Ukraine is the largest country in the region, but at the same time, it is the unknown heart of Europe. Now Ukraine is famous with boxers Klitschko, football player Schevchenko, Eurovision in 2005 and in 2017, with two revolutions – Maidans in 2004 and 2013-14 and known for undeclared war with Russian Federation on the East of the country.
But Ukraine is more than our famous people, politics, and riots, first of all, Ukraine is a wonderful place for tourism with a large number of unique natural and historical objects. So this article is about the most interesting of them and some facts about life in Ukraine.
What is Ukraine and Where it is
Ukraine situated in the East Europe. Here live more than 40 million people. The area is more than 600 thousand sq km (233,062 sq mi). It is bigger than Germany and France! The main and the largest river is Dnipro, which separated Ukraine for two parts – right bank and left bank. Dnipro is a shipping river connected Ukraine, Belarus, and Russia. Ukraine has two seas – the Black Sea and Azov Sea. The capital of the country is Kyiv – it is the heart of Ukraine. The other famous cities are Lviv – the soul of the country, Odesa – the pearl near the sea, Dnipro (city, not river J ) – the business center of Ukraine, Kharkiv – the city of science and education.
Ukraine has an ancient history. The first mention of the country founded in the 1187 year. During the Middle Ages, the area was a key center of East Slavic culture, with the powerful state of Kyivan Rus` forming the basis of Ukrainian identity. At 10th century Kyivan Rus` was one of the most powerful countries in Europe and the largest in this part of the continent. Later in 15-16 centuries on the south of Ukraine originated unique phenomenon – Cossacks and their free state – Cossack Hetmanate, officially known as the Ruthenian State or Zaporizhian Host. Nowhere else you can find something like that state. Man proposes but God disposes of. The official independence Ukraine get only in 1992 instead of some attempts in the beginning of 20th century and endless fight in the middle of the same age. Now it is the young country with the ancient history. Ukraine develops every day and can propose for the world exciting views, unrepeatable examples of architecture, unique traditions in every region, and sincere hospitality.
The most interesting places for exotic recreation
Ukraine is an exotic country for Europeans and of course for Americans and Asians. Being in the Center of Europe, Ukraine has always brought a bit of national identification in all spheres of life: culture, art, even in jurisprudence, that`s why it is so different from Poland or Austria and even Russia – the Ukrainian soul is everywhere. Here are classic Europian medieval cities, churches in Byzantine style, luxurious palaces with great fortresses, cozy towns built in modern style and much more.
People live on the territory of Ukraine since 32,000 BC. First cities appear here at the epoch of Hellenic colonization – Olbia, Tira, Khersones and much more. At the same time, Scythians developed their empire. Now in the South-east part of Ukraine are a lot of burial mounds of Scythians and ruins of Greek`s ancient cities. So you are welcome to visit Mykolaiv (near is Olbia), Bilhorod-Dnisterskyi with its fortress (ancient Tira), Melitopol`(near is national reservation Kamyana Mohyla with unique petroglyphs), Pokrov (near is the most famous Scythian burial mound – where was found gold pectoral) and lots of other towns.
The excavations of the ancient city Tira
The most interesting region for those who are interested in the history of early Middle Ages and wants to explore blossoming of Kyivan Rus` is the north of the country and such cities as Chernihiv, Kyiv, Bila Tserkva (White Church), Korosten`, Haluch and Tustan` on the West. There are a lot of old churches and horodish (name of ancient cities in Kyivan Rus`).
Those who are looking for palaces and castles are welcome to Lutsk, Zolochiv, Mukchachevo, Dubno, Kamyanets – Podilskyi, etc. The largest concentration of castles is in Ternopil region.
The Transfiguration Cathedral in Chernihiv (11 century)
The main entrance of the castle in Lutsk
This epoch is well represented in different parts of Ukraine. The most interesting places are Zapporizya (here was the capital of Ruthenian State), Chyhyryn (this town was the residence of lots of cossack`s hetmans, especially at the time of Bohdan Khmelnitsky), Baturyn (was also a residence of hetmans and for some time it was a capital of Leftbank Ukraine). Nowadays in all these cities are national historical reservations with museums and some reconstructions.
Reconstruction at the national historical reservation Hetman`s Capital in Baturyn
Ukrainian traditions as a tourism resource
Ukraine as I said always had its own way of developing. Most of all this is reflected in the art and traditions. Unrepeatable and unique places are Opishnya (the village where habitats make particular ceramic), Petrekivka (the village where people draw all over with surpassing painting technic – Petrukiskiy rozpus), Iza (the village where is developed weaving of wicker), etc.
Exciting natural places and objects
Kinburn peninsula – the peninsula situated on the south of Ukraine and there are some phenomenon – the largest field of wild orchids in Europe, wild horses wich can drink salt water, an oasis in the desert (it is the region with moderate climate), lakes with peloids and the open sea, where you can see bottlenose dolphins.
Shatski ozera – it is a group of freshwater lakes. The biggest lake is Svitiaz. It is famous for its depth and clarity. These lakes are the main part of national nature park Shatski lakes and they are a favorite place for recreation among local people.
The shore of the lake Svitiaz
The national nature park where represents unique ancient coral reef, here are particular gypsum cave Atlantida, rocky outcrop over the river Smotruch and the large canyon of Dnister.
Oleshky Sands – is the largest expanse of sand in Ukraine. It is situated inland from the Ukrainian coast of the Black Sea and consists of sand dunes, which reach a height of five meters. It is the very popular place for extreme tracking and unusual moto riding.
It is the largest mountain system in Ukraine. The highest mountain is Hoverla – 2061 m. There are a lot of nature reservations and national parks. The most interesting are Chornohiski ridge with 6 highest mountains of Ukraine, Narcissus Valley – the largest in Central Europe cell of Narcissus, the lake Senevir (Sea Eye) – the largest lake in Ukrainian Carpathians, the rehabilitation center for brown bear, where now are living 20 bears, etc.
The Carpathian Mountains in winter
As a conclusion, I would like to say, that Ukraine is an unexplored country for foreign tourists. It is an attractive region for those who tired of beach tourism or of beautiful but typical European cities and who want to get new experience and impressions. Ukraine is a cheap country with open boards, unusual sites and people who always ready to help. Welcome to Ukraine!