Archive for the ‘Central and Kiev’ Category

Chernobyl nuclear power plant

chernobyl

Chernobyl nuclear power plant, Chernobyl disaster, the most catastrophic nuclear accident occurred on 26 April 1986. Nuclear power plant had four reactors and was planning to build next two reactors but it is never happened. Night 26th April changed forever thousands people lives. During testing number 4 of the Chernobyl NPP there has been an explosion, which destroyed reactor. It caused catch the fire around the explosion, which was burning nine days. During this few days 90 tons of radioactive substances were emitted into the atmosphere and 8 out of 140 tons of radioactive reactor fuel have been in the air.
According to the official ONZ report 62 people died as a result of radiation or fire. In the aftermath of the accident many people suffered from acute radiation sickness or cancer. The closest cities was the most exposed to radiation: Pripyat (distance 2km), Chernobyl (16 km), Kiev (110 km) or Belarus border. Population of Pripyat was around 49 000. Everyone was evacuated after the exploison and today is known as ghost city.
Now tourists can visit chernobyl area or find out everything about it in special museum. The National Museum Chernobyl is located in Kiev, which is presents “The Chernobyl nuclear power plant before, during and after the accident” and the current layout of Chernobyl NPP.

Umam, Park Sofiyivka

park-sofiyivka-ukraine2

Umam, the picturesque town in the Cherkassy oblast, famous for Ukraine national park. Town roots go back to late paleolith and late bronze epoch. Among the centuries was ruled by Poland, Cossacs, Russian Empire. In 17th century there was one of the largest Umansky Cossack regiment. In 1768 was the place of massacre and uprising against Jews, Poles and Ukrainian Uniates by Cossack rebels. For commemorate this events, rebels erected monumet presents a rebel armed with a spear. In 1793 was the second partition of Poland and Umam joined to the Russian Empire. The most important attraction was formed after that time. In 1796 Count Stanislaw Szczesny Potocky established National dendrological park Sofiyivka (Sofia). The name of park is after wife’s name.

The park has a lot of waterfalls, stone bridges, beatiful landscapes and hand made monuments of human. Probably Rabbi Nachman,signer when he was on the one of them bridge write his famous quote: “All the world is just a narrow bridge, but the main thing is not to fear”. It is not only romantic place to walk, but park also offers cultural program: voyage in the underground river Aheront by boat, ride in a carriage along the alleys, restaurants, museum of wax sculptures or Scientist’s House with the Winter Garden. In city centre of Umam there are differents monuments like Vasilian Monastery which was school in 1764 or Virgin Assumption Polish Roman-Catholic Church.

Zhitomir, Zhytomyr

zhytomyr

Zhitomir, earliest mention of the city was in the ancient age. The name of the town comes from the legend. Zhitomir was the name of princes Askold’s and Dir’s soldier, whose refused to serve the prines enemy and run away to the forest and settled on the rock near the rivers Kamenka and Teterev.
Zhitomir is famous for the few things. Firstly many famous people come from there. For example writer V.G.Korolenko, pianist S.T.Rihter or space researcher S. Korolev. The last one is connected with museum cosmonautics, which was named on his honour. Historical side of the city can find in many monuments. The most stately is The Holy Transfiguration Cathedral representatives Byzantine-Russian architecture style. Another churches are situated in Zhitomir: Catholic Church of St. Sophia, Cathedral of St. Michael or Church of St. John of Dukla in main square. During the walk through the Zhitomir tourists need to visit Rock Chatsky’s Head, geological monument. Nature after the ages turned it on human head. From the top of the mountain, there is extraordinary view. Bishop’s House (Local History Museum) is the next point to visit in Zhitomir. Exhibits are made by ukrainian artists, and also by artists from the others european country. Tourists and inhabitants can rest in Park of Culture and Rest named after Yuri Gagarin.

Poltava

poltava

Poltava, most known city as a place battle in 1709 between Sweden led by Charles XII and Russian Empire army led by Peter I The Great. Swedish army was crushed by Russians. Since the battle  Russians have known Poltawa as the town of victory. It caused growth the town and soon became main trade city in the region. In 1811 the monument „Glory” was errected in the middle of the square to commorate the victory. During the world war II city centre was almost all destroyed. Few years later, Poltawa was reconstructed.
Currently, Poltava for Ukrainians is an important cultural and historical place. In the middle of the city is the round square. According to the legend, here was the first meeting car Peter I with defenders. Tourists can admire many cathedrals and churchs: Church of the Savior (presents traditional Ukrainian architecture), Cathedral of the Assumption, Panteleimonovskaya Church, Church of Vera or Church of Sampson Strannopriimets. There is also situated Holy Cross Monastery from 17th century, consisting of Trinity Church and Semenovskaya Church. In the early years 20th century monastery was performing various functions, was used by NKVD as a prison, later as a boarding school. In 1991 monastery was finally returned to the Church. The most significant places of the city are memorials. One of the most important is Poltawa Memorial of Battle together with Poltava Museum Preserve. Nearby there are also Monument to Peter I, Grave of Russian soldiers, Cross on the Grave of Swedish soldiers and Monument to Swedes from Russians. There can find a lot of museums, exhibitions. Interesting and funny thing in city is created the monument to the dumpling.

Cherkassy

cherkasy

Cherkassy, city lies at the Dnepr river. First mention was in 1395 in letters of the Crimean khan.  Cherkassy was a part of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, where was fortification city. In the 17th century was important center of Cossacks. The biggest growth city had between 19 and 20 ages, it was caused by Moscow-Odessa railway crossed the Dnepr river there. On the main street is figure one of the most famous people connecting with Cherkassy, Bohdan Khmelnitsky.

Cherkassy has few memorial places. The most known and impressive is Castle Hill (Hill of glory) with the Motherland monument. Created to symbolize Soviet’s Great Patriotic War against fascist Germany. Near the hill is situated Trinity Cathedral. Walking through the streets you can’t forget about the largest Orthodox church St. Michael’s Cathedral in Ukraine. This impressive monument is 72 meters high and can seat up around 12 thousand people. City has also an unique architectual monument, one of the first hyperbolic water construction.

The largest buddha temple in Europe named White Lotus Temple is located in Cherkassy. According to the local legend in the place of temple was found the stone, which was the Buddha wearing a mask of a warrior. Among many museums, two of them are worth of more attention. Museum of Kobzar exhibits only one book „Kobzar” by Shevchenko, exist only one this type of museum in whole world. The second museum is Local History Museum in modern building situated near the castle hill. In total there are about 12 thousand exhibits about region, history etnography, history and antropologhy. City offers also entertainment in puppet theater, school of music or zoo.

Chernihiv

chernihiv

Chernihiv, Chernigov historical city in northern part of Ukraine. One of the oldest city , there is located the oldest church in Ukraine. Savior Transfiguration (Spassky) Cathedral was built in the beggining of 11th century. All architectual buildings come from Kievan Rus or Cossack Hetmanate. Beautful and interesting buildings in Chernihiv are also St. Paraskeva (Pyatnytska Church) erected in the ending of 12th century, Assumption church, Ilyinskaya church, Borisoglebsky cathedral or Trinity cathedral of former Trinity-Ilyinsky monastery. The last one together with Anthony Caves. Complex is stuated on the Boldiny Hills. In the 18th century, the monastery was reconstructed. Architecture are Byzantine style elements connecting with the elements of wooden architecture. The iconostasis from 17th century is only one original decoration  of the church. Besides to religions monuments city has also interesting places Regiment office – Lizogub’s house, Collegium or Theater house. In the city is fountain performance with lights, music and water. There are located many historical museums as branch of the reserve “Sophiya Museum” or Chernigovsky regional historical museum.

Pechersk Lavra, Monastery of the Caves

kiev lavra

Pechersk Lavra, Monastery of the Caves is unique monastery complex located in Kiev, inscribed  on the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1990. Known as „Russian Jerusalem”. Main residence of Orthodox Church in Ukraine. The monastery was founded in 1051 when Antonij Pecherski settled in a cave. In 1075 the first temple was built at the territory of monastery Assumption Cathedral, which became the most important in Rus. In the 12th century received honorary status of Lavra, which was awarded only considerable and important monasteries. Until 16th century monastery was several times destroyed. In 1718 fire destroyed all wooden buildings, archive, library and some stone constructions. Two years later rebuilt monastery in baroque style and arised most impressive buildings, including Great Lavra Belltower, the highest building of Kiev (96.5 metres height). In 1918 metropolitan monastery was killed, and teritory was using as museum. From 1930 to 1941 activities have been suspended.
Nowadays, total area monastery is about 30 hectares. Consisting of the Assumption Cathedral (renovated in 2000), Trinity Church, the Refectory Church and the labyrinth of the Near and Far Caves, monks cells, museums. There are tunnels with three underground churches in labirynths. Accocding to the legend, there is underground tunnel connecting Pochaiv (the second important lavra in Ukraine) and Kiev Pechersk Lavra.

Kiev

kiev

Kiev is capital of Ukraine located in the north central part of the country, lies at the Dnieper river. One of the oldest city in Eastern Europe. Kiev has rich history, that’s why is very attractive to tourists.
The city is probably founded in 5th century, which was established in the trade route between Constantinople and Scanidinavia. The name of city is from prince Kyj, one of the founders. From 9th to 12th century was the capital of the Rus. Then Kiev had one of greatest period of ascendancy, and was one of the biggest centres civilization in the Eastern Europe. After gold age and death prince Vladimir Monomakh, the city had a lot of problems with wars and enemies. The most dangerous was Tatar-Mongols. In 15th century Kiev received Magdeburg Rights, which gave the chance to become city in matters of international commerce. In the same age Kiev came under Great Lithuaninan Duchy rules. For 1667 Kiev got under the domination Russian Empire. Besides of the regime, it was great opportunities to learn some things from politics, economic and cultural achievements of Russia. In the beginning 20th took part of the worlds wars. Currently, Ukraine regained independence in 1991 and Kiev is officially the capitol.

The most precious attraction in Kiev are Kiev Pechersk Lavra and Saint Sophia Cathedral, which were inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1990. Pechersk Lavra as known also as Monastery of the Caves, centre of the Eastern Orthodox Christianity in Eastern Europe.
Golden Gate (Zoloti Vorota) of Kiev was built in the middle of the 11th century, architectonic monument located in the entrace to the city. There are a lot of monuments: Ukrainian Baroque Church of St. Andrew or the magnificent 19th-century Cathedral of St. Vladimir, example gothic style St. Nicholas cathedral and much more.

Kiev has also modern part of the city. The best place to start the trip is Khreschatik Street in city centre. Besides to shops (which is in top 20 the most expensive shopping street in Europe) there are European Square through the Maidan and to Bessarabska Square. There are located the most important buildings of the Kiev City Administration which contains both the city’s council and the state administration, the Besarabka Market, the Ukrainian House and others. Independece Square (Maydan Nezalejnosti) is the place where is organized festivals, cultural events and meeting point. Kiev offers much more attraction for tourists like theaters, ballets, operas or so many various museums and festivals. Intreresting museum are Pyrohovo Museum of Folk Architecture or The National Museum Chernobyl.