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Why Rivne is Home to the Ukrainian Switzerland

25. January 2013 by Masha 0 Comments


Swiss gentlemen who visit the region of Rivne to meet Ukrainian women are pleasantly surprised to learn that the area is often referred to as Nadsluchanska Switzerland or "Switzerland on the Sluch."


The Sluch is a river that takes its source in the Ukrainian province of Khmelnytskyi, and then flows through the Zhytomyr and Rivne oblasts, and flows briefly along the Ukrainian-Belarusian border before finally emptying into the Horyn River. 


One town in particular is credited for reminding the Swiss of their homeland. Hubkivshchyna stretches along the River Sluch from the village of Sosnove to the small town of Borzna. In 2000, the stretch of land was officially elevated to the status of "landscape park."


Local legend has it that Hubkivshchyna is often referred to as Nadsluchanska Switzerland because a local ruler married a Swiss woman. When her parents came to visit, and saw the beauties of the land their daughter had married into, they kept exclaiming, "It is almost as beautiful as our Switzerland is!" Their raptures were heard and the nickname for the landscapes they so admired was born. 


One of the local landmarks is Gubkiv Castle, also known as Falcons' Castle. Rising over the River Sluch, Falcon's Castle gets its majestic name from what else? A romantic legend of course!  


The daughter of a prince was in love with a commoner who lived on the Sluch’s opposite bank. The prince prohibited the lovers’ relationship and locked his daughter in the castle’s highest tower. But at night the boy and girl turned into falcons and flew out to meet each other. Discovering their rendezvous, the prince cursed them to live as falcons forever and they flew to find refuge in the nearby hills, which became known as Falcons’ Mountains.


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Sources: wumag.kiev.ua, castles.com.ua, Photos: wikimedia