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Even the most demanding traveler will appreciate treasury of interesting places, legendary fortresses and castles focused in Western Ukraine. Wherever you arrive each place possesses its own castle, palace, legend or a breathtaking story.
The largest wonder of the mountain of Pip Ivan is a highland observatory, ruins of which tower on the top. People call the observatory “White Elephant”. They say that in winter covered with snow and ice and blew with strong winds the outlines of observatory reminds figure of an elephant.
Even the most demanding traveler will appreciate treasury of interesting places, legendary fortresses and castles focused in Western Ukraine. Wherever you arrive each place possesses its own castle, palace, legend or a breathtaking story. Therefore, if you manage to see at least a half of the list it would be enough to feel satisfied. We can try to simplify the problem and define those local masterpieces which should be seen primarily.
To your attention 10 most worth seeing places that cannot be omitted by any traveler in Ukraine.
Fortress in Kamyanets-Podilsky
A glorious building on the top of a high hill charms with its strength and might. It seems like a guard taking care of calmness of the city. Kamyanets-Podilsky fortress is a unique combination of natural and artificial architecture that turns it into an impregnable stronghold. Kamyanets-Podilsky reservation won the first place in Internet competition “7 wonders of Ukraine” and opens our Top-10.
Castle in Khotyn
Majestic and dark castle towers over the Dniester River. Being under the power of Turks the castle was substantially strengthened, that’s why in the architecture of Khotyn stronghold can be determined the features of Turkish bastile. The castle of Khotyn is also famous as a film star. Soviet directors frequently used this amazing scenery to reproduce the atmosphere of “good old England” in films about Ivanhoe and Robin Hood. After a successful release of “With Fire and Sword” Jerzy Hoffman planned to shoot here a film about the war of 1621 (one can hardly imagine better place for shooting battle scenes).
The history of this fortress is considered as one of the most frightful. There was a beautiful town surrounding the castle, but no one can find any traces of it on any map. Ruins of Chervonograd castle can be seen in a grand canyon of the Dzhuryn River not far from the village of Nyrkiv. Near two towers you can hear a noise of water falling from the height of 16 m, that’s Chervonohrad waterfall, a glorious character of many legends.
Palanok Castle in Mukachevo
Palanok is considered as one of the most beautiful and ancient castles in Eastern Europe (even its foundation date cannot be determined). The first written records date back to the year of 1086. They said that in those ancient times Palanok already was a mighty fortification. Travelers can observe it approaching the city. This architectural jewel crowns the hill of volcanic origin. Castle includes multitude of interesting museum exhibits.
Palace in Pidhirtsi
It’s known as Ukrainian “small Versailles” and indeed reminds its famous French namesake, however is older for several decades. Built in 1635-1640 and considered to be one of the best examples of combination of Renaissance palace and firm fortifications in Europe.
Olesko castle is the most famous castle of Lviv region that survived a lot of damages. Nowadays the branch of Lviv art gallery functions here. You can enjoy a unique collection of J. Pinzel’s works, an outstanding sculpture of the XVIII century.
Counts of Schönborn’s castle in Chynadievo
The castle is built in Romantic style combining Roman and Gothic motifs. The most amazing thing about this castle is that it has 365 windows as days in a year, 52 rooms as weeks in a year and 12 entrances as months in a year. The castle is located in Zakarpattya 17 km from Mukachevo.
photo by Oleh Zharii via www.24ukr.com
Bona’s castle in Kremenets
Historians state that this castle was built in VIII-IX centuries. One more time nature shows its architectural skills. The castle is located on the top of a steep hill outside the city. In ancient 1240-1241 Batu Khan couldn’t conquer the stronghold, intending to occupy Poland. Mystical and chimerical legends live in ancient ruins of a mighty castle. People say that Queen Bona, after whom the hill was named, desired to have an eternal youth. She ordered to throw on sharp sticks virgins and then took a bloody shower.
Town Council in Buchach
An elegant masterpiece by B. Meretyn and J. Pinzel can be found in a cozy Ukrainian town of Buchach. Perfect architectural forms of Meretyn, shifting from one layer to another, create the impression of grace and airiness (as if the wall of 35 m high building soars up to the sky). Such intricate type of architecture serves an ideal ground for plastic and expressive sculptures by J. Pinzel originating from myths and Bible.
Pysanka Museum in Kolomya
Another unique monument that cannot be passed by is the only in the world Pysanka Museum located in a picturesque Carpathian town of Kolomyia. Its building reminds a huge painted egg by its form. There you can find materials of history of painting eggs in Ukraine, traditions and meaning of symbols. There are over 12 thousand pysanoks in museum exhibit.
photo via www.museum.if.ua
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