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Semargl or Simargl is the Slavic god of fire and the moon, fire sacrifices, home and hearth. With the warmth of his heart, he preserves the seeds and crops.

The mascot of age-old Chernihiv is called Semargl, the beast whose image was found on the capitals of the Borisoglebsky Cathedral (end of the XI century).

This is the first known example of the use of carved statuary on the facades of monuments.

The white limestone capitals are engraved with a fantastic creature with a dog's head, a pair of paws, bird's wings, and a vine-girdled body that ends with a snake's tail.

Semargl embodies three worlds: underworld, earth and heaven, which are united by a vine that denotes the world tree of life.

This animal is considered by Chernihiv residents to be a kind of symbol and amulet, which has been protecting the princely city for more than nine centuries.

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Photo by Vladislav Filin