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10 Exceptional Sites You Can Discover In Ukraine

 Ukraine is a country frequented by many visitors or traversed on the way to another European destination. Ukraine is rich in culture and many architectural sites, along with green areas, forests and abundant rivers. Unfortunately, this country has a history of military struggles, demonstrations and conflicts, the last of which was half of Crimea being annexed by Russia. However, even today you can visit and enjoy a variety of beautiful cities and districts that give extraordinary experiences to any traveler from anywhere, and these are the 10 most recommended places to visit in Ukraine:

 
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1. Olesko Castle, Lviv

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Olesko Castle can be found on the top of a green hill in the Lviv district, and although it was built in the 13th century, it is very well preserved to this day. Although the area around it may seem quiet and pastoral, it is a structure that became the focus of a political battle in the 14th century when Poland, Lithuania, and Hungary claimed ownership of the land on which the castle stood and wanted to gain sole control over it. After a long struggle, the castle moved to Ukraine, and today it serves as a museum where antique furniture collections and art from the 16th and 17th centuries are displayed. The rich collection of paintings and sculptures is considered one of the leading collections of Polish art outside of Poland.

 

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2. Khortytsia Nature Reserve, Zaporizhzhia

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Located on the Dnieper River, this giant island of 12.5 km was declared a national nature reserve in 1965 and today visitors can enjoy an experience of getting to know plants and animals, many of which are very rare or in danger of extinction. This is a perfect destination for a calm and peaceful trip to Ukraine throughout the year, after which you can also visit the museum, which displays fascinating archeological findings from different periods throughout history.

 

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3. Arboretum Sofiyivka, Uman

The garden built by Count Stanisław Szczęsny Potocki in 1796, is named after his wife Zofia and his design was influenced by the Greek poems, Odyssey and Iliad, in recognition of the Greek origin of beautiful Zofia. The garden, which includes more than 2,000 different types of trees, has become a very popular cultural center. Today, the place is considered one of the "Seven Wonders of Ukraine" and attracts a large number of visitors every year.

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4. The Kiev Pechersk Lavra, Kiev

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One of the oldest areas in Ukraine's capital, declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1990, is the next hilltop complex on the right bank of the Dnieper River, which is a complete complex of monasteries and churches established in 1051, Among these buildings are the bell tower built between 1731 and 1745, the old Trinity Church and a system of tunnels where churches were built over the years.

 

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5. Golden Gates, Kiev

"Golden Gates" is the name chosen for the main entrance gates to a fortification system built in Kiev in the 11th century, in imitation of the Golden Gate in the city of Constantinople. The building was subsequently dismantled and rebuilt by the Soviet authorities in 1982. As the construction was done hastily, the wooden fortifications began to collapse and the structure quickly lost its shape. Renovation and maintenance works were completed in 2007, and today visitors enjoy a more spacious building and can also tour the museum that is located between its walls, which tells about the history of the gate and all of Kiev.

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6. The village of Pyrohiv

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Pyrohov, also known as Pirogov, was a village outside of Kiev that was probably built in 1627, but since 1969 it has served as an outdoor museum that allows visitors to explore the open skies between buildings that describe the history of Ukraine. More than 300 works of art and architecture were brought to the site, and the entire territory is divided into several sectors that symbolize a period in history alongside a different geographical area. The quiet trip between the small windmills and the opportunity to peek into the houses make a visit to this village a wonderful experience that shouldn’t be missed.

 

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7. The Alexander Pushkin Museum, Odessa

The museum, which is dedicated to Russian poet Alexander Pushkin, is located in the apartment where Pushkin himself lived in 1823. Since 1961, the site has become a site frequented by many cultural enthusiasts from all over the world and contains the poet’s original manuscripts, a copy of his most important work: "Eugene Onegin," and the opportunity to learn quite a bit about his life.

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8. Maniavskyi Falls

These waterfalls, located near the village of Maniava, are the tallest among the falls in the Carpathians. This is a very pleasant place for a trip during the summer months, as the fir trees create a shady and peaceful environment where you can spend the whole day. Also, next to the waterfall you’ll find a small lake where the water stays cool even on the hottest days.

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9. Uzhhorod

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This city, considered the capital of the Carpathians, is a charming little place known for its ancient castles, beautiful bridges, and pleasant atmosphere. Tourists come to visit it, especially in May, when you can see the blossoms of cherry trees growing in the area, as well as enjoy good wine at one of the festivals held there.

 

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10. Old Town Lviv

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The ancient part of the city of Lviv, located in western Ukraine, was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1998. A tour of the town will allow you to see thousands of landmark of impressive architectural splendor, some of which are considered to be of national importance. You can tour the main square, and go into some of the dozens of magnificent churches, cathedrals with a unique appearance and ancient monasteries, watch a performance at the Municipal Opera House and be impressed by the goings-on in the old city’s side streets. There’s no doubt that this is an especially great ending to a Ukrainian holiday.

 

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image source: LestatАнтон Супруненко,  Alexey TolmachovCambronni.ParfeniyFalinHåkan HenrikssonUk-KamelotDgriSeleonovIra PolityloJulian NitzscheLestat, Johnny

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