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24, GORKOHO STREET, TEL.: + 380 44 287 74 24 WWW.DANMARK.COM.UA

Lisence AB #505041 issued on 2.12.09 by STAU

Ласкаво просимо до готелю «Україна»

Welcome to the Hotel «Ukraine»

Hotel “Ukraine” is located in the centre of Kyiv (Independence Square). 374 modern rooms with airconditioner; Restaurant with Ukrainian and European cuisine; Bar; Conference Hall; Sauna; Business Centre; Beauty Centre; Parking; Luggage Room. 4, Instytutska Str., Kyiv, 01001, Ukraine Email: Tel.: +38 044 279 0347, 278 66 75. Fax: +38 044 279 1353 Сертифiкат вiдповiдностi № UA9.003.0119806 вiд 27.08.2006, виданий органом з сертифiкацiї Укрметртестстандарт


Cover: monument to the legendary founders of Kyiv — Kyi, Shchek. Khoryv and their sister Lybid. Photo by Mykola Ivashchenko.


’2012 Interview with Markiyan Lubkivskyi,

1620 UEFA Euro 2012 Tournament Director in Ukraine

Welcome to Ukraine Magazine


Published since 1994

Fred Finn,

Oleksandr HOROBETS

Fred Finn, World’s Most Traveled

2226 Person, interviewed

Lviv, the city of diverse cultures,

2837 UNESCO World Heritage sites


and excellent coffee Helha Oliynyk, who lives in Britain,

Alex PAN

3840 shares her love to Lviv with the readers Maryna GUDZEVATA


Tourist destinations in the Land of Lvivshchyna Suggestions as to what you may want

4858 to see on the way from Lviv to Kyiv Mykola Vasylkov, Friend of UEFA

6063 EURO 2012 and a TV journalist

Kyiv, the ancient city that struggles

6475 to preserve its soul 6667

Kyiv Monsters — in stone as architectural decorations Pyrohiv, the village that can transport

7880 you back in time to a golden age 8283

A trip to dicsover the southern part of the Land of Kyivshchyna

8489 Chernihiv, the former rival of Kyiv Donetsk, the city of roses,

9097 Tsar Cannons and uptodate stadiums Trips to destinations in the vicinity

98101 of Donetsk

Vasyl Yeroshenko, the blind Ukrainian

102104 globetrotter and teacher of Esperanto 106110

Some of the tourist lures in the Land of Poltavshchyna


Kharkiv, the city of Constructivist architecture and academic excellence Mitus Design, the company run by

120127 a woman who designs exquisite jewelry


Editor in Chief Managing and Executive Editor Art Director

71, British, has spent more time in the air as

Computer Work Director

a passenger

English Style Editor & Translator

other creature

Senior Editor

on earth. The

Proof Reading

than any

Guinness Book of World Records

Svitlana DIDENKO

Advertising Department



has entered


The World’s


him as

Publisher’s and editorial office address: 15 Klovsky Uzviz, Kyiv, 01021, Ukraine Tel./fax: 380 (44) 2545190/91/93; 2885457; 2889625 Email: Representatives in: Crimea Tel.: 380 (654) 326973. Fax: 380 (654) 326993 Canada: Ukrainian Resource and Development Centre Tel./fax: (403) 4974377

Most Travelled Person with 7 million miles under his belt. Mr Finn is living in Ukraine, happily married to a Ukrainian.

Colour separation and printing: RemaPrint 2 Chornovola Str., off. 1, Kyiv, 01135, Ukraine Tel.: + 380 (44) 5017459, 4906399 Published quarterly Circulation 20,000 copies Price is not fixed © Welcome to Ukraine Magazine is registered at the Ministry of Ukraine for Mass Media and Information, KB 2352, of Jan. 17, 1997 The advertisers shall be held responsible for information advertised All rights reserved. No part of this magazine


Mamayeva Sloboda, the old Cossack enclave in the city of Kyiv

134137 Tree Brothers, a Ukrainian fairy tale Borshch and Varenyky — the story that

138141 will make your mouth water

may be reproduced in any form without prior written permission from the publisher

Founded and published by the Editorial Board of Mizhnarodny Turyzm Magazine Ltd. Published in Ukraine Subscription Index 40651


contents Lviv




Lviv is

Kyiv is



a major

the subject

a regional

is a city remarkable


of an untold

and industrial



center of

in many


of historical

a vast

respects. Its buildings

to its long



history and

it features in

area known

are the


a great many

as Donbas



novels and

in eastern

of the

Taking strolls


Ukraine, will




host Euro 2012

style in

Lviv's old




quarters is

of paintings

and semifinals.

its churches

a sort of an

and drawings

Donetsk is

are landmarks of architectural


portray it in

one of the

hunt for

all seasons.

major soccer



It has the feel


its people are


of an ancient

in Ukraine,

proud to be


town that


living in

and for


mostly but

the city that


to withstand

not exclusively



the hard

to its local

a university, the first one



football club

Lviv is a time

of today and




preserves its


in Ukraine.

to travel back

ancient soul.




in time.




Members of Touralliance 2012




License ДЗ 566474 issued by STAU on 11.02.2011

License ДЗ 329454 issued by SSTRU on 27.04.2007

License ДЗ 538714 issued by SSTRU on 13.07.10




There are views like this one of Gurzuf in Cri mea which you just can't help admiring and cal ling "beautiful," or "breathtaking," or "stun ning," — the words you use depend on your mood and the vocabulary you command, but the emotion will remain the same. Photo by Mykola IVASHCHENKO

Hardly anyone would contest the statement that sunflowers are among the most cheerful sights Mother Nature, with a little help from her human friends, bountifully presents us with. These millions of miniature suns have come down from heavens to beam their smiles at us. Photo by Mykola IVASHCHENKO

It is the mood which a picture like this creates that matters — the mood in this picture is offe red to you by one of the great many scenic pla ces in the Carpathian Mountains. You just look at it, mesmerized, and sigh inwardly. Photo by Roman MYKHAILYUK



arkiyan Lubkivskyi graduated from the Department of Slavic Languages and Li terature, Ivan Franko National Universi ty in Lviv. From 1993 to 1996 he worked at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine. In 1996, he was appointed attache and third secretary at the Ukrainian embassy in Yugoslavia. From 2000 to 2006 he worked at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Uk raine as head of the press service and official spokes man for the Ministry. In 2006, he was appointed Uk raine’s Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentia ry to Croatia and BosniaHerzegovina.


Markiyan Lubkivskyi has the diplomatic rank of Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Ukraine. In July 2009 he was appointed the UEFA EURO 2012 Tournament Director in Ukraine and the Head of the Local Organizing Committee EURO 2012 Ukraine. He is married, with two children. Mr Lubkivskyi, do you play football? Very rarely. Unfortunately, I don’t have time for playing football. And my fifteenyearold son plays tennis — so no playing football with him either.

POINT land rather than in Ukraine, even though they will play their group matches in Ukraine? The choice of team base camps very often depends on the decisions of the team’s coaches. Ukrainian training grounds can provide whatever is needed. The results of the final draw also influenced the teams’ decisions. After the draw it became clear that most of the teams would choose to stay in Poland. The national teams of Russia, Spain, Greece, Croa tia and Italy had intended to stay in Ukraine but it turned out that they would play the group stage mat ches in Poland — and they chose to stay at Polish training centers. Some of the national teams — En gland, Germany and Portugal, for example, expres sed their wish, right from the start, to come to Polish training centers, and then they did not wish to change their plans even though they would play their group matches in Ukraine. Now Ukraine has to concentrate its efforts on pre parations for the influx of soccer fans — their num ber will have been affected by the fact that the final draw has fixed all the most interesting EURO 2012 matches to be played in Ukraine.

They say at UEFA that European football moves East. The EURO 2012 championship is a historic event both for Ukraine and Poland, as well as for UEFA itself. The training centers in Ukraine will not stay idle either — according to the UEFA rules, the national teams that come to play their matches must arrive at their destinations at least twenty four hours before the match, so the national teams of Germany, Portu gal, England and Denmark will stay at the Ukraini an training grounds before their matches. Are there still any problems that need to be dealt with before the championship kicks off? ➧

Legendary football players from previous UEFA European Championships took part in the UEFA EURO 2012 final draw ceremony held in Kyiv on December 2 2012.

Photo credit

In fact, I used to play basketball rather than football, but in 2007, when I was Ukraine’s ambas sador to Croatia, I did play football — in a tourna ment in which teams made up of embassy staffs competed. We, that is the Ukrainian embassy, won the first place defeating the French embassy in the final. Now, from the point of view of the “Top UEFA EURO 2012” official in Ukraine, what is your opi nion about the preparations in Ukraine and in Po land for the championship? I can tell you it’s a tough job to get everything organized properly, not a vacation. Besides, it’s a great responsibility. But I like what I am doing — I find the whole thing to be an exciting project. It takes a lot of traveling too — last year, for example, I had to fly to various destinations over 250 times. The total distance I traveled is longer than going over the equator 12 times! I never traveled as much before. The destinations mostly included Kharkiv, Donetsk and Lviv in Ukraine, Warsaw in Poland, which cohosts EURO 2012 with Ukraine, and Ge neva in Switzerland — it is Nyon in the vicinity of Geneva where UEFA headquarters is located. Was the final draw a sort of a test too? How did it go? In fact, the final draw is a very important event, ranking third in importance after the final match and the opening match. It was indeed a test for us and it went without a hitch. It took 135 people from the LOC and from UEFA to organize this event, while 246 volunteers provided additional help. These volunteers were strategically placed at the airports, hotels and the Concert Hall Palats Ukrayina, venue for the final draw ceremony. Volunteer drivers, volunteers at the accreditation center and at the information desks had important tasks to perform. Thanks to this event, we were able to figure out which volunteers did not meet the strict UEFA re quirements. The organizers were forced to annul the accreditations that had been given earlier to some of the volunteers who later proved to be unreliable at the training sessions and during work. 700 honorary guests arrived in Kyiv to attend the final draw event — most of them came to Boryspil Airport, Terminals B and F, and the “fast track” pro cedures helped to get them through the customs and passport control real quick. Some of them arrived at Zhuliany Airport in Kyiv, including UEFA Presi dent Michel Platini and the French football star Zi nedine Zidane. The final draw event helped us disco ver the things which had to be improved in the work of both airports. Do you know what was the opinion of foreign guests and journalists present at the final draw ceremony in Kyiv about this event? It was recognized to have been the best organized final draw among all the previous UEFA final draw events. Careful planning was the decisive factor. Transportation was a key factor too — plus logistics, security, accreditation and technical support. All of these things together worked without a hitch and resulted in success. How do you explain the fact that most of the national football teams have chosen to stay in Po



Michel Platini and Markiyan Lubkivskyi inspect the newly constructed terminal at Lviv Airport.

All the major things have already been done, and now we have to take care only of some important details. The stadiums are ready for the champion ship, new airport terminals are at the last stages of completion. The host cities are working on the development of fan zones. Our main concern now is to ensure that stadiums and other facilities are operational. The national teams of Germany, England, France, the Netherlands and Portugal will play the matches in their groups in Ukraine. These teams always at tract a great number of fans. We are taking measures to ensure the smooth functioning of airports and bor der crossings which will handle the incoming masses

We have worked hard and we have proved we can organize the best final draw ever held. We do hope we shall be up to the mark at the cham pionship in such a way that it will be the best one ever held by UEFA. of fans. We have studied all possible scenarios and we are prepared to handle any emerging problems to ensure the smooth border crossings of great num bers of people. It is also important that the arriving fans are pro vided with all the necessary information in languages they understand. I am confident that the host cities will be able to deal with such challenges successfully. Does the LOC monitor the situation of accom modation of the fans? We are doing our best to help the accommodation agencies to provide fans with the information in a convenient form. Ukraine has enough rooms to ac commodate all the fans. Eighty percent of fans usual ly seek the cheapest accommodation available.


What is important is to assess the conditions at all the hotels, hostels and all the other places where the fans will stay, and make sure they meet all the safety and security requirements. As of the end of January, below twenty percent of all the rooms, which were contracted by the tou rist agencies for accommodation of fans, have been booked. The economic crisis has, no doubt, affected the fans’ paying capacity. We advised the tourist agencies to take this fact into consideration. Every host city now can offer affordable accommodation, provided that guests book at least twonight stays. We advise those who plan to come to Ukraine to see the matches to start their search for accommodation at the official UEFA website. How many foreign fans are expected to come to Ukraine? We are getting ready to host at least 800,000 fans but we will be able to know more precise figures af ter the end of ticket sales. However, there are always considerable numbers of fans who follow the teams who travel to see the matches without tickets, ho ping to watch matches in fan zones. The teams of the Netherlands, England and Germany are followed by particularly big numbers of fans. Are those who will be involved in providing ser vices for, or dealing with the incoming fans being trained? And specifically — what about their fo reign language training? The LOC does not deal with such trainings, but we are monitoring this process and we offer simple and effective solutions. Medical personnel and cus tom officers, for example, will be assisted by host ci ties volunteers who speak foreign languages. You seem to rely a lot on volunteers — will there be enough of them? During the championship, we’ll have two catego ries of volunteers — UEFA volunteers who will be present at stadiums and other official sites, at certain areas in the airports, at the UEFA headquarters. The ➧


Visa support

Transfers and transport services

Air and train tickets

Hotel reservation

Individual and group tours

Guide and interpreter services

Excursions in Kyiv and throughout Ukraine

Golf, tennis, bowling, SPA centres, reservations

Your reliable partner in Ukraine Sun International 32A Druzhby Narodiv Blvd., Kyiv, Ukraine. Tel.: +380 44 303 9555 (multichannel). Fax: +380 303 9397. Email: Lisence SSTRU AB 580599 issued on 27.09.2011

Photo credit

GermanAmerican pop star Oceana performs the official EURO 2012 song “Endless Summer” alongside mascots Slavek and Slavko at the UEFA EURO 2012 final draw ceremony.

volunteers of the host cities will be working at fan zones, in the streets, at rail and bus terminals, and at other places where fans are likely to congregate. There were a lot of skeptics who doubted that in Ukraine there would be enough volunteers willing to work without pay. The problem was exacerbated by the fact that these volunteers should know foreign languages, English in particular. But the skepticism faded when almost 24,000 peo ple applied for less than 3,000 volunteer vacancies. In Kyiv the number of applications per one volunteer vacancy was 6.5, and in Ukraine in general there were four applications for one place. It is the absolute record in the history of UEFA. What do UEFA officials who come to Ukraine with inspections think of the EURO 2012 prepa rations in Ukraine? Now that we are approaching the completion of our preparations to the championship, visits of UEFA officials to Ukraine occur more and more often. Such visits are part of the work we jointly do — we all are working on this project as one big team. Quite a few

UEFA people have come to Ukraine to stay from now until the end of the championship. We, at the LOC, and our UEFA colleagues can confirm that Ukraine has done everything possible to host the championship at a high level, and the UEFA mana gement reiterates their satisfaction with the level of preparedness for the Tournament. We have worked hard and we expect to host the championship in such a way that will be the best one ever held by UEFA. We have proved we can orga nize the best final draw ever held, and we do hope we shall be up to the mark at the championship itself. What, in your opinion, will be the specific fea tures of the EURO 2012 held in Ukraine? UEFA President Michel Platini once said that “Ukraine will do everything in its own Ukrainian way, and Poland will do things in its own Polish way.” Each of these countries will provide its own national flavor, and during the matches the fans will be exposed to the rich Slavic cultures. The Slavic hospitality will also play a role in contributing to making the championship a memorable event. Eve ry visitor will be taken a good care of, every guest will see that we are doing our best. It is important for us to show the world that Uk raine can do things at a high level of efficiency. We should show that we are free of the stigma of a post soviet state and change the world’s attitude to us. EURO 2012 is the first European football cham pionship to be held in Eastern Europe. They say at UEFA that European football moves East. The EURO 2012 championship is a historic event both for Uk raine and Poland, and for UEFA itself. I do hope that EURO 2012 will be the best Euro pean soccer championship ever held. And I also cherish a hope that people who will come to see the EURO 2012 matches will want to come to Ukraine again to get to know it better. EURO 2012 is only a stage in making Ukraine bet ter known in the world. ■


Certificate # UA9.033.0002707 issued on 11.02.2007 by the State Committee on Technical Issues and Consumer Policy of Ukraine

Сертифiкат вiдповiдностi UA9.003.0390408, виданий ДП Укрметртестстандарт








red Finn, 71, who is British, has been li ving in the town of Komsomolsk in Uk raine, happily married to a Ukrainian, for quite some time. In 1983 he earned an entry into the Guinness Book of Records as The World’s Most Travelled Per son with 7 million miles under his belt. Since 1983, he has added many more millions of miles to his impressive airtravel achievement, which now totals 15 million miles (24 million kilo meters). He traveled by the Concorde supersonic airliner 718 times, including the Concorde’s first and last flight. He has crossed the Atlantic more than 2,000 times, and visited Africa more than 600 times. Mr Finn used to work in international law, in transferring technology, he was vice president of a wellknown international company and consul tant to many national airlines in different count ries, he holds honorary titles of Ukraine Internatio nal Airline Goodwill Ambassador and Friend of UEFA Euro 2012.

What was the first foreign country you went to in your life? As a matter of fact, it was Belgium and Hol land. I was thirteen and I went on a school trip. I still like Belgium, and I still go there once in a while. In fact, when I drive to Ukraine I pass through it. My next destination several years later was New York. I was 18. It took me 18 hours to fly there via Scotland, then to Iceland, Germany and final ly to New York. 18 hours in total! Actually, the fastest I ever flew across the Atlantic was on the Concorde from New York to London — 2 hours and 58 minutes. I know you’re currently holding a record of flying on the Concorde. Yes, I went on 718 Concorde flights. I liked Concorde very much, she is just beautiful, like a beautiful woman, you know. Sophistication, ele gance, speed and class. Concorde had it all. Did you know it carried only 100 people? Every week or two weeks I met people who were on board with me before. It was like having a business lunch for me. And of course I knew everybody in the crew.

Fred Finn after his 600th hundred Concorde flight — the event headlined the media reports; once, he crossed the Atlantic, flying Concord, three times in one day.

I assume most of your travels were on business? Yes, you’re right. I used to work in internatio nal law and specialized in transferring technology. It means that instead of buying and importing pro ducts, you can manufacture the product under a li cense of the main producer. I loved travelling and I still do. I always say I’m on a drug called travel ling. Actually, every time I fly I am as thrilled as I was before. You never know what might happen… Have you experienced any dramatic situa tion while in the air? Yes, I have. About thirty years ago, on my way from Hamburg to London, there was an attempt to hijack the plane I was on. After the plane landed, the passengers were not allowed to leave the plane, and then we saw tanks surround the plane. Some time later, military men burst into the plane and seized the two suspected hijackers. I managed to get to the hotel where my now exwife was waiting for me — she had come all the way from New York to meet me at the dinner — only at three o’clock in the morning. She did not believe my story of the aborted hijacking, it took the next day’s reports in the papers to make her believe my story was true. Probably, it was one of the reasons why she was re legated to the exstatus (laughs).

In another incident, I was held under house ar rest in Teheran during a revolution there in the late 1970s. But my friend and I managed to escape and we went to the airport lying literally very low on the floor of the car. We were lucky to catch the last British Airlines flight from Tehran, and once we were out of the Iranian airspace and flying over Tur key, we began to cheer widely. In still another incident, the plane I was on had to perform crash landing because the wheels failed to lock down … Well, there were quite a few things that happe ned to me on my flights! Do you remember what the biggest number of destinations you flew to in, say, ten days was? Well, I think it was like this — I flew from New York to Buenos Aires in Argentina, then up to Rio de Janeiro, then across the Atlantic ocean to Da kar in Senegal to board the Concorde to Paris to Tehran, then I flew from Tehran to Dubai and then to Nairobi and then back to New York. And that was in 9 days. Oh, it must have been very tiring! Well, I got tired not of the flights but mostly be cause I had long days. Incidentally, today is ano ther long day for me — I started it at 6 o’clock. I ➧

The luggage tag with Fred Finn’s name on it, marked “The first Concorde flight” and “Guinness Book of Records”.


Norris McWhirter, one of cofounders of Guinness Book of Records, awarding a prize to Fred Finn.

drove here to Kyiv from Komsomolsk (340 km), had a meeting, then I went to the office of Ukraine International Airlines, then I went to attend ano ther meeting, and now I’m speaking with you — and in the evening I’m commenting the UEFA Euro 2012 Final draw for one TV company. Is there anything that you might call the big gest adventure in your life? This is a difficult question to answer. I love sa fari, particularly in Kenya. I suspect you’ll ask me about my favorite countries… I’m already asking! I’ll tell you that one of them is Kenya. It has moun tains, lakes, fresh water, salt water, all sorts of ani mals — big game animals — I love flamingoes! It of fers great safari and also beautiful beaches. I really love safari and I’ve taken several famous people to join me, for example, Sarah Ferguson, Duchess of York, Sir Richard Branson, Prince Michael of Kent. I arranged honeymoon destination for David Go wer, former English Cricket Captain. You know, before I recommend anything to any body I need to try it and to enjoy it myself. So if I tell you: go to the Seychelles, I know what I’m tal


king about! They are my second favorite destina tion. If you’re looking for a superb beach and gre enery — this is the best place on Earth to go to. There are no crowded beaches there because there are so many of them! The Seychelles are also a very peaceful and safe place. I love the weather there, I love the food. Ukrainians need no visa to travel here so even better. And my third favorite destination is of course Ukraine. One can say that driving through Ukraine is also an adventure (smiles). I think Ukraine is one of the most naturally beautiful countries in the world. Sometimes, in summer, when I drive to Kyiv through the Land of Poltavshchyna, I pass the fields of sunflowers and feel myself like being in a sunny ocean. Last year I drove to Montenegro via Hungary and Croatia but the best part of my trip was through the Carpathian Mountains with their churches… Very special this country is. I love Ukraine’s cul ture and I believe that if one comes here once, he will come back and he would be very silly if he didn’t. The food is great — it is a natural food. I live in Kom somolsk, it is a nice small town on the Dnipro Ri

ver with white sandy beaches. I’ve got a new hob by — you know, I brought a barbecue grill from Bri tain and now I often invite guests and make barbe cues. I like to cook and I like when people come to my place. Ukraine still has a big family culture — I often see fathers pushing baby carriages who are quite happy with their children. And I can’t but mention Ukrainian women — they are the most beautiful women on Earth! My wife is a beautiful lady but she is also a beautiful person and very caring indeed. Ukraine has a lot of natural wealth — rivers, mountains, sea. Last week I went to Berdyansk on the coast of the Sea of Azov to have dinner with my wife’s friend’s and her God Son. We stayed the night and went back home the next morning. Thousand kilometers of drive for a dinner! Of course, the roads in Ukraine need much im provement. Tourism is one of the biggest busines ses on Earth and Ukraine needs to invest in it. I’m just very excited with the Euro 2012 which will be hosted by Ukraine. I think it is a brilliant opportu nity for Ukraine, and I don’t say it because I’m a football freak but because it opens the door to thou

I came to Ukraine for the first time in 1992 — and when I left I immediately knew I wanted to return. sands of people to see this country. That’s why I’m proud to be a Friend of Euro 2012 and that’s why I have become an ambassador for Ukraine Interna tional Airlines. I want people to come to Ukraine. When people come to Ukraine for the football in the summer of 2012, we have to make sure that they have good impressions, so that they will tell their families and friends to visit Ukraine and they themselves will all come back, but we need to re member that the first and last impressions are the ones that people remember most — so Ukrainians employed in all the services at airports, railroad and bus terminals must not forget to be smiling — it’s very important. It seems that very little is known in the world about Ukraine. What do you tell people you meet about Ukraine? When I’m asked where I live, I answer that I live in the biggest country of Europe. They say: “France?” ➧


Fred Finn at the World Travel Market in London in the capacity of the Ukrainian Friend of Euro 2012.

“Oh, no, Ukraine is the biggest country in Europe”. Ukraine is really a fascinating country, and Kyiv is one of the most beautiful cities in Europe. I love Prague and I find it gorgeous but it doesn’t have wonderful goldendomed cathedrals and homey at mosphere Kyiv has. Another town that I particu larly like in Ukraine is Lviv. It is of course one of the most historical and beautiful cites on earth with so many good coffee shops and places to visit. It is on UNESCO list the world heritage sites. And it does feel safe to live in Ukraine in general. What’s your favourite Ukrainian food? Borscht. I love borscht! I love varenyky too — stuffed with potatoes or strawberries. Pyrohy with sweet cottage cheese inside them or with sour cher ries. And also pork — I think Ukraine produces the best pork I’ve ever tasted! My motherinlaw makes the best pomidory (pickled tomatoes) you ever tried!

I’m happy in Ukraine and I truly believe many people will discover this land for themselves. Uk raine has a huge potential!

Fred Finn designated by Ukraine International Airlines as its Goodwill Ambassador.


And Ukraine has the best vodka in the world. And a very good drinking tradition — you sit at the table and have lots of delicious food. And every time you drink vodka you say a toast. What I like most is that the third toast is always for the ladies and all the men stand up to drink. This is wonder ful. I’m a fan of Ukraine and I want to export this feeling. I talk about Ukraine so much every time I am asked about it. What was the most unusual food you tasted? I ate the meat of a giraffe and of crocodile… Bugs? No, at least not on purpose (smiles). Oh, I’ve forgotten to mention fruit bat curry I had in the Seychelles! If you ask about my favorite drink, it is wine made in Massandra in the Crimea. I went to Mas sandra in 1992 to shoot a documentary for Disco very Channel. First, we filmed dachas of the former

communist rulers and czars and then went to the Massandra winery. As far as I know, Massandra has the biggest wine library in the world. It is also in The Guinness Book of Records. They wanted me to sign their certificate from Guinness World Records. What I saw there was very impressive, just fantastic — and I thought I wanted to go back to Crimea one day. Crimean Massandra in particu lar is one of the places I wanted to see again. When did you come to Ukraine for the first time? It was in 1992 — and I immediately knew I wan ted to return. When I’m asked why I had chosen Ukraine as my second home I say — first, I’m a Euro pean and I’m used to changing seasons, second — I grew up in Canterbury which is often called the Garden of England, I lived in New Jersey, the Gar den State of America, and now I live in the Garden of Europe! The language is a bit of a problem for me but I’m learning it, and I’ve already learnt how to read even though I do not quite understand what I’m reading. Ukrainian is a very nice language, just like people. I know enough of Ukrainian to talk to the road police and understand what they say if the road police stops me. And they are always polite to me! Probably, it is because I’m friendly to people and people are friendly back to me. When did you decide to move to Ukraine to live? In fact, I continue to be a resident of Great Bri tain, United States and Ukraine. What are your favourite places in Ukraine? There are many such places! Of course, Kyiv. Poltava is an absolutely charming town. Lviv is just amazing with its architecture and a unique at mosphere and aroma of coffee. And the local beer is very good too. I like Odesa with its beaches, but we have great white sandy beaches in Komsomolsk as well. I’m happy in Ukraine and I truly believe many people will discover this land for themselves. Uk raine has a huge potential! Boryspil Airport in Kyiv, for example, can be developed into the hub between Europe and Middle East. I have many ideas on how to develop tourism in Ukraine. I would like to meet people in charge of the tourism industry in Ukraine because I have a lot of experience and I want to share it. I promote Ukraine any time I can — I talk about it in every interview I give to the European and world wide media and believe me, such interviews can be counted in hundreds. If the World’s Most Travelled Person recommends Ukraine, it means Ukraine is worth visiting! ■




The Palpable

The silhouettes of the old section of Lviv (from left to right): the Church of the Carmelite Monastery; the Church of the Holy Eucharist that used to belong to the Dominican community, and Kornyakt Vezha (Tower).

Aura of the Past

A statue of the grieving Christ in Geth semane, asking God to let him avoid crucifixion, sits atop the dome of the Chapel of the Boims. The Chapel was a burial place of the members of the Hungarian patrician family.


Ploshcha Rynok (Market Square) is located in the very heart of Lviv; in the background — the bell tower of the Latin Cathedral.

find that taking strolls through an old town is a sort of an enthusiastic hunt for obtaining histori cal information and for getting esthetical pleasure. Tourists walk the old streets, go past the old buil dings, witnesses of history, look at the architec ture that has frozen the time in its bricks, con crete and metal — and travel back in time. The architectural and historical landmarks and monuments of old towns are creations of archi tects, stone masons, sculptors and artists whose talents, skills and imagination make it possible for us to look back in time and discern in the mists of the past many succeeding generations of those who lived in those old buildings — be it some royal personages or rank and file citizens, and of those who walked the paved streets, with walls pierced by windows and decorated with stucco work and other decorative elements. The roofs above their heads smiled to the sun and protected the dwel lers from snow and run. Time does not stand still and new generations come to live in new buildings erected in new archi tectural styles but the old parts of towns continue to preserve their charm in the labyrinths of their nar row streets, in the sheltered courtyards, and make you feel the presence of those who used to live be hind those old walls, who rejoiced and suffered, who dreamed and who lost all hope, who declared


love and who shouted in anger — there are traces of hidden life everywhere in the historical quarters!

At one of the many festivals that Lviv hosts every year.

Ancient times Lviv can be called a city at the crossroads. It was indeed built as a trade hub on the routes that connected Europe and Asia. Lviv prospered in good times and declined in turbulent times. But Providence kept Lviv from being too dama ged by those who came to rule it in its long his tory — Tartars, Turks, Swedes, Nazi Germans or soviet communists. People of various ethnicities, who lived in Lviv, made their cultural contributions to this ci ty, and today’s Lviv has benefited a lot from its multicultural legacy. Tourists, be they Poles, Ger mans, Armenians, Jews, Tartars, Hungarians, Lithuanians, Italians, Greeks, Turks, Czechs, Au strians, Swedes and others, all of them will find something that will make them feel linked to so mething in Lviv’s past. It is worth coming to know Lviv by visiting the places that marked its growth, proceeding from the earliest times to more recent times. The high hill, Vysoky Zamok, can be a good starting point. Unfortunately, the earliest historical core of Lviv was mostly built of wood, and wood does not last too long, particularly in a city that is developing ➧


fast. There are several stone churches though — survivors of olden times — St John the Baptist’s, St Mykolay’s, the Church of the Virgin Mary Snizh na, the Church of Paraskeva Pyatnytsya, and the Monastery of St Onufriy. The central parts of early Lviv were inhabited by the rulers and nobles, and the suburbs were set tled by Ukrainians who were mostly craftsmen, traders, employees of all sorts and workers.

Old parts of Lviv make you feel the presence of those who used to live behind those old walls — there are traces of hidden life everywhere in the historical quarters. The old parts of towns attract both those who walk the streets and keep enthusing at the ope ning sights, crying out “Wow” at every step, but without actually trying to get the feel of the old times, and those people who walk the narrow streets to get submerged into the past. Some of the streets reflect the realities and personalities of the past — for example, Danylo Halytsky Street is named af ter Danylo the King, Lviv’s thirteenthcentury ruler; Pidmurna — Under the Wall — Street suggests that the place it runs across was once a neighborhood through which the city walls ran.


Renaissance Leaving the medieval Lviv and moving to Lviv of the times of the Renaissance, we find oursel ves in the part of town that is often referred to as “the town of Kazimir.” The fourteenthcentury Polish king Kazimierz the Great had Lviv (Lwow) included into his vastly expanding state — and Lviv remained a Polish possession for almost five hund red years. During the high tourist season you can hear Po lish more often than Ukrainian spoken in “the town of Kazimir.” For the Poles, Lviv remains a place that is inextricably linked with their own history and vi siting it is nostalgically colored. Kazimierz the Great granted certain trade pri vileges to Lviv and the city flourished. It does not mean though that trade had not been a favorable occupation earlier — Hungarians, Germans, Arme nians and Tartars had been involved in brisk tra ding long before the king’s economyboosting measures. A city of a hundred languages A medieval chronicler wrote that Lviv “is a city of a hundred languages.” And to a large extent it was true — many languages could be heard within the walls of Lviv, as traders and travelers flocked to it from many parts of Europe and Asia. Unfortunately, “the Gothic part” of Lviv was destroyed in the Great Fire of 1527. Only a Catho ➧

The sign at one of the innumerable Lviv coffee shops — tourists have a wide choice of places to go to for excellent coffee and pastry, and for socializing.

Ruska Street in the historical neighborhood of Lviv which has been designated by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site.


lic church (locally known as “katedra”) in the vici nity of Rynok (Market) Square survived the con flagration, and an Armenian church which still stands impresses by its unusual and eclectic architecture all those who see it for the first time. A number of Italian architects were invited to help rebuild the city after the fire, and they, and those who learned their trade from them, left their Italianate stamp on Lviv. In some parts of town, Italian tourists feel themselves quite at home, being surrounded by familiar architecture. Incidentally, it was the Italians who laid out the first ever park in Lviv — it happened as long ago as in 1600. Also, they should be given credit for setting up the post service and building the first post office — in 1629. The winged lion of St Mark holding a book with the coat of arms of Venice on it (it can be seen on the building that used to belong to the Venera tion consul Antonio Massari) is another piece of palpable and visible Italian presence in Lviv. The courtyard, known as “Italian,” is reported to be the most popular haunts both among the locals and visitors.

side pressures and was partitioned between Rus sia, Prussia and Austria. Lviv found itself included into the Austrian Empire. Austrian troops marched into Lviv in September 1772. The city was made ca One of the many cafes pital of a newly created province, Halychyna (Ga that spill onto the sidewalks licia) and lost its old name, becoming Lemberg. ➧ with the advent of spring.

LvivLemberg The general decline of Poland by the end of the eighteenth century affected Lviv too — the old mighty fortifications were in ruins, monasteries and churches, which used to be taken a very good care of, were in a state of progressive dilapidation; the maintenance of dwellings was neglected, walls cra cked, paint peeled, the streets turned into pigsties. Poland itself, exhausted by internal strife, in trigues and external wars, succumbed to the out


When the Austrian ruler Joseph II paid his first visit to LvivLemberg, his carriage got stuck in mud in the center of the city. But it did not take the Austrian authorities and good management too much time to put things into order, and the con ditions of life in the new province began to improve.

The city was spruced up, new parks and gardens were laid, old ruins were cleared up and repairs were made. A special department was set up to look after repairs and new construction. The po

Lviv remains to be a town in which cultural con tributions from the west and east merged to pro duce a unique mixture of cultures and styles. pulation of LvivLemberg began to grow and by the early 1830s it was in excess of 75,000, more than ever before. Chroniclers claimed that “the city has bloomed.”


Under Austria, the city expanded onto the other side of the River Poltva. The streets were wider, the apartment buildings were more comfortable. Buildings to house City Hall, university, technical schools, stock exchange, hotels, banks and casi nos were built. Many prominent cultural figures, artists, poets, writers and musicians either lived in LvivLemberg or stayed in it for long stretches of time. LvivLemberg had a thriving Jewish communi ty that was destroyed by the Nazis during the Se cond World War. The ruins of synagogues, the ves tiges of a Jewish cemetery that had been the place of burial for 500 years, places that during WWII were the Jewish ghetto and concentration camp are visited by German tourists in their bid for ato nement and forgiveness. And the Jewish tourists, of course, go there to pay homage to the marty red dead. There is little that reminds the tourists of today of the Jewish past except for occasional mezuzah in the doorways (niches into which the Orthodox Jews placed pieces of paper with prayers) and Stars of David that still can be seen on the wall of the building that used to be a Jewish hospital. The ruins of the Turey Zahav (Golden Rose) Synago gue are marked with a memorial plaque. Tourists of all ethnicities But Lviv of today offers a lot to tourists of all ethnicities. Its authentic atmosphere can be enjo yed and experienced regardless of one’s ethnic or racial background. Tourists from Zurich, for ex ample, admire Lviv’s blocks of buildings in the early twentieth century Sezzession style of which there are only four buildings left in Zurich itself. Lviv was careful not to damage by the new hou sing developments the marvels of the old times. German tourists from German towns that were badly damaged in WWII, find what to relate to in Lviv as well. The central parts of Lviv were built up before WWII and now occupy quite a significant territory. You can take leisurely walks imbibing the atmos phere of Lviv’s authentic spirit, with no intrusions from the new housing developments to mar the view. Lviv has been compared to Krakow, Vienna, Bu dapest, and even Rome, with modifiers “little” ad ded to the names of these great cities. Lviv is indeed a thoroughly European town, and has a lot that relates it to the rest of Europe. At the same time, it remains to be a town in which cultu ral contributions from the west and east merged to produce a unique mixture of cultures and styles. No wonder the central parts of Lviv have been put on the UNESCO World Heritage list, and for tourists coming to Lviv, this fact plays a significant role. It is the best touristsluring advertising one could ever imagine. It will not be amiss to mention that Lviv has a tourist infrastructure that provides guests not only with places to stay at and all sorts of amenities, but with such useful things as the names of streets and other places written in Latin characters. At nu merous cafes, coffee shops and restaurants, wai ters can speak Polish and English. ■


In the coffee house called Hasova Lampa (Gas Lamp).

The Kryivka is one of the knaipas that is particularly popular with tourists; knaipa is a German borrowed word for cafe’.




Wind of Change HELHA OLIYNYK, A NATIVE OF LVIV WHO MOVED TO LIVE IN GREAT BRITAIN THREE YEARS AGO, LOOKS AT THE CHANGES DURING PREPARATIONS THAT LVIV IS GOING THROUGH TO HOST EURO 2012 FOOTBALL CHAMPIONSHIP. HELHA OLIYNYK 2012 Lviv is preparing to welcome par ticipants and spectators of the Euro pean Football Championship. How the event of this scale would impact the present and the future of the city? What are the positive and negative sides of hosting the Cham pionship? The responsibility falls not only on the city and its governance but on each of its citizens irrespective of their occupation, class or even de sire to participate. Are they prepared for such a major event in their living history? Can they prove their strengths and ability to improve? I had a chance to observe the changes in my na tive Lviv by comparing trends between the mo ment just before the announcement of hosting the Championship and one year later, covering nearly one year of the preparations. Being absent from



Lviv during this year helped to realise the magni tude of the changes. They are apparent in all as pects of city life and even in the mood of the people. With only a year remaining the preparations are now in full swing. People are inspired — Lviv is finally very tangibly in the spotlight of Europe. This time — as a host of major international sporting event! The changes Most obviously the entire city’s road network is being completely revamped. While road condi tions had been a national joke and tragedy for de cades, main routes and some side roads are now being stripped and resurfaced, historic cobbles tone streets meticulously restored, tramways up graded. It seems that the infrastructure improve ment goes deeper than the surface, drivability and

traffic management has been somewhat impro ved as well. Hopefully the works could be finished in time. Leaving many controversies in the past the city managed to acquire international street name pla tes. The effect was overwhelming, combining style with clarity for traveller’s enjoyment. Other prac tical additions to the streets — location maps scat tered around many central sites, made to the best of international examples, and direction pointers for main tourist attractions — all done with Eng lish translations are as good as they are in most big tourist centres, apart from maybe missing city symbol or the coat of arms at the top of the post, a lion figure would be most appropriate for Lviv. As in most developing countries the connecti vity is progressing very fast. Internet and IPtele phony is abundant, although not ubiquitous but very reasonably priced. Complementary WiFi in cafes and restaurants has just made the entrance, as did internet shopping, banking, ebay and pay pal, though mostly hampered by, what used to be, an extremely unreliable postal service. Yes, now you can find most transport timetables online, and hopefully pretty soon you will be able to book train tickets through the web. By the championships beginning another ma jor development is expected — a low cost airline flights will be renewed to the renovated and en larged Lviv airport. Improvements in the infrastructure are espe cially beneficial for development of tourism which accelerated in giant leaps recently. The business is booming: new travel agencies, hotels, restau rants and clubs appear all the time. Lviv acquired an additional Tourist Information Office where helpful staff will advise and inform the visitors. Until recently there were no hostels in the budget price range in Lviv, now there are several which al ready managed to impress the reviewers: “clean, cheap and right in the middle of the city centre”. Culture events Lviv is traditionally famous in Ukraine and be yond for its theatre stages. But even during the theatre season summer break the city can offer visitors many other interesting events. Plenty of art exhibitions in the city’s many galleries are held. Cafe Dzyha always pleases with several frequently changing photo exhibitions and live jazz evenings. Pleasant surprise was the much improved organi sation and quality of the festive open air concerts, that are free to attend, yet able to cope with a mas sively increased numbers of audience drawn by most popular Ukrainian rock and folk performers. A free and open Etnovyr Festival of folk music and dance during four summer evenings attracted thou sands of people. The performers included famous folk bands from European and African countries. Another bright example was a Food Festival Mar ket with a spectacular variety of foods and drinks on sale by the representatives of many European cuisines.

A girl selling sweets in Rynok Square.

Coffee and cafes In Ukraine Lviv is particularly famous for the qua lity of its coffee. The city has historically had plen ty of cafes of every style and taste that served qua lity coffees. After all, coffee was introduced to Europe by a native of Lviv region, Yuriy Ferenz Kul czycki who opened the first cafe in Europe in Vien na in 1686. With a true Ukrainian resourcefulness to set up his enterprise he used the bags of cof fee abandoned after the failed siege of Vienna by ➧


The House of Legends coffeehouse is located in a sevenstorey 16th century residential building; each storey is dedicated to Lviv's defining architectural and cultural features.

People People have also somehow changed. There is more helpfulness and politeness on the streets. Foreign tourists who get lost wandering Lviv’s me dieval streets will be helped and directed just as in any European city. This change is especially noti ceable in the employees of the transport infrastruc ture; perhaps they are now better paid. Although most of the Ukrainians are very well meaning and friendly, the absence of smiles on the faces of most of them is striking. Life in Uk raine for many is still a struggle for survival — that’s how I explain to myself the fact that people don’t smile as much as in western countries. They rare ly reply with a smile, often treat a smiling person with surprise or suspicion. But even this is slowly changing; maybe the living standards are a limi ting factor here. Changes that are urgently needed and most li kely be required by foreign visitors, are separation of smoking and nonsmoking environments, that is often absent in Lviv’s entertainment and food serving establishments. Cigarettes are viewed as a source of revenue by the authorities and smoking is considered cool by the young people, but under standing that cigarette smoking is dangerous for health is coming — but slowly. Now it's forbidden for the bus drivers to smoke while driving, which is not the case for the taxi drivers yet. Conclusion Lviv had always been a very special and atmos pheric city, one of the “must visit” in Eastern Europe. The hosting of the 2012 Euro Cup is both a push for much overdue structural changes, and an op portunity to be noticed by wider Western Euro pean population. Hopefully the city would be able to preserve its character and simultaneously rea lise its full potential as a cultural hub and one of the gems for European tourism. For me Lviv is always beautiful, always welco ming and will remain the best place in the world. ■

A copy of a morning newspaper which shares the name with a coffee house can be found at Pid Klepsydroyu (Under the Clepsydra).


the escaping Ottoman army. Many new establish ments open their doors attempting to grab atten tion with their unique styles and themes. The House of the Gasoline Lamp, Leo Masoh’s Cafe, Jewish cafe Under the Golden Rose — each are a memo rable visit and offer not only the best quality of coffee but a variety of tasty bites. One of the bright new additions, The House of Legends (Dim Lehend) is a sevenstorey 16th century residential building converted into a themed coffee house and restau rant with exhibitions dedicated to Lviv’s defining architectural and cultural features: cobblestones, lions, clocks, books, underground river, chimneys weepers, tramways, etc. The face of the building is adorned with a 5 meter sculpture of a dragon that breathes fire at 9.23 pm every evening.







LVIV Pidhirtsi

Univ Svirzh

epending on how much time you will have in Lviv on a visit there, you can go and see the castles in Olesko, Pidhirtsi, Svirzh and a monastery in Univ. With more time avai lable, you can explore north and visit the medieval town of Zhovkva and the monastery in Krekhiv.


Olesko Olesko Castle is believed to have been founded in the 11th century, probably at the time when the Crusades began. Olesko Castle was built on a hill on a site that commanded a vast albeit marshy area and made it possible to control the hub of the trade routes from north to south and from east to west. The then mightiest powers of the region — Poland and Litva — vied for making the castle their own. Olesko Castle is mentioned in many Western European documents of the 13th–16th centuries, including the chronicles, royal orders, papal bulls, official messages and private letters, but it was in the seventieth century that the castle was firmly put on the European map — in the year 1629, a ba by boy of royal parentage was born under the pro tection of the castle’s mighty walls. The boy was destined to become one of the most remarkable Polish rulers, King John (Jan) III Sobieski (1629– 1696). When still commander in chief of the Po lish army rather than king, he defeated the Turks in a decisive battle at Khotyn in 1673. He was elected king in 1674 and marched to Vienna with 20,000 Polish troops to relieve the Austrian capital of the Turkish siege. He successfully drove the Turks out of Austria, thus saving Europe from being over run by the Ottomans. For this deed he was acclai med as “Hero of Christendom.” It was the climax of his royal career. In addition to being a successful general — though not a very successful Polish king,

(the political conditions in Poland being wretched ly out of control), he was a patron of science, litera ture and art, a man of vast and refined erudition. Olesko Castle is a haunted place. Unmarried girls have a chance of meeting a ghost — that of a suicide. The ghost is said to be prowling around at night, revealing himself only to single women. But meeting the wandering specter is only one of the reasons you may wish to pay a visit to Olesko Castle, maybe even not the most compelling one. There’s a lot to see in the castle — it is surely a ro mantic sight.

Olesko Castle not only looks beautiful — it also houses a Section of Lviv Art Gallery.

Pidhirtsi The castle in Pidhirtsi is much closer to what in French is called chateau rather than a castle pro per. In the eighteenth century it was a royal resi ➧

The Restaurant Hrydnytsya in Olesko Castle; it is not a stylized eatery — in medieval times it was a dining room for guests.


The Castle in Pidhirtsi looks like a French chateau.

The Church of St Joseph in Pidhirtsi.


dence on a par with other European royal residen ces, and though it is much smaller than, say, Ver sailles, it is a worthy rival in handsomeness. The first known written mention of “a castle in Pidhirtsi” dates to the year 1431. In 1633, comman der in chief of the Polish army Hetman Stanislaw Koniecpolski bought the estate of Pidhirtsi and com missioned architects, artists and gardeners to trans form a fortified castle into a civilized chateau com plete with a groomed park. In the nineteenth century, Leon Zhevuski, the then impoverished owner of the chateau, sold Pid hirtsi to Prince Sanguszko for a very low price but on condition that the restoration work would be done, and the chateau and collections would be properly taken care of. Everything was done as promised. But in 1914, the First World War broke out; civil war followed and later the western Uk rainian lands were “joined to the Soviet Ukraine.” The Sanguszkos saved some of their art collections from their Pidhirtsi chateau and took most of the items all the way to Brazil where they are kept in safety at the Sanguszko Foundation in San Paulo. A small part of their collections belongs to seve ral museums in Lviv — the rest disappeared without trace or was destroyed. In 1956 a big fire devasta ted the chateau — only the skeleton of the building survived. This “skeleton” was repaired in a typical Soviet slipshod manner and the chateau began to be used as “a TB sanatorium.” After Ukraine’s independence, restoration work in the chateau began. The park is also being taken care of, but the lack of funds allows only for a slow progress.

Tourist keep coming to see the palace and those of more adventurous disposition try their luck and stay in the chateau until late at night hoping to see the White Lady, the ghost of a woman slain by her much too jealous husband a couple of centuries ago. Univ There is a village of Univ located not too far from the town of Peremyshlyany in the Land of Lviv shchyna. The Holohorsky Mountain range provi des a gorgeous scenic natural background. But it is the presence of the Svyatouspensky (Holy As sumption) Lavra Monastery that makes the village a center of pilgrimage rather than its picturesque surroundings. The monastery belongs to the Ukrainian Greco Catholic Church. It is believed to have been foun ded as early as in the thirteenth century. In 1549, it was raided and destroyed by the Crimean Tartars. It was thanks to a Ukrainian noble named Olek sandr Lahodovsky, an invalid, who lived in the vi cinity of the ruined monastery, that this religious community came back to life. He claimed that the Virgin Mary revealed herself to him in a dream at night, and she advised him to go east and find what will cure him. He did as he was bidden — and found an icon of Virgin Mary among the ruins of the monastery. The icon resto red his health and the grateful noble financed the construction of a new church to be dedicated to the Virgin Mary. The Uspenska (Assumption) Church is still there, with the icon to be seen in it. The da tes of its construction have been ascertained — 1549–1574.

The monastery revived around this church. In the twentieth century the monastery was turned into a concentration camp for Catholic priests and later it was used as a home for the aged. Still later, the monastery functioned as a psychiatric asylum. In more recent times, it was given back to the Ukrainian GrecoCatholic religious community and now is fully operational as a monastery. The Svyatouspensky Lavra Monastery is not only a major religious center — it is an architectural land mark which is worth seeing regardless of which church you may belong to, or whether you are an atheist or a believer. The place has an aura that is said to affect every visitor. The village of Univ and its environs are a sight that will impress anyone with a taste for beauty.

The first written mention of the fortress dates from the year 1530, but there is an evidence that suggests that it must have been founded in the fif teenth century (two dates are offered: 1482 and 1484). There is little doubt though that the fortress now looks the way it began to look after the recon struction of the seventeenth century. The fortress offers the visitors the atmosphere of the old times when fortresses were functional faculties rather than museums — old buildings, an ageold well, defensive towers, dark cellars and everything else that one can expect to see in an old fortress. The local legends tell of a girl who was

The monastery in Univ looks like a castle.

The main entrance to the Castle in Svirzh.

Svirzh If you travel ten kilometers (about 6 miles) south from the town of Peremyshlyany along the road which, let’s be frank, does not meet the top Euro pean requirements for roads to be pronounced of good quality, you can get to the fortress of Svirzh. On the way there you’ll see a number of very pictu resque villages, the sight of which may be regarded as a compensation for the imperfection of the road itself — plus you can enjoy the highly scenic natu ral backdrops. The fortress sits on a hill with a pond at the foot of the hill. The pond was created in the sixteenth century when the river was fitted with a dam. The pond played a defensive role in addition to being a good place to fish and enjoy the picturesque surroundings.


The monastery in Krekhiv is on the map of both the pilgrims and tourists.

In the Basilian Monastery in Zhovkva.

drowned in the well for treason — her ghost is said to still haunt the fortress. The church located close to the fortress dates from the fifteenth century — it bears the stamp of the early Renaissance architecture. The fortress is being restored — and the pe rennial lack of money, of qualified workers and of determination on the part of those who are re sponsible for boosting the restoration process, delay the completion of the restoration work in definitely. But the place does have what to offer inquisitive and curios tourists, particularly to those who like old castles and the stories of ghosts and damsels dying for love and treason. Zhovkva The town of Zhovkva is located 32 kilometers (about 20 miles) south of Lviv. The town provides the authentic atmosphere of a charming, quiet pro vincial place. Every house is worth a look, most of the houses are wellkept and well restored. The town boasts an architectural reserve which includes 55 architectural landmarks, 15 historical landmarks, oldtime bridges and oldstyle parks gardens complete with oldtime sculpture and other features. At the end of the sixteenth century Hetman Sta nislaw Rzolkewski undertook to turn his village of Vynnyky into a sort of an ideal townfortress which should be both an impregnable place and at the


same time a nice place to live in. The Polish king gave Rzolkewski the right to name the new town fortress the way the hetman wanted — and the place became Zhovkva (the local pronunciation af fected the spelling) A special care was taken to make the place an ideal town the way it was then understood. The Italian ideas of city planning were incorporated in the designs provided by leading Lviv architects. The castle (1594–1606) was the focal point of the town. It was square in shape and provided with tall towers. The severity of the castle was softe ned by a palace graced with an arcaded gallery. In 1674, another Polish king, Jan III Sobieski un dertook a major reconstruction, turning Zhovkva into a royal residence. The place thrived. It beca me a center of book printing and a religious cen ter with many churches and five monasteries in its vicinity. With the decline and partition of Poland at the end of the eighteenth century, Zhovkva went into decline as well. The only time the memory of its former significance was revived was in 1809 when a ball in honor of Napoleon was held in the castle. When in 1939, the Soviet Union occupied the eastern parts of Poland, the castle was turned in to prison. Later, it was used as quarters for a mili tary unit. If you take a leisurely walk in Zhovkva, you are likely to enjoy quite a number of local sights — Ryn

kova Ploshcha (Market Square), the Dominican Monastery, the Basilian Monastery, the Church of St Lazarus, the Cathedral of St Laurentius and other places worth admiring. It is the general at mosphere that is so wonderfully relaxing. Krekhiv It is an old monastery that puts the village of Krekhiv on a tourist map. The monastery which be longed to the Basilian community of monks, is si tuated 16 kilometers (about 10 miles) west of the town of Zhovkva in a location famous for its natu ral beauty. The hilly forested terrain hides many water sources and natural caves. The monastery was built with a view of making it good for defensive purposes in case of enemy raids. The monastery is complete with a church (St Michael’s), a bell tower, cells of monks and other buildings. Its defensive walls are provided with towers. It is believed that the monastery was founded by two monks, Yoil and Sylvester, who came all the way down from the Pechersk Lavra Monastery in Kyiv. The monks settled in the caves. Some time later, as the number of monks increased, churches and other buildings necessary for an ontheground monastery began to be built. The monastery belonged to the Ukrainian Gre coCatholic Church and attracted a lot of the faith ful who came to worship the “miracleworking”

icons — two icons of the Virgin Mary and one of St Mykola the Great. The monastery had its own library and archives. The twentieth century brought damage to the mo nastery and final closure. In 1949 the monastery began to be used as an orphanage and later as a specialized boarding school for children with mental handicaps. The monastery has a nice garden and the land scapes around it bring peace to one’s soul. Some of the ruined structures in the monastery have been restored to their original appearance. ■

The center of the ancient town of Zhovkva is a perfect example of the 17thcentury city planning.




Lutsk Radomyshl Kozatski Mohyly Dubno


Pochayiv Monastery





here are millions of European tourists who tra vel by car — but there are not too many of them who choose to come to Ukraine driving cars. There are reasons for that — but we would like to assure you, if you are toying with the idea of such autotravel across Ukraine, go ahead and do it — the roads are not that bad as they are sometimes described. Preparations for the Euro 2012 football champion ship to be held in Poland and Ukraine, boosted the con struction and repair work, and the highways have been put into a good shape; road signs that show destina tions and directions have been provided with trans literations in Latin script. On the way from Lviv to Kyiv there are too many pla ces worth paying a visit to and seeing — picturesque towns, fortresses, castles, ancient monasteries and churches, and breathtaking views of scenic landscapes, but we shall mention only a few of them. In the following pages WU makes its suggestions as to the places you may wish to visit and see. All of these places are located no further than 40 kilometers (about 25 miles) from the main highway that links Lviv and Kyiv — and that means that getting to the sights sug gested on these pages will take you but a short time.


Pochayiv Monastery here is a small town in Ternopil Oblast, called Pochayiv, in the vicinity of which is located a monastery, Svyatouspenska Po chayivska Lavra, which for centuries has been a major Chri stian Orthodox religious center in Western Ukraine. The monaste ry is located 25 km (15 miles) south of the road Lviv–Kyiv. The name of the monastery can be translated both as “Holy Dor mition” and as “Holy Assumption” — which one is closer to the ori ginal meaning we’ll leave to the theologians to decide. The first monks to settle at the Pochayiv Mount were reclusive anchorites who “lived in the wilderness”, that is in great seclu sion, away from people. It is believed that the Blessed Virgin Mary showed Herself to two monks and to a shepherd, Ivan the Barefoot, in the form of a fiery column, leaving an imprint of Her foot in the rock that she stood



upon. At this footprint a sacred water spring opened up, and the water in it is believed to have curative, medicinal properties. The awed monks proceeded to build a church in honor of the Assump tion of the Most Holy Mother of God at the foot of the Mount. By the end of the 16th century, the monastery was prosperous enough to build a stone cathedral and to host a busy annual fair. Its importance was further extended in 1597, when a noble lady, Anna Khoyska, presented to the monastery her extensive lands and a miracleworking icon of the Virgin Mary. This image, traditional ly known as Our Lady of Pochayiv, is believed to have been given to Anna by a Bulgarian priest. The monastery is dominated by the Uspensky (Assumption) Ca thedral, conceived by Nicholas Potocki as the largest of Greek Catholic churches of that time.

In 1795 the area where the monastery was located became a part of the Russian Empire and a reversion of Greek Catholics to Russian Orthodoxy began. In 1833 the Orthodox monastery was accorded the status of lavra (the word “laura” –“lavra” in Ukrainian spelling – is a borro wing from Greek and means, according to dictionaries “an impor tant monastery of Eastern Orthodox church”). Towards the end of the 19th century, Pochayiv became a mecca of Orthodox pilgrims from across the Russian empire and from the Balkans. The most important architectural addition to the Lavra dates to the early twentieth century. It is the Troitsky (Holy Trinity) Cathed ral, designed by, and built under the supervision of the prominent Russian architect Alexander Shchusev. The Troitsky Cathedral is a

true architectural masterpiece. Two large mosaics adorn the walls of the cathedral above the southern portal which was executed to the design created by Nikolai Rerikh (better known in the West as Nicholas Roerich) and above the western portal (the design was provided by Shchusev himself). The interior of the cathedral was sty lized to look like the one of an old medieval church, with stylized frescoes, the iconostasis carved from oak wood, copper chandelier. In the late 1980s after the Soviet Union relaxed its restrictions on religion, the religious life in the monastery began to actively revive. The icon of the Virgin has stayed in the monastery ever since the 17th century, surviving the most turbulent times of revolutions, de vastating wars and atheistic persecutions of religion. There are underground cave churches, St Job’s and St Anthony and Theodosius’, which also attract numerous faithful and pilgrims.


Kozatski Mohyly hen you travel from Lviv to Dubno, it ta kes only 40 minutes to get to the memo rial museum Kozatski Mohyly dedicated to the fallen in the Battle of Berestechko. The Battle of Berestechko, which was fought in 1651 between the Kozak (Cossack) troops led by Hetman Bohdan Khmelnytsky within the frame work of the War of Independence, and the Polish troops, was a massive military clash that involved more than 300,000 combatants. The Ukrainians lost the battle — at a crucial mo ment when victory seemed near, the Crimean Tar tar Khan Girey, Khmelnytsky’s ally, betrayed Khmel



nytsky by pulling his troops out of the battle (the Khan must have been bribed by the Poles to do so — in those times allegiances were changed al most daily). The Kozak troops were badly mauled but not destroyed — they beat retreat and some managed to escape across the marshy land where the Poles, in their heavy armor, did not risk to go. Traditionally, this battle is referred to as the one of Berestechko (a town located not too far from that place), but in fact, the site of the battle is nea rer to the village of Plyasheva. In 1914 the foundation for a memorial complex, Kozatski Mohyly (Cossacks’ Graves) was laid in the vicinity of Plyasheva to commemorate the dead Kozaks and locals who died in the battle itself and in the aftermath of the battle. The museum is now located at the place known as Zhuravlykha which used to be surrounded by marshland. Among the landmarks, apart from the monument to the dead itself, one can see the My khaylivska Church (The wooden church of St Mi chael was moved back in 1914 from the village of Ostriv to the memorial complex), in the crypt of which Kozak bones are reposed, probably mixed with the bones of the Poles who died in the battle. The Heorhiyivska Church (Church of St George) was founded in 1912 and is the most imposing land mark of the memorial museum. The construction was financed through donations of the ordinary people and of philanthropists. Among those who donated money toward the construction of the church was the last Russian Czar Nicholas II. Some of the architectural features make the church unique. In fact, it combines three chur ches — in addition to being the church of St George, it also houses the church of St Boris and St Hleb, and in the crypt of the Heorhiyivska Church one finds the church of St Paraskeva Pyatnytsya. The pediment of the Heorhiyivska Church is gra ced with the wall panting Calvary created by Ivan Yizhakevych.

Dubno ubno is one of the towns of Ukraine with a long and turbulent history which is described in history books, and which engen ders legends and fairy tales. The town of Dubno was founded over 900 years ago at the time when internal strife, constant incursions of the nomads forced the indigenous people to build fortified places hoping that they would protect them against the warring sides or marauding bands. Peasants and craftsmen, in addition to their skills, had to learn the art of warfare and of building strong defenses. The population of fortified towns and of their environs formed militia units or served in regular troops. Dubno was one of such fortified towns. The fortress that has sur vived in Dubno, witnessed many sieges — local guides say that there were at least seventy sieges, and none of them ended in storming the fortress. The fortress, complete with bastions, defensive walls, gates and two palaces, occupies a territory of three hectares (over seven ac res). Deep cellars and basements provided enough space for ample supplies of ammunition and food. Historians claim that the bastions of Dubno Fortress are among the best ever built in Ukraine. Tourists are invited to have a look at the throne hall in the castle and many choose to have their photos taken sitting on the throne. The town itself offers a quiet provincial charm but it has enough of modern amenities to make you feel you are still in the twentyfirst century. Most of the buildings in Dubno are two or threestoried, and many owners make it a point to preserve the eighteenth and nineteenth century appearances of their houses.



Lutsk utsk’s population of two hundred thou sand does not put it among the big ci ties of Ukraine; it does not have the ar chitectural sparkle of Lviv or historical gran deur of Kyiv, but it has its own quiet charms. Observers notice that the young people who adorn — unsolicited — the walls of Lutsk



with their graffiti and pictures portray various aspects of Lutsk, thus, in their specific man ner, showing their love of their city. Lutsk has a castle that has survived from the medieval times, with everything a castle should have — battlements, cremations, merinos, mighty defensive walls and towers. Now the castle is, of course, a museum which displays armor, old paintings, cannon, crow bars, bells and ancient presses for printing books. A tour of the caste is worth the time you spend there. The 200 hryvnia bill of Ukrainian curren cy shows one of the towers of Lutsk Castle. In fact there are three mighty towers that guard the 10meter (30 feet) thick defen sive walls that stretch for 240 meters (about 800 feet) around the castle. One of the towers, Vladycha, houses what used to be the castle’s arsenal and a great collection of church bells. Another tower, Vyizdova, houses an exhibition of ceramics used in construction.

The Catholic church, located in the vici nity of the castle, is another tourist attrac tion thanks to its crypts filled with tombs and bones which create a mystical and so mewhat scary atmosphere. For those who are interested in church architecture, Lutsk offers a selection of chur ches that date from various times and be long to different Christian denominations. The mansion of a local sculptor and quiet streets in the old part of town offer good sightseeing too. The foundation is the only thing that has survived from an ancient palace that belon ged to a Lithuanian ruler (who, in the Middle Ages, ruled the lands where Lutsk stands). There are a couple of palaces though (Shlya khetsky and Bishop’s) of the late eighteenth early nineteenth century that are located along the usual itineraries of tourists in Lutsk. Mock knights jousting tournaments, The Sword of Lutsk Castle, are annually held at Lutsk Castle and attract invariably big audiences.



or a glimpse of beautiful scenery, Ko rets is the right place to go to. Korets sits on the bank of the Kor chyk River, in the Rivne Oblast. Korets’ small size has always stood in contrast to a sur prising number of churches it has. A big monastery sprawls along the road leading to the town. Neither the churches, nor the monastery were ever closed as it happened with many other churches and monasteries during the communist rule. Korets has a long and rich history but it so happened that in the second half of the nineteenth century it declined and turned into a small provincial place, marked only on the most detailed maps. The early chronicles mention Korets which was originally called Korchesk. Until the end

of the eighteenth century, the town was un der Polish rule, with Polish nobles having their estates in and around town. In 1788, a factory producing faience and china was set up in Korets. Eventually, it became the biggest factory of its kind in Ukraine, with the Korets entire population working there. Unfortunately, in the nineteenth century the production declined and the factory was closed down. Among the architectural landmarks of Korets the SvyatoTroyitsky (Holy Trinity) Nunnery, and the Troyitsky Church of the Nunnery are worth a mention and a visit. The church dates to the late medieval times. The cells of the Nunnery, built in the early seventeenth century, are still in use. Pilgrims and just visitors are offered a ve

ry hospitable welcome, the tradition of sin cere hospitality dating back for many ge nerations. Pilgrims and visitors are treated to deli cious cookies and a refreshing drink made from honey. The apiary, run by the nuns, gives an exceptionally good and excellently smelling honey. For a couple of centuries, up to the thir ties of the nineteenth century, most of the churches and the monasteries were Catho lic rather than Orthodox. All the churches and the monasteries went Orthodox after the rioting had been firmly dealt with. The fifteenthcentury fortress was rui ned and never rebuilt, and what remains of its picturesque ruins attracts filmmakers loo king for romantic settings for their pictures.


Yuri Gagarin (left), the first human to journey into outer space and Serhiy Korolyov, thanks to whom Yuri Gagarin flew into space and the first ever satellite was launched.


hytomyr is situated in the central part of Ukraine, in the border area between the steppe and the woods. It sits on the rocky banks of the Teteriv and Kamen ka rivers, tributaries of the Dnipro. Zhytomyr has a character of its own which distinguishes it from any other town in Uk raine. What is more, the town’s three major parts differ from each other, each part bearing the traits of agelong traditions. One part of town used to be predominant ly Catholic, the second used to be Ortho dox and the third — Jewish. Zhytomyr is believed to have been foun ded in the 9th century which makes it one of the oldest towns in Ukraine. Starting from the early 19th century, Zhytomyr has been the regional centre — first, of Volyn Huber niya and then of Volyn Oblast.



Today the cultural differences between the three major parts of Zhytomyr are not felt as acutely as they were, say, a hundred years ago. They have remained mostly in the architectural styles. Museum of Space Exploration For a provincial town Zhytomyr has an impressive number of museums, monu ments, architectural landmarks and memo rial plaques. The list of famous people who either were born in Zhytomyr or lived there for a length of time is also amazingly long. One of such people does deserve a spe cial mention — it is Serhiy Korolyov, the leading figure in the Soviet space program of the late fifties and early sixties. It was under his management and thanks to his talents and determination that the first

ever satellite and the first man in space were launched. Next to the house where Korolyov used to live (the house itself is a sort of a me morial museum), you can find a museum of history of space exploration — very few towns in the world can boast such museums. The museum presents both the history of manned and unmanned space flights, and does it in a simple but very convincing way. Some of the items on the display, like space suits, are real McCoy, not replicas. Mr Tift, a descendant of Samuel Cle mens, better known as Mark Twain, one of the best known American humorists, visited Zhytomyr in 1992 and thoroughly enjoyed the visit. There is a good reason to believe that you will not be disappointed either.

Berdychiv he town of Berdychiv is located 41 kilometers (25 miles) south of Zhyto myr. If you are traveling along the road that links Lviv and Kyiv, all you have to do is to travel but a short distance to find yourself transported into the cozy at mosphere of a nineteenthcentury provin cial town. It maybe a provincial town, but Berdy chiv is proud that the famous nineteenth century French novelist Honore de Balzac was married there, one of the classics of British literature Joseph Conrad was born there, LeviItskhak, a prominent Hassidic zaddik, preached and died there. Berdychiv, a town of a hundred thou sand inhabitants, is a cultural phenomenon worth exploring — in the nineteenthcen tury Ukraine it was looked upon as an em bodiment of the very idea of provincialism. It is a town of several ethnic groups, each of which has contributed to the town’s cul tural makeup. The most outstanding of all Berdyvhiv’s sights is a Monastery of Virgin Mary, which belongs to the mendicant Or


der of the Barefoot Carmelites. In the 16th century, the monks, evidently forgetting their mendicancy, began exploiting the lo cal population who once in a while explo ded in anger and attacked the monastery. The monks, to protect themselves, had to build high walls around the monastery. In 1663, the monastery was rebuilt and since then has remained a remarkable archi tectural landmark, one of the most impres sive of its kind in Ukraine. One of the chur ches of the monastery acquired a distinct Baroque look. B. Frederice, an Italian pain ter, decorated the church with frescoes. There is still a sizeable Catholic commu nity living in Berdychiv. The town of Berdychiv used to have and still has a large Jewish community. In the 16th century the town’s advantageous geogra phical position at the intersection of many trade routes attracted merchants and crafts men, among whom there were many Jews. In the 19th century the population of the town, with the exception of the castle and monastery, was almost entirely Jewish.

The outskirts were inhabited by Ukrai nian peasants. It was a very curious cultural situation, with Polish, Jewish and Ukraini an traditions not only coexisting but also intermingling. After a period of turbulent times and eco nomic decline, Berdychiv rose to prominence again in the 19th century. It became the ve nue of very big fairs that attracted traders and buyers from many places. Banks were opened, mostly owned by Jews. The main street of the town was called Golden and was lined with offices of many companies. It was in Berdychiv that LeviItskhak, an eminent zaddik (a leader of a Hassidic com munity) lived and died. His grave at the lo cal cemetery has been attracting the Has sidim from all over the world. They come to Berdychiv to pay homage to the muchre vered zaddik. Berdychiv has retained much of its nine teenthcentury atmosphere and walking its streets transports you back in time, when the pace of life was much slower — a trip to Ber dychiv is a relaxing and rewarding experience.


Photos by Ye. BUDKO

Radomysl he town of Radomyshl, located about 80 ki lometers (60 miles) west of Kyiv, has seen a lot of restoration and reconstruction that puts it on the tourist map. The main attraction in Radomyshl is a recon structed castle which houses a unique collection of home icons. The castle walls do not look forbidding at all; there is a distinctive note of serenity and welcome in the whole complex. On the spot that used to be a mill, which had been built in the early twentieth century, remains of a much earlier building — of the early seven teenth century — were discovered. That earlier building was a papermaking facto ry that belonged to the Pechersk Lavra Monastery in Kyiv. It was built with not only paper making in mind — the building had to be massive and thick walled so that it could be easily turned into a de fensive structure. In fact, it had loopholes in ad dition to regular windows. It was the oldest paper making factory in Cent ral and Eastern Ukraine. It is not known when ex actly the factory was built but it is known that the print shop of the monastery began working not later than in 1606 — and it was for this print shop



that the factory in Radomyshl supplied paper, it can be surmised that the factory started opera ting at about the same time. The paper the factory produced was taken to Kyiv first by water on rafts and then delivered to the print shop by wagons. Later, the factory was abandoned and some time later on whatever was left of the old building, a mill was built. Recently it was turned into a mu seum stylized as a medieval castle, plus hotel, and a restaurant. The central part of the “Radomysl Castle” is The Museum of Household Icons Dusha Ukrayiny (Spirit of Ukraine) which is the only one of its kind in the world. The icons, exhibited in the museum, date from the seventeenth and later centuries, and in addition to icons, the museum exhibits ancient figurines, toys, decorations, vessels and other ar tifacts. Most of the items were donated by Olha Bohomolets, a distinguished dermatologist, patron of art and singer who, actually, initiated and spon sored the reconstruction. The Radomysl Castle boasts a park complete with ponds, islets in the water, little bridges and pieces of sculpture, with outcrops, here and there, of rock. ■

VYZNANNYA ROKU 2012 KARPATY Health and Rest Center Today Ukraine has an excellent chance of proudly and amply demonstrating its high cultural and intellectual potential, the level of its social and economic development, its industrial growth to the European and world communities. The international presentation program Vyznannya Roku (Recognition of Achieve ments) has become an important event in the business life of Ukraine — it boosts the development of the economic, scientific and cultural potential of Ukraine’s regions, promotes the widening of international contacts and attracts investment resources into all the spheres of life in Ukraine. The sanatoriy (health and rest center) Karpaty has been nominated for a Vyznannya Roku 2012 prize.


ne of the best landscape parks in Ukraine, Pidhirya, is located in the resort of Trus kavets, in the Land of Lvivshchyna. The beauty of the park is truly breathtaking. The health and rest center Karpaty is located in Pidhirya on the bank of a picturesque lake. Karpaty offers the atmosphere of hospitality, civility and well being. It is truly a center of phy sical and spiritual healing. The ninestory buil ding that contains rooms for guests, the medical center and swimming pool and fitness center, mi neral water outlets, shops and cafes are snugly lo cated in a territory of 5,5 hectares. Karpaty can accommodate 400 people at a time. The price of the voucher to stay at Karpaty inclu des medical diagnoses and treatment, three meals a day, accommodation at comfortable deluxe class rooms with a refrigerator, telephone, minisafe and a TV set. The hotel building and the medical center are connected by corridors and so the guests can walk from one place to the other without being exposed either to the heat or rain in summer or to the cold in winter. Karpaty possesses one of the biggest medical facilities among sanatoriums of this kind. The me dical center has 90 therapy rooms; the medical personnel is highly qualified and includes four doctors with medical PhDs; all the physicians are

of the highest qualification category. The director general of Karpaty is Lev Hrytsak. Karpaty provides treatment of problems of the urinogenital system, the liver, the gall bladder, the stomach and intestines and metabolism. As a rule, most of those who come to Karpaty have several health problems to be dealt with. When people suffering from a number of diseases that may include hypertension, osteoarthritis, stomach disfunctions and many other health problems, come to Karpaty and go through a course of the rapy, they leave the place with their health much improved. The rehabilitation and health impro vement course may last from 16 to 24 days. The mineral waters Naftusya, Mariya, Sofiya, and Bra nislava are the main healing factors. 96 percent of the people who come to Karpaty report consi derable health improvement and they feel them selves much healthier. Karpaty offers a whole range of therapy proce dures — mineral baths, medicinal herb teas, sea salt baths, laser therapy, hydrotherapy, intestine infusions, gynecological infusions, microenemas, inhalations, magnet therapy, massage. Karpaty also offers such advanced forms of therapy as carbonic baths. Such baths have anti inflammatory effect, they act as tranquilizers and painkillers.

Karpaty also offers a course of Thai massage and ozonetherapy; ozocerite applications have vasodilating and anti inflammatory effects — that is why they are used in treatment of locomotor system and of the inflammation of the urinogeni tal system. A great emphasis is put on physical and fitness exercises, as well as on providing the guests with healthy food. The dining room offers three kinds of soup, four kinds of main dishes, salads, fruit and vegan tables fresh juices; for dinner, home cookies are always on the menu. The cooks do their best to provide good quality and diversity of dishes, each day of fering new menus which include dishes of various cuisines of the world. Karpaty takes care of its guests by providing various forms of entertainment as well as therapy. Every guest can find what suits them best. Horse riding, fishing, bicycle riding and sightseeing tours to various destinations in the Lands of Lvivsh chyna and Zakarpattya and abroad are on the list of options. Karpaty is known for its exceptional hospita lity, with every guest treated as VIP. Those who have stayed at Karpaty once tend to come again. People come from all over Ukraine and from other countries as well.

2 Karpatska Street, Truskavets, Lviv Oblast, 82200, Ukraine Tel: +380 247 514-08, 621 33, 620 00. Fax: +380 247 514 08 E-mail:;



Mykola Vasylkov at FIFA World Cup 2006 in Germany.

“Euro 2012 Will Be a Success!” MYKOLA VASYLKOV IS A TV JOURNALIST WHO KNOWS “EVERYTHING” ABOUT PREPARATIONS IN UKRAINE FOR HOSTING THE EURO 2012 FOOTBALL CHAMPIONSHIP. HE SHARED SOME OF HIS KNOWLEDGE WITH MARYNA GUDZEVATA, WU SENIOR EDITOR. ykola Vasylkov, who has been officially nominated “Friend of UEFA EURO 2012,” is one of the TV presenters of the Tretiy taim (Third Half) show which was one of the most popular TV shows in Ukraine in presen ting subjects that dealt with football in an entertai ning and spitted manner. He is also the author and presenter of the Euro 2012 — Inshiy futbol (The Other Kind of Football) TV program which delivers news from the construc tion sites and preparations connected with Euro 2012 in Ukraine and in Poland. He does it in an engaging manner, no stiff interviews — easy banter and gene rally a lot of fun. He bridges the gap between pla yers and fans.



In a poll, conducted among TV viewers, he was vo ted in 2011 “the most active journalist who writes or presents on videos subjects related to Euro 2012.” He was an accredited reporter at FIFA World Cup in South Africa in 2010, UEFA Euro 2008 in Swit zerland and Austria, FIFA World Cup 2006 in Ger many, and his reports from these championships were always vigorous, humorous and entertaining. — Did you expect to be nominated a UEFA Euro 2012 Friend? — No, I did not. I knew about such nominations but did not know the specific details until one day, Markiyan Lubkivskyi, Head of Ukraine’s Euro 2012 Local Organizing Committee, phoned and informed

Andriy Shevchenko, a Ukrainian and world football star, and Mykola Vasylkov were schoolmates.

me that the presenters of the Third Half TV show had been honored with being nominated UEFA Euro 2012 Friends. It was a big surprise for me! We agreed that Mr Lubkivskyi would come to our show to officially present us with this “award”. During one of the shows we talked about this nomination in a humorous and cheerful way. — You’ve visited all the stadiums in Ukraine that will host the Euro 2012 games, haven’t you? Which one did you like best? — In fact, I have not visited the one in Kharkiv after its reconstruction yet, but I’m planning to do it in the nearest future. Two stadiums were not built anew but recon structed — the one in Kyiv and in Kharkiv. The sta dium in Kyiv has gone through a major reconstruc tion. A roof was added, the angle of the stands was changed, the number of seats changed too. In Khar kiv, during the reconstruction, the stadium also ac quired a roof and some changes were introduced but not as radical as in Kyiv. The stadium in Donetsk, which was recently built with private money, is the best as far as all the requirements for such stadiums are concerned. The stadium in Kyiv, which is called National Sports Complex Olimpiyskiy, is probably the most impressive. Being there, one gets the feeling that one has been transported into the future — the sheer scope is truly grand. The roofing is really fancy — it was created at the cutting edge of modern tech nology. The scale of everything is truly impressive. Kyiv is a big city and should have a very big stadium.

The stadium in Lviv is the smallest of the four mentioned — and I like it best for its “human” size. And the angle at which the stands are placed pro vides an excellent view from every seat. Safety mea sures have been introduced to prevent spectators from accidentally falling down from such steeply climbing stands. I was there at the opening and I can tell you that from my seat I could see everything that was happening on the pitch perfectly well! It felt as though I was among the performers. I can’t share any of my comments about the sta dium in Kharkiv because, as I’ve said, I’ve not yet been there after its reconstruction. As far as I know, the soccer fans of Kharkiv’s football club Metalist are the most enthusiastic among soccer fans of Ukraine. ➧

Mykola enjoys a festive atmosphere at the Fan Zone in Johannesburg during FIFA World Cup 2010.

— In the opinion of many journalists, the sta dium in Donetsk, Donbas Arena, is the best from the point of technologies, comfort and conveyance. — I agree about the technologies — the cutting edge technologies were used during construction, and advanced technologies are available for holding sports events, for journalists and spectators too. But there are many places with restricted access at the stadium when no sports or any other public events are held. — How many seats are there? — The stadium in Donetsk can seat up to 50,000 people, while the Olimpiyskiy Stadium in Kyiv can seat up to 70,000 people. The authorities promise that after the reconstruction is completed, people will have access to Olimpiyskiy almost with no re strictions. But still, you won’t be able to come there and run free around the pitch for exercise, the way you could in the prereconstruction times. The track andfield tracks around the pitch have a very so phisticated surfacing. And the turf on the pitch is very special too — you will not be allowed just to wander around or do damage to it.

It’s a great challenge for Ukraine — and a great boost to many things too. Euro 2012 Football Cham pionship will help to promote tourism, will let people in Europe learn more about Ukraine. The Olimpiyskiy Stadium is said to be ecologi cally friendly. The materials used in reconstruction meet all the ecological requirements. — Did you in any way take part in the reconst ruction effort?


— I did. I volunteered three days to work at the NSC Olimpiskiy. I installed some ceramic tiles, some lamps and did some other things. Not much real ly, but I feel pleased I could do it and as they say, every little bit helps. I did lend my manual efforts to the reconstruc tion of Lviv’s stadium too. Incidentally, I was the first to come to the Lviv Arena with an official Euro 2012 ball, which I gave to the director of con struction as a present and he probably appreciated it more than my muscle contribution to the recon struction of the stadium. — What about Poland? Can you compare the state of readiness there and in Ukraine? — I have not yet been to all the Polish stadiums that will host the games. I’ve been to Wroclaw and Poznan, and in our TV shows we presented reports on them, and I’m planning to go to Gdansk and to Warsaw some time soon. As far as comparing the state of readiness for Euro 2012 in Poland and in Ukraine, I think in cer tain things we are ahead of the Poles. I’ve discove red a funny thing — in Ukraine many people think that because Poland is a EU member things are get ting done faster and easier there, and in Poland ma ny people think that since there are so many “oli garchs” and rich people in Ukraine, they will get things moving faster and better. I think that the state of the roads in Poland is better than in Ukraine. On the other hand, the re construction of the major highways such as War saw–Kovel–Kyiv, Wroclaw–Lviv–Kyiv, and Kyiv– Poltava–Kharkiv is almost complete, and the sta diums in Ukraine are in a good shape too. But Poland is much ahead of Ukraine as far as hotels are concerned. Besides, they have a well developed infrastructure of hostels, motels and

Viktor Leonenko, Fozzi, and Mykola Vasylkov — presenters of Tretiy Taim, the best sports TV program of 2010–2011.

camping sites. There are many more tourists who come to Poland from the rest of Europe than to Ukraine. Most of the football national teams that will play at the Euro 2012 Championship have deci ded to stay in Poland even though they will have to travel to Ukraine to play their games. And it is not because Poland can offer better accommoda tion and services, but because so little is known about Ukraine. I find that Polish railroad and terminals are in a sorry state even though the trains themselves, long distance and commuter trains are very comfortable and are kept in a good condition. But the central railroad terminal in Warsaw is a horror to behold! In contrast, the railroad tracks and railroad sta tions and terminals in Ukraine are in a good con dition — but the trains are not. After Mr Borys Kolesnikov, Ukraine’s minister of infrastructure who is responsible for preparations for Euro 2012, saw our TV show about the state of preparations for the games in Poland, he called me on the phone and suggested that I and my ca meraman go to South Korea to have a look at the locomotives and passenger cars that are being built for Ukraine. He said that Ukrainian trains would not be any worse than those that run across Po land —“maybe they will be even better.” We did go and filmed the work on those carriages. They will be adapted to Ukraine’s conditions and will not be as fast as the ones that run in Korea itself. Separate railroad tracks for really fast trains must be construc ted, but Ukraine presently can’t afford it. And in Korea, I lent my muscle efforts of a labo rer to the railroad carriages builders too. I was allo wed to install some equipment but not the electri cal one (smiles).

The new trains will travel much faster than the old ones and you’ll be able to get from Lviv to Kyiv in about four hours. Also, from Kyiv to Kharkiv trains will run as fast as 180 kilometers an hour, two times faster than now. Anyway, this is what the rail road authorities promise. — Do you believe Euro 2012 will be a success? — I sure do. It’ll be a happy time for me. It’s a great challenge for Ukraine — and a great boost to many things too. Take Lviv, for example — without Euro 2012 they would never have such a stadium and an airport as they do now, built with modern technologies. Lviv is very close to the rest of Europe, and I hope it will soon become a part of the European cul tural space. Euro 2012 will provide a great boost to tourism, will let people in Europe learn more about Ukraine. The ticket sales for Euro 2012 matches reflect the great interest — the demand for the tickets was seventy times higher than the proposition at the first stage of ticket sales. Altogether, a record one and a half million tickets are available for sales. All the leading European national teams will play, among them all the previous champions of Europe. Group B, the toughest, includes Portugal, the Ne therlands, Denmark and Germany, and all the ga mes will be played in Ukraine — in Lviv and in Khar kiv! I’m looking forward to the great spectacles! About 400,000 fans are expected to come to Kyiv alone. It will be so interesting to see how Kyivans who aren’t used to great numbers of foreign tourists will deal with all those foreigners. Fan zones are ex pected to be the biggest ever provided — 70,000 or more square meters in Kyiv, and over 100,000 square meters in Warsaw! The event will be the greatest fun ever! ■

Scottish football fans support the Ukrainian National football team during FIFA World Cup 2006 in Germany.




The City That

Glorious view of the golden domed PecherskLavra Monastery.


Has a Soul

Horse chestnut trees are ubiquitous in Kyiv, and their springtime blossoming makes a gorgeous sight.


find it exceedingly difficult to say anything coherent about Kyiv, the subject of an untold number of historical opuses, treatises, dissertations, essays and books, highly scholarly and downright amateurish, of a great many novels and poems; innumerable number of paintings and drawings portray Kyiv in all of its aspects, in all seasons and all moods. So mine will be just idle musings that reflect my awe of this city. Once upon a time, there lived a boy with a name which is un pronounceable outside the Slavic world — the name can be tran sliterated as “Kyi” but if you are not fluent in Ukrainian or Russian do not even try to pronounce it. This boy had two brothers and a sister whose names are even a less jumpable hurdle — so never mind them. The boy grew up and occupied himself with running a ferry across the river which he cal led Slavutych (and which now is called Dnipro, or in a funny En glish way “Dnieper”). He hardly knew that the Greeks who settled down in the Crimea which a couple of millennia later would be come a part of Ukraine, called the same river Boristhenus — and he could not care less. He ferried humans and their domesticated animals from the flat left bank to the hilly right bank of the river (left and right if you look downstream) and backwards, little knowing that on those hills a big city would spring up. He and his siblings — accepting they actually existed and were not the stuff of legends and gullible chroniclers — were later sad dled with founding a settlement on the hills which grew into a major city which honored the founder by calling itself Kyiv (a relatively recent spelling, again unpronounceable; the traditional English spel ling looks hardly less funny but has the advantage of having been handed down to us by a long Englishlanguage tradition). The town of Kyi — that’s how the name of the city is usually interpreted. ➧


The languidly flowing Dnipro River reflecting the city lights.

The monument to the seventeenthcentury Ukrainian Hetman Bohdan Khmelnytsky in the square near the great Cathedral of Holy Sophia.


Mist enveloping St Andrew’s — one of the most handsome of all churches in Kyiv and the imposing building of the National Historical Museum.

Andriyivsky Uzviz is a street that is occupied by artists and their art.

siderably older than Kyiv and is incredibly rich in culture of many epochs, Kyiv is not just “a poor relative” — it is a place with its own uniqueness, an an cient town in its own right. If one assigns a gen der to Kyiv, I think it should be feminine — it has the feminine character rather than masculine; be sides, early chronicles refer to Kyiv as “the Mother of all towns of Rus (pronounced rOOs).” ➧


Early chroniclers did not possess any sophisti cated means, such as radiocarbon dating, to de termine the age of artifacts dug out in vegetable gardens and were very vague about the dates of prehistory. Archeologists of more recent times dug out things which they say bear some relations to the early history of Kyiv and they claim that Kyiv must have been founded about fifteen hundred years ago, give or take a century or two. But no plaques or road signs saying “To the City of Kyiv” that date to those distant times have ever been re covered. So we remain in the dark as to the foun dation time of Kyiv — neither do we know whether the story of Kyi and his siblings has any historical value. If you are of a credulous kind, go to the em bankment on the “right” bank of Kyiv, close to one of the bridges across the Dnipro, locally known as Paton Bridge (no relation — God forbid! — to the US General George S. Patton, Jr. — Paton was an academician who invented new kinds of welding) and find a rather silly looking monument of a huge boat with three men and a woman in it. They are the founders of Kyiv (I do not know which of them is supposed to be Kyi). For some totally preposte rous reason, many newlyweds come to the monu ment to lay flowers and have their pictures taken — you can do it too (I mean to have your picture ta ken, not laying flowers as newlywed — but on the second thought: why not?). Note that Rome also was founded by brothers and also on the hills — and though Rome is con


The artist Mykhailo Khymych painted this mural on the wall of the building that stands right in front of his windows, and provided it with this inscription: “This mural has been created with God’s help, with love for those who will look at it and in honor of Yury Khymych, the painter who painted views of Kyiv. Mykhailo Khymych, Yury’s son. 2005.”



The building in 1 Yaroslaviv Val Street is one of the fanciest architectural land marks of Kyiv and also one of the most “Gothic” ones, widely known among the Kyivans as “Baron’s Castle ”.

Photo by S. HOROBETS

Children enjoying themselves in the new Park of Smiling Beasts in Peizazhna Alley.

Through history As we move through the history closer to our times, dates and persons and events tied to them become more distinguishable. In the ninth cen tury the city of Kyiv was captured by the bands of Scandinavians who made the city known to By zantium and to some counties in Western Europe. The Scandinavian rulers and their direct descen dants, who gradually lost their Scandinavian na mes (Helga, for example, became Olga, and her son already had quite a Slavic name of Svyatoslav which can be roughly translated as “The One of Holiday Glory”). These rulers and their Viking troops expanded their domination over vast areas of Eas tern Europe that stretched from the Baltic to the Black Sea, and from what is now Belarus to the Volga. They adopted Christianity hoping to become more civilized, they married their sons and daugh ters into western European royal dynasties, they built churches — and they fiercely fought with one another for the supremacy over the lands in their possession, Kyiv in particular. There is nothing wrong or demeaning in admit ting that some of the ancient rulers of the count ➧


Photo by O.KURSHYN

At Maidan Nezalezhnosti, the central square of Kyiv.

The monument of the soviet times that is supposed to symbolize the victory over the Nazis Germany. Many Kyivans find it to be an eyesore spoiling the view, but for foreign visitors it's one of the most attractive sights.

ry you happen to be living in, came from abroad. Take Britain, for example. In the eleventh century the Danish king Cnut was also the king of Britain; the Norman nobles and judges and knights of Wil liam the Conqueror (a Norman was just another name for a Viking, or Varengian as they were cal led in Byzantium and in Kyivan Rus) spoke French for a couple of centuries before they bothered to learn some English and become fully integrated.

Kyiv suffered a lot of destruction, but proved to be amazingly resilient and managed to preserve its special charm that could be immediately recog nized as thoroughly Kyivan. Kyivan Rus, as the state ruled by Kyivan prin ces, was inhabited by Eastern Slavs who gradual ly absorbed the Scandinavians making them their “own.” One of the churches of the eleventh century still stands — though its Greek architects and buil ders who were invited from Byzantium to do a tri cky job of building a church of great dimensions, would not recognize it as their creation — in later times the exterior was subjected to many changes and facelifts. But the interior has survived almost intact from the eleventh century — and deserves to be admired. It is the Cathedral of Holy Sophia, which is a tou rist mustsee when you visit Kyiv. Sophia in Greek


means “wisdom,” so if in any of your guide books you find it called “St Sophia’s”, know it is wrong — the church was dedicated to the Holy Wisdom, Wis dom of God, not to a saint named Sophia. The cathedral is a sort of the umbilicus, the fo cal point of ancient Kyiv — it is a very visible and palpable, living connection with the past. It’s not just a wellorganized pile of stones — it’s a living thing, and if you have a good ear, the church will whisper into that ear many exciting stories. Kyiv changed hands many times; it saw a lot of fighting in its streets; it saw fires but it licked its wounds and went on prospering. It was the thir teenthcentury invasion of Mongols and Tartars that did a lot of irreparable damage and Kyiv sank into a decline that lasted for several centuries. Revival The city emerged from the almost complete ob scurity only in the seventeenth century but it was in the nineteenth century that it earned the right to be called a major city rather than a provincial town. The construction boom of the end of the nineteenth century brought it in line with other European urban centers, and such architects as Ho rodetsky adorned it with their fanciful creations, one of which continues to exercise a magnetic pull on Kyivans and visitors alike — it is known as The House with Chimeras and it does have all sorts of fabulous monsters climbing its walls and sitting on its roofs. Do go and have a look — it’s located in the very center of Kyiv, right opposite the stu pendously ugly building which used to house the central offices of the Ukrainian Communist Party

under the soviets and now houses what is called “The Admini stration of the President of Ukraine”. Incidentally, the Ukrainian presidents choose to live elsewhere. Since the seventeenth century until 1991, Ukraine was a part of the Russian Empire (called then Malorosiya — Little Russia) and later “a constituent republic” of the Soviet Empire which called it self in an Orwellian manner “The Union of Soviet Socialist Repub lics.” And Kyiv for most of its soviet past (with an exception of a short spell) was Ukraine’s capital. The soviets did a much more thorough job of destruction than the Mongols, the Nazis and other invaders combined — the Bol sheviks wanted to obliterate the past and build a new glorious and glittering present. But Kyiv proved to be amazingly resilient and managed to pre serve its special charm — the hills, the languid river, the golden cu polas of churches, sprawling parks, the unhurried pace of life, all of it (minus some churches raised to the ground by the militant soviet atheism) were all there to create an atmosphere that could be immediately recognized as thoroughly Kyivan. Unfortunately, independence also spawned those who are cal led “oligarchs” and whose only concern is personal enrichment, and who could not care less about Kyiv’s ancient charm — their con tribution to the effacing of old Kyiv is much greater than that of the soviets. Leisurely walks Kyiv, that is, the central part of it (suburbs are nondescript apart ment blocks all looking alike and offering no sights worth seeing) invites a leisurely stroll rather than a touristbus ride. If you begin your walk, say, from the central street of Kyiv, Khreshchatyk (pronounced khreshCHAtyk), you can climb the hill moving up from the central square towards The Cathedral of Holy Sophia whose shiny gold domes are visible from afar. Wan der along the streets, taking in architectural landmarks (ignore the eyesores of new hotels and office buildings), absorbing the atmosphere of “true Kyiv”. Ask how to get to Pechersk — and take a stroll through the parks that run along the top of the hills, studded with palaces and monuments. You can walk all the way to the Pechersk Lav ra Monastery, part of which is still a historical preserve and the other part of which has been given back to the monks (who do not do a good job of maintaining the thousandyear old mona stery the way it deserves to be maintained). Look from the top of any of the hills down at the flat left bank stretching into infinity (the distance hides the monotony and fa celessness of its architecture), and with a little effort of imagina tion you can see how gorgeously the town must have looked in not so distant past — graceful churches, topped with golden do mes, the greenery of the parks and of the forested plains on the other side of the river, sand beaches along the banks, nothing to annoy the eye but only to please it… The list of the sights that “must be paid visits to” can be found in any guide book — but what cannot be found there it is the feel of an ancient town that continues to withstand the hard pressures of nouveauxriches’ money, and preserve its ancient soul still dis cernable in the old sections of town, in the parks, in little public gardens, in the timelessness of the river. ■





is mostly visitors to Kyiv who notice them rather than inhabitants of the city who have gotten quite accustomed to their pre sence on the walls, under the balconies and in other, someti mes quite unexpected and rather inconspicuous places. During the construction boom of the end of the nineteenth early twentieth century, various architectural styles interming led procuring an eclectic but im pressive and charming cocktail. NeoGothic seemed to have been particularly popular then, and some rather scary crea tures began to crawl on vertical walls, perch on the corners or lurk under the balconies. Creatures from fables and fairy tales of old and of more recent inventions, gods of anti quity, mermaids, fauns, grima cing or smiling faces, heads with no bodies attached, plus a lot of other stone apparitions made their conspicuous appearances in various parts of town. Some of them have remai ned conspicuous but Kyiv dwel lers have long stopped noticing






1. Guardians of the National Bank of Ukraine (9 Instytutska Str). 2. A smiling face on the building at 32 Volodymyrska Str which was restored by the famous early-twentieth century architect V. Horodetsky. 3. These two creatures made their appearance rather recently on one of the buildings in Kostelna Street. 4. All sorts of monsters crawl on the walls and roof of the House with Chimeras in Bankova Str in Kyiv. 5. The face of this cat is believed to be “a self-portrait” of the architect Pavlo Alyoshyn (1/15 Pylyp Orlyk Str). 6. The building at 28/31 Yaroslaviv Val was liberally provided with dragons by their architect M. Yaskevych. 7. A monster at the 6th floor of the building at 8a Velyka Zhytomyrska Str looks down at the passers-by, who very rarely care to look up to spot it. 8. A leering creature bearing its teeth at 8a Velyka Zhytomyrska Str. 9. There is very little that has been left of the original small building near the part of town known as Lukyanivka. 10. This creature lives above one of the 18th-century gates to the 11thcentury Cathedral of Holy Sophia in Kyiv (now this gate faces Heorhiyivsky Provulok side street). 11. This monstrous face on the fountain in the public garden at Mykhaylivska Sq is believed to be a caricature of the foreman whose brigade built this fountain about a 100 years ago — it was the way the workers took their revenge on the too fussy foreman. 12. The docile monster at one of the children grounds of Kyiv landed there quite recently.










them. If they are paid any atten tion to, it is by children or tou rists. Neither the children nor the tourists seem to be ever frighte ned by them, even though among little devils one can spot bigger and menacing ones. But probab ly they were never actually meant to frighten — just to make some one smile or simply to provide decorative elements. Anyway, they are still there, and without them, the city would have lost one of its charms. ■





he name of the village is Pyrohiv. If you go there without knowing what to expect you will surely wonder how come there are vil lages in the twentyfirst century which look as though they have remained unchanged since the nineteenth century — or even earlier. Squat pea sant houses with thatched roofs and whitewashed walls, some of which are definitely adobe; wooden churches, windmills, a tavern (you could have seen a similar one in an old painting), flowers in the gar dens, undulating hills, ponds — and all of it having a definite feel of a living place, not just a collection of recently made, ethnographically correct but es sentially dead replicas of authentic houses and all those other things. And when you spot people wea ring traditional Ukrainian dresses it surely makes you wonder — a giant show? Time travel? As a matter of fact, it is indeed a museum — an openair museum which “exhibits” authentic peasant houses, windmills and churches of the eigh teenth, nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. ”Authentic” in the very literal sense of this word — all those houses, windmills and churches were spot ted in Ukrainian villages across the country by his toryofarchitecture and Ukrainianculturalheri tage enthusiasts; then they — the houses and chur ches and windmills, not the enthusiasts, were ca refully taken apart by carpenters and master buil ders and transported to Pyrohiv where they were reassembled and restored, in case the reassembled “artifacts” needed restoration. So the old look of all those houses and churches and windmills, bearing traces of agelong exposure


to the elements, is very natural and very real, not induced. Years ago, when I found myself in Pyrohiv for the first time I was skeptical (in general, I am of a skeptical disposition) — I expected to see some thing artificial, without the true touch of life. And I was badly disappointed in my expectations, with disappointment paradoxically being a good thing — the place was truly alive with a life and oldtime gentle charm of its own. Since then I’ve been to Pyrohiv a number of ti mes, and my first impressions were confirmed eve ry time I went there.

During one of the festivals held in the OpenAir Museum of Folk Architecture and Everyday Life in the village of Pyrohiv.


The Church of St Paraskeva dates from the early 17th century. It was transported to the Museum from the village of Zarubyntsi in the Land of Cherkashchyna and it still functions as a church.


Having no car and hating mass transpor tation, I was taken there by friends and close relatives who own cars. I do not remember anyone not sharing my quiet enthusiasm about that place. Even with very many people milling around, the place never feels crowded (anyway, that’s what I felt). A couple of times we were exceptionally lucky — in the sense that there were surprisingly few people and it felt we had the place all to ourselves. Once it was in midfall, with Nature pro viding an amazing display of colors, from still bright green through bright yellow and red to subdued brown. Fallen leaves rustled underfoot. Breathing the air, untainted by any noxious smells (in spite of the fact of the village being located close to a huge ur ban area) was like drinking ambrosia of the gods; the scenery was of a kind that you only half believe what you are actually seeing and not a mirage… Climbing a hill towards a windmill of a ve nerable age, I could not help imagining a Uk rainian Don Quixote riding a Ukrainian Ro

cinante, with a Ukrainian version of Sancho hurrying behind and shouting to the gallant rider that it was a mill not a giant and thus was not to be engaged in a jousting match… The other time of exceptionally good luck was in winter, in the late afternoon when the night is about to pounce and envelop the world in its magic. To make the scenery to tally improbable, the crescent of the moon provided enough light to ignite the snow with zillions of scintillations. The houses un der the white hats of snow, the quiet chur ches, the lonely mills — everything was spell bound in a fairytale beauty, straight from Gogol’s immortal Christmas Eve stories. And if you feel like having a traditional Ukrainian meal of borscht and varenyky or of dozens of other delectables — you are welcome to partake of an affordable great repast at the local shynok, a sort of a pub, Ukrainian style. And if you are superlucky and happen to come to Pyrohiv when one of the many festivals is underway there, you will be… — no, I won’t tell — come and see! ■

LOCAL PARTNER IN GLOBAL BUSINESS Адвокатське об’єднання ЮФ «Iлляшев та Партнери». Свiдоцтво про реєстрацiю в Мiн’юстi № 445





Trypillya The village of Trypillya in Ukraine is one of ma ny thousands, but for over a hundred years it has been in the focus of attention of historians and archeologists, and not only the Ukrainian ones. The village gave the name to an ancient civilization, the first artifacts of which were discovered in the village’s vicinity over a hundred years ago. The more we learn about the Trypillya culture, as it is now referred to, the more mysterious this


culture begins to look, and some historians even compare it to the mythical Atlantis. There are two museums to be found in the vil lage of Trypillya, 48 kilometers south of Kyiv. One of them is private — Pradavnya Aratta — Ukrayina (Ancient Aratta —Ukraine) which exhibits archeo logical finds and other materials related to the an cient culture of Trypillya (also known as the Cucu teniTripolye Neolithic European culture). The first such finds were unearthed in 1899 by Vikentiy

Truly breathtaking views of the River Dnipro open from hills near the village of Vytachiv.

Kyiv Khvoyka, a history and archeology enthusiast from Kyiv. Further archeological finds made it possible to establish the area that the Trypillya culture oc cupied and the approximate time of its existence. It is now believed that Trypillya reached the pinnacle of its development about five thousand years ago. Very large houses, traces of which have been discovered, and amazing earthenware articles un earthed make the Trypillya culture attractive not only to historians and archeologists but to lay tou rists as well. The Pradavnya Aratta museum is a truly living place with enthusiasts actually demonstrating how people lived thousands of years ago, in the times of the Trypillya culture.

There is also a staterun museum which is tra ditionally “academic” and is much less fun. Trypillya of today and its environs are wonder fully picturesque and deserve to be explored on their own — never mind the museums, if you are not of a museumminded kind.

The Museum Pradavnya ArattaUkrayina in the village of Trypillya exhibits archeological finds and other items related to the ancient culture of Trypillya (6–3 millennia BCE).

Vytachiv The village of Vytachiv, 10 kilometers further south of Trypillya, is one of the oldest villages in Ukraine. It is mentioned in the chronicles as early as the tenth century. The Byzantine emperor Con stantine VII Porphyrogenitus (tenth century) men tions it in his writings, calling it “a major port on the river” (Dnipro). And it was indeed a river port and a trade hub. It was also the place where ancient Kyivan Rus ru lers went for gettogethers discussing problems that had to be urgently dealt with. Archeological excavations have unearthed a lot of artifacts and established that there used to be a thriving settlement on the high bank of the River Dnipro (now it’s the bank of an artificial lake) that supports the chronicles’ claim of its antiquity. If you give yourself the trouble of climbing one of the hills there, you will be rewarded with truly breathtaking views. ■




The Troitsky (Holy Trinity) Cathedral of the The Troitsky Monastery is one of the most impressive architectural landmarks in the Ukrainian Baroque style, dating from the 17th–18th centuries.

Chernihiv Fortress in the 18th century. Modern reconstruction.


Kyiv’s Ancient 84


The view of Chernihiv from the Bell Tower of the Troitsky Monastery.

hernihiv, its landmarks and its cul ture, has survived wars and vanda lism of the barbarous regimes. Its history is alive in monuments of ar chitecture and in poetry. Chernihiv has several distinct features that make it easily distinguishable from any other Ukrainian towns. Chernihiv’s old churches, even if you are not too interested in architecture or Ortho dox Christianity, can provide you with an idea what Chernihiv looked like in the past. They can also be looked upon as witnesses of so many events that have occurred since they were built. And today’s Chernihiv offers tourists sights, services and entertainments that one may expect to find in a big town.


Bits of history The first written reference to it dates to the year 907 but there is enough archaeo logical evidence to suggest that it is much older. Even if you are not an archaeologist, you can feel the antiqueness of the place if you come to the centre of the city, to a place locally known as Chorna Mohyla — it is said to be the place where Prince Chorny, the legendary founder of the town, was buried. Christianity came to Ukraine at the end of the tenth century and churches began to be built during the reign of Volodymyr the Great, the ruler of Kyiv, who converted his state to the new religion. But in the land of Chernihiv, as in many other lands that were ruled by Kyiv, the construction of churches came to a standstill in the early eleventh cen

In the central part of Chernihiv; in the background — Katerynynska (St Catherine's) Church.


tury because of “the first civil strife,” in the words of a chronicler, that swept through Uk raine. In the year 1024, the strife ended with all the warring sides getting lands to rule. Mstyslav, the ruler of Chernihiv, was the first to begin a largescale construction work. In the year 1033, the foundation of a church was laid in the centre of his for tified city — the Spasky Cathedral, which was later renamed SpasoPreobrazhensky (Saviour’s Transfiguration). The Cathedral witnessed many historical events, one of them was of a particularly tragic nature for Ukraine — it was in this church that the blessing for the union with Russia was given in January 1654; the union proved to be disastrous for Ukraine and over three centuries passed before Ukraine re gained her independence. The Cathedral stands in all of its majesty on a hill above the Desna River, cleansed of human foibles. The Illinsky Monastery, situated on the southern slope of the Boldyn Hills, was foun ded in 1069 by St Antony, the same monk who founded a cave monastery in Kyiv, the one that came to be known as Kyiv Pechersk Lavra Monastery. St Antony chose natural caves to start the two monasteries, both in Kyiv and in Chernihiv; in fact, he was the monk who laid the foundation of monasti cism in RusUkraine. The caves in the Illinsky Monastery in Chernihiv were widened and linked with a system of underground passa ges; the three underground churches in the caves are the biggest of their kind in Ukraine. They have a unique feature too — the acous tics inside them are such that the sounds re verberate for several seconds before dying. So far it has not been established how this acoustical effect was created by the ancient builders of the underground churches. The underground churches in the An toniyevi Pechery differ considerably from those in the Kyiv Lavra or from any other similar churches in Eastern Europe. Their cei ling is eight meters (about 25 feet) above the floor, much higher than anywhere else.

The cannon dating from the 18th century in Dytynets — the fortified part of ancient Chernihiv, where the residence of the local ruler was located.

Churches as architectural landmarks There are five churches in Chernihiv that date from the “preMongolian times,” that is from the centuries before the thirteenth when the Mongols invaded RusUkraine and laid waste to its lands. This alone makes Chernihiv unique among other ci ties situated in the area devastated by the invaders. The twentieth century saw another “scourge of the human race”— the atheistic Bolshevik regime that vandalized or pulled down many an ancient church. It’s almost a miracle that so much of old archi tecture has survived in Chernihiv. The Borysohlib

sky (St. Borys’ and St Hlib’s) Church of the twelfth century is famous for its “white stone” decorations made in the style known as “animalistic.” The church treasures “the Czar Gate” (central gate) to the ico nostasis which was made with the money donated by Hetman Mazepa (late seventeenthearly eigh teenth century) from the silver idol of pagan times that had been discovered in the vicinity of the church. The Yeletsky Monastery of the twelfth century is located opposite the Chorna Mohyla Tomb. It stands at the place where St Antony Pechersky saw an icon of the Virgin that miraculously appeared in front of him. It must have been an event that ➧


In one of the underground caves of Antoniyevy Pechery.

The Pyatnytska (St Paraskeva’s) Church was initially built in the 12–13 centuries, but ruined in 1941 during a German bombing raid. It was rebuilt in 1962 with some of the original bricks used in the reconstruction.

The interior of one of the numerous Chernihiv's churches.

greatly impressed the people of Chernihiv, and the church of the monastery reflects the religious zeal that must have been inspired among the inha bitants of Chernihiv by the heavenly apparition. The white church of exquisitely balanced propor tions looked as though it was about to soar hea venward, but in the late sixteenth century the ex terior of the church was redone in the nascent Uk rainian Baroque style which completely changed the appearance of the church but luckily did not disfigure it. There are quite a few churches and buildings of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries to be found in Chernihiv. Among the more impres sive ones are the majestic Troyitsky Sobor (Holy Trinity Cathedral) with wonderful frescos of the eighteenth century; the Voskresenska (Resurrec tion) Church which was designed by the Ukrainian architect of a great artistic talent Ivan Hryhoro vychBarsky, and the House of Colonel Lyzohub, a rare landmark of secular architecture of the se venteenth century. Some art and architecture historians claim that the sweeping reconstructions of the seventeenth eighteenth centuries, which drastically changed the appearance of the churches built in the ele venthtwelfth centuries, disfigured the originals, robbing them of the purity of line, and investing them with excessive Baroque lavishness, so uncha racteristic of early RusUkrainian church architec ture. But in Chernihiv you can see churches which have been stripped of their Baroque decorations to reveal their original purity — and to please those aesthetes who are such enthusiasts of purity of form. In Chernihiv, you will find almost all archi tectural styles of the past thousand years repre sented, from Byzantine to Bauhaus. A bit of mysticism and supernatural One of the prominent figures in Chernihiv’s his tory, Colonel Vasyl DuninBorkovsky, a philanthro pist and patron of art and of the church of the 17th century, was buried in the Uspensky (Assum ption) Cathedral. His portrait hung on the wall of the church close to the tomb for about 150 years

and then was removed. In the local lore, the colo nel was known as a vampire, a sort of Chernihiv variation of the Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde story. Ano ther portrait of him, in which the colonel was pre sented as an evil creature, was said to have hung side by side with the other, “magisterial” portrait of the man. A historian of later times, Mykola Mar kevych, wrote down one of the versions of the macabre story about Vasyl DuninBorkovsky. A little excerpt from it runs like this: “When this vam pire died, he was buried in a monastery. But the next day he was seen riding in a carriage drawn by six black horses across Chervony Bridge. The driver, the postilion, the lackey and three other per sons in the carriage were all devils… the carriage fell into the River Stryzhen… The tomb was opened, the coffin pried open and the body in it looked red and blue, the eyes open. Then the body was pier ced through the heart with an aspen stick…” One of the possible explanations is that the colonel did not die but fell into a deep stupor which was mis taken for death. A more romantic approach lea ves some room for imagination — what if we are dealing here with a supernatural phenomenon? Solid realism of a museum of history The Museum of History and Arts in Chernihiv was established in 1902 and was named after the distinguished Ukrainian patron of art Vasyl Tarnov

sky Jr. who left his collections in his will to the city of Chernihiv. His collections contained over a hund red thousand items — old Cossack sabers, maces, utensils and tools, icons, seventeenth and eigh teenthcentury portraits of Cossack leaders, pain tings of the twentieth century plus a lot more — and fifty thousand books into the bargain. During the Second World War about two thirds of these collections were destroyed in bombing raids and artillery shelling.

Museum of History and Arts in Chernihiv boasts an impressive collection of refined embroidery made in 17–18 centuries in the Land of Chenihivshchyna.

Even if you are not a connoisseur of architectu ral styles, a leisurely stroll along the streets of Chernihiv, a walk through its parks, is a highly pleasurable experience. Those who have a good eye for architectural styles will hardly fail to spot a number of buildings in the central part of Chernihiv that belong to what is usually referred to as Art Nouveaux, lo cally known as “Modern”. Even if you are not a connoisseur of architec tural styles, a leisurely stroll along the streets of Chernihiv, a walk through its parks, is a highly plea surable experience. ■





There are many pit refuse heaps in the vicinity of Donetsk.

was tempting to begin this essay with a phrase mimicking guide books: “The city of Donetsk is lo cated on the picturesque bank of the River Kalmius. It’s a city of contrasts — and of a long history.” First, archeology has not provided us with any evidence of a long history of Donetsk — the hard fact remains that this city is a so ber industrial place that was founded com paratively recently. I am not inclined to em broider history and invent things — let’s face what we have. And we’ll find a lot of things that may be of interest. Besides, Donetsk never stops developing, and development is enrichment, and so let’s operate with facts and not with stereotypes. Some facts about Donetsk my come in handy or be useful for those who come to see the Euro 2012 games.


John Hughes was the founder of the town of Yuzivka (derived from the name "Hughes" pronounced in Ukrainian or Russian), which was later called Donetsk.


A bit of history In the midninetieth century the limitless steppe of the eastern parts of Ukraine be gan to see some changes. An enterprising gentleman from Britain, named John Hu ghes and a number of other Brits whom he brought along, came to the steppe to pros pect for mineral resources. It did not take him long to discover abundant deposits of coals and ores, and the British prospectors and businessmen settled down with the pur pose of coalmining and metal producing. Metalworks they founded soon acquired a village where their workers lived. The vil lage was quickly developing into town which

kept changing names until in 1961 it was fi nally called Donetsk — and the name stuck. Paradoxically enough, the town that was brought into existence thanks to coal and ore got nicknamed “the city of roses” — thanks indeed to a great number of roses which were planted to offset the grimness of industries. There are quite a few of huge, mountainlike coneshaped piles of coal and ore waste that surround the city of Do netsk — not a very pretty sight, really, but one that affirms the industrial importance of the city. Travelers, and in the Euro 2012 case — fans, arrive in their multitudes at the ter minals. The air terminal in Donetsk has been fully reconstructed to meet the Euro 2012 requirements. Newcomers have to find accommodation if they want to spend se veral days in the city and Donetsk offers a wide choice of hotels to stay at. One of the more remarkable hotels is called Velykobri tania — that is, Great Britain, in honor of those British men who started the whole thing. The hotel has seen a lot of history — and a lot of reconstruction and renova tion too — and now it has been pronoun ced as fully equipped to meet all the UEFA requirements. Botanical Gardens Those guests who yearn for nature and greenery are welcome to proceed to the Bo tanical Gardens which happens to be one of the biggest of its kind not only in Ukraine

but in the whole of Europe. You can take leisurely walks there all alone or in the company of your friends, or you can join any of the guided tours that are organized from 10 a.m to 4 p.m., everyday ex cept Mondays. The hothouse is worth a visit too. Wroughtiron sculpture Another tourist attraction in Donetsk is a park with wroughtiron sculptures displayed in it. It is the sculptor himself who makes such sculptures and other fancy things too, Viktor Burduk, who initiated the foundation of the park back in 2011. In a few years, the park became a major tourist attraction and the venue of all sorts of applied art festivals. One of the festivals is specifically devo ted to the art and skills of blacksmiths whose crea tions stay as exhibits in the park. Benches, fabu lous animals, arches, fairy tales characters, arches and other fancy things, all made of metal, grace the park. The huge metal horseshoe (that is sup posed to bring good luck), the metal bicycle (to chase one’s love) and the storks’ nest (helps with producing children and acquiring a cozy home) are the favorite spots for taking pictures. Tourists’ hands, feet and bottoms have polished these ob jects to a high shine.

leaving the club from St Petersburg, then the ca The Cathedral of Transfiguration is located in Artema Street, pital of the Russian Empire, as a runnerup. The central stadium of Donetsk, Donbas Arena, downtown Donetsk. which can seat over 50,000 spectators, cost almost half a billion dollars to build but the expenses made it possible to create a facility that meets all the top UEFA requirements. Incidentally, if you do not care much for foot ball, it would be still worth your while to pay a visit to this stadium — it is surrounded by a wonderful park, with fountains and exotic (exotic for Ukraine, ➧

Soccer, locally called football Donetsk is one of the major soccer centers in Uk raine — thanks mostly but not exclusively to its local football club Shakhtar (“Coal Miner” in translation). It was in Donetsk, almost a hundred years ago, that the first regional football league was foun ded. The first championship was held in 1913, in which the club from Odesa came out the winner,


Donbas Arena is surrounded by a wonderful park, with fountains and flowers, and houses an interes ting museum devoted to FC Shakhtar Donetsk, a win ner of the UEFA Cup in 2009.

Donbas Palace, one of the most luxurious and expensive hotels in Ukraine.

that is) plants, a Japanesestyle section of stones for quiet contemplation; entering the stadium it self you will find a lot of entertainment facilities to choose from: restaurants and cafes, a night club and a fitness center. Pyvo is Beer It was not only the coal mining and steel produ cing that the founding Brits started in the area — John Hughes’ son, Ivor, launched a brewery in the late 1880s. It had its ups and downs over the years of hectic development that followed but beer bre wing gradually grew into a large business which caters for a great many thirsty miners and steel wor kers. Beer pubs complete with billiards, karaoke and live orchestras offer relaxation for those who want to chill out after work and a good time for those who want to enjoy themselves sipping beer and doing silly things. If you want to try dishes from the local cuisine, kotleta podonbaskomu could be a good start. It is made of minced beef and pork with a piece of butter inside; the butter melts while the kotleta is cooked and it requires careful handling when the dish is served. There are three basic variations of this dish but all of them are delicious enough to have it for the entree.

A similar, buttercontaining dish is made in Kyiv, and is generally known as “Chicken a la Kiev” (Chicken Kiev) but it is made not from minced meat but of chicken breasts rolled into a sealed cylinder. In addition to the butter inside, there is another similar feature that needs mentioning — caution in cutting.

Mertsalov's Palm, made of a whole oblong chunk of metal.

Monuments Donetsk, being a town with not so long history, boasts little ancient architectural and historical land marks, but there are lot of monuments to people and events. At the latest count, there were over 250 of them in Donetsk. Probably the best known one is Mertsalov’s Palm. Back in 1896, someone named Oleksiy Mertsa lov from Donetsk (which was called differently then), made a sculpture out of an oblong chunk of metal which was to symbolize “the industrial progress.” The Palm was exhibited at the World Exhibition in Paris in 1900 and was honored with a prize. It became a symbol of Donetsk and was included into its coat of arms. Now there are even two monuments honoring the skill of making a fra gile palm out of sturdy metal to be found in Do netsk — one is near the local history museum (Che luskintsi Street) and the other one stands near the local administration (Pushkin Boulevard). ➧


Park of Wrought Iron Sculpture, which boasts over 130 sculptures, has become one of the main attractions in Donetsk.

The monument to Anatoliy Solovyanenko, an opera singer of great world distinction who came originally from Donetsk, stands close to Opera House (where else such a monument could stand?). The singer is represented wearing a stage dress — that of the Duke from Verdi’s Rigoletto.

Donetsk is a sober industrial place that was foun ded comparatively recently, but it never stops de veloping — and development is enrichment. It would be strange if Donetsk would do with out a monument to its founder — and indeed there is one, erected in 2001 in Artem Street near the Technical University. One would expect something on a grandiose scale but the monument is rather modest in size and execution. There is a monument in Donetsk to a living per son — Serhiy Bubka, the athlete who perfected


the polevaulting technique and jumped higher than any other human being before him. Mr Bub ka won world championships many times over and he is the recipient of the Olympic gold medal award as well. The monument to him (in Artem Street) rests on the plinth which is 6 meters 15 centimeters (over 18 feet!) high — it symbolizes the height that the athlete “conquered” in one of his spectacular jumps. Bubka’s fame in Donetsk made him “an ho norary citizen”, whatever it may mean for him. He is long retired from polevaulting but continues to work as a sports official of high ranking. The monument to The Glory of Coal Miners’ La bor (“toil” would be probably a better word to use) is part of the legacy from the soviet past (of which there is a lot in Donetsk). This monument at Shakh tarska Ploshcha (Square) is much less a curious thing than an oldtime cannon which stands a stone throw away from the City Administration (City Hall). It is not a centuryold like the one in Moscow – it is just a replica of the Tsar Cannon (that never fi

The monument to The Glory of Coal Miner's Labour is a part of the legacy from the soviet past, of which there are a lot in Donetsk.

A replica of the Tsar Cannon from Moscow presented to Donetsk by the Moscow city authorities but manufactured thanks to the combined efforts of the people of Donbas descent who live in Russia.

red a single shot) to be seen in the Kremlin. The Cannon is believed to have been presented to the city of Donetsk by Moscow. My journalistic inves tigation led to the discovery that the story about this gift to Donetsk is rather a piece of wishful thinking. It turns out that for some obscure rea son, a number of influential people in Moscow, one of the most popular singers of the soviet era Iosif Kobzon among them, who were of Donbas descent (here I want to remind the readers that Donbas is the region of which Donetsk is the cen ter) suggested that a replica of the Tsar Cannon be made and sent to Donetsk as a gesture of good will. The replica was made — but not in Moscow but in Donbas, and then officially presented to Donetsk as though it were a gift from Moscow. As a curious piece, it is probably worth seeing and even taking a photo of — you don’t see can nons of that ancient kind too often. There are many more monuments and sights to be mentioned — but probably you will find it more fun to make discoveries of your own. ■



AWAY FROM The Church of St Mykola of the Svyatohirska Lavra sits at the edge of chalk rock.

Svyatohirsk Soledar




the list of tourist attractions is the town of Svyatohirsk where you can enjoy the scenic landscapes and vi sit one of the most picturesque Uk rainian monasteries. Or you can go to the town of Artemivsk which is famous for its sparkling wi nes and taste one — or several — of its bubbly pro ducts. Or else after traveling a short distance from Artemivsk, you may want to take a walk through the underground caves whose walls are solid salt. And all of these things are within easy reach.


Svyatohirsk The monastery mentioned is located in the town of Svyatohirsk, a place that draws a lot of tourists by its natural scenic beauty and the sanctity of an ancient monastery. Svyatohirsk is situated 130 km (less than 90 miles) from the city of Donetsk and 170 km (a bit over 110 miles) from the city of Kharkiv. Being a thriving tourist center, Svyatohirsk hos pitably offers all sorts of accommodation and catering facilities for tourists, complete with rest homes, health improvement and entertainment centers. The faithful and the curious go to the Svyatohir ska Lavra Monastery which Mykolayivska Church sits at the edge of a steep cliff. The River Siversky Donets provides its own pa noramic touch, with its meandering water course and dense evergreen forests along the banks. Ma ny a painter painted them, many a poet sang the river and the woods. The first written mention of what we now call Svyatohirsk dates from the sixteenth century. Then

the place was known as Svyati Hory, that is, Holy Hills. The first mention of the monastery dates to the year 1624. Monks chose the natural caves in li mestone cliffs to settle in. There is some evidence though that the monastery was actually founded much earlier, in the eighth or ninth century. Some historians are of the opinion that the Svyatohir ska Lavra Monastery could have been founded by monks from the Pechersk Lavra in Kyiv, one of the major centers of Eastern Christian Orthodoxy. ➧

Panorama of the Svyatohirska Lavra Monastery and the River Siversky Donets.

A relic of the soviet time — the monument to Artem, a Bolshevik revolutionary, stands on a top of a high hill from which a great view of the Svyati Hory opens up.


Those who love magic and fairy tales may choose to believe the local legend that says that the mo nastery grew all by itself out of the rock on which it stands. And indeed the monastery buildings look like natural growth and seem to be an alienable part of the landscape. The Svyatohirska Lavra Monastery boasts the 18thcentury Mykolayivska (St Michael’s) Church and the Preobrazhenska (Transfiguration) Church, the Pokrovska (Holy Protecting Veil) Church, a bell tower, monks’ cells, the house of the Father Su perior and other buildings, most of which date from the nineteenth century. There are also ca ves where recluses used to stay. There is about a mile of underground corri dors which connect monks’ cells, underground churches and refectories which are situated on three different levels. Visiting the monastery requires a certain dress code — no shorts for men and women, no pants for women, no hats for men, headscarves for women. The National Nature Park is one of the attrac tions of Svyatohirsk. It occupies a territory of over 40,000 hectares. The Holy Hills are made up of chalk which dates from about 150 million years ago. This chalk is the same that students used in schools to write on chalkboards before the advent of modern tech nologies. There is no other place in Ukraine where chalk can be found in such enormous concentra tions. Some of the chalk cliffs rise up a height of over three hundred feet. The trees that grow on chalk rock are locally called “chalk pines.” They are another local wonder. The pine forests provide balmy fragrances and the salubrious air; the countryside pleases the es thetic eye. The hills create a local microclimate which is known for its mildness and absence of strong winds. There is a monument to a Bolshevik revolutio nary and later a communist party boss known as Artem (died in 1922), which was erected in de fiance of the religious significance of the place. The monument still stands at its original place as a local curio. In 1991 the Svyatohirsk monastery was reopen ed and in 2004, it was given the honorary title of “Lavra” and it further increased its popularity among the faithful. Pilgrims, many of whom come from afar, flock to the monastery on big religious holidays.

Bottles of sparkling wine undergoing fermentation in underground storage.

Artemivsk The town of Artemivsk, located 90 km (about 60 miles) from Donetsk is a place where some of the best Ukrainian sparkling wines are produced. Fame came to Artemisk in 1954, when the spar kling wine distillery, the biggest of its kind in the then Soviet Union, became operational. In those times the sparkling wines of Artemivsk were called “Soviet champagne” and they were highly popular, particularly at celebrations of all sorts. The place for producing sparkling wines was chosen well. Gypsum mines in Artemivsk where the temperature is stable all the year round (13 or

14 degrees Centigrade), are ideal for the needs of making sparkling wines. The humidity is right for the fermentation of sparkling wines. The basic methods and techniques used are similar to the ones used in France for making champagne. Sparkling wines from Artemivsk have won a lot of prizes and medals at various exhibitions and winetasting competitions. Tours are organized to see the place where spar kling wines are made and stored. During the tour, you can taste all the basic kinds of wines made there, from the driest to sweet. Soledar Another tourist attraction in the vicinity of Ar temivsk is the town of Soledar which is a major center of salt production. There is probably enough salt there to meet the requirements of the whole world. Geologists are of the opinion that salt in Don bas must have formed about 200 million years ago. About five million tons of salt are produced an nually — it constitutes about ten percent of the world salt production. The salt deposits there are likely to last for many more years to come. Besi des, the salt quarried in Soledar is of the highest quality — pure, and, what is very important too, very cheap. The conditions in the salt mines are such that not only salt is what they can offer — various disea ses such as asthma, bronchitis, pneumonia, prob lems with the immune system and the thyroid gland can be successfully treated there. The air in the un derground salt caves is filled with curative substan ces that help deal with these medical problems. A specialized medical center, Solyana symfonia, provides courses of salt cave therapy.

If you are a tourist, and do not have any medi cal problems to deal with in the salt caves, and if you are just curious, you can join a guided tour through the salt mine. Among the things you’ll see there will be a place which is called Salt Soccer Pitch, and sculptures cut out of salt which portray gno mes, guardians of the underground world, and other fabulous creatures and plants. The stroll through underground corridors and galleries and caves will surely bring back memories of scifi sto ries you may have read in your young days. Even though you will not get to the core of the planet Earth, it is very likely that you will enjoy the underground salt experience. ■

One of the many reliefs carved on the walls deep underground in the salt mine in the town of Soledar.

The salt cave with a piece of sculpture made of salt.




A Blind Globetrotter asyl Yeroshenko, who died in 1952, deserves a novel to be written about his life — for lack of space we’ll have to be content, for the moment, with an essay. At the gentle age of four, he lost his sight — but it did not stop him from tra veling, from learning foreign languages, from writing in Japanese or from teaching the blind children in various parts of the globe. He was known and respected in several countries of the world — but paradoxically not in Ukraine.


Childhood Vasyl Yeroshenko was born in the Ukrainian village of Obukhiv ka in the Land of Slobozhanshchyna (now Belgorodskaya Oblast in Russia) in the year 1890. The village used to belong to the Uk rainian Hetman Ivan Mazepa (1640–1709), a towering figure in the history of Ukraine. Most of the villagers, the Yeroshenkos in cluded, spoke Ukrainian. Vasyl grew up in the land of endless fields and dense woods. He loved wild flowers, the greenery of the forest, the blueness of the sky and the ever changing shapes of clouds, these heavenly travelers. He knew the life and language of wonderful creatures that inhabited Nature around him, he loved the music of frogs and of grasshoppers, he intuited that there was so much in the world around him that was Beauty Incarnate. At the same time, he was aware of the dark side of the world too. He could probably have become a musician or an artist — but the destiny ruled otherwise.


When the boy was only four years old, the world went dark for him — measles caused complications and the boy lost the precious gift of sight. It came as a great tragic shock — he begged his pa rents to do something to restore his ability to see the wonders of the world. But the only thing they could do was to teach him to live more or less normal life — to move around without the blind man’s stick and to figure out where he was in relations to things and places around him. The boy compensated his loss by learning to play the violin, and later the piano and the guitar. Luckily enough, his parents could afford buying these instruments. Another piece of luck arrived in the form of Count Oleksiy Or lov, the local wealthy dignitary, who happened to hear about the blind boy’s musical talent, listened to him play and arranged for the boy to be taken to Moscow where, at a specialized orphanage, he would be educated. Studies and work The schooling over, Vasyl joined an orchestra of folk instruments. Tall, good looking and fair haired, he looked like a character from a fairy tale or a hero from the paintings of the Russian painter Vas netsov. The young man’s thirst for knowledge was unquenchable — since his blindness prevented him from reading books (and no books in Braille were available), he paid an actor to read the “clas sics” aloud for him. Hiring people to help him with furthering his education made big holes in his meager budget.

Vasyl happened to meet Anna Sharapova, a fol lower of Leo Tolstoy’s philosophy of life. She de voted herself to spreading Tolstoy’s ideas, and one of the instruments of popularizing Tolstoy’s ideas internationally was the artificial language of Espe ranto. She translated some of Tolstoy’s works into Esperanto (and added to her list of translations works of the early nineteenthcentury Russian poet Lermontov and the medieval Slavic epic poem The Tale of Ihor’s Host). Anna Sharapova inspired Vasyl to learn a lan guage that would allow him to communicate with people regardless of their national and language backgrounds. From Esperanto, Vasyl soon moved on to learning other foreign languages, and by the end of his life he managed to learn about twen ty languages. Armed with the knowledge of Esperanto, Vasyl decided to go abroad for further studies. It was arranged with a society of Esperanto enthusiasts in Poland, his first stop on his way to Europe, that they would meet him at the railroad terminal in Warsaw and help him with whatever they could. Wearing the Esperanto green badge, he stepped down from the train only to find no one on the platform to meet him — an unfortunate error in the cable informing of his arrival gave the wrong date. But Vasyl found the way out of a difficult si tuation and went on to Berlin where he was met by Esperanto enthusiasts and provided with what he needed, including the tickets to go on to Britain. Once there, he began his studies at a Royal col lege for the blind. And he never stopped his mu sical studies either. However, soberly realizing that he would never become an extraordinary musici an he had had an ambition to be, he returned to Russia, carrying in his luggage a typewriter that could type in Braille.

deepen mutual Indian and Western cultural under standing) came on a visit to Japan, Vasyl found a way of getting the Indian involved in dispute with him, discussing relative spiritual values of Christia nity and Hinduism. In the opinion of many of those thinkers who followed the dispute, Vasyl’s argu ments were stronger.

Trip to Japan His wanderlust took him to Japan in 1914, short ly before the First World War broke out. Vasyl was twentysix then. Why did he want to go to Japan? Probably because he knew that one of the fea tures of the Japanese culture was respect for the blind. One of the founders of Buddhism was be lieved to have been a blind monk. A ninthcentury Japanese emperor encouraged, by his decree, the blind people to be engaged in performing music and doing massage. Incidentally, the longstan ding tradition of respect and care for the blind continues to be upheld in Japan, with a lot being done to make the life of the blind easier. Vasyl taught Esperanto at a local university in Tokyo and at a school for the blind. He himself learnt the Japanese language quick enough to speak. He did not stop at that and went on to learn how to write in hieroglyphs. He studied Buddhism, oriental philosophy and medicine. He played music, wrote articles for the local newspapers, and even tried himself in scul pture. Another source of income was his services of a massager. When he learned that Rabindranath Tagore (1861–1941, Indian poet, philosopher, internatio nalist, educator and Nobel laureate, who tried to

Vasyl was a restless person and he walked long distances through the Japanese countryside, with a backpack, his guitar and a walking stick to help him along. There was a lot in his Japanese experience and cultural features that was inspirational for him, and Vasyl began to write about his experiences, his love of animals and of nature in general, and to have his writings published in Japanese. He began to be addressed as Erosan. Meeting Kamitko Itiko, a Japanese journalist and a beautiful woman, brought love into Vasyl’s life. It does not seem to have been a stable or hap py love affair but it warmed his heart. He wrote a story in the style of a parable, A Tale Told By A Paper Lampshade, and had it published. The story about a beautiful geisha and a blind foreigner, evidently based on Vasyl’s own experience, was both critical and popular success. Teaching in Burma and return Probably it was this love that did not last or his never exhausted wanderlust that made Vasyl leave Japan and travel to Siam (Thailand) and then to drift to Burma where he founded a school for blind children from poor families. It took some time to get the word about the school to spread — and ➧

Yeroshenko with pupils in the school for the blind children in Japan.

Vasyl Yeroshenko and Lu Hsing. Beijing, China. 1922.

then he had blind children coming to study and live at his school from across the country. His teaching methods were liberal and he earned love of his pupils. He never stopped writing parables and fairy tales, inspired by his ever more profound understanding of Buddhism. When Vasyl learned that the February Revolution in Russia had over thrown tsarism, he rather naively decided that the era of justice and fu ture happiness had come to Russia — and he wanted to go back to take part in helping build a new life. But traveling at that time was fraught with all sorts of dangers and dif ficulties — the world was still at war. Despite detentions (“a suspicious blind foreigner”) and endless delays, he managed to get back to Russia in 1921. By that time Russia had been caught firmly in the grip of the Bolsheviks whose ideas of liberties and freedoms were very peculiar. On his long way to Russia, Vasyl was known to have encountered see mingly insurmountable obstacles — but he managed to overcome them all. One of the stories has it that in Shanghai he had to disguise himself as a Chinese coolie to throw the police, that was in hot pursuit, off the scent. Later, being in a place in the Far East that was under the Japanese cont rol, he joined the local socialist movement, began writing satirical anti government pieces for the local press. Vasyl was arrested, beaten up and deported to “communist Russia” to indulge his socialist ideas there.

Portrait of Vasyl Yeroshenko by the Japanese artist Tsune Nekamuri. 1920.

Since most of what Yeroshenko wrote was in Esperanto and in Japanese, it is very difficult to trace his writings. Some of the translations done by Lu Hsing were helpful in reconstruction of Yeroshenko’s literary legacy. In 1969, a collection of Yeroshenko’s works, entitled Kvitka spravedlyvosti (The Flower of Justice), edited by Nadiya AdrianovaHordieynko, was published in Ukraine. Later, in the nineteen seventies, Nadiya AdrianovaHordieynko published a novel about Vasyl Yeroshenko, Zapalyv u sertsi vohon (The One Who Kindled a Fire in the Heart). Both books are now great rarities. In 2007, a philanthropic fund, Espero, named after Yeroshenko was founded. The Yeroshenko Fund has published a book, Kazky ta lehendy (Tales and Legends) which is a collection of Yeroshenko’s works in Ukrainian and in Esperanto. The work on rediscovering, collecting and publishing his works goes on.


China and Red Russia The Red Russia turned out to be very different from the land of free dom Yeroshenko had hoped to see. He soon got himself into trouble with the Bolshevik authorities but managed to leave Russia unscathed. Yeroshen ko went to China where he met the wellknown Chinese writer Chou Shu jen, known by the pseudonym Lu Hsing. Chou had studied in Japan and had become a leader of the literary revolution soon after returning to China. Lu Hsing’s acerbic, somewhat westernized, and often satirical attacks on China’s feudalistic traditions established him as China’s foremost critic and writer (one of his works has become an international classic). Lu Hsing of fered to translate Vasyl’s works written in Japanese into Chinese, and pro bably helped him land a job of a teacher of Esperanto at a university in Be ijing. Yeroshenko also conducted classes for the blind and had some of his works published in China. Yeroshenko seemed to have found more or less stable station in life but his nostalgia for his homeland and his wanderlust continued to keep him restless. In one of his stories, Lu Hsing described a blind poet whose he art is uneasy and whose best intentions end in disaster. The story seems to reflect Yeroshenko’s longing for change and his restlessness. In 1924 Yeroshenko arrived in Moscow. This time the encounter with the Bolshevik regime seemed to be more auspicious — he was given a job of an Esperanto teacher at the Communist University of the Working People of the Orient. He was also given an opportunity to conduct classes for the blind. But at the end of the nineteen twenties, Yeroshenko felt he had spent enough time at one place and had to move on. This time he went to Chu kotka, in the Far East of the Soviet Russia. It was a desolate land of tundra and permafrost but he found it to be to his liking. He studied the local lan guage and customs, he taught blind children. He loved dogs that were used for pulling the sleds, and he, a blind man, traveled long distances by sled to which dogs were harnessed. He knew the direction by the smells, sounds and the wind. He knew each dog’s name too, by knowing which “voice” belonged to which dog, and his sense of touch helped him “recognize” the feel of the fur of each dog. The year 1935 found him in the town of Kushta in the southernmost part of Turkmenistan, then a soviet republic. He was invited to be headmaster of a school for blind children and he gratefully accepted the invitation. Yeroshenko leaned the Turkmen language, adjusted Braille for the Turk men language and gave himself fully to teaching the blind. In the early fifties, Yeroshenko went to Kyiv and then traveled across Ukraine. His final years he spent in his native village of Obukhivka. His only treasures that he had amassed during his life were his books in Braille and his archives — and they burned down in a fire shortly after his death. His name and his life were forgotten. The time has come to resurrect him. ■


DISCOVERING View of the Mharsky Monastery, located in the vicinity of the town of Lubny.


the Land of Poltavshchyna in Central Ukraine you still find rivers of milk and creeks of honey, with banks of sweet jelly; witches can still be spotted flying around at night on their brooms, picking stars from the firmament, and little devils regularly steal the moon and hide it, agreeing to release it only if threa tened with violence by the mighty blacksmith. It feels so good and nice and peaceful to be there, in the Land of Poltavshchyna, but it will open up for you and reveal its fairytail magic only if you come with a pure heart. Poltavshchyna is a land of a special charm and fairytale mood, where you feel that history is a part of the presentday.

people may say it’s a bit of an exaggeration, but it is not. If you happen to be in those parts, make sure you drop in and have a dish or two to try. So if you do decide to make a trip there, tune your gastric system to enjoying the traditional lo cal food. And the culinary traditions in Poltavshchy na go centuries back, into the mist of time. Little has changed in this respect since then — neither wars nor revolutions have robbed the Poltavshchy na cooks and housewives of their cooking skills. ➧

Poltava dainties The distance between Kyiv and Poltava is a little over three hundred kilometers, or about two hund red miles. If you go by car, you can make it to Pol tava in several hours — if you travel nonstop, that is. If you stop here and there on the way to have a good look around or have a good meal at a cozy little restaurant or tavern, then your journey will last much longer. In fact, you run a risk of never ma king it to Poltava, because once you’ve tried some of those delicacies they offer, you will want to have more, and then still more, and… a moment comes when you think you absolutely cannot have one little morsel or sip more, but then they bring you something else and you realize you cannot re fuse to try it. There’s no end to it, really. Well, some

The Local Lore and History Museum in Poltava is a good example of Ukrainian Modern (Art Nouveau) architectural style.



View from the top of Ivanova Hora.


The SpasoPreobrazhensky (Saviour's Transfiguration) Cathedral, in the village of Mhar, is built in the style which is known as Ukrainian Baroque.

The monument to Mykola (Nikolai) Gogol, a nineteenthcentury prominent classic of Russian literature of the Ukrainian descent, in the village of Dykanka. Dykanka features in some of Gogol's short stories, such as "Christmas Eve," for example.

Mhar When you’re passing through Lubny, you are likely to see the domes of the Mharsky Monaste ry from afar. They say this monastery used to be among the most important ones in Ukraine. It was built in 1619 in what is known as the Ukrainian Ba roque style. In 1663, Yury, Hetman Bohdan Khmelnytsky’s son, spent some time in this monastery as a monk. Earlier, Yury had been elected hetman but was for ced to resign; after resignation, he took monas tic vows. In spite of the fact that the monastery lost much of its importance as a religious and cul tural centre, it remains to be a symbol of the wild and yet magnanimous Ukrainian soul. The SpasoPreobrazhensky (Saviour’s Transfi guration) Cathedral, built in the seventeenth cen tury with the money donated by Hetmans Ivan Samoylovych and Ivan Mazepa, is another archi tectural landmark. It is considered to be one of the best buildings erected in the style of Ukraini an Baroque, in which the architectural elements of the eleventhtwelfth centuries were combi ned with the elements of the West European ar chitectural styles of the seventeenth century. In


1654, Patriarch of Constantinople was buried in the Mharsky Monastery; it is known that he was put into the grave in a sitting position — nobody knows why. The monastery boasts the “imperi shable relics” of Serafim Anin, another Constanti nople Patriarch, and of the Kyivan Metropolitan Yosyf NelyubovychTukalsky. In 1918, the Bolshe vik authorities wrought havoc in the monastery turning it into piles of stones which nevertheless proved to be possible to be reconstructed back into buildings. Dykanka Village of Dykanka, which features so promi nently in Nikolai Gogol’s short stories, in “Christ mas Eve” in particular, is worth a stopover. The first known written mention of Dykanka dates back to 1658. The Cossack commander Ko chubey, the one who betrayed Hetman Ivan Maze pa and the Ukrainian cause in the early eighteenth century and whose treason helped the Russian Em peror to subdue Ukraine, had an estate in Dykan ka. There are several oaks that stand in what once was Kochubey’s park which surrounded the cent ral mansion, or palace — these huge trees have sur

In the village of Opishnya, one of the Ukrainian centers of fictile products. Earthenware items from Opishnya can be found in many museums of the world.

vived the centuries. It takes several people holding hands to measure their girth. Kochubey’s palace was destroyed shortly after the Bolshevik revolu tion. They say it had a hundred rooms, a picture gallery and a great library. The Mykolayivska (St Nickolas’) Church is pro bably the only surviving architectural landmark from the times of Kochubey. It is a rotunda with two domes, one inside the other; the inside one has never been completed. There is one curious landmark in Dykanka that is also worth seeing — a triumphal arch erected in 1820 in commemoration of the victory over Napo leon. The arch stands at the edge of the village — the only village in Ukraine, and probably in the whole world graced with a triumphal arch. Opishnya Opishnya has been known for ages for the ex cellence of its fictile products. Over forty kinds of clay in the vicinity of the village provide excellent material for making earthenware, and Opishnya has been producing pottery for about three centu ries. At one time, practically all the villagers were potters and craftsmen.

At present, there are only about ten potters left in Opishnya who make colorful pots, thinwalled clay pitchers, fancy little clay lions and Cossacks, and other curious things. In spite of there being so few of them, the potters have begun to revive the trade of their ancestors and pass it on to their children. A museum of Ukrainian pottery was ope ned in the village of Opishnya with craftsmen and sculptors coming to see it not only from all over Ukraine, but from other countries as well. It’s quite a unique place, this museum, and even if you are not

It feels so good and nice and peaceful to be there, in the Land of Poltavshchyna, but it will open up for you and reveal its fairytale magic only if you come with a pure heart. too interested in Ukrainian earthenwaremaking traditions, you may find this museum worth visiting. Among its exhibits you’ll find pieces of modern sculpture too, and archaic pieces, and traditional ➧


Photo by D. REDTIUK

The Museum of Local Lore and History in Poltava is lavishly decorated both inside and outside.

Photo by A. VLASENKO

artifacts, and things that one can call “cosmic instal lations.” Incidentally, earthenware from Opishnya can be found in many museums of the world.

The wall of The Museum of Local Lore and History (a detail).


Poltava Poltava has always been known as a particular ly hospitable place, with beautiful churches, beau tiful girls and beautiful gardens. When in the spring time, cherry trees are in full blossom and young girls, discarding their heavy winter clothes, fill the streets, it is surely a lovely sight. There are also some landmarks that you may find interesting to see, but the main attraction of Poltava is its mood — tranquil, serene, and scenic. If you possess a bit of romantic feeling in your heart, then you will find Poltava a nice place to come to. The first written mention of Poltava dates to the year 1174; at that time it was referred to as Ltava. On June 27 1709, a major battle was fought in the vicinity of Poltava. The Swedish troops of King Charles XII and the Ukrainian troops of Hetman Ivan Mazepa who hoped that his alliance with the Swedish king would make it possible to reestablish Ukrainian sovereignty, clashed with the forces led by Peter I. The battle was lost and with it Ukrainian independence. Ukraine found itself completely ab sorbed by the Russian Empire. Like in most other ancient cities of the world, the most interesting part of Poltava is its old sec tion — the neighborhood of Panyansky uzviz and other streets where you find little gardens, little houses with wooden shutters and tall linden trees. It is there, on Ivanova Hora, that you find the res tored house where the Ukrainian poet Ivan Kotlya revsky once lived. His long and comic poem Eneyi da was the first literary work written in the new Ukrainian literary language. The building which now houses the Poltava Lo cal Lore Museum, built in 1903–1908, can’t help

producing an impression and thus is not to be mis sed. It was constructed and decorated in Ukrainian Modern style. It combines the riot of wellarran ged colors, sophistication of details and genero sity of outlines. The architect Vasyl Krychevsky, who designed the building, and the artist Serhiy Vasylkivsky who decorated the interiors, conscious ly introduced Ukrainian motifs to make the buil ding look definitely a Ukrainian creation rather than a variant of Russianstyle Modern or of in ternational Art Nouveau. The Ukrainianness of the building caused a sort of consternation among the locals but luckily the building was left to stand as it was built and decorated. The Uspensky Cathedral, built in the second half of the eighteenth century, was at that time the largest stone house in Poltava — but it was de stroyed in the 1930s. In recent years it was rebuilt; the 44meter tall bell tower was for some reason spared by the Bolsheviks and there was no need to rebuild it. Originally, the bell tower had a bell which was made of the metal from the captured Turkish cannons at the end of the eighteenth cen tury. The bell has been placed for safe keeping in a museum. In the same neighborhood you’ll find a wooden church, Spaska, which was built in 1705– 1706. It is the only surviving eighteenthcentury wooden church in the Land of Poltavshchyna. From the top of Ivanova Hora, which happens to be a hill, there opens an impressive and vast panorama of the Khrestovozdvyzhensky (Of the Erection of the Holy Cross) Monastery and of the place near the Vorskla River. The church of the mo nastery is the only Ukrainian Baroque church in Ukraine that has seven domes. There are many other wonderful things to be found in Poltavshchyna — take those embroide red rushnyky (decorative towels), for example. You won’t find better ones anywhere else. ■



The Capital The river that flows through Kharkiv shares the name with the city itself.




Gigantic Derzhprom offices is a fine example of the Constructivist architectural style.

Number Two

Euro 2012 Championship three group stage matches will be played at this Khar kiv stadium which is the home ground of the local football club Metalist.


bout 360 years ago, a Ukrainian Cossack named Kharyton, better known as Khar ko, founded a settlement at the edge of what had been historically known as Dyke Pole — the Wild Fields, the plains where nomads roamed and dangers lurked. He hardly suspected that his settlement would grow into a major city. Kharkiv, that allegedly took its name from that Cossack, boasts the first uni versity in Ukraine, the biggest square in Europe, and arguably the most elegant Orthodox church. Kharkiv is an unusual place — unusual in many respects. You can make your own discoveries if you take a long walk along the central streets, if you watch the people in the streets, if you look at the gigantic Derzhprom office buildings designed in the Constructivist style (Le Corbusier himself would have been greatly impressed by it if he had seen it; just to remind the reader — Le Corbusier was a Swissborn French architect and writer who desig ned numerous functional concrete buildings and highrise residential complexes), or if you pay a visit to the Pokrovsky Cathedral. If you happen to be a believer, you will worship there. If you are a connoisseur of architecture, you will surely appre ciate the play of light inside that church and its ar chitectural perfection.


Kharkiv’s central Capital and churches Kharkiv was raised to the status of the capital railroad terminal. of Ukraine by the victorious Bolsheviks — the first attempt to do so during the Civil War was not quite successful, but at the end of 1919 the second try succeeded and Kharkiv gloried in being the capital until 1934, when the capital was moved back to Kyiv. It would take a separate article to explain such er ratic behavior of the Soviet leadership — so let us simply say that there were reasons for this capital shifting business, both irrational and rational. During its shortlived period of being capital, Kharkiv was turned into a major scientific and cul tural center of Ukraine — the Bolsheviks must be given credit for that. And what is more surprising — the militantly atheistic soviets spared most of the architectural landmarks which Kharkiv had at the moment when the Bolsheviks grabbed power not only in Russia but in Ukraine as well. Incidentally, Kyiv was not so lucky — the list of landmarks vandalized and de stroyed by the “most progressive regime” in the world is pretty long indeed. Probably the earliest surviving architectural land mark is the Pokrovksy Cathedral that belonged to the Pokrovsky Monastery. It was built in 1689 with in the walls of the fortress into which the early set ➧

The Blahovishchensky Cathedral is a place full of decorative splendor — marble, mu rals, icons and relics combine to awe both the curious and the faithful.

tlement had morphed. The cathedral is a fine ex ample of what is called Ukrainian Baroque. Archi tecturally, it is an eclectic creation — but a very im pressive one. Another prominent — prominent both in the metaphorical and literal sense of the word — archi tectural landmark is the fivedomed Uspensky (As sumption) Cathedral that dates from 1777. It took only six years to build and decorate it — construc tion of churches of such a size often took deca des, if not centuries. In the 1930s, the Uspensky Cathedral was turned into a concert hall. The Blahovishchensky (GladNews Annuncia tion) Cathedral (1888) and the Choral Synagogue (1914) are landmarks worth having a look at — if you are religious, you are surely welcome to come in and worship. The Blahovishchensky Cathedral is a place full of decorative splendor — marble, murals, icons and relics combine to awe both the curious and the faithful. Education and literature It was in 1726 that a school was founded in Khar kiv which was destined to become the first fully fledged educational establishment of higher lear ning in Ukraine (Kyiv had a school, Kyiv Mohyla Academy, which had been founded earlier, but Kharkiv’s school was the first to acquire the full status of a higher educational establishment). The Kharkiv school was called “kolehium”, with the faculty made up of the best teachers. Among those who taught at the Kharkiv kolehium was the Ukrainian itinerant philosopher Hryhory Skovo roda who deserves to be called “a towering cul tural figure” of the eighteenth century in Ukraine. In 1805, Kharkiv celebrated the opening of a university, the first one in Ukraine. This universi ty was instrumental in forming the core of Khar kiv intelligentsia. The fact that among the profes sors were many of those who came from Wes tern Europe provided a significant cultural boost — the students imbibed the traditions of indepen dent thinking and learnt things in various fields of knowledge which were not taught anywhere else in Ukraine or Russia. The graduates of the university promoted the development of businesses, sciences and the arts. Architects with university training made sure their ideas were implemented. Kharkiv was transformed from a town of wooden architecture into the city of stone and brick, of street cars, electricity and gas. In many of these advances Kharkiv was ahead of all other cities of the Russian empire. In the twentieth century three of the Kharkiv University graduates became Nobel Prize winners — Ivan Mechnikov (chemistry, author of the table

of chemical elements), Lev Landau (physicist) and Simon Kuznets (economics). It was in Kharkiv that a literary school develo ped, one of the first of its kind in Ukraine. Its foun der was the writer Hryhory KvitkaOsnovyanenko who was honored in the twentieth century by ha ving one of the streets named after him. He did not become a world classic but contributed a lot to the development of Ukrainian literature. The Ukrainian classic of music, Mykola Lysenko, was launched into his musical career from Kharkiv. ➧

Fivedomed Uspensky (Assumption) Cathedral is a prominent architectural landmark that dates from 1777.


Monument to Taras Shevchenko, a prominent Ukrainian poet and thinker.

The Dzerkalny strumin (Crystalclear Stream) fountain that doubles as a gazebo is one of the emblems of Kharkiv.

In the early twenties, a number of literati for med a literary movement which did deserve to be called “Ukrainian renaissance” (Mykola Khvylyovy, Les Kurbas, Mykola Kulish, to name just a couple of them) — but in the early nineteenthirties most of these authors were pronounced “decadent mo dernists”, arrested, accused of being “Ukrainian bourgeois nationalists” and of plotting the over throw of the soviet regime — and executed. Some who were not, were put into concentration camps. These representatives of the Ukrainian renais sance were later called “the generation that was shot.” Architectural music Even if your knowledge of architectural styles is not too profound, you can hardly miss the gran deur and versatility of many architectural land marks in Kharkiv. Taking a stroll through the streets of Kharkiv is like listening to a symphony being per formed in stone. The Second World War, to a large extent, spa red Kharkiv even though the city changed hands two times and was the focal point of much fierce fighting. A more architecturally perceptive eye will no tice buildings that belong to various stages in the development of architecture in the twentieth cen tury, and several buildings surely deserve being put on the UNESCO list of World Heritage sites. Unfortunately, there are multiplying signs of inescapable progress which may eventually obli terate some of Kharkiv’s architectural uniqueness by introducing modern window frames which look the same the world over; highrises, all covered in glass, are indistinguishable one from the other, no matter which part of the world you are visiting. There are a couple of dozens of buildings in Kharkiv which excellently represent the style known as “Ukrainian Modern”, a variation of Art Nouveau. One of such buildings is known as Ivan Boyko’s. It was built in 1911. Its interiors were decorated by prominent painters, and some of these interior de corations have survived. The Art School, also of 1911, is arguably the best known building in Kharkiv in the Ukrainian Mo dern style. Its towers, its exterior decorative ele ments and its majolica create a powerful presence in the street where it is situated. The central square of Kharkiv, Ploshcha Svobo dy, occupies a territory of 12 hectares and is in fact the biggest square in Europe. No wonder it was chosen as the venue for the gig of the British rock band Queen in 2008. The immense Derzhprom office building served as an impressive backdrop for the show. The Derzhprom building is incontestably the most impressive buil ding in the Ukrainian Constructivist style. It was

built in 1928 to demonstrate the enormity and po wer of the staterun industries. The Nazi Germans, who occupied the city du ring WWII for two years, tried to blow the building up when they were being forced out of the city by the advancing Red Army, but the attempt failed. The staterun industries seemed indestructible. The list of architectural landmarks to be seen in Kharkiv is pretty long, but it is not so much in dividual buildings that create a very special appea rance of Kharkiv but their monolithic, collective presence. Take a slow walk, take a good look, and listen to the music of architecture. ■

The Blahovishchensky Cathedral is a landmark worth having a look at even if you are not a religious person.








very ornament created by MITUS DESIGN has its own secret and reflects in some way the soul of its creator. Once you put a MITUS DESIGN orna ment on, you don’t feel like taking it off, even when you go to bed at night. Tetyana Mitus says that she did not initially plan to make it a big business project, but now her ornamentmaking business has become an occupation into which she puts a great deal of all her efforts, her positive energy and her heart and soul. In addition to being a jewelry designer and producer, she officially represents the World Fashion Channel in Ukraine, and does experiments with designs of fashio nable clothes.


You do ornament designs, you work for television, you create fashion design — how do you find time for all that? I think I can do it because there are at least twenty five hours in my day and night, ra ther than the usual twenty four. I realized long ago that the more and better you plan what to do, the more you can actually do. I am a responsible person and cannot afford not to deliver what I have promised to deli ver. That is why I do my best to find time for doing everything I have planned to do. I hope the results are good. When and how did you discover you can do jewelry designs? I love design in general, I care for a good style, for fashionable clothes. I would not call myself a designer — I won’t do it because I know the true meaning of this word. But it does not prevent me from designing fashio nable clothes. It is about the same with de signing jewelry — I do what I can to the best of my ability. At first, I created ornaments only for my self, later I began giving my ornaments to my friends as gifts. My friends began to ask to create ornaments for them of a particular kind and they bought them from me — they liked the unusual look of my designs. And I thought to myself — why not design and

create jewelry on a larger scale for sale? Once, on a tourist trip to India, I bought a lot of precious and semiprecious stones, even though I was not quite sure what I was going to do with them. I had some ideas but to implement them I needed jewelers — and I found the masters I wanted in Italy. I am a sort of a perfectionist, I want only top quality. I feel responsible for the brand I’ve crea ted. I often repeat to myself my own saying, “I do not sell ornaments as valuable material objects — I sell or give as presents emotions and moods.” The ornaments I design target women who want to buy jewelry themselves for themselves, without waiting for their hus bands or boyfriends to give them such orna ments as presents. My ornaments do not have diamonds in them — but all the decora tive stones I use are natural, not artificial. You don’t seem to think in terms of com petitiveness. I think in terms of creating ornaments that I like, and it is very pleasant when people find my ornaments nice. In addition to emotions, what do your ornaments convey? The word “trend” these days in Ukraine is trendy. I think my ornaments are always trendy. You can wear them with clothes of ➧


all sorts of styles. A baroquestyle necklace with pearls can be worn, for example, both in the day time and at an evening party. If you put on a dress which leaves your back open, you can turn such a necklace around and the effect will be stunning. There are other ways of using my ornaments for a better effect. I know that people who wear my ornaments do it with pleasure — they say my ornaments have “an energy.” All the stones I use go through the mental cleansing. I keep them in blessed holy water for some time, I wash them, and I do it not for being able to tell someone about it. I do think I have to do it. Every stone carries a lot of energy. I want every owner of my ornaments to know that my ornaments give only positive, protective force. And believe me, people feel that too. Your collection of ornaments was inspired by India. What are the other sources of your inspiration? I like ornaments which look luxurious. The art and times of By zantium and of the Turkish Empire provide me with ideas and in

spiration — big colorful stones, unusual shapes. I like chi merically rough, sort of sloppily formed stones. The stone itself must say what appearance it should be given in an ornament, whether it’s worth changing anything in it. These days bright fancy stones are in fashion. One should feel absolutely all right wearing ornaments with big sto nes — and jeans and a Tshirt. Does the city of Kyiv provide any inspiration for you? I love Ukraine, though I come from a different country. I’ve been living in Kyiv for ten years now. And now I rea lize that love between me in Kyiv is forever. I love the gold domes of Kyiv churches — particularly the ones of the St Michael’s GoldenDomed Cathedral. The architec tural landmarks look great in any weather — when the clouds are dark and low, they shine so bright against the dark background, and in sunshine they scintillate so gor geously. There are ornaments in my collection in which tiny hands made of precious stones — sapphires and eme ralds, hold a domelike shapes… Embroidered decorative towels and shirts are another inspiration for me. And flowers too, cornflowers in parti cular. All these things are so rich in color! Are you going to look for inspiration in other count ries too? I’ve been to many palaces in the world but I have not been to Africa yet — I think I’ll go there for inspiration some time soon. Where can one buy your ornaments? There are places in Kyiv where you can buy them — at Faboulous Boutique in the Hotel PremierPalace, Niche Boutique at 39 Pushkinska Street and Olena Rudenko’s studio of personal shopping in the Arena City complex. Eve ry ornament I release is marked with the words MITUS DESIGN and with my logo. If the customer so desires, we can add the name of the future owner to the ornament. How often do you put new collections? About two times a year. For winter we make things that look “warmer” and “cozier”. At the end of March, we are planning to show a summer collection which will have bright, orange and green corrals and turquoise. I found some yellow turquoise and now I am in several minds as to how to use them to the greatest advantage. Are you planning to create a particularly luxurious, exclusive collection? I can’t say I would not want to do it but I realize that such items involve a lot of investment and a heightened responsibility. Probably, as my brand is getting more estab lished, I’ll turn to creating such collections. But I still want to make MITUS DESIGN ornaments which are af fordable to many people. ➧


How much time passes between the inception of a collection and actual creation? How much time does it take to create ornaments? It does take some time. Most of the work is done in Italy and some of the ornaments are given a final touch here in Ukraine. Unfortunately we can’t make my ornaments here in Ukraine — there are no jewe lers of required qualifications, there is no equip ment that is needed and the costs are very high. When I have the materials I need, I make a draft design on paper, put the stones where they should be, fix them with Scotch tape and give my design to the jeweler to work on. Which stone is your favorite? Emeralds — but I do not own an emerald that I’ve been dreaming to have all my life. I had a funny dream in my childhood, which was probably inspi red by some films or snatches of conversation among the adults that I overheard — I arrive in Paris in


a private jet, I wear a fur coat down to my hills, and I am wearing emerald earrings or the heels of my shoes are emeralds. I’ve been to Paris, I have a fur coat — but emeralds remain a part of the dream. I’m sure that some time soon your dream will come true! Thank you. But I want to say this. I discovered Welcome to Ukraine Magazine quite recently — I picked it up in a plane when I was returning from a trip abroad. As I was leafing through it, I could not help thinking, “it’s a surprisingly beautiful and informative magazine!” You open a copy of it, and it tells you what you want to know about the place you go to. I wish all the readers good health, success, love and money — without these things you can’t be hap py. And never try to stop yourself from dreaming because dreams eventually come true! ■ Learn more at





Mamayeva Sloboda is a venue of all sorts of festivals, fairs, traditional ga mes, contests and cultural events. It is a thematic park rather than a historical museum that attracts a lot of tourists.

amayeva Sloboda is located close to the riverhead of the River Lybid, which used to be a fullyfledged river but now is a stream hidden from view in under ground pipes. But at Mamayeva Sloboda every thing is in full view — Cossack houses, barn mills, stables, wellheads and many other things which are close replicas of the authentic Cossack dwel lings and many other things that used to be part of Cossack households and farms — everything in Mamayeva Sloboda, except for guests, looks the way they looked in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. The neighborhood, originally called Sloboda, used to belong to the St Michael’s GoldenDomed Monastery which had an apiary and pastures com



plete with a pond and a small farm. Later, this neigh borhood was turned into a large fruit garden. In 1990, the Kyiv authorities agreed to create a “cul turalethnographic center” in Sloboda. It took many years though before the idea was implemen ted and an authentically looking Cossack settle ment arose in Kyiv, only a quarter of an hour ride (if traffic jams do not interfere with your pro gress) from the center of city. Mamayeva Sloboda is a thematic park rather than a historical museum. It’s a bustling place. A great care was taken to present everything as authentically as it could be done in the twentyfirst century in reconstructing life and dwellings and other things to be seen and experienced in Cos sack settlements three or four hundred years ago.

The image of Cossack Mamay, the traditional hero of many a Ukrainian folk tale and song, on the wall in one of the houses at Mamayeva Sloboda.

Sloboda was named for Mamay, a legendary Cossack character and iconic figure who features in old folk songs and in folk paintings. He is usual ly depicted sitting crosslegged, with a pipe in his mouth and a kobza (a music instrument) in his hands. As the central protagonist of many folk tales and songs, he is a sort of a knight, righting the wrongs and helping the destitute. He is also a sage whose words of wisdom guide the people along the right path in life. He is a storyteller too, and a lot else, all rolled into one. His imaginary port raits were put by the side of the icons in the icon corner of Cossack houses. Inside Mamayeva Sloboda The central landmark in Mamayeva Sloboda is the Church of the Most Holy Mother of God (Vir gin Mary) which is said to look pretty much the way such churches looked in the times of Hetman Bohdan Khmelnytsky who led his Cossacks du ring the War of Independence in the seventieth century. The household of the sotnyk (commander of a Cossack unit of a hundred Cossacks) with its stone house is a very close replica of what such a house could have looked several centuries ago. The dwel lings of a potter, a smith, a priest, a midwife, a witch doctor, a smithy, a watermill and a shynok (Cossack saloon) are all authentic reconstructions of what such houses actually looked like, both in side and outside. You can walk into the houses, sit down on the benches, touch anything you want to, and of course take pictures. If you feel downright hungry, you are welcome to try dishes of Ukrainian Cossack cuisine. The di shes and drinks are made in full accordance with old recipes; the tableware is earthenware, and all those plates and cups are also close replicas of se venteenthcentury dishes and vessels. ➧

The Saber of Cossack Mamay Tournament is a popular show at Mamayeva Sloboda.

Mamayeva Sloboda is a venue of all sorts of fes tivals, fairs, traditional games, contests and cul tural events. Religious feasts are observed in Ma mayeva Sloboda as well. Summer festivals, har vest festivals, Cossack and folk song festivals are particularly colorful and exciting. Visitors to Mamayeva Sloboda are exposed to the excitement and traditions of the oldtime Cos sack life. Mamayeva Sloboda is a large place with capa city of admitting at least two thousand people at a time. You can join a guided sightseeing tour with explanations provided in Ukrainian, Russian, English, German, French, Italian and Spanish, if you feel like. While you are in Mamayeva Sloboda you can watch craftsmen at work — but you can also try your hand in pot making or blacksmithing. You can go fishing in the local pond, you can go for a horse ride. You can attend a class of arrow shoo ting, fencing, weaving, making candles or things from straw, or you can learn how to cook Cos sack dishes. And it would not be amiss to remind the reader that Mamayeva Sloboda is also a very big orchard with fruit trees providing shade on a hot day, and fruit in the harvesting season. â–





nce upon a time there lived three brothers whose parents died when they were young. Neither did they have a house to live in nor a field to till. They had no choice but to start looking for some one who would hire them so that they could make a living. Soon after they had set off on their way, they met a very old man who was trud ging along the road. The old man with a long white beard stopped when he saw them coming and asked, “Where are you heading, good boys?” And the young men replied, “We are orphans, we have no one and no thing left in this world, so we are off to see if anyone would hire us. We hope we find a good man for whom we would do any work he tells us to the best of our ability. We also hope he would be like a father to us. The old man, hearing this, said in reply, “You seem to be nice boys, and I wish I had sons like you. So if you obey me, I’ll be like an adopted father to you, and I will teach you how to live, tell the truth from a lie, and be men of integrity.” The brothers did not take long to decide. They said they would obey the old man and do as he told them. “Follow me then,” said the old man. They kept walking on and on, through dense, dark forests and across open, sunny fields. After a long while they came to a place where they saw a nice house, with white walls, a neat roof, a cherry garden, and a lot of flowers all around. As they came closer, the door opened and a young girl, as beau tiful as a flower, came out. When the brothers saw her, the eldest one said. “I wish I had some oxen and cows, then I would feel I could propose to this girl!” “I can help you,” said the old man. “Let’s go and talk to that girl. She will believe me that you are a man of substance and will agree to take you for a husband. Live well and happy, but always remember to be true and kind.” The old man came up to the girl, told her something, she smiled and invited the brothers to come in. The eldest brother proposed to her, and she accepted the proposal. They were wed, and after the wedding party, the two younger brothers and the old man moved on, leaving the eldest behind with his wife in their nice white house. They kept on walking through dense and dark forests and across open sunny fields until they came to a nice house with a water mill and a pond close by. They saw a young girl who looked very industrious doing some thing by the house. The middle brother said, “How nice it would be if I could marry that girl! I’d work at the mill, I’d fish at the pond and we would live well!” “All right, my boy, you will get what you want. Let’s go!” The old man came up to the girl, started talking to her, she smiled and invited them to come to the house. She accepted the middle brother’s proposal of mar riage and they were wed. Soon after the wedding party, the youngest bro ther and the old man got ready to leave. “Work hard, my boy,” said the old man, “live well and happy, but al ways remember to be true and kind.”


And then they left, the old and the youngest brother. They kept on walking through dense and dark forests and across open sunny fields until they came to a small, ramshackle house, and there was a girl, as young and beautiful as a shining star, sitting at the threshold. The girl’s dress was neat but very poor, all patched up. “I wish I could marry this girl,” said the youngest brother. “I’d repair the house, I’d work in the field, I’d work hard and we would have bread and other things to live on. And we would give what we could to those who are poor and have nothing to eat.” “All right, my boy, you will get what you want. Let’s go!” The old man came up to the girl, started talking to her, she smiled and invited them to come to the house. She accepted the youngest brother’s proposal of marriage and they were wed. Soon after the wedding party, the old man got ready to leave. “Work hard, my boy,” said the old man, “live well and happy, but al ways remember to be true and kind.” And the old man left. The eldest brother became so rich that he had a much bigger house built. The money kept rolling in, and he saved the gold coins in a big trunk and kept thinking about nothing else but how to get more of them. He never helped anybody who asked for help. He was very stingy and tight fisted. The middle brother also became quite wealthy. He began to hire people to work for him, spending his days lying on his big bed and giving orders. The youngest brother worked hard, grew vegetables and corn, and he and his wife lived in harmony. Whenever someone asked for help, they helped with whatever they could. One day, the old man returned after wandering in the world for quite some time. The eldest brother was the first he came to visit and see how he lived. The old man, who just a short while ago looked stately and rich ly dressed, now looked a miserable beggar in rags, came closer to the house near which stood the eldest brother. He did not recognize the old man. He looked haughtily at the poor beg gar bent with age who stood before him, begging. “I’ve got nothing to give you, old man. Besides, you are not that old and can earn your living. Go find work and do not beg!” The old man looked around and saw nice big houses, barns, pigsties, and warehouses full of goods. “Go, old man, go!” shouted the eldest brother. And the old man left. He climbed a nearby hill, stopped, turned back and looked at the prosperous farm of the eldest brother. And then, all of a sudden, the houses, the barns, the haystacks, the warehouses and the rest of it were engulfed in flames. The old man walked on. He walked through dense and dark forests and across open sunny fields until he came to the place where the middle bro ther lived. The house, the mill, and the pond all looked very nice and very well taken care of. The old man saw the middle brother standing by the mill, looking contentedly around. The old man, who just a short while ago looked stately and richly dressed, now looked a miserable beggar in rags, came closer, bowed low and said, “ I see you own a mill and so you must have a lot of flour to make bread from. Good man, could you please give me a piece of bread? I am very hungry.” ➧


“I have not made enough flour to make bread for myself, to say nothing of the likes of you. There are too many beggars hanging around. Move on, old man, move on!” And the old man moved on. He walked some distance, stopped, turned and looked intently at the house and the mill, and then all of a sudden every thing went up in flames. The old man walked through dense and dark forests and across open sun ny fields until he came to the place where the youngest brother lived. His house was old and small but in good repair. The old man, who just a short while ago looked stately and richly dressed, now looked a miserable beggar in rags, came closer, and seeing the younger brother came out the door, star ted begging, “I’m starving! Could you please give me something to eat?” “Come into the house, please. We’ll feed you and we will give you some thing to take with you to eat later.” The old man walked into the house and when the younger brother’s wife saw what a sorry condition the old man was in, she rushed to the pantry and brought out whatever food there was in it. She also found trousers, shoes and a shirt for the old man to put on instead of his rags. When the old man was putting on the shirt, the woman saw there was an open wound on his chest, and cried out, “Let me dress your wound!” “Don’t bother,” said the man. “This kind of wound to the heart cannot heal. I’ll soon die of it, maybe tomorrow.” “What a misfortune! But how were you wounded? Is there really no cure for it?” “Yes, there is, and many people have medicine for it, but nobody wants to give that medicine to me.” “Try us,” cried out the younger brother. “Maybe we have what you need, and if we do, we will gladly give it to you! Tell us what it is!” “All right,” said the old man. “If you burn your house and everything else on your farm to ashes, then gather the ash and stuff it into my wound, then it will heal. But I don’t think there’s anyone in this world who would do such a thing!” The younger brother, who was taken aback, bowed his head and did not answer right away. Then, after a while, he raised his head and asked his wife, “My dear wife, what do you think, can we save this man?” “Yes, we can,” said the good woman. “We’ll build a new house for oursel ves, but if this good man dies, you cannot bring him back to life.” “All right, then. Let’s get the children and whatever else you want to save out of the house.” As soon as the children were out of the house and whatever few goods and chattels they had were brought out, the younger brother arranged dry hay all around the house to set fire to it. But at the last moment he felt a great pity for his house, and his hand holding a burning torch, trembled. But then he looked at the old man and felt even a greater pity for him. And then he set fire to his house. The fire was so powerful that it destroyed the old house in no time. But lo and behold — a new handsome house arose on the spot where the old house stood! And the old man, who was standing close by, looking stately and neatly dressed, smiled and said, “I see, my good boy, that you are the only one among your brothers who has remained true and kind. Live well and be happy!” It was only then that the youngest brother recognized who the old man was. He rushed toward him to embrace him, but the old man vanished into thin air. Art by Oleksandr MELNYK






he list of traditional Ukrainian dishes which have been cooked in Ukraine for hundreds of years — pampushky, halushky, kovba sy, pechenya, uzvar, to mention but a few, attests to the variety and wholesomeness of Uk rainian cuisine. Borscht arguably tops the list of the most po pular traditional Ukrainian dishes, and you will su rely find varenyky to be high on the everyday foods agenda wherever you go in Ukraine.


Borscht More than any other traditional dish, borscht reflects the Ukrainian national character and to some extent even the Ukrainian national and eth nic history. The traditional image of the Ukrainian Cossack with a long lock of hair on the otherwise shaved head, long, handlebar moustaches and a tobacco pipe in the mouth becomes complete only when you add a plate of borscht on the table in front of him. Varieties of borscht are as many as there are specific geographical and cultural regions of Uk raine in the south, north, east and west of the coun try. There is though “a common denominator” of borscht all across Ukraine, no matter where you go. ➧


Some variants of borscht include up to twen ty ingredients, among them: cabbage, red beets, carrots, potatoes, tomatoes, sweet peppers, egg plants, beans, pumpkin, marrow squash, all sorts of green things like parsley or parsnip. The color of the dish is very important too. The color of true borscht is supposed to be a range of various shades of red.

Varieties of borscht are as many as there are spe cific geographical and cultural regions of Ukraine. Varenyky is another traditional staple foods of Ukraine which features even in folk tales. In the southern land of Odesa and its environs borscht has, among its ingredients, duck, chicken and even fish! Odesa is well known for its “mul ticulturalism”, and borscht also reflects these “mul ticultural” influences. For the Ukrainians of Poltavshchyna borscht goes with halushky (sort of dumplings). In some


cases, it is just one big halushka that goes into your plate of borscht. When the process of cooking is nearing its fi nale, a final touch is required. It is called zapravka or zatovka. Without it, borscht will not achieve that rich flavor which makes it truly borscht. Za pravka (from the Ukrainian verb zapravlyaty, which has several meanings, one of them is “to season” food) also varies from place to place and from cook to cook. A popular zapravka is made of small pie ces of hard pig fat, chopped onions and garlic which are fried slightly together and then added to the fiery borscht. In some places people make a dish called “white borscht”. It is cooked in an amount of water, ta ken from a deep well, a chicken is boiled with chop ped carrots and whole onions; when the chicken is cooked and the soup cools off, chopped hard boiled eggs are mixed into a good measure of thick sour cream, and then are added to what now be comes borscht. In fact, there is such a thing as “green borscht” too. No beets are used for it either. Its main ingre dients may include sorrel, nettles, parsley and other green things, potatoes, carrots. Chopped hard

boiled eggs, green onions and sour cream are ad ded when the green borscht is served. In the Lands of Zhytomyrshchyna, Rivnensh chyna, and Volyn mushrooms come to the fore as one of the more important ingredients used to make borscht. Mushrooms can be boiled or fried separately and then added to the borscht too. If you cook your borscht in wintertime, you can use dried or pickled mushrooms. In the regions of the Carpathian Mountains borscht is as popular as elsewhere in Ukraine. Mushrooms and beans regularly feature among the ingredients. But most of the recipes contain such ingredients as cabbage, red beets, potatoes and carrots. Enjoy your true borscht in Ukraine! Varenyky Varenyky is one of the traditional staple foods of Ukraine. In fact, many people would find life drab and lacking in good quality if they don’t have their varenyky as often as they can. Varenyky feature in folk tales, in sayings and riddles. It is not only Ukrainians who make dumplings stuffed with all sorts of eatables. Russian pelmeni, Uzbek manty, Georgian khinkali, Italian ravioli, Li thuanian koldunay, Argentinean empanadas all have fillings of some sort. Some of them resemble Ukrainian varenyky. Another name for varenyky in western Ukraine is pyrohy, particularly if they are stuffed with soft, cottage cheese. In the opinion of the cognoscenti of varenyky, only wheat flour of the finest grind can provide the right kind of dough for varenyky. Some vare nyky makers believe that neither eggs nor salt are any good for making dough — freshly curdled milk is particularly good for making the dough with. The dough must be kneaded long and well to make it springy and yet soft, and not of too thick consis tency — the consistency must make it possible to roll the dough thin — that’s how your varenyky will be likely to come out right. Then the dough is left to “rest” for a little while covered with a piece of damp cloth for a half hour. The dough is rolled smooth and thin shape, pieces cut out of the dough and a tea spoonful of the stuf fing is placed into the center of each wouldbe va renyk, the edges are carefully and thoroughly sea led over the filling by being pinched together. The filling is the soul of the varenyk, and its skin must be resilient and strong enough to keep the stuffing inside until the moment the varenyk finds its way into your mouth. What is chosen for the stuffing depends on the season of the year, local traditions and personal

tastes. Ground meat, soft cheese, cabbage and mashed potatoes are probably among the most popular fillings for varenyky; among the more exo tic ones we find mashed beans, dried pears, poppy seeds, boiled buckwheat; a wide variety of berries, fresh and dried, provide excellent fillings for vare nyky (varenyky with sour cherries are fantastic!). Varenyky is a natural, wholesome food — you till the land, you grow grain, you make flour from this grain, you go to the forest and collect ber ries — and you don’t depend on anybody else for your food! Varenyky stuffed with soft cottage cheese is something special again. It’s a great treat both for the young and the old. Such varenyky have eggs and sugar added into them, and when they are bo iled and then served hot, they are lavishly buttered and thick sour cream is heaped on top. Once you start eating them, you stop only when you feel that you are going to burst at your seams. ■

If you want to learn more about the recipes for many dishes of the Ukrainian traditional cuisine, look them up in the book Ukrainian Traditional Cuisine which has been published by Baltiadruk Publishers. The book is on sale in many bookstores across Ukraine. Find out more at


The Ball with a

Noble Purpose


has become a laudable tradition to hold balls in Kyiv coupled with fundraising for charity purposes at Christmas time. The year 2012 was not an exception. This time it was organized under the patronage of Mylan Payevych, president of the Kyiv Cigar Club. On Christmas Eve, when children — and many grownups too — expect miracles to happen, about two hundred guests — Ukrainian and foreign dip lomats, business people and representatives of cul tural elite, took part in a spectacular ball. The mo ney raised will be donated towards the needs of gra vely ill children and orphans. Among the invitees were the Minister for Fo reign Affairs of Ukraine Kostyantyn Hryshchenko and the head of EU delegation in Ukraine Jose Ma nuel Pinto Teishera. The guests danced, watched a fashion show that presented exquisite evening dresses and fine jewel ry. Leading musicians and pop stars provided their own entertaining touch to the event. The highlight of the show was the performance of Enver Izmaylov, a virtuoso guitar player and winner of the Best Gui tarist of Europe Prize. Mr Izmaylov was presented with a gold guitar created by Russian jewelers. The guests enjoyed themselves and at the same time made contributions to the noble cause of health and care of parentless children by taking part in both an auction and a lottery. ■


★★★★★ UEFA EURO 2012 Host Hotel RixosPrykarpattya 8, Horodyshche Str. Truskavets, Lviv Region 82200, Ukraine phone: +380 3247 71111, +380 44 2231111, fax: +380 3247 71112,,

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