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Travel

Visiting Villages in the Heart of Ukraine

On the road between Kiev and Poltava, through an area affectionately referred to as the 'Heart of Ukraine', travelers will come across a number of villages overflowing with history and culture. Located alongside the Sula River near Lubny, the Ukrainian Baroque-style Mharsky Monastery is an interesting attraction dating back to 1619 in the village of Mhar. The monastery features five domes - one central larger dome surrounded by four smaller domes - as well as a free-standing neoclassical bell tower that was built more than a hundred years after the original building was completed. The monastery suffered some damage in the early to mid-1900s and was used for non-religious purposes for a time, but was restored to the monks at the end of the 20th century.

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Travel

Visit the Golden Horseshoe Castles

Visitors to the Lviv Oblast of Ukraine may want to take some time to explore the magnificent castles in some of the smaller towns and villages of the region, such as the Olesko Castle, Zolochiv Castle and Pidhirtsi Castle, referred to as the "Golden Horseshoe". Each of these castles has a long, and often tumultuous, history and each is noteworthy for its ancient architectural style.

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Travel

Ukraine's Biosphere Reserves – Part Two

Stretching across the border between Romania and Ukraine, the Danube Delta Biosphere Reserve lies at the end of the 2,860km Danube River and consists of dozens of lakes, channels and islands. It is the largest wetland and reed bed in Europe and is vital in the purification of water in the region, which often bears the brunt of pollution by many, if not all, of the nine countries bordering the Danube River upstream. The abundance of water and aquatic vegetation of the Danube Delta offers a refuge for more than 300 bird species, some of which are permanent residents and other being migratory. Large populations of sturgeon are found in the Delta, along with an estimated 90 other species of fish. Declared a Natural World Heritage Site and Ramsar site in 1991, the Danube Delta Biosphere Reserve is one of the last refuges for the endangered European mink, freshwater otter, wildcat and monk seal. While over-farming and upstream pollution remain concerns, authorities on both sides of the border hope to conserve the Delta through various cooperative measures.

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Travel

Ukraine's Biosphere Reserves - Part One

Seven of Ukraine's protected areas are listed with UNESCO as Biosphere Reserves, as they meet the criteria of balancing conservation with sustainable use in line with the organization’s Man and the Biosphere Program founded in 1971. These reserves - Askaniya-Nova, Carpathian, Danube Delta, Chernomorskiy, Desnianskyi, East Carpathians and Shatskyi – each have their own special features, and all are worth exploring when visiting Ukraine.

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Travel

Lviv in 2014 Top Ten List of Places to Visit

Well-respected British travel publication, The Rough Guide, has ranked Lviv as number five in its 2014 list of top ten cities in the world that are worth visiting. With its rich culture, ancient history and scenic setting, Lviv has plenty to offer visitors who take the time to explore it. Among the city's many attractions are its museums and art galleries, with the most notable of these being the Lviv National Museum, incorporating the National Gallery. The museum is home to more than 140,000 items and boasts the largest collection of medieval sacral art, with items from the 12th through to the 18th centuries, including manuscripts, icons, decorative metal art, paintings and richly embroidered fabrics.

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Travel

Explore Ukraine's Crimean Peninsula

Listed by National Geographic as one of the 'must-see' places in 2013, the Crimean Peninsula in Ukraine has justifiably been described as a paradise. It has also been called the 'playground of the tsars', and indeed the coastline was a favorite leisure destination among Russian nobility. Catherine the Great's General Prince Grigory Potemkin noted in 1782 that "Russia needs its paradise" and he favored annexing Crimea as a Russian territory at the time. During Soviet rule, resorts along the Black Sea were frequently visited by Soviet officials, but when Soviet rule dissolved the Crimean Peninsula became a territory of the newly independent Ukraine.

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Travel

Ancient History in Lutsk

Located on the gently-flowing Styr River in northwestern Ukraine, the city of Lutsk is the administrative center of the Volyn Oblast and the Lutskyi Raion. Although recorded history shows that Lutsk was founded in 1085, there is believed to have been a settlement on the site as far back as the 7th century. A branch of the local Rurik Dynasty built a wooden castle on the banks of the river, and a settlement soon sprang up around it. Over the subsequent years, Lutsk was seized and looted by the Tatars, Lithuanians, Casimir III of Poland, and again by Lithuania in the mid-1300s.

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Travel

Rafting on Ukraine's Dniester River

Originating near the city of Drohobych in Ukraine, the Dniester River follows a 1,362 km route on its way to the Black Sea. The river forms part of the border between Ukraine and Moldova before flowing through Moldova and then back into Ukraine where it remains until the end of its journey. There are many places of interest along the Dniester River, and a few travel options to choose from, with rafting being the perfect choice for water-loving adventurers.

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