from the Baltic Sea to the Black Sea via the Neva, Ladoga, Volkhov and Dnieper) from Bulgar on the Volga to the Caliphate of Cordoba in Spain (along the Volga and the Oka, then through the Chernihiv land to Kyiv – Halych – Przemyśl – Kraków – Prague – Regensburg – Trier). The last route, which crossed almost all of Europe, can be called Via Regia – trans-European route.

It was formed in the X century, when after the adoption of Islam, Black Bulgaria with its center in Bulgaria on the Volga (now Kazan) was transformed into a powerful trading power, connected through Khorezm with a large silk road bypassing Khazaria. From the XI century this route has become the main European transit route.

Until solid dirt roads were developed, the main connection was by river. In Rus, boats were used – small Viking drakes, which had a small draft on the water, could go under oars or under sail, easily dragged on rollers on land between rivers.

Along Via Regia, the capital of Rus received silk, luxury items, spices, other oriental goods and northern furs. Slaves, honey, wax and handicrafts went in the opposite direction. In Kyiv, the Via Regia intersected with the Way from the Vikings to the Greeks, through which Byzantine and Scandinavian imports came here.

In the reconstructed form, the Ukrainian part of Via Regia as of the XI-XIV centuries looks like this:

Kyiv – Korets – Ostrog – Lutsk – Lviv – Przemyśl.

Or in more detail: Kyiv – Zhytomyr – Novohrad-Volynskyi (chronicle Zvyagel) – Korets (capital of the Korets principality) – Ostrog – Rivne – Klevan – Olyka (later the capital of the Radziwill princes) – Lutsk – Dubno – Brody – Plisnesk (today the village of Pidhirtsi ) – Olesko – Busk – Lviv – Sambir – Dobromil – Nyzhankovychi – Przemyśl.

This whole route was overland, accompanied by the installation of a hard surface (so-called paved road of limestone) and the construction of bridges and security castles. In the tenth century, according to the statutes of the Austrian and Rhine cities, the main exports from Rus were slaves, honey, wax, fur, horses, as well as salt, handicrafts, including a spinning wheel made of pink Ovruch slate, iron padlocks, clay toys and Easter eggs. Handicrafts, weapons, non-ferrous metals, and Rhine ore blanks, cloth, and luxuries were imported to Rus.

Jewish merchants from the Cordoba caliphate of Adradhania, who mainly traded in slaves, also spread their factories on Via Regia. Such factors were in Przemyśl and Kyiv. Goods were transported from Kyiv to Przemyśl in four multi-colored carts …

With the disintegration of Rus and the emergence of the Galician and Volyn principalities, as well as the establishment of new cities in the western part of today’s Ukraine, the connections between Eastern and Western Europe stabilized and strengthened with the help of the Middle German Via Regia. In the new modern conditions of the XXI century Via Regia views the renaissance period primarily as a tourist route that connects Eastern and Western Europe, promoting their rapprochement and integration.