Visit the Seven Wonders of Ukraine
In July 2007, the people of Ukraine were invited to vote for their seven favorite historical and cultural sites. These were then given the status of being the “Seven Wonders of Ukraine”. Ukraine is a country of diverse natural beauty, rich in culture and with a long, interesting history, so choosing only seven sites was no easy task.
Experts in various fields were asked to vote for their seven best sites, which were condensed into a list of 1,000 candidates. These were examined by a council of 100 experts and the list was narrowed down to 21. Internet users could then cast their votes as to which of the 21 candidates they felt should make up the list of the Seven Wonders of Ukraine. The response from the public was very positive with approximately 77,000 internet users voting in the campaign.
Sofiyivsky Park in Cherkasy Oblast, and Kiev Perchersk Lavra in Kiev received the same number of votes and were placed as first and second. Following closely behind the winners, Kamianets-Podilskyi Historical Complex in Khmelnytskyi Oblast and Khortytsia in Zaporizhia Oblast also tied with votes and were awarded third and fourth place. Fifth place went to Chersonesos is Sevastopol, sixth to Saint Sophia Cathedral in Kiev and seventh to Khotyn Fortress in Chernivtsi Oblast.
Sofiyivsky Park is a beautifully landscaped park with a history going back to 1796. This superb example of 18th century European landscape garden design, with waterfalls, ponds, fountains and an exquisite stone garden, is a haven of peace and tranquility for Ukrainians and tourists alike. Kiev Pechersk Lavra is a historic Orthodox Christian monastery in Kiev, which was founded in 1015. Also known as the Kiev Monastery of the Caves, this UNESCO World Heritage Site contains a number of outstanding architectural features including bell-towers, an underground cave system, cathedrals and impenetrable stone fortification walls.
During its long history, the city of Kamianets-Podilskyi has been inhabited by different peoples with diverse cultural backgrounds. Evidence of this cultural diversity is clearly seen in the architecture and prominent landmarks of the city. Situated in the city of Zaporizhia, on the Dnieper River, the beautiful island of Khortytsia, which is home to the Zaporizhian Cossack Museum, has historical significance for the people of Ukraine and has been designated as a national museum.
The archaeological site of Chersonesos is a popular tourist destination. This ancient Greek colony was established by settlers from Heraclea Pontica in the 6th century BC. Visitors can explore this fascinating site, which has hundreds of meters of defensive walls, as well as a Roman Amphitheater, a Greek temple, farmland with winepresses and defensive towers, tombstones and many other buildings reflecting influences of Greek, Byzantine and Roman culture.
The Saint Sophia Cathedral is one of Kiev’s most well-known landmarks and is an outstanding example of Kievan Rus architecture. Located on the shores of the Dniester River, the Khotyn Fortress is an imposing edifice that was initially built in 1325, with additions and renovations undertaken in 1380 and again in 1460. Visitors never fail to be amazed at the enormity of this structure, which is a reminder of a time in Ukraine’s history when fortresses were necessary as a protection against enemy invasion.
If you are planning to travel to Ukraine and can’t decide what to see first, consider visiting the Seven Wonders of Ukraine – as voted for by the people of this charming country.