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Ancient Place

Drohobych, Lviv region

sunny 20 °C
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The City Hall building

The City Hall building

Drohobych is one of the oldest cities in Ukraine. The city has a rich history. In 1991, it celebrated its 900th anniversary. As the story goes, the town was founded by the surviving residents of the town of Bych that had been burnt by the Cumans at the end of the 11th century. They named it "Another Bych", or Drohobych. From the 14th century, the city was one of the largest centers of salt. As for the origin of the name there is no consensus. The most common version explains that there was the town of Bych near the salt springs at the foothills of the Carpathians. The town flourished from salt trade.

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Yuriy Drohobych  monument

Yuriy Drohobych monument


Yuriy Drohobych  monument

Yuriy Drohobych monument


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After the attack of the nomadic Cumans in the late 11th century, the town was razed to the ground. After some time, the residents who had managed to escape from their enemies, returned to their place and rebuilt the town, but in a slightly different place. The new city was named Another Bych (“drohoi” – “another”). Eventually the name turned into Drohobych. The city name is written in different languages like this: English — Drohobych; Polish — Drohobycz; German — Drohobytsch.

The Tower of Drohobych

The Tower of Drohobych


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The Tower of Drohobych memorial plaque

The Tower of Drohobych memorial plaque


We, Matt, Urszula, Sonja and I, had a great VT Meet in Truskavets, Lviv region, in May 2015. During our stay there, we paid a visit to this place thanks to Matt and Urszula who had arrived to Truskavets by car. To enrich our new experiences, Matt and Urszula arranged a trip to Drobobych by their car. Thanks a lot, friends!

City Council square

City Council square


The City Council building

The City Council building

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City Council square

City Council square


Churches and temples were the major attractions that we saw in Drohobych. Almost all the temples are open only during the service. At other times they are closed to the general public, so you can only take pictures of their external facades.

Downtown Drohobych

Downtown Drohobych


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The World War II memorial in Drohobych

I totally disagree that, except for the churches and cathedrals, there is nothing more to see in Drohobych. Alas, there is not enough information about its sights, so you have to be active, walk for hours and discover them for yourself, like we did. We managed to see the main city sights :

  • St.George’s Cathedral (“sobOr sviatOho YurAh” in Ukrainian) that dates back to end of the 15th century - the beginning of the 16th century. It was brought to Drohobych in 1656 from the village of Nadiyeve. The cathedral acquired its final appearance in 1678, when the bell tower was completed. The UNESCO included this church into the World Heritage list as a part of the project "Wooden Churches of the Carpathian region in Poland and Ukraine." ccordingly, there was, albeit small, funding that allowed to restore the roof. In future, it is planned to restore the murals. They date back to the 16th century.

St.George’s Cathedral, Dronogych

St.George’s Cathedral, Dronogych


St.George’s Cathedral

St.George’s Cathedral


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The wooden church of St. George is one of the most striking works of Galician folk architecture. The church was included into the UNESCO World Heritage list in the category "Wooden Churches of the Carpathian region of Ukraine".
The church dates back to the late 15th - early 16th century. St.George’s Church was brought in to Drohobych from a Subcarpathian village named Nadiyeve in 1656 and installed at the site of its burnt predecessor. In 1678, a bell tower was built.
The church interior is painted with magnificent frescoes of Stephen Meditsky. The ancient carved iconostasis has been preserved.
The church was repaired several times, but did not lose its original appearance.
We discovered something very special on the second floor where the choir stands - "another church" - another part of the altar. It was an amazing experience! We were allowed to climb the wooden steps for a nominal fee. From above we could have a closer look at some of the murals: in particular, the hell fire was in full view.

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St.George’s Cathedral

St.George’s Cathedral


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Now, this church is a branch of the Local Lore Museum called Drohobych Land. Another part of the exhibition is located in the neighboring wooden Church of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross that dates back to 1613.
St.George’s Church is a very informative museum church. I have not seen so many murals anywhere else. You will enjoy your visit even more, if you join a guided tour and listen to the history of the Do not bother about the entrance fee, the guided tour fee, the photo fee – simply enjoy your visit to this unique place, that is a must in Drohobych.
The church is open for visitors from 9 a.m. until 6 p.m., from Friday till Sunday: from 9 a.m. till 5 p.m. The entrance fee is UAH 30, a guided tour is UAH 50 and the photo fee is for your donation, you can choose to donate UAH 50 or UAH 100 – the interior is worth it. Directions: 25 Salty Pond; Tel. +38 03244 2 26 39.

  • Church of Exaltation of the Cross was the second sight we saw. This church acquired its final form in 1661. It is considered one of the best buildings in the style of Galician architecture. We approached the church and looked at its details.
  • Stepan Bandera Square with the monument to Yuriy Drohobych (the pseudonym of Yury Kotermak, 1450-1494), who was from Rector of the University of Bologna from 1481 till 1482. In 1488 he became the Professor of Krakow University.
  • St. Bartholomew Cathedral that was founded by King Wladyslaw Jagiello in 1392. The cathedral was built on the site of former castle and a part of it was used for the construction of the temple. In 1511, the cathedral was consecrated as the Church of the Blessed Virgin Mary, St. Bartholomew and the Holy Cross. This church is also known as Ascension Cathedral.

St. Bartholomew's Cathedral

St. Bartholomew's Cathedral


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The massive Gothic building was erected on the basis of a prince’s castle dating back to the time of the Galicia-Volyn Principality. Ancient foundations and wall fragments were used during the construction. A powerful fortification tower, that used to be a part of the former city fortifications on Castle Hill, became the cathedral’s bell tower.
For centuries, the building was reconstructed several times. In Soviet times, it was used as a warehouse. In 1989, the church was returned to the Roman Catholic community of the city. Many things were preserved in the interior : Gothic white stone portals, murals and stained glass windows of the 19th century, made after the drawings of famous artists J. Matejko, S.Wyspianski and J. Megoffer. The walls are reinforced with buttresses. You can see unusual white stone reliefs - three windows, on which there are images of a palm, a foot and a head with the papal tiara. Some sources call these stone reliefs the symbols of the Catholic domination, others believe they are pagan symbols.
The marble door with two swords remind us of the inhabitants of the city who fell in the Battle of Grunwald.
Directions: 12 Daniel of Galicia Street, Castle Mountain Square.

  • The City Hall tower that was built in 1927, when the Drohobych belonged to Poland. The high clock tower of Drohobych City Hall rose above the city in 1927, when the city returned to the Polish state.

City Council square

City Council square


The City Council building

The City Council building


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Drohobych received Magdeburg rights in 1460, and at the same time the first wooden town hall was built. By 1829 this building became very outdated and useless, so the new City Hall in the Austrian style was built - this time in stone. The need for a new building emerged after the First World War. I. Semkovich, M.Nikodimovich were the architects of the project.
The three-story building surrounds a small courtyard as a square.
The marble meeting hall is the main building of the city hall. You can arrange your climbing the City Hall tower to see the clock mechanism and to enjoy the city's best panoramic view.
Directions: 1 Market Square; tel. +38 03244 2 25 69,+38 03244 3 71 77 , +38 03244 2 25 69 ;
Website: City Council website for tourists

  • Market Square with Holy Trinity Cathedral built in 1690-1709 as the Roman Catholic Church. In 1808 it was bought by the Ukrainian community for the Greek Catholic churches and parish school. Now it is the main temple of Sambir-Drohobych Diocese of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church.
  • the Monastery of the Holy Apostles St.Peter and St.Paul, that was built in 1828 on the site of a monastery that had not survived a huge fire - the old wooden Basilian Brothers Monastery that had been built on that site back in 1775. This monastery is still called Basilian Monastery. Basilian Monastery is located at 1 Stryi Street. It is another beautiful sight of Drohobych. Its architectural style is very special and attractive.

Directions: 1 Stryi Street; Tel. +38 03244 3 90 58; +38 03244 2 24 71.

  • The Choral Synagogue of the 19th century lies within a five-minute walk from the monastery. At that time it was the largest synagogue in Eastern Galicia. The neglected building was transferred to the Jewish community. There are plans to restore it.

The old synagogue

The old synagogue


The old synagogue

The old synagogue

We saw the building was surrounded by a high fence – perhaps restoration work will start soon.

  • The Tower of Drohobych located in Castle Mountain Square is the oldest surviving building in the city. It dates back to the early medieval period. Powerful stone and wooden fortifications were built in the 13th century, during the time of the Galicia-Volyn Principality. In the 16th century, St.Bartholomew Cathedral was built on the grounds of the castle. The tower was used as its bell tower. In the 19th century, all other fortifications were dismantled, moats were filled, and the third floor with arched windows was built over the bell tower. You can see the monument to the medieval scholar Yutiy Drohobych, who was the Rector of the University of Bologna and the teacher of Copernicus.

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Downtown Drohobych

Downtown Drohobych


Be careful, if you decide to take a day trip from Drohobych. The roads connecting the city with other cities of the region often leave much to be desired. For example, the road from Drohobych to Sambir is considered the Ukraine's worst road and is often called Meteor Rain Road. Enjoy the video clip with that road here: The Meteor Road: twenty kilometres of horror.

Posted by Vic_IV 01:54 Archived in Ukraine Comments (0)

Subcarpathian Capital

Ivano-Frankivsk

overcast 15 °C
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The City Hall Square

The City Hall Square

Ivano-Frankivsk that is often called “IF City” or “Frankivsk”/”Franyk” for short, has long attracted us with its special atmosphere. In October 2017, my wife and I were privileged to spend our vacation in that city. We rented an apartment in new districts and managed to pay a visit to many city sights. We enjoyed walking along the city’s colorful streets, visiting the picturesque parks and squares, and admiring its pearls of architecture. In addition, we made a day trip to Yaremche, Ivan-Frankivsk region.

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A view from the City Hall tower

A view from the City Hall tower

In 1687, the city was visited by a French traveler named Francois Daleran, who wrote in his travel diary, "Among all the Transcarpathian cities, Stanislav is the largest and most beautiful one, located on a splendid plain two miles from the Dniester. Its regular fortifications impress with their perfection. There is a magnificent palace built from stone. The city market, buildings and the arsenal significantly distinguish the city among other cities of Ruthenia."

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The City Hall, Ivano-Frankivsk

The City Hall, Ivano-Frankivsk


The City Hall

The City Hall


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  • The City Hall built in 1928-1932 is called the most recognizable building of Ivano-Frankivsk. The first version of the city hall was wooden. It was erected in 1666. In that time, it was both the location of the local administration and the observation post. The present city hall building is the fourth version. Interestingly, it was constructed in the form of the Polish military order of Virtuti Militari, as seen from above. The order was awarded to the soldiers and officers of the Polish army of Józef Haller for the elimination of the West-Ukrainian People’s Republic during the Polish-Ukrainian war of 1919. Therefore, the entire City Hall building was built to glorify the victorious Polish Army.

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Inside the CIty Hall

Inside the CIty Hall


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A view from the City Hall tower

A view from the City Hall tower


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The City Hall located in Market Square (“ploshcha Rynok” in Ukrainian) is the only one in Ukraine built in the style of constructivism that prevailed in the 1930s. In addition, it is the only secular building in Ukraine that has a gilded dome. It was gilded during a large-scale reconstruction of the city center in 2000, consuming 200 g of gold leaf.

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Exhibition of wrought-iron sculptures inside the City Hall

Exhibition of wrought-iron sculptures inside the City Hall


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The City Hall is the highest building in Ivano-Frankivsk. It is 49.5 m high, which corresponds to the height of a 16-storey apartment house. The construction is a cross, with the intersection of which the tower is raised. We paid a symbolic fee and climbed the spiral staircase to the City Hall tower located at the height of 33 meters. On the way to the observation platform you can see an exhibition of wrought iron works created by the participants of the traditional Blacksmiths’ Festival. The views from the observation platform were really impressive. We were privileged to enjoy good weather as well.

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At the entrance to the local lore museum

The City Hall contains the local lore museum dedicated in 1959. The museum uses former casemates and warehouses. The local lore museum has a fairly extensive exposition, including exhibits of the ancient Trypillia culture that is also referred to as the magnificent ancient civilization of Cucuteni – Trypillia. For a symbolic fee, you can view the large collection of exhibits from the history, ethnography and culture of the entire Sub Carpathian region.

  • Cathedral of Virgin Mary’s Protecting Veil

Virgin Mary’s Protecting Veil Cathedral is the full name of this church. The former Armenian Church housed the workshops of local artists from 1949 until 1971, and then, from 1971 until 1991 - the Religion and Atheism Museum.

Cathedral of Virgin Mary’s Protecting Veil, Ivano-Frankivsk

Cathedral of Virgin Mary’s Protecting Veil, Ivano-Frankivsk


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Since 1992, the building of the Armenian Church belongs to the Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church and a replica of the miraculous icon is kept in the church.

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Cathedral of Virgin Mary’s Protecting Veil

Cathedral of Virgin Mary’s Protecting Veil

This church is often called the Armenian Church or simply “the blue church”. The Armenian community used to own the entire city quarter and had a great influence on the city life. The temple got its own miraculous icon. On August 22, 1742, the image of the Mother of God cried with real tears. After that, the icon became famous for many miracles. A lot of people were healed near it. In honour of the miraculous image, the Armenians erected a brick church in the style of European Baroque. The church was built in 1743-1763.
After the Second World War, the Armenians left for Poland, taking the miraculous image of the Virgin, which is now in St.Peter and St.Paul’s Cathedral in the city of Gdansk.

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Cathedral of Virgin Mary’s Protecting Veil

Cathedral of Virgin Mary’s Protecting Veil

The church has bell-like domes that distinguish it among other old churches. They were installed after the fire of 1868 to replace the old helmet-like domes that were destroyed completely by the fire. We went inside to admire the interior and to take some pictures. The All-Seeing Eye with golden rays above the entrance looks impressive. The inscription under the image reads, “Who is like God”.
Here are some more pictures of this church

  • The Arts Museum of the Sub Carpathian Region, located in Metropolitan Sheptytsky Square, is a treasury of the fine arts of the region. The exhibition hall is located in the oldest architectural building of the city - the Renaissance Church of the Immaculate Conception of the Virgin Mary that dates back to the 17th century. At one time, the crypt of this temple was a family burial ground of the founders of the city – the Pototskys. In the side crypts, wealthy nobles and priests were buried.

The Arts Museum of the Sub Carpathian Region_1

The Arts Museum of the Sub Carpathian Region_1


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The collection of the museum was started in the 1980s. It covers unique exhibits of the Galician iconography, works of classics of the Western Ukrainian painting, works of Ukrainian artists of the second half of the twentieth century, as well as works of Polish, Austrian, German and Italian masters of the 18ty 20th centuries. The museum holds a large collection of contemporary foreign graphics, donated from the exhibitions of the Imprez International Biennale.

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Visiting the exhibition at the arts museum

Visiting the exhibition at the arts museum

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Sacral sculpture occupies a large part of the museum collection. The three figures of angels created by Johann Georg Pinsel himself are the pride of the exposition. And the icon of Holy Paraskeva Friday "starred" in the famous Sergey Paradzhanov’s film "Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors".
This museum has about fifteen thousand exhibits. Here you can see the artefacts of the Galician iconography and Baroque sculpture.

  • Andriy Sheptytsky Square

Sheptytsky Square is considered to be the spiritual and cultural centre of the city. Holy Resurection Cathedral of the Greek Catholic Church is nearby. The former Roman Catholic Cathedral – Virgin Mary’s Cathedral – is located in Sheptytsky Square. This building is the city’s only religious building that is not used for its purpose. It houses the Arts Museum now.

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The rotunda of the Blessed Virgin Mary

The rotunda of the Blessed Virgin Mary


The statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary

The statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary

The Statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary with a fountain and a rotunda is very impressive, especially at night when it is lit by different lights. The monument was unveiled in 2000. As our guide explained, the modern statue has a certain resemblance to its predecessor - the Baroque statue of Virgin Mary of the sixteenth century that stood downtown.
The monument to Blessed Metropolitan Andriy Sheptytskyi dedicated on August 27, 2015 is unique as well. Blessed Metropolitan Andriy Sheptytskyi is often called “Moses of the Ukrainian people”. A few words about the monument itself. I must say it looks somewhat disproportionate. The statue of Andriy Sheptytsky looks like three-meter high on the background of two children. Although, as they say, the Metropolitan’s natural growth was more than two meters. Therefore, this disproportion is obviously justified. It only emphasizes Metropolitan Sheptytsky's appearance in real life. The monument is half-turned to Holy Resurrection Cathedral. Moreover, it turned out that Sheptytsky sat with his back to the former Blessed Virgin Mary Church and to the huge crucifixion on that church. However, I think that criticism is not appropriate here. Please all, and you will please none. It is just a small observation.

Andriy Sheptytsky Square

Andriy Sheptytsky Square


Andriy Sheptytsky monument

Andriy Sheptytsky monument


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Andriy Sheptytsky monument

Andriy Sheptytsky monument

We were also impressed by the bronze Emperor Franz Joseph sculpture that stands at the entrance to Franz Hotel in this square. The monument was unveiled in November 2014. According to the plan, Emperor Franz Josef himself invites guests to stay at this hotel bearing his name.

The statue of Emperor Franz Joseph_1

The statue of Emperor Franz Joseph_1


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Here is a 3D panorama of Sheptytsky Square.

  • Numerous Cathedrals and ChurchesYou cannot help noticing many churches, cathedrals and chapels in this city. We walked past some of them and paid a visit to a couple of them as well.

Transfiguration Cathedral in Passichna District was built in 1998-2015. It is the biggest Greek Catholic church in the city today. Its dimensions and the interior impressed us. As you enter the cathedral, you will see an amazing mosaic of Apostle St.Thaddeus, also known as Saint Jude, to your right. This apostle is known to have evangelized the region of Armenia and Persia I have never come across his name or image at any other church. Here is a a small Youtube video about Transfiguration Cathedral

Transfiguration Church

Transfiguration Church


Transfiguration Church

Transfiguration Church


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Virgin Mary’s Protecting Veil Church was built in 1902-1905. It stands at 29 Kniaginin Street. We noticed it from the window of the apartment we rented in Ivano-Frankivsk, and one day paid a visit there. The church stands in a quiet street full of old houses and mansions. The churches stands out for its arcades, the iconostasis, the huge forged crucifix and the gate.

Virgin Mary’s Protecting Veil Church

Virgin Mary’s Protecting Veil Church


Virgin Mary’s Protecting Veil Church

Virgin Mary’s Protecting Veil Church


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St.Dimetrius Church built in 1904 in Pasichna. This old wooden church stands at 6 Nechui-Levytsky Street.

St.Demetrius Church

St.Demetrius Church


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St.Demetrius Church

St.Demetrius Church

The church is located in the north-western part of the city, in the middle of Pasichna District, to the west of the main road, near residential buildings. The church has one storey, a distinctive silhouette, and original wooden arched windows. There is a small chapel in the park next to this church.

St.Cyril and St.Methodius Church

St.Cyril and St.Methodius Church

St.Cyril and St.Methodius Church in Galician Street The church is simply called the Lemko Church, but not because the Lemkos attend it. It was merely built in the Lemko style in 2011-2016. It was consecrated on May 22, 2016.

Prophet St.Elijah Church near the railway station stands not far from the common grave of soldiers. It was built in 2013-2017. This new church is known for its stained glass windows on both sides. It was consecrated on August 2, 2017, on the Feast Day of the Prophet.
Nativity of Blessed Virgin Mary Church at 63a Viacheslav Chornovol Street.

  • Holy Resurrection Cathedral

We were glad to visit this temple and to see many different people there. The temple is interesting because at various times there was a shrine of practically all Christian denominations. It was built in 1753-1763 by Jesuits, who came to Stanislav in the early eighteenth century. However, in ten years, the Austrian authorities abolished the Order of the Jesuits, and the church was closed. Gradually the building became abandoned. Fortunately, the temple became a parish church of the Greek Catholic Church in 1849.

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Holy Resurrection Cathedral

Holy Resurrection Cathedral


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The exterior of the cathedral was built in the style of Austrian and Bavarian Baroque. The forms of the domes were borrowed from Hutsul wooden temples. The interior of the cathedral is made in Byzantine style, and the main decoration is a five-year iconostasis, which was installed in 1901.
The cathedral is the largest temple of Ivano-Frankivsk and continues to be a Greek Catholic shrine. It enjoys such popularity that on holidays and sometimes during the evening service you simply cannot squeeze in because the temple resembles a busy bus in a rush hour.

Holy Resurrection Cathedral

Holy Resurrection Cathedral


Holy Resurrection Cathedral

Holy Resurrection Cathedral

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  • Adam Mickievicz Square has never changed its name since its inception in the 1870's. In addition to the cozy park, this place attracts by interesting sights. The most important decoration is the monument to the Polish poet Adam Mickiewicz, erected in 1898 on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of his birth, the oldest surviving monument in Ivano-Frankivsk to this day. By the way, Adam Mickiewicz has never been to Stanislav. After the monument had been unveiled, the square became the place of crowded rallies.

Adam Mickiewicz Square

Adam Mickiewicz Square


Adam Mickiewicz Square, Ivano-Frankivsk

Adam Mickiewicz Square, Ivano-Frankivsk


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In 2012, within the framework of the 100th anniversary of the National Scout Organization of Ukraine, "Plast" monument was unveiled in this square and became the world's first monument to Plastoons.

  • Shevchenko Park is located in Shevchenko Street. The street is one of the oldest city streets and was always considered a recreation area. Shevchenko Street has been known since the seventeenth century, when it led to the Zvirynets Oak Groves, which was locate on the site of the present-day park. The groves were used as hunting grounds by the Potockis and their guests. At the end of the 19th century, the former hunting grounds were cultivated, alleys were laid, and subsequently cascading ponds were dug.

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Shevchenko Street

Now Shevchenko Park became a recreational park in 1946. It attracts everybody with picturesque landscapes and attractions. In 1955, the city lake was created on the park territory. It is often called Swan Lake and the Sea of Stanislav. It has a small island with ducks and swans. The island is called “Island of Love”.

At the entrance to Shevchenko Park

At the entrance to Shevchenko Park


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Shevchenko Park

Shevchenko Park

Many newlyweds on their wedding day come to the park to happily touch the "Stone of Love", which was installed here in 2010. The stone was brought from Cana, a small town in Galilee, precisely from where Jesus Christ blessed the brides.

Shevchenko Park

Shevchenko Park


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Shevchenko Park is often called the true green heart of the city. We enjoyed the cleanliness, shady alleys, green lawns and flower beds, the calm and quiet atmosphere in this park. Here you can see many unique trees such as Japanese sakura, French tulip tree, Tibetan ginkgo, etc.

  • Pedestrian Precinct

“Stometrivka”, also called “Sotka”, is one of the interesting places of Ivano-Frankivsk which you are unlikely to miss. It is the main pedestrian zone. The locals call it simply "the one hundred meters run distance”. This pedestrian zone is a part of Independence Street. It actually stretches for nearly half a kilometer.

Pedestrian precinct

Pedestrian precinct


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"Sotka" is one of the "liveliest" centers of the city, a place of meetings and walks, street musicians, bookshops, coffee shops, and shopping. Forged sculptures appear here during the annual Blacksmiths’ Festival and add special charm to this place.

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Tree of Happiness

Tree of Happiness


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The tradition of blacksmiths festival in Ivano-Frankivsk is already 15 years old. The event is organized for the City Day celebrations, during which blacksmiths from different parts of Ukraine and from abroad show their masterpieces and skills. At the end of each festival, the blacksmiths present the city with some kind of forged sculpture such as: "Bouquet of Masters", "The Easter Sun", "The Tree of Happiness", "The Circle of Forged Rings" and others.

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Craftsmens' Bunch of Flowers

Craftsmens' Bunch of Flowers


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The forged Tree of Happiness that stands in the pedestrian precinct is one of the smithery gifts of that festival. It looks awful and scary at first. You have to stand and ponder at that masterpiece before you start liking it. A swing is attached to one of the branches, and many children enjoy swinging there. Therefore, that peculiar forged object is never empty in the daytime.

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The fountain in Sicheva Square

The fountain in Sicheva Square


Walking along the pedestrian precinct, or Stometrivka, you will reach Sicheva Square (“People’s Gathering Square”), where you are sure to enjoy viewing the huge fountain, one of the six city fountains that have appeared in recent years and have become a separate tourist attraction. The fountain in Vicheva Square is in the form of a large bowl. In addition, there are other fountains: the Egg Fountain in Market Square, Nadia Hotel fountains, Sheptytsky Square fountain at the statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

  • Bastion Fortress Gallery

We were advised to pay a visit to the Bastion, a fortress gallery, which was built around the remains of the ancient wall of the Stanislav Castle. The bastion includes a terrace for walks and a gallery. There are many souvenir shops, stores with clothes, perfumes, as well as a cafe, a restaurant, a contemporary art gallery. This place is also a public venue for different meetings and exhibitions.
The fortress was built in 1662 on the order of Count Andrzej Potocki, the Governor of Galicia.

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Bastion Fortress Gallery_2

Bastion Fortress Gallery_2


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The architects of the new Bastion Mall successfully combined the remnants of a defensive structure with a new complex, which was built in 2002. This is where you can come across some interesting artistic event. Various exhibitions of arts are constantly represented here: photographs, paintings, graphics, sculptures, etc. We did not see any presentation or festival there; we simply went window shopping and admired the wrought iron sculptures. They were left in the Bastion as reminders of the traditional Blacksmiths’ Festivals.
Bastion Gallery

  • Franko Regional Academic Music and Drama Theater

The building of the theater is among the local examples of the Soviet art, one of the most notable constructivist buildings of the city. It was built in 1980. The largest decor of the Drama Theater is the interior decoration, executed in the Hutsul style.

Franko Theater

Franko Theater


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Franko Theater

Franko Theater


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Memorial Square is located behind the theater and Nadia Hotel in Independence Street. The so-called Stanislav Necropolis is the former city cemetery. It is also called an open-air museum. This is where many prominent inhabitants of the city were buried. The place has the status of a national monument. It is one of the oldest cemeteries in Galicia, where the first burials of date back to 1782.

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Unfortunately, in the early 1980s, the necropolis of the city was almost completely destroyed by the authorities. The probable cause of the destruction of the graves at that time could be the graves of 143 Sich riflemen who had fought against the Soviet power. After that, the cemetery was closed and turned into a square. Soon the square was reconstructed to a memorial square. The few remaining graves were restored and memorial plaques were installed. Only a few tombstones have been preserved out of the many thousands.

Ivan Franko monument

Ivan Franko monument


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  • Sich Riflemen Street (“vulytsia sichovykh stril’tsiv” in Ukrainian) is one of the few unique streets where Austrian buildings dating back to 1870-1910 were preserved. There are up to 30 historical and cultural monuments in this street. The most characteristic architecture of the city is represented in this street. Almost every building has its own interesting story. Ivan Franko, in honor of whom the city was named, stayed briefly in one of the buildings in this street.

The city is often called “the Pearl of Western Ukraine”. It is full of different monuments and dozens of memorial plaques, many of which we saw on our way during our walks.

  • We passed the Afghan War memorial complex every day on our way downtown. The monument to the soldiers who fell in the 1978-1989 Afghan War stands in the former Pioneers’ Park (now Internationalists’ Park) that occupies an area of about four hectares.

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The Afghan war memorial

The Afghan war memorial


The Afghan war memorial

The Afghan war memorial


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You can see an almost three-meter-high granite sculpture. There is a 30-ton rock on the pedestal. The rock contains a golden bas-relief of a dying officer who is a live target under the gun of a sniper rifle. The officer put his hand above his wound that pierced his heart. The officer is dropping his machine-gun and is about to fall. There is an inscription in golden letters in Ukrainian at the foot of the monument. The inscription reads, “To the residents of Sub Carpathian region who fell in the Afghan War”. There are memorial plaques at the foot of the monument. The plaques contain the names of the fallen soldiers and officers and their dates of life. The back of the monument is impressive as well. It contains four gilded hands lifted upwards.
Approaching the monument, you will see several stones with painted inscriptions with the names of Afghan cities, where the most brutal battles with the participation of the Ukrainians took place: Kabul, Kandahar, Salang, and Jalalabad.
The memorial complex was unveiled on May 19, 2009, when the 20th anniversary of the withdrawal of the Soviet troops from Afghanistan was observed.

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St.George's Chapel

St.George's Chapel


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There is a Greek Catholic Church behind the Afghan War memorial complex. The church is St.George's Chapel built in 2002-2008 and consecrated on May 17,2008. The chapel is attached to St.Jehoshaphat's Seminary.
The War Obelisk stands in the area where we rented an apartment. The Obelisk was built in honour of the 25th anniversary of the liberation of the city from the Nazi invaders. Its height is 26 m. The obelisk was crowned a five-pointed star, which was removed after the independence of Ukraine was proclaimed.

  • Urban Space Civic Restaurant

This is where the public life rages: various presentations, conferences, film shows, and even radio events are held. People come here not only to eat, but also to talk, to discuss ideas, to meet the like-minded people, to read a book, to buy something in the store, which is open at the restaurant, or to organize some interesting and very necessary event for the local community.

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This restaurant has become a successful example of uniting indifferent city residents around a common goal. Around 100 socially active people became the funders of this restaurant and have united idea of qualitative development of the urban space. The uniqueness of the plan is that the profit of the restaurant is directed at realization of public projects of Ivano-Frankivsk.

  • Potockis Palace

The palace was built by Andrzej Potocki in the second half of the 17th century (1672-1682) and was a family castle. It is a monument of architecture, but, unfortunately, it is now in a rather neglected state.

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Potockis Palace

Potockis Palace


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At the beginning of the 19th century, the last owner sold the residence because of financial problems. A military hospital was arranged in the palace, and the planning of all the buildings was thoroughly changed. This military medical institution can be considered one of the oldest in Europe. The military hospital functioned here until 2004. For the time being, the future of the palace is not known. The civic activists, members of #Frankinsk That Should Be Preserved want to turn the neglected palace into a history museum. Live and see!
Potocki Palace is located at 5 Hospital Street. As of today, only the stone palace gate decorated with knight symbols has been well preserved. The gate is in a good condition, but it is permanently closed. There are also two old wings to the left and to the right of the baroque gates, which survived almost unchanged. The wall in Hospital Street is mostly authentic.

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We saw the windows of one of the buildings in this street that were covered with portraits of the Potockis and other rulers who had lived and stayed in this city:
1) Andrjey Potocki (+1692);
2) Stanislav Potocki (1659-1683);
3) Kateryna Kossakivska (1720-1803, “the Great Wise Lady”, who was a city mayor for 30 years;
4) Ferenc II Rakoczi (1676-1735), the king of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth;
5) Jan III Sobieski (1629-1696).
The portraits were installed in February 2017 within the framework of «Heroes of forgotten houses" initiative of #Frankivsk That Should Be Preserved.
The monument to Petro Prokopovych (1775-1850), a famous Ukrainian beekeeping scientist, the founder of rational frame beekeeping, is in the courtyard of the Potockis Palace.

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Petro Prokopovych monument

Petro Prokopovych monument


  • The railway station

The railway station of Ivano-Frankivsk was built in 1866. The cast date "1866" can be seen on some columns of the platform shed.

The railway station_6

The railway station_6


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The railway station

The railway station


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The railway station

The railway station

The elements of the Moorish style were used here: narrow semi-circular windows, ribbed columns. In 1866, first track from Lviv was laid through Ivano-Frankivsk to the city of Iasi in Romania. It is interesting to know that the railway station itself was the first building in Ivano-Frankivsk, which was lit by electric lamps. It is worth paying attention to the interior arrangement of the main hall, especially the large girandole chandelier in the center.

  • Buses and trolleybuses

There are nine trolleybuses routes in the city now: No.1,2,3,4, 6,7,8,9,10 (the fare is UAH 2.00);
City buses
- city buses No.22, 27 38, 40;
- route buses ("marshroutka": No.21,23,24,25,26, 29,30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37, 39, 41, 42 43, 44, 47, 48, 49 (the bus fare is UAH 4.00).

Central Market bus stop

Central Market bus stop


One of the busy streets

One of the busy streets


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The railway station transportation hub

The railway station transportation hub


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I did not see any difference between the city buses and route buses. For us, it was important to get to our destination.
All their routes are represented on the Internet (in Ukrainian). Also, you can find places using the GPS monitoring (in Ukrainian) GPS monitoring of Ivano-Frankivsk
However, we simply inquired at the bus stop how to get to wherever we needed. We used buses 33, 38 and 26 and found them fast and convenient.

Posted by Vic_IV 23:59 Archived in Ukraine Comments (0)

Closer to the Mountains

Yaremche, Ivano-Frankivsk region

overcast 12 °C
View Attractions in Luhansk Region, Ukraine & Our Sub-Carpathian Region on Vic_IV's travel map.

During a stroll along Liberty Street

During a stroll along Liberty Street

We decided to allow one day for a day trip to Yaremche, the well-known Ukrainian resort that we had visited in our childhood. Yaremche is a famous resort town located in the central part of the Ukrainian Carpathians, at the mountain ranges called the Chornogory and the Gorgans, along the Prut River. The town lies at the altitude of 585 m above sea level. The distance to Yaremche from Ivano-Frankivsk is about 40 miles. In fact, Yaremche includes two villages - Dora and Yamna. They are located respectively higher and lower along the Prut River and are parts of the resort.

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A view of the countryside

A view of the countryside


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The first written mention of Yaremche is dated 1787. According to a legend, a poor peasant named Yarema settled here, and in the long run, the place was called after him. All the tour guides will gladly tell you many stories about the town that became a popular resort as far back as in the middle of the 19th century. Residents of Warsaw, Krakow, Lviv and other cities of Austria-Hungary used to come here for some treatment and relaxation.

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During a stroll along the main street

During a stroll along the main street


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During a stroll along the main street_Friendship monument

During a stroll along the main street_Friendship monument


Friendship monument

Friendship monument

Today Yaremche is a small town, one of the most famous mountainous climatic and ski resorts in Ukraine, the tourist center of the Sub Carpathian area and the center of "green” tourism. The city is clean, tidy and, as our tour guide assured us, it is full of kind and friendly people. Although, truth be told, the traffic is very busy in the main street. It was hard to walk there, not because of the distance, but because of the merciless exhaust gases from hundreds of cars and other vehicles.

A bridge across the River Prut

A bridge across the River Prut


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Liberty Street is the main town street. It has recently been asphalted. However, the sidewalks leave much to be desired. They are totally unavailable at many places. In other words, we should have hired a taxi instead of walking. Many side streets and paths go deep into the mountains. Most of the houses are private cottages and homesteads.

The RIver Prut_1

The RIver Prut_1


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During our walk along the main street, we passed the bus terminal and the railway station located in the center. We were glad to visit the biggest waterfall - Probiy (“Breakthrough”) Waterfall. It is one of the most interesting natural wonders of Yaremche and also one of the most picturesque and popular waterfalls in the Carpathians. The waterfall is eight meters high. You can cross the river using a pedestrian bridge that was erected at the height of 12 meters above the river surface. It was great to stand on the bridge, to listen to the roaring waters of the waterfall and to ponder. It is hard to take a picture there since there are always many tourists here. We stood at the bridge and watched this full-bodied waterfall for some time.

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A souvenir market_5

A souvenir market_5


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It was no fun to visit the numerous souvenir markets since we had no shopping aims. The choice of goods is impressive there; the shopkeepers have angelic patience, a great sense of humour and are very friendly. However, you have to be a well-to-do traveller to be able to buy what you like.

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Downtown Yaremche

Downtown Yaremche


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The town has many other sights, among them:

  • the Church of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary;
  • the Church of St. John the Merciful with the bell tower;
  • Prophet St. Elijah Church;
  • St. Andrew’s Monastery;
  • the monastery of the Studite Charter;
  • St. Vincent Convent of the Sisters of Charity;
  • the Museum of Ethnography and Ecology of the Carpathian Region;
  • two souvenir market of folk art of Hutsul Land. The Hutsul Bazaar is the main souvenir market Yaremche. Many wooden items are sold here: carved vases and caskets, souvenir tops, mugs and saucers, as well as Hutsul blankets made of felt wool, warm woolen socks, and embroidered towels. You can also buy dried mushrooms, honey, nuts and Carpathian herbs tea.
  • three picturesque waterfalls;
  • two springs of medicinal mineral waters;
  • Metropolitan Andriy Sheptytsky Museum;
  • a menagerie with deer and roe deer. This mini-zoo is located in Hrushevsky Street. Here you can see (and also feed) deer, roe deer, wild boars and other animals. You can buy food at the entrance to the zoo.
  • “Hutsul Land” unique wooden restaurant built in 1959 without any nails. The old restaurant looks quite neglected now, and I doubt if it is still open.

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Old Hutsul restaurant

Old Hutsul restaurant


Old abandoned restaurant

Old abandoned restaurant


Memorial plaque at Hutsul Land Restaurant in honour of Architect Bodnaruk who designed and built this restaurant in 1959

Memorial plaque at Hutsul Land Restaurant in honour of Architect Bodnaruk who designed and built this restaurant in 1959

This building later became an architectural monument of national importance, one of the symbols of Yaremche;

  • Dovbush Trails with a monument Oleska Dovbush and the oprichoks.

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Dovbush Trail

Dovbush Trail


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Dovbush Trail

Dovbush Trail


Oleksa Dovbush (1700-1745) was a famous Ukrainian outlaw, the leader of the opryshoks (“mountain rebels”), the proud knights of the Carpathian Mountains - those people, whom Ivan Franko, a famous Ukrainian poet described, “Enslaved, beaten, subjected, not being able to find justice anywhere, they ran into the woods, to the mountains, stuck to the same group of desperate people, even though they felt a threat of death everywhere. Although under threat, they could at least live freely, and even managed to get revenge on the abusers.”
Oleksa Dovbush became a folk hero during his lifetime, and he is often compared to Robin Hood.

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Dovbush Trail

Dovbush Trail


Dovbush Rocks

Dovbush Rocks


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  • Day trips to Vorokhta, Mykulychyn, Tatariv, Zhenets Waterfall, Mount Hoverla, Lake Nesamovyte, Verkhovyna, Bukovel, etc.

Enjoy your stay in Yaremche!

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Posted by Vic_IV 04:22 Archived in Ukraine Comments (1)

Sites in Donetsk Region

Sloviansk, Bakhmut

sunny 15 °C
View An Internship in the United States & Things to Do in Ukraine & Attractions in Luhansk Region, Ukraine & My Impressions of Germany on Vic_IV's travel map.

Central Square fountain

Central Square fountain

Sloviansk is a well-known city in Donetsk region, Ukraine. I have visited it on business more than once. It is convenient for us to take an express train to Kyiv from Sloviansk railway station. It was also great to arrive to Sloviansk railway station from our vacation in Myrhorod since it was a big shortcut for us. We did not have to travel north to Kharkiv and catch a bus home.

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One day we had our lunch at Butleggers Restaurant and enjoyed the meals and the ambience there. We also went for a walk downtown and saw a number of interesting places in Shevchenko Street, University Street and Torska Street. We visited the Local Lore Museum as well.

At Store 20 Inn

At Store 20 Inn

There is a nice pub near Shevchenko monument. The pub is called "The Twentieth Store Area Pub".

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Central Square in Sloviansk

Central Square in Sloviansk


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The fountain at the Central Square is a nice place for relaxation and a favourite place for selfies and photo sessions. It dates back to Soviet times. It has chased images of marching soldiers, a horseman and a fighting man, as well as a hammer and a sickle at the base of each fountain. Nobody really cares what the name of the fountain is. I would call it Fighters Fountains given all the ever-fighting images.
One evening we had a great dinner at Miata Restaurant ("Mint Restaurant") whose entrance is located just opposite the fountain.

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Central Square fountain

Central Square fountain

The city got its name in 1784. It used to be a border fortress called Thor. The fortress was founded in 1645 to protect the northern territories from the raids of the Crimean Tatars. In 1887, Anton Chekhov compared Sloviansk with “the Myrhorod of Nickolay Gogol”. Locals say that Sloviansk is a beautiful and green city that gladly welcomes its guests and tourists. There are unique medical lakes, as well as the legendary Mount Karachoune and the landscape park of Sloviansk Reesort. Besides, you can have a day trip from Sloviansk to Sviatohorsk, where the main shrine of Donetsk region - Sviatohorsk Laura (a merited monastery) – is located.

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April 19, 2011 is a special date in the city history. On that day, the salt lakes resort of Sloviansk became a resort of national importance. The resort specializes in balneotherapy mud and sulphide mud treatment. They use the mud that covers the bottom of the three salt lakes. There are three salt lakes in the city: Salty Lake, Lake Rapne and Lake Weiss. Rapunet (Ripne Lake) is the most popular among tourists. Its popularity was ensured by its convenient location and excellent salt ratio in the water (salt does not pinch the eyes and does not leave white spots on the body after bathing). It is easy to stay on the water in this lake, therefore, if you come with a child, then it is easy to teach him/her swimming here. At the same time, Lake Weiss is not so picturesque, but the strength of the medicinal properties of the mud attracts many tourists every day. Salt extraction is not conducted in Sloviansk lakes, but the lake dirt is regularly extracted for the needs of sanatoriums.
Kron’s Monopoly Grounds and Pub is at 67 Tosrka Street, near the riverbank. Tel. 066 664 840. The pub started in May 2019 and is a promising spot having a huge space for different concerts and parties. Here is a nice photograph: a bird’s eye view of Kron’s Veranda and a nice Krom's Monopoly Company invitation video for you.

Kron's veranda pub

Kron's veranda pub


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The city was occupied by Nazi invaders from October 28, 1941 until February 17, 1943 and from March 1, 1943 until September 6, 1943. September 6 is celebrated as City Liberation Day.

The monument to the soldier's mother

The monument to the soldier's mother


Mother monument inscription

Mother monument inscription


We saw an interesting monument to the Mother in front of the huge apartment house in Liberty Street. The inscription at the foot of the Mother sculpture reads,
May this place be sacred,
May the memory not become short,
People in Sloviansk will remember forever
The widow and the mother of a soldier.

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Ukraine Hotel and Atmosphere Pizzeria (the best one in town) in Shevchenko Street

Ukraine Hotel and Atmosphere Pizzeria (the best one in town) in Shevchenko Street


Liberty Street apartment house and supermarket

Liberty Street apartment house and supermarket


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The city is a district center. The city was famous for its colour pencils that were manufactured here. Now only postcards remind us of the past industrial glory.
In addition, Sloviansk ceramics has been known for years. Here you can visit the local lore museum, two picture galleries, five Orthodox churches, the monument to the victims of 1932-1933 famine and many other monuments. Website: The City of Sloviansk.

Chernobyl memorial in Sloviansk

Chernobyl memorial in Sloviansk


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Like in any big city of Ukraine, there is Shevchenko Street and Shevchenko monument in Sloviansk.

At Shevchenko monument in Sloviansk

At Shevchenko monument in Sloviansk

Shevchenko bust

Shevchenko bust

Many historical houses have survived

Many historical houses have survived

Visiting the local lore museum in Sloviansk: at the entrance to the museum

Visiting the local lore museum in Sloviansk: at the entrance to the museum


Coat-of-arms of Sloviansk at the local lore museum

Coat-of-arms of Sloviansk at the local lore museum


One day my colleague and I allowed some time for visiting Sloviansk Local History Museum. The museum was founded in 1974 in an old merchant mansion, that had been built in the late 19th century. The modern has eleven halls, and its exhibition consists of four sections.
Nature Section has one of the best natural science collections among museums in Donetsk region. You can see features of the landscape, climate, phenology, flora and fauna of the region, and the Holy Mountains National Nature Park. We enjoyed looking at the collection of stuffed animals and birds, the herbarium of unique species of plants.

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Archaeology Section has unique exhibits dating back to the copper and bronze period (3rd-2nd millennium B.C.), a collection of copper and silver coins of the Golden Horde (13th-14th centuries). The bronze medallion of the 13th century is the pride of the museum.
History Section tells us about the time of the settlement of the province, the development of crafts, industry, and about the cultural heritage.

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Visiting the local lore museum in Sloviansk:  the old coat-of-arms of Sloviansk

Visiting the local lore museum in Sloviansk: the old coat-of-arms of Sloviansk


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In addition, there is a separate exhibition dedicated to Sloviansk ceramics. It presents the main stages of the development of ceramic production in Sloviansk District, modern technology of making ceramic products, samples of renown ceramic products, works of local ceramic artists, materials for holding the All-Ukrainian Symposiums of Ceramics in Sloviansk. Here is a small video about the museum: Museum exhibits

City bus terminal, Sloviansk

City bus terminal, Sloviansk


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At the River Torets embankment

At the River Torets embankment

Bakhmut is a city in the northeast of Donetsk region, Ukraine. The city was founded in 1571 and is one of the oldest Cossack cities in Ukraine. It received municipal rights in 1783.In 1924, Bakhmut was renamed into Artemivsk to honor Artem, the revolutionary leader of Ukrainian Communists. On September 23, 2015 the deputies of the city council voted for returning the historical nameto the city. On February 4, 2016 by the Resolution of the Ukrainian Parliament the city got back its historical name - Bakhmut.

The city entry roadside marker

The city entry roadside marker


The city is located right in the middle of the ancient Bakhmut Trail connecting Kiev and Eastern Ukraine.Bakhmut is center of a district in Donetsk region. It is located on the River Bakhmutka about 55 miles awayfrom Donetsk, the administrative center of the region and the Capital of the Donets Basin. The city population is about 80 thousand inhabitants.

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On the way to the winery

On the way to the winery


The city is famous for its huge sparkling wine factory called Artemivsk Winery. We all enjoy its quality products. However, it had never occurred to me I could do a winery tour, until my American friend Gordon found out about that winery and wished to look at it on the way from Donetsk airport to Luhansk, that was his destination then.

Therefore, I called the winery and reserved a tour for the three of us: our driver, Gordon and myself. During the tour that lasted for two and a half hours, we learnt many new things about sparkling wine productionand took lots ofpictures and did wine tasting in the special Bacchus Room. It was a great experience and I am glad we did it!

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Bacchus bas-relief over the entrance to the winery

Bacchus bas-relief over the entrance to the winery


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During the winery tour

During the winery tour


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Artemivsk Winery is famous for being the world’s only winery located 72 meters below ground. The wine production takes places deep below ground in the special microclimate of former gypsum tunnels.
Prussian engineer Edmund Farke, who built several factories in Bakhmut, used localdeposits of gypsum for development of production of plaster of Paris (called “alebaster” here) at the end ofthe 19th century. Later, the gypsum tunnels were neglected and flooded. They were only rediscovered after the Second World War. On June 29, 1950, a new winery was dedicated. The unique microclimate of gypsum tunnels was used for successful production of many wine sorts.
The winery premises boast stable annual temperature of +12+14 degrees Centigrade and favorable humidity of 88-90%. The winery uses wine materials from Crimea as well as from Ukraine’s southern regions: Odessa Region, Kherson Region and Mykolayiv Region. They use the French method of sparkling wine production. The wine is aged for at least a year to become asparkling wine. Some white wines are aged for three years or more.
You can read wise words of Omar Khayyam about wine on the walls of the factory corridors.
Artemivsk sparkling wine is exported into thirty countries of the world. We were told that Artemivsk Winery was the world’s only winery that produced Red Brut – a very special and expensive sort of sparkling wine.

During the winery tour

During the winery tour


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Glory to Bacchus

Glory to Bacchus

After the winery tour we were invited into the Wane Tasting Hall - a nice hall with a sculpture of Bacchus and his Graces. The wine maker told us about different wines and the process of their production.There was no menu on the table. We were simply served with different wines, starting with what they callwine material (white) and ending with red brut sparkling wine.

Bacchus - the Roman God of Wine - is duly revered here. You can see two of his sculptures: a bas-relief overthe entrance to the production premises and his sculpture with two female assistants in the Wine Tasting Hall.I especially admired the latter one. We had our pictures taken in front of it after the wine tasting session wasover.

The winery’s products became well known all over the world after 1972 when the winery started its export program. Germany, Russia, United States, Canada and Australia are its biggest trade partners now. World connoisseurs of wines value the products of Artemivsk Winery. These wines have won a lot of prestigious international prizes, among them:

- the Prize of the International Trade Leaders’ Club;
- the Golden Star “The Arc of Europe” for mastership and quality;
- the Best Sparkling Wine of Eastern Europe - the VITeff’s award.

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At present, the winery produces over a dozen of sorts of sparkling wines:

  • - White Brut Zero;
  • - White Extra Brut;
  • - White Brut;
  • - White Dry;
  • - White Semidry;
  • - White Semisweet;
  • - Muscat Brut;
  • - Muscat Semidry;
  • - Muscat Semisweet;
  • - Muscat Rose Semisweet;
  • - Rose Brut;
  • - Rose Semidry;
  • - Red Brut;
  • - Red Semisweet.

We simply walked down the tunnel and soon we were told we were walking at the depth of 72 meters below ground. We did not visit all the production premises. The winery has 29 hectares of production premises below ground. We walked for about two hours, but did not feel tired at all, whether it was due to the air or to ventilation there. Besides, curiosity did not allow us to get tired, I believe. Our curiosity was duly awarded. We managed to find out many interesting things about how the wines are brewed and bottled. Who could have thought the process requires so much tedious attitude and care! I think I will have more appreciation to a bottle of sparkling wine now and will consume it not bottoms up, but sipping and enjoying every moment of this “Drink of Gods”.

During our winery tour the guide warned us about taking pictures. It is prohibited to take pictures inside the production premises, where the workers operate robots and other machines. I think it is connected with flash that can blind operators, and thus interfere with production process. In spite of the warning, I managed to take a picture of a female worker doing visual control of filled bottles. No flash was needed/allowed. Taking pictures of the corridors and bottle storage shop is not prohibited.

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The old gypsum tunnels are also known as the place of mass executions during the Second World War. There is a memorial to the Innocent Victims of Nazism here. You can see three white figures of victims and candles installed onto the wall. There is a Book of Mourning in front of the memorial. The inscription on the memorial plaque reads, “Here, during the period of the temporary Nazi occupation, within the period from January 5 through 9, 1942,over 3,000 Soviet citizens were barbarically slaughtered. The residents of Artemivsk shall never forget that unheard-of atrocity of Nazi invaders. Eternal Glory to you, innocent victims of fascism.”
There is another memorial plaque near that one. It is the memorial plaque to hundreds of Jewish residents of Artemivsk massacred here during the last war. The Hebrew and Russian inscriptions on the white memorial plaque with the Star of David read,
“May God remember the souls of the Jews! Amen!”
The Winery Foundation Memorial with the year 1950 is next to the war memorial.

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During the winery tour at the war memorial

During the winery tour at the war memorial


Winery tour reservation: Winery Tours Address:87 Patris Lumumba Street; Phone:+38 /0627/ 49-8595.

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At the entrance to the winery

At the entrance to the winery

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The city of Bakhmut boasts of such architectural landmarks as:

  • St.Nicolas Church dedicated in 1797;
  • Belfry of St.John the Baptist Church (the church was dedicated in 1861);
  • All Saints Church dedicated in 1903;
  • Assumption of the Most Holy Mother of God Church dedicated in 1903.

The Winery is undoubtedly the city sight #1.

You can also pay a visit to the Local Lore Museum+38 06274 2 25 95; +38 06274 2 19 68; 26 Sovietskaya Street.

The city observes its City Day on the second Saturday of September after September 1. The city’s coat-of-arms was adopted on March 26, 1996. The local deputes approved the resolution on using the old coat-of-arms of Bakhmut, as the city was called before 1924 and as it will be called since 2016, when the Ukrainian Parliament approves of the local deputies resolution to return to the historical name of the city.

City symbols

City symbols

The coat-of-arms symbolizes natural richness of the Bakhmut Area: coal (black) and fertility of vegetation (green). You can see the chemical sign of salt in the middle. Bakhmut District has its own coat-of-arms and flag too. They have similar symbolism plus wheat ears and the sun with wheat ears as its rays.

Posted by Vic_IV 00:50 Archived in Ukraine Comments (2)

Holy Mountains, Ukraine

Sviatogorsk

sunny 21 °C

A view of the cave monastery

A view of the cave monastery

This cave monastery has a special Orthodox title. It is called a Laura, or a merited monastery. The Greek word "laura" implies "a crowded place". Only well-known large and revered monasteries are called Lauras. Only Patriarch can assign the status of Laura to a monastery. There are only two Lauras in Ukraine and only two Lauras in Russia. Laura is subordinated directly to the Patriarch. The Lauras are usually headed by bishops.

A view of the Cathedral

A view of the Cathedral


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Our pilgrims group in the Laura

Our pilgrims group in the Laura


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* There are several churches and cathedrals at the territory of the monastery, among them Cathedral of the Protecting Veil of the Most Holy Mother of God with a large belfry dedicated in 1850. The cathedral has three altars:

  1. the central part is dedicated to the Assumption of the Most Holy Mother of God;
  2. the southern part is dedicated to St. Barbara the Great Martyr and St. Tatiana the Martyr;
  3. the northern part is dedicated to St. Dmitry of Rostov, St. Mitrophan of Voronezh and St. Tikhon of Zadonsk.

Our pilgrims group from Luhansk

Our pilgrims group from Luhansk


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The cathedral entrance icon

The cathedral entrance icon


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Cathedral of Assumption of the Most Holy Mother of God

Cathedral of Assumption of the Most Holy Mother of God

In Soviet times the cathedral was blasphemously turned into a movie theatre. After the monastery was closed by the Soviet power in the twenties of the last century, there was a hydropathical establishment inside the former church, and a mud bath was installed at the most sacred place of the church – at the place of its altar. Then, when the Soviet era was over, it was restored and consecrated on September 8, 2000.

There is an icons store in the passage under the belfry. There are two Cross Fountains in front of the main cathedral. Each cross has an inscription in Old Cyrillic that is not quite easy to read. It's nice to simply sit and ponder near a fountain. You can see three cathedrals on your own.

A view of Assumption Cathedral_14

A view of Assumption Cathedral_14


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The altar of Assumption Cathedral

The altar of Assumption Cathedral


The cathedral entrance door icon

The cathedral entrance door icon


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If you are an independent visitor, without any group, you can have your own program, but many places will be inaccessible then. I mean, you won't be able to enter them, whether it's an old church or a monks' hermitage. As a group member or as a pilgrim, you can take a walk along a one-kilometre-long cave inside the chalk cliff and see the cave churches there and have a wonderful view of the countryside from the top of the cliff. If you are just a traveller, you can reach the top of the cliff, if you turn left at the central gate without entering it. You will walk up the mountain road for about forty minutes to the top of the cliff and then you can take the same road back or walk to Artem Hill.

Virgin Mary's statue

Virgin Mary's statue

Having you, the Most Holy Mother of God, as a wall of salvation, we are saved; do not neglect, our Sovereign, and heed our prayers. These words from an Orthodox prayer are inscribed at the pedestal of the statue of the Mother of God. The statue was erected at the entrance to the monastery in 2003 when the monastery became a Laura (merited monastery).

The emblem of the Holy  Mountains State Reserve

The emblem of the Holy Mountains State Reserve

The entire monastery territory belongs to the State Nature Park called Holy Mountains. This area became a natural park in 1963 as Artiom's Mountains. In 1975 it became a State Natural Reserve. There are a lot of forests around the monastery complex. ”Holy Mountains” National Nature Park became the property of Europe as a member of “Europark” nature protection federation in July 2003. There are 123 kinds of rare plants on the territory of Holy Mountains Natural Park, among them 48 kinds have been entered into the Red Book of Ukraine and 12 kinds – into the European Red List.

  • Svyatogorsk-root icon of the Mother of God was painted by a Greek monk who had come to the dedication of the monastery in 1844. He painted the icon of the Most Holy Mother of God and left it as a gift at the monastery. It was kept in a cave church and survived the fire and the dampness.

Sviatogorsk-root icon of the Mother of God

Sviatogorsk-root icon of the Mother of God

In Soviet times it was hidden carefully by the parishioners and was only returned to the monastery when it was dedicated again in 1992. At present the icon is adorned by golden chains, crosses, coins and other gifts that the thankful people brought to Our Heavenly Queen as a sign of love and acknowledgement for healing and heavenly help to many people. It is a must to approach the icon and to kiss the glass covering it. There is a line of people who want to do it before the service starts. The cathedral opens for service at 4.30 p.m. and people try to get there in time to perform that veneration.

  • Walking Along the Caves

Inside the caves

Inside the caves

The Monastery Caves are ancient caves that have been known for centuries. They belong to the monastery and are a unique place in the entire Donets Basin.
You can have a guided tour of the caves starting at 10 a.m. or at 1.30 p.m. The tour will take you on a 900-meters-long way along the caves. During our tour, each of us took a candle to light the way, which made any photography very complicated. We saw the old cave churches, images of the Orthodox saints and old hermit cells. No photography inside is allowed. Every group has a lay brother to accompany it during the one-kilometre walk, mostly upstairs. The path leads directly to the top of the cliff. There is also an old staircase leading to the top of the cliff above ground: several towers connected by the staircase.

The Cave Pavilion - the entrance to the caves

The Cave Pavilion - the entrance to the caves


At the entrance to the Laura Caves

At the entrance to the Laura Caves


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Inside the Laura caves

Inside the Laura caves


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There are organized groups there, but you often have to stay overnight to get into the caves since the line is very long.
We were privileged to pay a visit to the caves and to see its churches. I couldn't help taking pictures there, although there is a strict photography ban in the caves.
There are two or three cave churches inside the caves. The service is held there regularly and it is usually attended by the monks.
There was no service when we were there, so we could move freely. The cave passages are rather narrow. We were shown the Cell of St. John the Hermit. We learnt a lot about this Man of God. St. John the Hermit of the Holy Mountains (September 20, 1795 – August 11, 1867) is famous for his Christian deeds. He spent 17 years in a monk cell in constant prayers and worship without ever leaving the cell.
August 24 is a big holiday – the Feast Day of St. John the Hermit of Sviatogorsk. There is a cross procession with the saint’s body around the cathedral. His body lies in a special coffin to the left of the altar of the cathedral.
Here is a link for cave tour pictures and a fine 3D tour of the monastery caves.

  • St.Nickolas Cathedral located on a chalk cliff towering above the Donets is another must-see and a place of pilgrimage of lots of Orthodox Christians. The cliff is 120 m high.

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At the observation platform

At the observation platform


St.Nickolas Cathedral (left) and St.Andrew's Chapel (right)

St.Nickolas Cathedral (left) and St.Andrew's Chapel (right)


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As our guide, Father Alexander explained, the temple, like a precious crown, crowns the top of a chalk cliff. The temple seems to grow out of the rock, continuing it with its three domes, crowned with crosses. In this temple, hovering high above the ground, the soul itself rushes to the Heavenly Fatherland. The cathedral dates back to the end of the 18th century. It was built in the style of the Ukrainian Baroque of the 17th century.

St.Andrew's Chapel_

St.Andrew's Chapel_


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St.Nickolas Cathedral and St.Andrew's Chapel

St.Nickolas Cathedral and St.Andrew's Chapel


You can also see and visit St.Andrew’s Chapel that is as old as the cathedral and towers above it on a cliff. You can have a nice view of the town, the river and the hills from St.Andrew’s Chapel.
St.Andrew's Chapel occupies one of the highest points on the cliff and stands above St.Nickolas Cathedral. The chapel dates back to the end of the 18th century. You will see this chapel after you leave the caves and you are sure to enjoy the picturesque view.

  • Observe the Birds at the Aviary

The monks have a special obedience at the monastery: they keep dozens of birds and they are exhibited in the cages that are located behind Holy Assumption Cathedral.

The monastery avaiary

The monastery avaiary


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The monastery avaiary

The monastery avaiary

The aviary is located on the southern side of the cathedral courtyard. It is equipped with cages for rare breeds of overseas, "paradise" birds and animals. In one of their cells, there is a pond with a fountain and a bridge, in others – some vegetation or decent environment for the animals of the monastery: sand, branches, stones, stairs, ropes with rings, etc. There are several kinds of birds: parrots, songbirds, golden pheasants and diamond pheasants, King doves, Mandarin ducks, Coati (Nasua rufa).

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The monastery avaiary

The monastery avaiary

When you walk around the cathedral, you can’t help standing in front of the cages admiring the birds’ beauty and listening to their songs and feeling once again your unity with Mother Nature...
Each time we visited this monastery, we looked at the aviary located behind the cathedral and always received a sea of positive emotions. Several birds are kept there: pheasants, wavy parrots, corals, mandarin ducks, peacocks, etc. The aviary is very beautiful, especially in spring. We admired the peacocks with loose tails. Moreover, the downy chickens were a great sight! There are not only birds, but also rabbits and nasoughs. It was a pleasure to watch the nasoughs that looked like raccoons with long spouts. These animals have rope ladders in their shelter; therefore, they have enough space to frolic. All animals and birds are well groomed and beautiful.

  • A Visit to the Skit (Monks' Hermitage)

All Russian Saints’ Hermitage is a part of the monastery, and it is closed for public. Since our pilgrimage group was accompanied by a priest from Luhansk, Father Alexander, we were given the green light and were allowed inside. I plucked up my courage and took several pictures of the hermitage from inside, although I was not exactly blessed by the chief monk of the hermitage for that. Knowing that I already have the blessing of my dear patron saint Philip of Luhansk, I decided to go on; hence my pictures are quite unique, as it were.

All Russian Saints’ Hermitage_9

All Russian Saints’ Hermitage_9


Our group at All Russian Saints’ Hermitage

Our group at All Russian Saints’ Hermitage


Pilgrims at All Russian Saints’ Hermitage

Pilgrims at All Russian Saints’ Hermitage


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All Russian Saints’ Church located at the territory of the monks’ hermitage was built after the design of the 16th century Russian architecture. The wooden architecture style is often referred to as Kizhi national architecture. This famous style of the old Russian architecture and looks very attractive and nice, doesn't it?
All Russian Saints’ Church is sixteen meters high. It imitates old Russian churches in all details. A higher and bigger church was built next to it. The new church is twenty-five meters high and, of course, can be seen from afar.

All Russian Saints’ Hermitage

All Russian Saints’ Hermitage

The Worship Cross is a symbol of the Russian Orthodox Church. It stands at the main gate of the hermitage. The entire monks' hermitage has a high paling around it, hence you can hardly see what is inside.

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All Russian Saints’ Hermitage

All Russian Saints’ Hermitage


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There are several monks in the another hermitage - St. Antonius and St. Theodosius Hermitage, that is even more secluded than the former one. The monks live and pray in fenced areas closed for public.

St. Antonius and St. Theodosius Hermitage

St. Antonius and St. Theodosius Hermitage


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Since we made our last trip with a priest, we were allowed inside All Saints’ Hermitage where the monks live and pray.

  • Have Fun at the Beach

The beach in Sviatogorsk is a very attractive place for hundreds of holiday-makers from all over Ukraine. The beach is called "Time Out". You can bathe and sunbathe or play beach volley-ball here.
For a change, you can have lunch in one of the nearby cafes such as Banianka or do some shopping at the nearby Souvenirs Market. Allow some time to take a stroll along the promenade located on the left bank of the Seversky Donets. Turn right before crossing the bridge, walk or sit on a bench admiring the views of the Laura from the opposite bank.

At the city beach

At the city beach

Also, you can do some window shopping or some real shopping there. There are a lot of stalls with souvenirs or dried fish (our famous treat for beer).
The beach has several nice facilities for vacationers: a cafe, a bar, sun umbrellas, chaise lounge, safes for storage of things, dressing rooms, a restroom, a trampoline, a shooting range, a WI-FI area and motor boat tours. Enjoy!
Here is a short photo coverage of the beach in Sviatogorsk and a short Youtube video FYI .

  • Colossus of Sviatogorsk

The monument to Artiom (Artem in Ukrainian) can be seen from afar. Artiom was the Communist party pseudonym of the Communist functionary Fiodor Sergeyev (1883-1921). He was the Prime-Minister of DKSR (Donetsk-Kryvyi Soviet Republic) in February – April 1918. The Republic failed to achieve recognition anywhere and was abolished by the Soviet power.

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The monument to Artem

The monument to Artem


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The huge monument was commissioned by the Prime Minister of the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic Grigory Petrovsky and created by the Soviet sculptor Ivan Cavaleridze. It was built within two years - from 1925 to 1927 - to replace the cross that used to stand on that hill. The monument was unveiled on September 11, 1927. It is still one of the biggest landmarks of this city.
This huge monument is a monolith designed in a Cubism manner. Despite the generally accepted attribution of Artem monument to Cubism, the art critics say the influence of the avant-garde trend is certainly felt in the figure of the monument.
The height of this impressive monument is 22 meters and along with the foundation its height comprises about 28 meters. The entire monument weighs more than 800 tons.

The monument to Artem_my old Soviet-time postcard

The monument to Artem_my old Soviet-time postcard

The monument to Artem is Europe's highest sculpture in the style of cubism. In addition, it is the world's most massive concrete sculpture. This huge monument was created in just three months without the use of construction mechanisms, which is also a world record. The monument was created in the manner of "layers". First, the piece was cut out from the plywood by parts, and then the concrete was poured into the frame. The monument was made of unique concrete whose secret was not shared with anyone. The recipe was lost, and the patches from modern concrete do not get attached to the monument. During the Second World War, both the Red Army and the Wehrmacht used the fist of the figure of Artem as a viewing platform and as a machine gun nest. And, finally, this monument is the only example in the world, when a statue of a revolutionary dominates a cult building - the monastery.
You can read words carved on the pedestal and painted in gold,

Inscription on the pedestal

Inscription on the pedestal


Artem monument inscription

Artem monument inscription


The phrase are Artem's words that he pronounced in 1918, when the Red Army men retreated in panic before the advancing German army. The Red Army soldiers abandoned everything, but Artem snatched the revolver and stopped the retreat. Hence the phrase became known.

The monument to Artem

The monument to Artem

In fact, this giant monument had to be dismantled within the framework of the new law on elimination of the Communist legacy. After a preliminary assessment, the experts said the dismantling of this monument could lead to the disintegration of a half of the entire monastery since the Bolsheviks had erected it on a sensitive rock, sparing no money and concrete and built it "to last for at least a thousand years"...
Here is a drone video of the monument and some more pictures of it from different angles.

Today, the monument is in an emergency condition and is fenced and is being refurbished. However, the restricting fence does not stop visitors from approaching the famous monument. Firstly, there is a gate in the fence, and secondly, it can be bypassed along the parapet. Is there a risk that one day the monument will collapse, or that the 800-ton concrete monument will fall apart? It is difficult to answer this question even for a specialist. There problems are not in the state of the monument itself, but in the emergency condition of the site on which it is installed, due to the fact that the ground under the giant monument is being washed up.

  • City Sculptures

More than ten sculptural compositions from Inkerman limestone were installed along the road leading to the Sviatogorsk Laura in late October, 2006. All the sculptures were made in this city, in Holy Mountains Land, during the work of "Sviatogorsk-2006" International Sculptural Symposium. Working side by side, the sculptors created compositions of stone. Their theme was not specified, but it turned out that, together, the sculptures formed a single ensemble. They are dedicated to the Orthodoxy, the history of the Ukrainian land and the eternal theme of love. And all the sculptors took home with them the warmest impressions of visiting the cave monastery and the entire Donets Basin. Most of them came to Sviatogorsk for the first time.

Sculpture Park_2

Sculpture Park_2


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Sculpture Park

Sculpture Park


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The Sculpture Park is located at the crossing of Ostrovsky Street and Shevchenko Street. Here you can view a very unusual sculpture called the Comets. It was created by N.Telizhenko in 2006. I think its message is the connection of times. I went round the sculpture park and could not help taking a couple of picture of it.

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Sculpture Park

Sculpture Park


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Lots of holidaymakers and visitors of the city allow some time to take a stroll along the promenade on the left bank of the Seversky Donets. Turn right before the bridge, walk or sit on a bench admiring the views of the Laura from the opposite bank. Also, you can do some window shopping or some real shopping there. There are a lot of stalls with souvenirs or dried fish (our famous treat for beer). In addition, you can relax at one of the numerous bars and cafes here.
You can see and buy works of local artists (pottery, souvenirs, pictures, embroidery, etc.) at the improvised markets:
- at the Embankment located on the left bank opposite the monastery;
- at the Souvenirs Market located near the city beach.

  • City Symbols

The shield on the big coat-of-arms is supported by a Free Village Cossack (on the left) and by a Russian 16-century frontier warrior (on the right).
The shield represents the treasures of the town: the natural landscapes and the merited monastery.

Coat-of-arms

Coat-of-arms


Small coat-of-arms of the city

Small coat-of-arms of the city

The town also has a flag and a hymn. The town flag is also called city standard.

Flag of Sviatogorsk

Flag of Sviatogorsk

The green field of the flag represents the picturesque landscapes with unique kids of flora and fauna; it’s Holy Mountains National Natural Park.
The silver mountain (silver metal is represented by the white colour) shows the Donets Cliff – the unique natural monument.
The five mountains indicate the distinguishing natural environment of the Donets Cliff consisting of five cones.
The blue stripe below the mountain represents the Donets. The stripe is straight and not wavy, which shows the Donets is a quiet river. People have often called it “The Quiet Donets”. The name Donets implies “small water”. The ancient Alans called the river so.
The golden cross is the symbol of Holy Assumption Laura, a merited monastery founded here by the monks. This is where the city sprang from.

One of the emblems of the place

One of the emblems of the place

  • Glorifying the Place

Having visited these hills, a lot of artists and writers have glorified them in their immortal works.
In 1862, the poem "The Holy Mountains" written by Fiodor Tiutchev was published:
Here is an extract from it:
"Quietly and mildly
The July night spreads over the Ukraine.
The stars are so high in the skies,
the skies are so deep in the Universe
and the Donets is so silver
Enchanted by the fascinating mystery of the night."

Greetings from the Holy Mountains_an old postcard

Greetings from the Holy Mountains_an old postcard


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A view of Sviatohirsk Laura_1

A view of Sviatohirsk Laura_1


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The Russian writer Anton Chekhov (1860-1904), who had visited this place, wrote about the Holy Mountains:
"The place is unusually wonderful and original: the monastery is situated on the bank of the Donets river at the foot of a huge white cliff. Gardens, oaks and century-old pine-trees tower, hang over and squeeze one another on it. The trees seem to be crowded on the cliff and some strange force keeps pushing them out towards the skies... The pine-trees grow in such a way as if they are actually in the air and about to fall down..."

A view of Sviatohirsk Laura

A view of Sviatohirsk Laura

  • Some Advice

The picturesque nature, clean air and a beautiful river long before the creation of the national natural park made the valley of the Seversky Donets a favourite place of rest for residents of Donbass and the guests of the region. This National Park boasts unique cableway ecological trails. The cable car has three tracks: 76 m long, 110 m and 215 m long. In addition to the tracks, there is a rock climbing training center with a rock of 12 m height. During the warm season, there are more than twenty children's camps in Sviatogorsk resort and recreation zone. I used to work in one of them for three months when a student. It was my college practice.

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A view of the river from St.Andrew's Chgapel

A view of the river from St.Andrew's Chgapel


A view of the monastery from the opposite river bank

A view of the monastery from the opposite river bank


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There are certain recommendations for the visitors of Sviatogorsk and Holy Mountains National Park.
- High temperature in the city is from May till October. People suffering from heart diseases are strongly recommended to spend the time from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the shadow.
- For people suffering from heart disease staying in leaf-bearing forests is good and for people suffering from respiratory diseases staying in coniferous forest zones is great;
- Visiting the monastery caves, please keep in mind that the temperature inside the caves is stable: about 15 degrees Centigrade, therefore it’s a good idea to take a sweater or a jumper with you for your visit;
- If you are not an expert in mushrooms, please avoid picking or eating them. The “quiet hunting” costs many lives every year.

Hunting Inn

Hunting Inn


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The National Park located in the north of Donetsk region was created by the President's Decree dated February 13, 1997.

Motto of the state reserve

Motto of the state reserve


The motto reads, Nature is God's gift, the violation of which is an exhortation, thrown not only to the Divine creation, but also to the Lord Himself.
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A view of Sviatohirsk Laura

A view of Sviatohirsk Laura

The National Park offers four guided tours for travellers.
Contact them at: +38 06262 5 54 57; E-mail: svgor@onlineplus.dn.ua
Here is a link to the website of Holy Mountains National Park (it is in Ukrainian).

  • Epidemiologists Advise

Sviatogorsk is a city where you feel like coming back again and again. It is the center of Orthodox pilgrims, a resort city and a paradise for forest and river lovers…
However, epidemiologists keep reminding us of the possible dangers you might experience during your stay in Sviatogorsk.
Year after year ticks pester the holidaymakers and pilgrims here. There are dangerous species of ticks here too, those that may cause fever. Most visitors come to Svyatogorsk in summer when those insects are the most active and hence dangerous. They say the ticks are very poisonous in June. What’s more, fumigation is forbidden here since it is the Holy Mountains State Reserve. You can see notices in many places. They read, Beware of ticks! However, many holidaymakers do not pay any attention, thinking they are just another advertisement and totally forget about all precautions.

A view of Sviatohirsk Laura

A view of Sviatohirsk Laura

The tick often remains attached to your skin. Therefore, the sooner you get rid of it, the better. However, do not pull, it may leave a part of it still embedded. What do you have to do? Although all the locals say their insects are not infectious at all, there are some useful precautions:

  • Either "drown" the tick by covering it with a heavy oil like salad oil or machine oil. If it does not separate immediately, leave the oil over the wound for about half an hour and then slowly and carefully remove the tick's body with tweezers;
  • or light a cigarette and apply the glowing end to the tick's body taking care not to burn the skin. It should now fall off.

Use tick-repellent chemicals on skin and clothing, which will considerably reduce the risk of infection in tick-infested localities.

Entering the monastery area

Entering the monastery area

Here is How to Remove Ticks

Local forests

Local forests


A view of the Laura from the opposite rioverbank

A view of the Laura from the opposite rioverbank

Poisonous snakes are among other “natural dangers”. You can come across one of them at a forest glade or anywhere in the suburbs. There are several kinds of adders and vipers in the area. Many of them mutate and look like harmless grass snakes… Be warned and watch your step when you walk in the forest. The main thing is not to step on any viper...
Stray dogs in the city represent a “city danger”. They are mostly peaceful, but their behaviour is often unpredictable. Therefore, leave them alone and try not to notice them, they will do the same to you. Our lesser brothers are not as dangerous as vipers, thank goodness.

My "postcard" of Sviatohirsk

My "postcard" of Sviatohirsk

Posted by Vic_IV 02:04 Archived in Ukraine Comments (1)

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