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Travel! 12:35 22 Aug 2020

What to visit in the Vinnytsia region: Ukrainian Pamukkale, Maldives, and Versailles

And it's even better because it's our native land.

In 2020, Vinnytsia was recognized as the most comfortable regional center for the sixth time in a row(!). According to the survey, more than 90% of residents are proud of it and see positive changes in the municipal, communal, medical, and humanitarian fields.

This picturesque town in Podillia is worth a visit. Here you can admire the enormous light and music fountain near the Roshen factory, take Swiss trams, visit the museum of the famous surgeon Mykola Pyrohov and the estate of Ukrainian writer Mykhailo Kotsiubynskyi. Fans of military history know that Hitler's Werewolfper headquarters was located 8 kilometers from Vinnytsia.

However, if we know enough about Vinnytsia, then the region isn't so familiar to tourists. With your permission, we leave the most comfortable regional center and travel to Podillia, the land of glorious history and picturesque nature.

Turkish landscapes of Hlukhivsi village

куди поїхати у вінницькій області

Photo vinnitsa.info

If this year's vacation in Turkey is postponed indefinitely again, try to visit the Ukrainian Pamukkale. 70 km from Vinnytsia in the village of Hlukhivtsi, Koziatyn district, there is the largest white clay (kaolin) quarry in Europe. Near to it, a lake was formed, which, due to the high concentration of clay, acquired a sky-blue color. It's not always possible to get directly to the shore, because the quarry is active. However, you can admire it from above. This place isn't crowded and therefore insanely popular among professional photographers in search of atypical landscapes for Ukraine.

How to get there: The easiest way to get to Hlukhivka is by car through the villages of Makhnivka, Pliakhova, or Zhezheliv. As an alternative, you can take a bus from Vinnytsia bus station.

From Turkey to Vinnytsia Maldives

куди поїхати вінниця

Photo moemisto.ua

But the flooded quarry in the village of Cherepashyntsi, Kalinov district, can be called more "touristy." A flooded granite quarry with picturesque clay and sand cliffs up to 10 meters high in sunny weather is difficult to distinguish from a seaside resort. The clear water acquires a gentle blue hue, and the greenery around creates a feeling of a veritable oasis. Every year, the quarry is only filled with water, as evidenced by flooded trees and shrubs. According to the data, the depth of the quarry reached 10 meters, while the average visibility fluctuates at the level of 2-5. There is a beach, but there are many wild spots where you should be extremely careful. There are several tourist centers on the coast. Locals call the quarry the Ukrainian Maldives for its azure blue water and abundant greenery, which creates the feeling of a comfortable resort.

But we all know: you need to check to confirm or refute something!

How to get there: to get to the village of Cherepashyntsi, you should drive 43 km from Vinnytsia on the Zhytomyr highway. Next, you'll face a difficult dirt road. However, you should survive only about one kilometer. Another option is public transport. The Vinnytsia-Holubivka bus passes through the village three times. You can also get there by minibusses.

And what about Vinnytsia Versailles? 

куди поїхати у вінницькій області

The search for the beautiful, and created by human hands, is sure to lead you to Tulchyn. Here is one of the most famous and best-preserved palaces of Ukraine, made in the classical style. It once belonged to Potocki.

Stanisław Szczęsny Potocki once made the city his residence, financing the construction of the "Khoroshe" palace complex, which is not inferior in luxury and versatility to its Western European counterparts. It was built in the late 18th century by French, British and Dutch artists.

And to better understand the role of both the family and the significance of "Tulchyn Versailles," let us recall a historical fact: the Polish King Stanislaw August Poniatowski stayed in this residence at one time.

On the territory of the complex, there was a gallery, library, baths, arena, greenhouse. In addition, the palace was connected by numerous underground passages with the city.

Having lost some of its former grandeur and luxury, the Potocki Palace remains the architectural gem of the region and the largest magnate residence in Ukraine with a rich history and exquisite architecture.

How to get there: the best way is by regular bus from Vinnytsia.

Potocki's last refuge

Останній прихисток Потоцьких

Moving on to the history of the old and famous Polish family, we find numerous mentions of their estates in other places in Podillia. And no wonder, because once Potocki owned all this territory. So it's not surprising that the last earthly home of the family is located here, in the village of Pechera, near Tulchyn. The famous architect Vladyslav Horodetskyi built a family mausoleum-chapel here. It is made in the form of a Latin cross per the canons of Romanesque Art Nouveau. The bodies of family members are perfectly preserved in it. During construction, a special method of ventilation was used, and coffins were specially treated. Unfortunately, the history turned out to be merciless to the tomb: its decoration was damaged by vandals, and the eternal peace of family members was repeatedly disturbed by each new government. However, the picturesque chapel still stands near the stormy Piddennyi Buh river and makes you think about the eternal.

In general, the whole place around Tulchyn is very closely connected with the name of Potocki. The latter loved and knew the secrets, according to legend, and left behind many mysteries. Therefore, historical walks here are quite easy to combine with mystical quests.

How to get there: from Tulchin or Nemyriv, by bus or car.

Podillia Athos

Подільський Афон

Liadova Monastery of John the Baptist rises on a rock terrace almost 100 meters above the Dniester River. This complex near the village of Liadova, Mohyliv-Podilskyi district, was once founded by the inspirer of monasticism in Kyivan Rus, St. Anthony of Pechersk. Novices still live in the millennial cells (the temple dates back to 1013). Many valuable images and inscriptions have been preserved here. The complex itself consists of grottoes created by human hands. Saint Anthony himself once lived here. Gradually, a bell tower and a stone gate were also built on the territory.

Legend has it that Anthony founded the hermitage when he returned from the Athos saints, who cut his hair into monks. Although dangerous trade routes passed through this region for a long time, and there were many thieves, he gradually managed to gather followers from the locals. Returning to Kyiv, Anthony left a real monastery. There's a healing spring on the territory of the temple complex. It is believed that bathing in it gives health.

The relative distance from the city noise and the monastery's location on top of the hill gives a feeling of lightness and tranquility. Even though during its thousand-year history the temple complex has repeatedly undergone changes and destruction, it makes a great impression on visitors.

How to get there: it is most convenient to get to Liadova from Mohyliv-Podilskyi. From there, buses run three times a week. The distance is small, only 17 kilometers, so you can also get there by minibus.

And again a meteorite impact location

іллінецький кратер

The meteorite fell not only in Zakarpattia but also in Podillia. The Illintsi astrobleme (the so-called ancient structure on the Earth's surface formed by the fall of space objects) is the oldest meteorite crater in Europe. Although by geological standards, it is only 400-430 million years old. At the same time, it is the only one on the territory of Ukraine that partially reaches the earth's surface.

The initial diameter of the crater was more than 7 kilometers, and the depth reached 800 meters. This gave scientists reason to believe that the corresponding cosmic body reached 300 meters in diameter. That is why, according to experts, the meteorite nucleus should be at a depth of at least 700 meters.

іллінецький кратер

At the end of the 20th century, diamonds were first found in the tract, as well as the world's largest agate (by the way, the latter is stored in the Natural History Museum in Berlin). Because the fragments of celestial bodies are very valuable, locals and tourists never miss the opportunity to look for them. Maybe fortune will smile upon you too?

How to get there: by bus "Vinnytsia-Illintsi." The journey takes about 1.5 hours.

The splendor and luxury of Voronovytsia Palace

Вороновицький палац

A historical and architectural monument, the Grocholski-Mozhaysky Palace (located in the village of Voronovytsia, Vinnytsia Region) is another example of classicism in Podillia. The palace was built at the expense of the patron and politician of the Polish Commonwealth Franciszek Grocholski. The estate, created according to the fashion сanons of that time (18th century, in the form of a horseshoe, with a lawn and a park, with a three-story palace as the center of the whole complex), was famous for its collection of antiques and art collected by members of the Grocholski family.

After the territory was transmitted to the Russian Empire, the estate received a new owner, a naval officer, Aleksandr Mozhaysky. The latter went down in history as an aircraft designer. He created the prototype of steam aircraft. A museum dedicated to the history of aviation has been located here since the times of the Soviet Union and to this day. Currently, there are 1,300 items of technology and history in the funds. Among them are flight equipment, videotapes with documentary recordings of flights, photographs, books, and other things that belonged to the legendary conquerors of the sky of different times.

In 2017, the palace was completely restored at the expense of the European Union. Vinnytsia District Council received a grant under the EU program "Support to Regional Development Policy in Ukraine." And today you can see the influence of different eras and learn more about the lives and tastes of former owners.

How to get there: you can get to Voronovytsa by bus from Vinnytsia or Nemyriv. The museum on the territory of the palace operates from 09:00 to 17:00. Sunday is a day off.

Moorish-style palace

Палац у мавританському стилі

The estate, which belonged to the Minister of Trade and Industry of Ukraine under Pavel Skoropadskyi, Serhii Mering, impressed the imagination with its refined and unusual Moorish style. It is believed that living near the Mariinskyi Palace in Kyiv, Mering was so inspired by its beauty that he turned his own estate into a copy. There isn't absolute accuracy of the copy; the scale of the Old Pryluky masterpiece is inferior to the Kyiv original, but you can see several similar features: the palace in Stary Pryluky was built in the Neo-Baroque style, has a similar shape, and delicate facade elements.

Interestingly, during previous restorations, a hiding place with valuable Persian carpets, ancient coins, and valuable paintings was found in the building.

Today, unfortunately, the building is in a rather unattractive condition for tourists. There used to be a boarding school for children with special needs, now there are only a few administrative rooms left. However, turning on the imagination, you can imagine the oriental luxury of the politician's estate.

How to get there: by suburban bus from the town of Lipovets.

Traces of the Scythian era

Немирівське городище

From the diminished or, conversely, the renewed luxury of palaces, we'll travel to the places of our most ancient history. Nemyriv settlement, better known as the Scythian ramparts, is a unique monument dating from the VII-VI centuries BC. The system of dwellings and communications, unprecedented in its complexity, is located on an area of ​​about 100 hectares. For the first time, it was inhabited by representatives of Trypillia culture. And later Scythians and Slav-Uliches would appear here.

This settlement is considered one of the largest in Ukraine. Moreover, a large area was surrounded by a moat in ancient times, as well as embankments that reached 30 meters in height. And today the settlement is impressive: just imagine, inside it, there's a field, a pond, a valley, and a part of the forest.

Of course, the place will most deeply impress fans of archeology. However, just being here means touching the ancient history and the time that has stopped.

How to get there: Nemyriv settlement is located 6.5 kilometers from Nemyriv, near the village of Sazhki. You can get here from Vinnytsia by suburban electric train "Vinnytsia – Haivoron" to the station "Sazhki," and from there, take a short walk. You need to take your transport from Vinnytsia on the E50 and M12 routes through Komariv, Hostynne, and Nemyriv.

Cossack stronghold. The village of Busha

Козацька твердиня. Село Буша

And we continue our journey through places that breathe history. That's why we'll visit the famous village of Busha, located on the banks of the river Bushanka, 20 kilometers from Yampol, on the border with Moldova.

Remains of Trypillia culture were also found here, as well as a historical and cultural reserve. Here you can get acquainted with the objects of Trypillia life and culture.

Once upon a time (namely, in the 16th century), there was a real fortress on the territory of the village, each of the 6 (!) towers of which had its powder cellar. Today, only ruins remain there, but they also clearly demonstrate how powerful the building was. Another sacred place of Busha is the Cossack cemetery. And this name is not only the figment of folk poetics. Here you'll see the burials of the Cossacks, dating back to the  16-17 centuries. A sculpture park is located nearby.

Cossack themes are leading for this region. So, visiting Busha, you can not miss another natural wonder, the Haidamatskyi Yar. The Cossacks, according to legend, hid their gold among the pristine nature and rocks.

The Haidamatskyi Yar tract got its name because, according to the historical records, the last fighters for the independence of the region, the Haidamaky, hid there in caves and gorges. In addition, this place has repeatedly served as a refuge for Busha residents during the attack of foreign invaders.

This romantic and rich history area will be a wonderful tourist discovery.

How to get there: it is most convenient to get to Busha from Vinnytsia bus station by regular bus.

We often like to compare domestic tourist attractions with foreign ones to give them more shine and beauty. However, should we do this? At a time when foreign tourism has become more exclusive, isn't it best to overcome the feeling of inferiority and try to discover something new and unique in our country? Head to Podillia. Here are castles and fortresses, picturesque nature and churches, mysterious traces of ancient cultures, and, finally, the most comfortable regional center of Ukraine! Believe me, traveling your country is as wonderful as anywhere else. Start with Podillia and have a happy journey.

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