The historical and cultural complex “Castle Radomysl” is a private museum complex located in the town of Radomyshl in the Zhytomyr region, about 100 km from Kiev. It was created by the Ukrainian medical doctor Olga Bogomolets.
Rivne is famous for being the city with tough and tragic fate, which haunted it over the whole history of its existence. However, the darkest pages in city’s history were entered by the 20th century: during the World War II, Rivne’s territory was occupied by the German-fascist invaders and concentration camps, where people were massively annihilated, were created there.
The unique museum of astronautics - the only one of its sort on the territory of Ukraine - is opened in Zhytomyr for a reason. It is here that Sergei Korolev - the talented scientist and engineer, the initiator of applied cosmonautics, the creator of Soviet space and rocket equipment, the person, whose ideas enabled the launching of the first artificial satellite, - was born and spent his childhood.
The rich museum's exposition is located in two buildings. Its first part - memorial - is situated in the house, where the genius constructor was born and tells about the principal stages of his life and work. The separate building was constructed for the main - cosmic - part of the exposition that tells in absorbing way about the history of cosmonautics' development. There are two rockets turned high into the air at its entrance.
Stretching over the western outskirts of Bila Tserkva, not far from Kyiv, the Dendropark Oleksandriya is considered to be one of the most beautiful and charming landscape parks in the country. Created by the best European architects and gardeners, it is a vivid monument of landscape art of the 18th-19th centuries. Oleksandriya occupies a territory of 200 hectares and is, therefore, the largest landscape park in Ukraine and one of the largest ones in Eastern Europe. It is always full of guests, who are attracted by special atmosphere and an opportunity to escape the urban hustle and bustle in splendid natural surroundings.
The landscape park was named after Aleksandra von Engelhardt, the own niece of the Prince Grigory Potyomkin and the lady-in-waiting of Catherine the Great, who received the mansion in Bila Tserkva as a present from her husband, crown hetman of Poland Ksawery Branicki. Being amazed by luxurious parks in European capitals, she decided to create an as beautiful and elegant landscape park in her residence. However, on the contrary to prim park complexes of the Old World with stiffly cut trees and ideally straight lanes, the countess wanted to make the landscape of her park as close to natural as possible. She didn’t strive to change local nature, rather to bring some order in it, highlighting its beauty and richness.
The church was built in an unusual style of the Tuscan Baroque. It was closed by Soviet authorities, first time in 1931, and then, after a revival during the Second World War, it was closed again in 1961.
The unique musical fountain Roshen that recently, in autumn 2011, appeared at the namesake sea boulevard in Vinnytsia has managed to become city's key symbol and to take the lead in the list of the country's major tourist objects. It is also in the top ten most spectacular fountains of our time. And there is no surprise in that, for it is the biggest floating musical fountain in Europe, by its characteristics similar to the world-famous musical fountain in Dubai.
The Vinnytsia fountain is a truly amazing hydro-engineering structure that strikes with technical characteristics: its length is 97 meters, width - 10 meters, the height of the central jet - 63 meters, and dispersion of water is up to 140 meters. In addition, Roshen is the only fountain in the world that is installed not in the artificial, but in open water body - in the bed of the Southern Bug River. Another detail that makes Vinnytsia fountain unique, is the so-called "hibernating technology", which allows lowering the construction under the ice in winter.
The fountain is equipped with an original laser system that allows displaying animated movies in a 3D format on the giant water-and-air screen. The size of the projection screen, formed by splashes and mist sprays is impressive - 16 x 45 meters.
The wooden church of St. Nicholas with a bell tower, standing on the impressive stone foundation, is one of the best examples of Podolia wooden folk architecture school. In Soviet times, the building housed a museum. In 1970, the church was restored. Mayakovsky Street, 6.
The National Nikolai Pirogov Estate Museum, situated in the picturesque park in the outskirts of Vinnytsia, is not just the most interesting town sight, but an important object of the cultural heritage of Ukraine.
Nikolai Pirogov is a prominent scientist, talented physician, inventor of anaesthesia and field martial surgery, founder of the Red Cross Society and notable public figure. It's hard to overvalue his contribution to the development of medicine, and in particular - of surgery. In 1847 Pirogov invented ether narcosis and applied it for the first time during the war on the Caucasus. Later the prominent surgeon conducted hundreds of successful operations on the battlefield with its help. One more invention of Pirogov, without which it's impossible to imagine modern medicine, is gypsum bandage to fixate fractures. The doctor widely applied it during the Crimean War: back then it allowed reducing the number of amputations among injured in dozens of times. Very few people know that the white disinfected doctor's robe is also Pirogov's invention, for which, by the way, he was considered to be a madman and was even put in the psychiatric clinic for several days. Moreover, the scientist introduced a number of new medical techniques and methods of surgical operations.
The structure of the museum is unique. The house, where Nikolai Pirogov lived, is in the center of the museum's complex: vast exposition, which has 12 sections telling about certain periods of his life and work, is located here. Special attention is paid to the scientist's genius inventions that helped to save thousands of human lives. In the manor you may see the study, where Nikolai Pirogov worked, his personal things, books, surgical instruments, pictures.
The outdoor museum of architecture and life Mamajeva Sloboda is situated not far from the city center, near one of the capital’s picturesque parks. It is an authentic cultural complex that reproduces Cossack settlement of 17th – 18th century. Not only original architectural buildings of Cossack age, but also inimitable atmosphere and spirit of that time were recreated there.
The culture and entertainment complex Mamajeva Sloboda is situated in the historical place – at the source of the Lybid River. These lands once belonged to the St. Michael's Golden-Domed Cathedral and was occupied by monastery apiary with farm and pond. Later, gardens were planted and a park was laid out in this area, but the ethnic saksen with neat Ukrainian huts under golden straw roofs didn’t appear there until 2009.
The museum got its name in honour of the legendary Cossack Mamai – one of the Ukrainian Cossack folklore’s most popular characters, whose image could be found next to the icons in almost every house at Cossack times.
Situated next to Zhulyany Airport (Kyiv), the Aviation Museum is one of the largest museums in the capital and is reckoned among the largest historical and technical museums of Ukraine. At its opening in 2003, museum’s exposition numbered thirty aircraft, and now more than seventy exhibits – helicopters, planes, as well as samples of aircraft armoury, unmanned aircraft and engines – can be seen on its territory of almost 20 hectares.
Presented machines include both widespread and rare ones. There are also exhibits that exist only in a single copy, such as Soviet pilot plane with airborne early-warning radar An-71. In addition, you can see the first Soviet airliner and the famous MiG-25, which set an absolute world record for flight altitude – 37 km. Museum’s exhibits are arranged according to topics, design offices, and their role in history.
The Kyiv Aviation Museum presents products of almost all the leading aviation design offices of the Soviet period – Tupolev, Yakovlev, Ilyushin, Antonov, Sukhoi, Mikoyan-Gurevich, Kamov, Mil, Beriev. Some collections of planes and helicopters are reckoned among the most complete in the world at that. Exclusive items include the first prototype Il-86, the first Il-18 and Tu-104 of mass production, preseries Tu-134, as well as Tu-22M0 from the test batch.
Spread out in Kyiv’s picturesque surroundings, the Culture and History Center ‘Park Kyivan Rus’ is a unique project in its nature and scale that has no analogues in Ukraine and even in Europe. It recreates architectural appearance and atmosphere of princely Kyiv with amazing accuracy, taking visitors on a time travel to the Middle Ages and bringing them in the very heart of one of the most influential states in Eastern Europe – the Old Rus.
It was decided to create the park exactly in this place for the reason that it is a historically important territory not far from the capital. It is mentioned in antique chronicles and its landscape is very close to the relief and vegetation of the Old Kyiv. The creators of the Culture and History Center brilliantly recreate the ensemble of the Kyiv stronghold – the historical core of the ancient city – as it looked under the rule of the Prince Vladimir the Great. It is from Kyiv kremlin (another name for the medieval stronghold) that the origin and development of Kyiv and the Old Rus started. Later it became the cradle of Slavic civilization.
The history of the National Opera of Ukraine was initiated in 1867, when in Kiev, one of the major administrative centers of the then Russian Empire, after a long petition the government opened a permanent opera troupe. There was a first outside the capitals - Petersburg and Moscow - a musical theater.
The Cathedral of St. Sophia, where the princes of Kyiv were crowned in the years of Kyiv's grandeur, has outstanding mosaics and frescoes dating back to the 11th century. Overlooking the old section of Kyiv, Podol, stands the Ukrainian Baroque church of St. Andrew, much beloved by Ukrainians.
The narrow streets of the ancient Podol shelter one of the most unusual and interesting museums of Ukraine's capital, the Pharmacy Museum, whose unique exposition is devoted to the history of the pharmacy. It is located in the building where the German pharmacist Johann Heiter opened Kyiv's first private drugstore in 1728.
After Heiter's death, his son-in-law Georg Bunge inherited the pharmacy business and made the drugstore very popular among Kyiv's residents. It could brag about one of the largest assortments of drugs in the city - about a thousand names. All drugs that were sold here (ointments, pills, mixtures) were made in the pharmacy's laboratory only from natural components: healing herbs, minerals, shells, animal blood and the poison of insects and reptiles. In addition, the Bunge's drugstore, as it was nicknamed by the Kyiv locals, was intended for the very broad sections of the public: it had two sections and respectively to separate drug registries, for poor and wealthy townspeople. Of course, the structure and quality of the drugs were different.
Few centuries ago pharmacies sold not only drugs, but also creams, powder, perfumes, tooth powder, and even ink, cans and tubes, which are now the unique exhibits of the Kyiv Pharmacy Museum.
Located in the very heart of Kyiv, the National Sports Complex "Olimpiyskiy" is the main arena of Ukraine and one of the biggest stadia in Europe. After hosting the final match, in particular, and Euro-2012, in general, the renovated venue became one of the most emblematic sights of the Ukrainian capital. Currently, the multifaceted arena holds both top football and athletic competitions, as well as conferences, exhibitions and concerts. Not only sports fans, but those who are interested in contemporary architecture may enjoy a visit to the Olympic Stadium in Kyiv.
Its history dates back to 1923 when the Red Stadium Trotsky was opened to the public. It was a simple venue intended for hosting football matches. Shortly, the arena was remodelled: athletic tracks, showers, lockers, etc. were built. The first large-scale renovation of the stadium was scheduled in the middle of 1930s when Kyiv had become the official capital of the Soviet Socialist Republic of Ukraine. The 50.000-seater stadium in accordance with all requirements was planned then. The refurbished sports arena was due to be opened on June 22, 1941, however, its renovation was postponed for 5 years because of an outburst of the II World War.
The Bessarabian Market, or just Bessarabka, as it is usually referred to by Kyiv residents, is the central and the most famous covered market of Ukraine's capital that is reckoned among the oldest in the country. It's an unusual building in Ukrainian art nouveau style was built 100 years ago on the square adjoined to the Kyiv main street and is still one of the capital's most interesting constructions.
In the second half of the 19th century, the land, where the market stands today, was unsightly city outskirts. But soon, the square was founded and numerous merchants from all over the world started to come here. In the early 20th century, the adjoined to the square streets, particularly Khreshchatyk, were rapidly lined up with buildings obtaining European elegant look, and the vicinity of the absurd chaotic marketplace seemed more and more inappropriate. One of the prominent Kyiv residents of that time called the Bessarabian Market 'a purulent blister on the tip of the beautiful classic nose.' It was then that the city authorities decided to create a civilized covered market in this place. However, due to lack of money (construction demanded a fantastic sum for those times), idea's implementation was postponed.
The modern center with surviving parts of the old city are on the hilly west, or right bank, of the Dnipro River. The main street, Khreshchatik, runs between two steep hills. Parallel about half a kilometer west, is vulytsya Volodymyrska, the main street of the Old Kyiv area (Staryj Kyiv).
The Kyiv Fortress is one of the most important and interesting military monuments in the Ukrainian capital, well-known far beyond the country’s borders. It is the largest earthen fortress in Europe and the second-largest earthen fortress in the world. The museum exhibitions housed there and the fortification complex itself are among the most visited places of interest in Kyiv – every year it welcomes about one hundred thousand tourists.
The Kyiv Fortress, also known as Nova Pechersk Fortress, was built on a site of Old Pechersk Fortress, walled around the Kyiv Pechersk Lavra. It was erected by the order of Emperor Peter the Great in the first half of the 18th century. It contained four main fortifications, as well as dozens of defensive areas such as towers, walls, underground passages, powder warehouses, arsenals, barracks, and even the castle prison. Then the Kyiv Fortress featured the so-called hand-made tsunamis for city defence from the riverside. It was composed of two dams and two large pits, which could be filled with water within hours to defeat the enemy fleet with a powerful wave.
The Kyiv Toy Museum is a truly unique place, interesting for both, children and adults. For the first ones it is an opportunity to plunge into the fairy world, where hundreds of different heroes live, for the latter ones - a chance to feel nagging nostalgia, and at the same time to learn many interesting facts about the history of toys as an integral part of the country's culture.
The Toy Museum, opened in 2005, is one of the youngest in the capital. Nevertheless, its impressive collection numbering over 10 thousand exhibits exists over 80 years! It is based on the items that were gathered for the toy exhibition, which took place back in 1936. Today, the museum's exposition visually demonstrates the history of national toy production and is the vivid evidence that Ukraine rightly occupied the second place among the Soviet republics in volumes and quality of manufactured children toys.
Museum shelves are 'inhabited' by hundreds of different dolls and teddy animals, technical and construction toys, as well as a unique collection of board, printed games. Besides commercial items, museum funds include exclusive author's works by soviet puppet-makers and authentic collection of Ukrainian folk toys.
The Dubno Caste stands on the steep cape near the Ikva River, in the city very center. It is one of Ukraine’s oldest fortification complexes. Impressing with its majestic beauty and huge historical value, it is a part of the Dubno historical and cultural reserve and is recognized as a true gem of Ukraine’s castle architecture.
The Prince Konstantin of Ostroh built the castle on the place of the Old Russian fortifications, in the late 15th century. The defensive complex consisted of wooden constructions, surrounded by an earthen wall, which was fortified with wooden paling. However, frequent fires that regularly destroyed the majority of castle buildings forced prince’s descendants to rebuild the fortification complex in stone one and a half centuries later. Thus, a fierce castle and two powerful brick-and-stone casemate bastions with towers appeared there. The castle was erected in the Renaissance style. Fortress’s outer defence was a deep ditch.
Today, one can see two palaces on the territory of the Dubno Castle – the Ostroh Palace, where the archives of the princely families were stored, and the Lubomirski Palace, which is notable for coats of arms of its former owners and elegant bas-relief frieze, made by an Italian master. It adorns the big hall, which used to serve for crowded feasts. There is a system of vaults and underground galleries under the palaces. Local residents used to hide there during numerous sieges, and supplies of water and food were stored. Nikolay Gogol described the dungeons of the Dubno Castle in his immortal work “Taras Bulba.” Nowadays, one of the vaults houses an exhibition of torture tools and hosts theatre performances.
The Jesuit St. Peter and Paul Cathedral majestically standing in the very heart of the historic Lviv is one of the town's largest and most important cultic buildings. Located in the Old Town's longest street.
Customary for most European towns Market (Rynok) Square is definitely the most popular tourist place in Ivano-Frankivsk. This is not only due to its being town's historical heart, where business and cultural life is in full swing but also due to the whole constellation of the most interesting historical and architectural monuments that are concentrated at the town's main square.
Being originally planned and surrounded by ancient cathedrals and fairy-tale houses with miniature statues and fanciful bas-reliefs, the Square is a vivid embodiment of the Renaissance idea of an ideal town. Due to its unique architectural ensemble, whose every building is a true artwork, Ivano-Frankivsk Market Square is frequently compared to its Lviv's namesake, and the town itself is called 'Little Lviv'.
Square's main adornment is the elegant Town Hall, the only one in Ukraine built in art nouveau style. Rising high into the air for almost 50 meters, it is the Ivano-Frankivsk's tallest building and, according to the architects' idea, acts as town's main landmark.
Ivano-Frankivsk Regional Studies Museum (Івано-Франківський краєзнавчий музей; Ivano-Frankivskyi kraieznavchyi muzei). Regional studies museum founded in Stanislav (now Ivano-Frankivsk) in 1940 on the basis of several existing collections, including the Zhabie ‘Hutsulshchyna’ Museum.
The majestic Greek Catholic Cathedral of the Holy Resurrection, whose slender silhouette adorns town's main square (Rynok), reckons among the most beautiful and famous architectural monuments of Ivano-Frankivsk. Strolling through town, it's impossible to oversee its luxurious light building that absorbed the brightest baroque and classicism traits!
The temple owes its origin to Jesuit monks. They came to Ivano-Frankivsk in the early 18th century and founded a catholic church on the place of the older church, burnt during Turks' siege of the town. From the very beginning, it was clear that the cathedral's destiny would be unusual: when constructors were digging the trench for future temple's foundation, they found a real treasure - 14 thousand zlotys. Their greater part was spent on the church's building.
Situated not far from Ivano-Frankivsk, the ancient town Kolomyya is notable for its vivid history and inimitable colour. However, it is mostly associated with the unique Pysanka Museum – the only museum in the world, whose exposition is devoted to the art of painting Easter eggs.
Ukraine has an age-old tradition of decorating eggs with the plot or ornamental patterns using wax and special dyes, however, it is the Hutsul region where this tradition is especially honoured. The locals even create legends about this ancient art. One of them states that a terrible beast is chained to a high rock in the Carpathian Mountains. Each year it carefully watches that people don’t forget the custom of painting Easter eggs. If there are just a few pysanka (painted Easter eggs), the beast spreads evil on the earth, but, if there are enough painted eggs, love and good defeat evil, and the chains squeeze the evil monster with deadly force.
An elegant building of the former Carmelite Church is situated outside the Old Town, in which Lviv’s main architectural gems are located, but is not inferior to them in its beauty and historical value. The imposing cathedral, standing at the foot of the High Castle, draws attention with its refined towers, crowned with pointed spires, and elegant decoration, as well as with breathtaking views of the Lviv historical center that open from the observation area in front of the catholic church. The monumental stone stairs lead there.
Carmelite monks came to Lviv in the 16th century and chose the marshy area in the Krakiv suburb of the medieval city. A hundred years later, they managed to get a plot of land from the city council, which was closer to the city walls and where they planned to build a monastery and to lay out a garden. It is considered that the construction of the Carmelite cloister started in 1634. First, the Catholic Church was raised, and later, monastic cells and courtyard were added to it. The monastery, built outside Lviv’s eastern fortification line and surrounded with powerful defensive walls, was supposed to become a fortress, providing additional protection to the city. However, ironically it turned out the other way around.
The museum of the sacral baroque sculpture is reckoned among the Lviv’s most interesting and impressive museums. It keeps the unique heritage of Johann Georg Pinsel – one of the most talented and mysterious sculptors of the 18th century. He is nicknamed Ukrainian Michelangelo for extraordinary mastery.
The museum is situated in the building of the age-old Catholic Church, which formerly belonged to the Franciscan monks. It is a valuable monument of Lviv’s architecture. The cathedral is notable for the fact that its interior has preserved the skillfully made frescos of the 18th century, illustrating plots from the Old and New Testament.
The Lviv Museum of sacral baroque sculpture keeps the largest collection of Johann Pinsel’s works. His creative work is recognized as an outstanding phenomenon in Ukrainian and world cultures’ history. The original Ukrainian master with European education created inimitable religious sculptures, which had no analogues in the Old World of the second half of the 18th century. It was Pinsel who founded the new artistic center, which later was named the Lviv School of Sacral Sculpture. In the 1750s, he actively created original figures for the St. Jura Cathedral, one of the most beautiful Lviv temples, St. Martin Church and many other West Ukrainian churches.
The Greek-Catholic Dormition Church can’t brag with majestic architectural shapes and luxurious decoration. Being simple and at the first sight unremarkable, it is reckoned among the Rivne key sights, though.
The Lviv National Museum, situated in the very beautiful building on Svobody Avenue, is one of the largest museums in Ukraine that features a considerable collection of Ukrainian visual arts. It was founded by the Greek Catholic metropolitan Andrey Sheptytsky, whose name it has now. Initially, it was a Church Museum and was aimed to develop Ukrainian national culture.
The core of the National Museum’s current exposition is its founder’s personal collection, numbering about 10 thousand valuable works of art. A quarter of a century later, the funds of the Lviv Museum had more than 80 thousand exhibits and now, there are almost 120 thousand works of visual arts. It houses country’s largest collections of Ukrainian icons, dated to the 14th – 18th centuries, and of medieval sacred and folk arts: sculptures, manuscripts, engravings, old printed books, pottery, bone and metal works.
National Museum’s pride is pictorial canvases by eminent Ukrainian artists: Ivan Trush, Oleksa Novakivsky, Kornil Ustiyanovich, Elena Kulchytska and others. The highlight of the museum's collection is a number of original works by Taras Shevchenko. Paintings by contemporary Lviv artists are exhibited here as well.
Svobody Avenue is the city main street combining functions of the business and cultural center. It is Lviv’s second most important historical spot after Rynok Square. The avenue owes its status as one of the most beautiful and elegant streets in the city to its splendid architecture, which harmonically combines traits of various historical styles. Elegant ancient houses, framing it from both sides, are Svobody Avenue’s main adornment and create its unique atmosphere.
Once, the western line of Lviv fortifications, called Lower Walls, was located there. In the late 18th century, when the city was under the governance of Austria-Hungary, dilapidated fortifications were pulled down and the even side of the modern avenue was formed. The odd side was constructed on the marshy bank of the Plotva River, which was hidden under the ground, later.
Svobody Avenue’s most attractive building, its symbol and highlight, is the magnificent Opera House. Other notable structures include the elegant National Museum, the former Galych Credit Fund (currently the Museum of Ethnography and Arts Crafts), the Viennese Coffee House and the Grand Hotel. One of the Svobody Avenue’s most recognizable sights is the unusual monument to Taras Shevchenko with 12-meter-high bronze stele ‘Wave of National Renaissance,’ installed in its center.
Wherever you go in Lviv, you are inevitably astonished by its inimitable and varied architecture. However, the Potocki Palace, hiding behind the open-worked forged fence on one of the streets that radiate from the main city artery, Svobody Avenue, stands out against the background of majestic ancient buildings, huddling in the downtown. It's an elegant building, whose luxurious forms are reminiscent of French Renaissance castles, is rightly considered to be one of the most interesting and beautiful monuments of architecture in Lviv.
In the middle of the 19th century, a park with a small hunting homestead, owned by the noble Polish family Potocki, was located on the modern palace’s place. A legend states that Potocki family owned these lands since the 17th century. In 1860, Count Alfred II Potocki ordered to pull down the mansion and to build a big gala palace on its place. The palace was intended for solemn receptions and high-rank meetings. As long as the count was in fond of exquisite French architecture, he chose the project of the prominent architect from France and hired Polish architect Julian Tsibulsky to adapt and implement it. The customer wasn’t destined to see the palace; he had died before the construction was finished and his son continued to supervise the building process, afterwards.
The building of the former noble casino and now the House of Scientists is one of the Lviv most amazing and perfect architectural structures and is recognized as a valuable neo-baroque monument. The construction was ordered by the studs’ owners club and was carried out by the famous Austrian company Fellner and Helmer, in 1898. They are known for designing such famous buildings like Vienna Observatory and Odessa Opera.
Constructing the Lviv casino, the Austrian architects were inspired by the best samples of European palatial architecture and this influence is clearly seen in the luxurious decoration of building’s facades, which are richly adorned with sculptures and stucco work. The entrance is ‘guarded’ by two magnificent atlantes, who hold the first-floor balcony on their mighty shoulders.
However, it is its fantastic interiors that make the amazing house in Lviv downtown look like royal palaces of the Old World. The ground floor is occupied by the huge lobby, whose main adornment is a unique oak staircase with carved railings. It is said that it was a wedding gift to a member of the club. The intricately meandering stairs lead to the first floor, where eight luxurious rooms are located: White Room with marble fireplace and black concert grand piano, Red Room, covered with silk and featuring crystal chandeliers, cosy Beige Room and charming Mirror Room with antique furniture, the famous library with delightful gallery and balcony, adorned with stucco work. The green strolling garden and the meeting room are situated there too.