Best Places in Ukraine »

[7 Jan 2010]

Ostroh Castle, noted as a “Spiritual Monument” by Ukraine’s Seven Wonders Council, was apparently constructed in the 14th Century, although the city of Ostroh itself was mentioned in historical text as early as the 1100’s. [More]

Best Places in Ukraine »

[31 Dec 2009]

Nominated as a Monument of Modern History by Ukraine’s 10 Wonders Project, Livadia Palace – located in Crimea, Ukraine is an important edifice in Ukrainian history during the last Century. [More]

Best Places in Ukraine »

[12 Oct 2009]

Ukraine is a beautiful country full of many natural wonders. But which wonders are the best? This question was put to the test late last year when a panel of Ukrainian experts and a panel of everyday people each voted for their seven favorite natural sites. The results of the poll are listed below. Which site would you most like to visit?   7. Sinevir Lake (Transcarpathian Region) The beautiful Sinevir is located in Ukraine’s Carpathian Mountains and is part of the National Park Sinevir. Approximately 10,000 years old, the lake is surrounded by mountains and a forest populated by 150-year-old trees. According to a local legend, the lake was formed by the tears of a heartbroken maiden who lost her love at the hands of her father.      6. Svitiaz lake (Volyn Region) Svitiaz is the biggest, deepest lake in Ukraine with a maximum depth of 58 meters, or 190 feet. Part of Shatsk National Nature Park, Svitiaz’s clear water and sandy beaches draw tourists from all over the country. Several kinds of fish call the lake home, including perch, catfish, eel, and carp, just to name a few.     5. National Natural Park “Podolskie Tovtry” (Khmelnitzk Region) In 1996, Ukrainian president Leonid Kuchma formed this national nature park in an effort to protect the natural beauties of the land. The area boasts many healthful benefits, including mineral waters and rare plants used for medicinal purposes.     4. Marble Caves (Crimea) The marble caves are a breathtaking series of caves located in the Crimean Mountains. The caves run to a depth of approximately 60 meters, or 196 feet, and are connected by a series of corridors. Only a small portion of this is open to tourists. Speleologists consider the marble caves to be one of the five most beautiful, tourist-friendly caves in the world.     3. Dniester Canyon (Vinnitza, Ivano-Frankovsk, Ternopol, and Khmelnitzk Regions) The Dniester River is a 250 kilometer stretch of river that flows through a canyon valley. Its limestone slopes are populated by numerous plants and animals, and the river flows past many manmade and natural wonders, including waterfalls, caves, castles, and ancient churches. The canyon is also a popular site for skydivers.     2. Granite-Steppe Pobuzhie (Nikolaev Region) This regional park was founded in 1994 to preserve the region’s many natural treasures. The area is full of impressive rocks and coastal mazes sure to delight adventurers and nature lovers alike. Like many of the natural wonders on this list, an abundance of plants of animals thrive in the granite-steppe Pobuzhie.     1. Askania-Nova (Kherson Region) The Askania-Nova is a natural reserve complete with a zoo, botanical garden, and a pristine steppe preserve. Many animals roam the reserve, including wild horses, bison, ostriches, llamas, zebras, birds, and many others. The largest captive group of Przewalski's Horse are also housed here.  

Culture and History »

[14 Sep 2009]

Lake Baikal is the World’s biggest, deepest and oldest lake, containing more water than all of the Great Lakes combined. Located in Siberia, Lake Baikal possesses 20% of the fresh water supply on the planet. With depths that reach 5,390 feet, and an additional 4.3 miles of sediment on the lake floor, Lake Baikal is the deepest continental rift. You could completely submerge Mount Everest in Lake Baikal and have more room! In addition, there are 27 islands and over 800 endemic species to the area, making it one of the most bio-diverse ecosystems on Earth. The lake, called "the Pearl of Siberia", drew investors from the tourist industry as energy revenues sparked an economic boom. In 2007, the Russian government declared the Baikal region a special economic zone. In 1996, it was also declared a UNESCO World Heritage site. According to 19th century traveler T.W. Atkinson, locals in the Lake Baikal Region had the tradition that Christ visited the area. The following quote is found on page 385 of Atkinson's book of his travels published in 1861: The people have a tradition in connection with this region which they implicitly believe. They say "that Christ visited this part of Asia and ascended this summit, whence he looked down on all the region around. After blessing the country to the northward, he turned towards the south, and looking across the Baikal, he waved his hand, exclaiming, Beyond this there is nothing." Thus they account for the sterility of Daouria, where it is said "no corn will grow."

Best Places in Ukraine »

[8 Sep 2009]

Saint Sophia Cathedral in Kiev is another of the Seven Wonders of Kiev; named not after a literal “Saint Sophia”, but named after the Hagia Sophia (or “Holy Wisdom”) Church in what is now Istanbul, Turkey. It was named, along with the other Wonders in a 2007 poll that combined the wisdom of numerous prominent Historical experts and an internet survey. Taking two decades to build, the Church is a marvel of Ukrainian Baroque architecture, featuring the famed “Pear Dome” roofs that typify a lot of the early Russian styles. Many notable figures in Ukrainian and Russian history have been buried at the Cathedral, including Vladimir II, Vsevolod I and Yaroslav I the Wise who founded the Church. During the early Soviet Years, the Church was to be demolished and the grounds turned into a National park. Thanks to testimonials and the encouragement of Ukrainian historians, this was averted but the Cathedral was still confiscated from the Ukrainian Orthodox Church and turned into a museum. After the fall of the Soviet Union, the Ukrainian Government intended to give the Cathedral back but ran into issues as the Ukrainian Orthodox Church had split into various factions, each claiming rights over the Church. This exploded into violence after the death and attempted burial of Patriarch Volodomyr, Bishop of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church - Kiev Patriarchy.  

Best Places in Ukraine »

[2 Sep 2009]

Chersonesos was a colony founded by the Ancient Greeks on the shoe of the Black Sea on the outskirts of what is today the city of Sevastapol. Initially a very early democratic society, Chersonesos has changed hands frequently over the centuries. In the early AD era it has gone from part of the Bosporan Kingdom to being controlled by the Romans, then the Byzantines and then being captured by Kievan Rus in the 980’s. It was supposedly the site where Prince Vladimir was baptized, leading the way to the Christianization of his Principality. During the Crusades, the city became part of the Trebizond Empire and then part of Genoa and finally after centuries of being a major point of battle between its governing empires and the Mongols, the city was finally destroyed by Edigu of the Mongol White Horde. The ruins of the city are a major tourist attraction in modern-day Ukraine. The excavated buildings show influences by the Greek, Roman and Byzantine settlers who have made their home there over the centuries. The area has been designated an archaeological preserve by the Ukrainian government and made the list of the Seven Wonders of Ukraine in 2007. Due to it being in close proximity to a Russian Naval depot, Chersonesos Taurica has not been added to the UNESCO World Heritage Sites list.  

Best Places in Ukraine »

[27 Aug 2009]

Great Khortytsia Island was voted one of the Seven Wonders of Ukraine in 2007 due to its significance in the history of Ukraine. Although inhabited for at least 5000 years, the island first came to significance as part of a trade route between Scandinavia, Kievan Rus and The Byzantine Empire in The Middle Ages.   In the 16th Century, the island became a military stronghold for Cossacks during their war with the Ottoman Empire and was supposedly the site that the legendary “Reply of the Zaporozhian Cossacks to Sultan Mehmed IV of the Ottoman Empire” was written. The island continued its role as a major factor in the Ottoman Empire’s military advances for hundreds of years as the Russian Tsardom usurped the Cosssacks and used Great Khortytsia Island in a similar manner.   The Island was made a National Park in 1914 and houses the Zaporozhian Cossack museum which contains exhibits from as far back as 750BC. The Island is located in what is today considered the city of Zaporizhia, itself historically significant as the site of a major battle during the Second World War.

Best Places in Ukraine »

[26 Aug 2009]

Kamianets-Podilskyi is a city based in the western part of Ukraine. It is the product of the many different cultures that have lived there over the years, and features a populace and architecture derived mainly from the Polish, Ukrainian and Armenian peoples. [More]

Best Places in Ukraine »

[21 Aug 2009]

Kiev Pechersk Lavra, or “Monastery of the Caves” was founded in 1015 by St. Anthony of Kiev, one of the first Russian monks who had established the Monastic practice in Kiev after the area had first started its conversion to Christianity. [More]

Best Places in Ukraine »

[19 Aug 2009]

Built to protect the borders near the South West part of his Empire, Prince Vladimir’s Fortress has gone through many changes over the centuries. This would include being expanded from a fort to a fortress... [More]

Best Places in Ukraine »

[11 Aug 2009]

Sofiyivsky Park   Uman is a small but very beautiful and picturesque city. It is well known in Ukraine as one of the 7 Ukrainian wonders is situated there.  It is called “Sofiyivsky Park” and it was built by the Polish Count Stanislaw Potocki for his Greek wife Sofia.   The history of building the park is full of romance as it was built in the name of a beloved woman, as a gift from her loving man!     Potocki was a rich man and he could have anything he wanted in the world, but he couldn’t find himself a good match! His attempts to find the lady of his dreams were always ruined. But one day Potocki held a poker game and one of the men put his daughter Sofia up as a main prize. After the Count had seen Sofia he fell in love and understood that he had to win the game and win the gorgeous Greek woman as his wife.       And his wish came true. But no matter how hard he tried to show her the emotions overfilling his heart, the woman couldn’t fall in love with him. So he decided to build a piece of her home country in Ukraine, so she could enjoy the beauties of the landscape and feel as if she were in her motherland!  He asked one of the most well-known Greek architects to make a beautiful park.       In 1800 the park was built. It turned out that Potocki idea was correct and helped their feelings! Sofia was so astonished with the beauty of the park that she couldn’t resist Stanislaw’s attempts to earn her love and they started enjoying each other’s company day after day on the isle of love…       The beauty of landscapes and lakes with fountain and sculptures amaze millions of people even now. Couples come to the park to enjoy each other’s company in the place where even the air is inflated with love and romance!                 Just married couples visit the park to make a wish in the lake with golden fishes that they have a long and happy life together.