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Museum of Family Icons at Radomyshl Castle

The town of Radomyshl (or Radomysl) was first mentioned in historical records in the year 1150, although over the centuries it has had a number of names and was only renamed Radomyshl in the twentieth century. Located around 60 miles from Kiev, the town did not often feature on the itineraries of tourists exploring this region of Ukraine. But in 2007, Olga Bohomolets purchased what was at the time an ancient abandoned mill in the town, which lies at the confluence of the Teterev and Myka Rivers, with the intention of renovating it as a place to display her exceptional collection of more than five thousand Ukrainian icons.

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Kiev's Spectacular Horse-Chestnut Trees

Horse-chestnut trees (Aeculus hippocastanum) are native to the Balkan mixed forests of South East Europe, including those found in Ukraine. They are also prized as cultivated trees for parks and streets throughout Ukraine and are a prominent feature in Ukraine's capital city of Kiev. Interestingly, the sweetly-scented, white and pink flower of the horse-chestnut is one of the city's symbols, and prior to the independence of Ukraine, the horse-chestnut flowers and leaves were depicted on the city's coat of arms, but these were replaced by a representation of the protector of the city, the Archangel Michael.

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Olvia – Archeological Treasure on the Black Sea Shore

In around 600 BC the ancient Greeks established the colonies of Tyras, Olbia and Hemonassa on the north-eastern shore of the Black Sea. Olbia, or Olvia, was situated on the shores of the Southern Bug river and was one of the main trading posts for exporting goods to Greece. The town was enclosed by a stone wall with towers, and was set out in a triangular shape covering around fifty hectares. The upper town consisted of residential buildings centered on the agora, or town square, and a number of temples, while the lower town consisted of dockyards and housing for artisans, most of which is now submerged under the waters of the Southern Bug river. Olvia is a fascinating archeological site which is the subject of ongoing excavations and well worth the visit for anyone interested in ancient history.

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The Kiev National Museum of Russian Art

The Kiev National Museum of Russian Art is located in the heart of the city, opposite the main building of the Taras Shevchenko National University. The building which houses the more than 12,000 piece collection used to belong to prominent industrialist and patron of the arts, Fedir Tereshchenko (1832-1894), who donated much of his collection for public display. Tereshchenko started collecting works of art in the early 1870s, some chosen because they appealed to him personally and others at the recommendation of well-respected art connoisseurs, historians and critics, with the result being a wide representation of Russian art in its many forms.

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Ani Lorak – Talented Ukrainian Entertainer

Born in the city of Kitsman, in the Chernivtsi Oblast of western Ukraine, in September 1978, Karolina Miroslavivna Kuiek is better known as Ani Lorak - singer, songwriter, entrepreneur and actress. She is also a philanthropist and former UN Goodwill Ambassador with commendations from UNICEF and the UN for her support of HIV positive citizens in her home country, as well as being the recipient of the People's Artist of Ukraine award.

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Unlocking the Secrets of the Earth in Ukraine's Caves

The recreational pastime of exploring non-commercial cave systems, referred to as caving or spelunking, takes dedicated enthusiasts to some fascinating destinations, including Ukraine's magnificent cave systems - most notably the caves in the Chatyr-Dag Mountains of Crimea. While spelunking is the recreational aspect of cave exploration, speleologists focus on the scientific aspects of this activity, with the two overlapping to an extent as speleologists can be considered to be spelunkers, while spelunkers can be most helpful to speleologists by gathering vital scientific information during their underground expeditions.

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The Art of Ukrainian Embroidery

With today's modern technology, machinery can produce intricate embroidery in a fraction of the time it would take for these patterns and pictures to be hand-crafted. While this may have mass-market appeal, those who appreciate traditional decorative arts stand in awe of the skill and patience required to produce the superb embroidery dating back to the 17th and 18th centuries of Ukraine's history as displayed in many of the country's museums and in private collections. Even today, hand-crafted embroidery remains a treasured form of art in Ukraine, with numerous embroidery clubs keeping this precious tradition alive.

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Khotyn Fortress on the Dniester River

Dating back to 1325 and strategically located on the Dniester River, Khotyn Fortress is listed as one of the Seven Wonders of Ukraine. This landmark outside the city of Khotyn, in the Chernivtsi Oblast of western Ukraine, is a popular tourist attraction, and in addition to being one of the Seven Wonders of Ukraine, the Khotyn Fortress is a National Ukrainian Architectural Preserve.

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