The vast plains which are rugged with valleys and rivers like Psyol, Siversky Donets and Vorskla stretches "Slobozhanschina" – what means "free settlements". Not to prosecute farmers who fled to these undeveloped areas and not to burden settlers with levies was profitable to the Moscow kingdom and the Commonwealth who needed protection from the raids of Crimean Tatars. Many modern cities of Kharkivska and Sumska regions (oblasts) rose from Cossack fortress The most significant among them was Kharkiv once even played the role of the capital of Ukraine. Therefore you could see there some fine manors, similar palaces, fortresses and castles which can introduce you a unique collection of world art. At the same time be prepared for bad roads, even on arterial roads.
Address: Gorodnechye village of Krasnokutsk district.
The distance from Kharkov: about 85 km
How to get there:
By car: To reach most of attractions it`s better to go through the Old Merchyk and Sharovka to Krasnokutsk. Passing 7 km from Krasnokutsk towards Bogoduhov you will see a pointer to Gorodneye.
Bus: route Kharkiv – Krasnokutsk. Departure from the bus station near the "Centralny rynok" metro-station. To get from Krasnokutsk to Gorodneye the one can by "marshrutka".
We will begin our route by Slobozhanschina from this unique place. There is an unusual construction in 10 km from Natalyevsky park. Local climatic conditions do not allow to grow exotic tree species but the owner of Natalievka, Paul Kharitonenko (whom we more detailed describing in the article about Sumy), found an original way. In his village Gorodneye sugar manufacturer ordered the construction of six south -facing terraces which are sun lighted for the whole day. The heat was accumulated by brickwork itself and copper drainage system that provides a supply of water to the root system of trees. Even quiet conversation can be heard at the distance of 60 m! In windy weather, it seems that terraces create melodic sounds themselves and that`s why they have nicknamed "singing". According to legend famous Russian bass Feodor Chaliapin gave a concert in this place. From the height of terraces spectacular views of the pond and grove are available. Useful Information : If you get in a car Gorodnov , after entering the village through 3-3 , 5 km on the left side you will see white pillars former gates . This is your reference point. Further well-trodden road will take you to the terraces .
Address: Korotych village, Kharkov region
The distance from Kharkov: about 15 km
How to get there: By car: on the road to Kiev you can see the pointer "Communard" and then turn right.
Bus: route number 502t Kharkiv – Lyubotin, " Communard" stop. Departure from the metro station "Cold Mountain" ("Kholodna Gora"). Tour reservations by phone : (057) 717-74-25 Order skydiving or flying a plane , please call: (057) 764-12-85 Jumping with a parachute landing – 500 UAH . Jumping with a parachute training system "Wing " – 700 UAH . Jumping "Tandem" with an instructor for beginners – 1700 UAH The open air museum created by airmen enthusiasts from Kharkov flying club named by Valentina Grizodubova CCA Ukraine. There are 4 legendary Soviet MiG- 21 and MiG -23 fighter- bombers, Mig- 27 and Su -17 , as well as two helicopters on the museum site of aerodrome "Korotych".
Address: Stariy "Old" Merchyk village , Valkovsky district, Kharkiv oblast.
The distance from Kharkov : about 40 km.
How to get there:
By car : to get to the manor you need to turn left across the river Dry Merchyk in Old Merchyk village.
Bus : route number 650t Kharkiv – Old Merchyk . Departure from the metro station " Cold Mountain" ("Kholodna Gora") Shidlovsky Manor was created in the late 1770s and retained almost in primitive shape till our days. Further this manor was transferred like a gift or legacy from one to another in Shidlovsky family line until fall into the hands of Gregory Romanovich Shidlovskii actual state councilor. Than Gregory Shidlovskii rebuilt mansion. He demolished the old house and began construction of a new palace in the style of Louis XVI. The main feature of Old Merchyk` manor is predominance of oval shapes. And in the office of the owner, and in the living room like as a huge ballroom don`t have sharp corners. Estate became the center of social life for the surrounding estates: there were balls and dinner parties took place. At the end of the XIX century by decree of Alexander III the mansion in Old Merchyk was declared a national reserve. But this did not prevent it from ruin. The estate was repurposed to veterinary college In Soviet times and since 1997 it is empty and destroying gradually. Not far from the house there is the Church of All Saints which is part of building-complex of the estate. The first wooden church on this site was built in 1680. In 1778 it was replaced by a stony one. In Soviet times the church was closed. Worship resumed after renovation in the late 1990s . A few steps from the church you will notice a stone statue . This is ancient statue of Polovetskian woman (baba), and next to it is the stone of sacrifice . If you look closely you can see the chute on the stone where the blood was flowed in sacrificial bowl.
How to get there:By car : on the Kiev highway before turning to Old Merchyk . Then 37 km towards Krasnokutsk . To get to the estate you must turn on Sharovka and drive to the indicator "Sharovka sanatorium".
Bus : route Kharkiv – Krasnokutsk through Murafa. Departure from the "Central Market" ("Tsentralniy Rynok") metro station. Than about 2 km on foot. On Monday, Wednesday and Friday. From "Central Market" also taxi Sharovka goes.
Only in an hour drive from Kharkov you reach the territory of the ancient castle surrounded by mysteries and legends . Homemaking of Sharovsky manor at the Merchyk`s riverside landowner Paul Olkhovskiy began in 1836. He ordered to build a palace and laid a big park on the slope of the two-kilometer baulk. At the end of the XIX century the owner of the castle was German sugar manufacturer Leopold Koenig . Thanks to him the structure acquired the features of a medieval castle: there were pseudo-Gothic towers, gates fortified with battlements, a house for guards with lancet windows. Interior decoration of the palace was not inferior to his grand exteriors. Three halls and 26 rooms were richly furnished and decorated. Sharovsky park also changed greatly during Koenig management: there were terraces, cascade of artificial ponds, pools, fountains and stone bridges. Arrangement of all this beauty is made by expert, brought by Baron from Riga – George Kufald . The real gem of the park is considered a broad lime avenue with two roads are laid on to walk on carriages and on foot. Lime-trees were specially trimmed in such a way that all branches grew vertically only. Taking a walk in the park and enjoying Sharovsky manor`s extraordinarily clean air do not forget to touch one of his most romantic legends – the stone affectionately called… booty by the locals . As the rumor Koenig`s wife was a rare beauty. But the trouble is that the young woman did not love her husband. Once the sugar magnate sent his wife to the sea to straighten her health which was broken by phthisis. Belle did not lose time in vain on holiday and had an affair with the officer . " Wishers " immediately reported Leopold about his disgrace. Betrayal of his wife haunted Koenig. And one day, while walking through the park Sharovka, cheater stumbled upon the very same stone on which she got laid with the officer. According to legend, this boulder weighing 6 tons was transferred to Sharovka by Leopold`s order to remind his wife about her sin. Locals claim that the stone has magical properties. Need to touch it and make a wish about love and have a clean thoughts by it. They say wishes come true. Useful information: After inspecting the park you can have a picnic on the meadow strewn with periwinkle like a carpet . Passing the pointer " Sanatorium" on the way back you will see a gazebo to the left side and the meadow abaft it.
Address: village Volodymyrivka , Krasnokutsk district
The distance from Kharkov : 83 km How to get there:
By car: via Old Merchyk before turning in Murafa.
By bus: from the bus station in the "Central Market" – Kharkiv Krasnokutsk route to Murafa . About 3 km on foot. More than 100 years ago in the present territory of the Volodymyrivka village oak forest grew. In 1884 the sugar manufacturer and philanthropist Ivan Kharitonenko liked these places and decided to build his summer residence here. Construction of the estate was continued by his son Paul. According to legend, the estate was named in honor of the youngest daughter of Paul Kharitonenko – Natalia. Two-storey house was built among ancient oaks, stylized to fairytale tower. Owners were frequently gave lavish receptions here in the mansion. They say they were visited by writer Anton Chekhov and artist Kuzma Petrov-Vodkin . Unfortunately, the house has not preserved to this day. It was destroyed during the Second World War. About original grandeur of the manor reminds the survived front gate based on the design idea of the legendary architect Alexei Schusev who designed Lenin's Mausoleum and Kazansky railway station in Moscow. Also water tower in the Gothic style, stables and guest house decorated with sculptures of lions are preserved. By the way, these lions are special. Sculptor Sergei Konenkov did all three pairs of similar sculptures. One is in Natalievka, another in St. Petersburg and the third in the far abroad . In the manor park of 50ha. which was merged with cleaned areas of natural forest rare trees were growing including the Karelian birch. The peculiar element of composition is the chestnut alley leading from the main gate. But real decoration of the park is Spassko-Transfiguration Church built in 1913 under the management of Alex Schusev. Temple in the style of Pskov- Novgorod Orthodox architecture. According to one version, a copy is located in Nice, and another one is in the Italian city of Bari . Above the main entrance to the temple there is a "Pantocrator" or " Christ Pantocrator " mosaic icon. Paul planned to organize Kharitonenko temple museum and place unique collection of ancient icons, religious books and utensils in there. But after the revolution all the values were taken from Natalevka and now kept in museums, in the Tretyakov`s Gallery mostly. For many years the church was used as a boiler room and even billiards club. And only in 2001 divine service resumed here . Until 2008 there in the outbuildings of estate was placed tuberculosis-sanatorium. Now disinfected, restoration works planned. Visiting of Natalyevsky park is free .
Address: Krasnokutsk village, str. Thalmann, 10
The distance from Kharkov: about 100 km.
Getting there: By bus: from the bus station in the central market – route Kharkiv Krasnokutsk . (In the Krasnokutsk take orienteer by the Church , turn to the left after it) Price of the tour in the arboretum for adults – 15 UAH . , For children, pupils, students – 10 UAH . For information call: ( 05756 ) 03/09/88
Arboretum was laid by the biologist Ivan Karazin, the younger brother of the founder of Kharkiv University Basil Karazin, more than 200 years ago. In searching of new seedlings scientist traveled almost all over America and Europe. It is thanks to Karazin in Ukraine appeared such trees as red and canadian maple, black and red firs, chestnuts, dogwoods, sea buckthorn, plato. Now in Krasnokutsk arboretum the one can find more than 300 species of exotic plants. The highest exemplar is 46 meters tall, as there is a " dwarfs " less than a meter height . Strolling through the alleys you can go down to the picturesque lakes. The upper pond is called the Island of Love planted with American weeping willows . The island is connected to the main walkway with rail bridge. Previously the bridge was diluted and lovers stayed twosome . But the genuine talisman of love is considered ginkgo biloba, which leafs are heart-shaped. These trees can live for over 200 years. Near ginkgo is the entrance to the cave, which are guarded by the Polovtsian stone statues. This cave is part of underground constructions of Petropavlovsk Monastery which was located here in the XVII century. During the reign of Catherine II rebels were hiding in the dungeons. Length of maze reaches 18 meters, including prayer rooms placed here, one of which accommodates up to 500 people. The monastery was closed subsequently, but the caves and tunnels partially preserved in the arboretum to our times . Also at the arboretum is the source of healing water, which is rich with minerals. And the heroes of Russian folk tales are carved on the wooden tablets by local craftsmen. Visiting of the arboretum is free. Optionally you can book an excursion with worker of Krasnokutsk Research Center Horticulture Institute of NAAS which is run by the park. Useful information : The road from Kharkov to Krasnokutsk and back takes about three hours. On the tour you will need at least two hours. So better to stock up with water and drink. The park has a cozy gazebo where you can relax and have a snack. Note also that in rainy weather the entrance to the park is limited because of steep slopes become very slippery.
Sumy city on the river Psyol founded in 1653 by belotserkovsky Cossacks led by Ataman G. Kondratiev fleeing from Poles. The Settlement served as an outpost on the southern borders of Muscovy as a defense against the Tartars. Named for the river. Sumky ("bags") which is Psyol inflows. According to legend, near the river were found three hunting wallets/bags with money ( depicted on the coat of arms ) which gave name to the city. Historical center was a wooden fortress-prison, one of the most powerful in Sloboda Ukraine (current territory Independence Sq.). On the eve of the Battle of Poltava tsar Peter I has been here. In the middle of XVII century town lost defensive function and the fortress was dismantled. In XIX century Sumy experienced industrial growth and flowering of urban development which was initialized by sugar-magnate I. Kharitonenko (who was reminiscent many times in articles about the sights of Kharkivska oblast). Soviet period architecture reflects the style of constructivism. The central pedestrian Cathedral street, nicknamed " hundred " , as well as the surrounding streets were recently restored. Sumy has been visited by Ukrainian philosopher and poet G. Skovoroda and also T. Shevchenko, V. Korolenko, Tchaikovsky were here . Day of the city is the day of liberation of Sum-city from the Nazis in September 2, 1943. But the main celebrations take place on the first weekend of September.
Manor family Kharitonenko late XIX century located at the beginning of Trinity Street and is now in a bad condition reconstruction. Storey office "sugar Emperor" Kharitonenko not yet restored. This makes it impossible to admire its classic façade ornaments. But the monumental buildings and so visible , and it is not no curtain nets Painting ! Cost for office floors, more modest , compared with office buildings , mansion . Its two floors today are not as pleasing to look once its baroque stucco decorations. In the courtyard of the manor is a park overlooking the beach of Psla river. In the Soviet era in the estate took Kharitonenko hospital patients Sumy region. Today , the estate has gone from hand to hand . That ex-governor of Sumy Vladimir Shcherban wanted to settle in its walls , urban architects conducted urban councils. Now bankers remodel , remodel , but not dorekonstruiruyut . Kharitonenko had a special taste. This can be an idea by visiting Sumy Cadet Corps , which buildings are built with the most direct – financial – involving " capitalist benefactor ."
Where: Petropavlovskaya str., 58
"A whole palace is the highlight of the old town" – it's about a two-story mansion of Sumovskaya-family of nineteenth century. Now the Institute of Applied Physics is located there. The name of manor Sumovskaya architect is unknown but judging by the way the building separated from the boardwalk at the corner of St. Peter and Paul and the Academic the one can tell with confidence about the architect – master. This fact still allows you to admire the graceful forms and plenty of moldings on the facade of the house. Among the architectural proportions of the estate there is so-called "three-part". It is expressed by three protrusive volumes that gives the building a residential view and predetermines small inner halls and rooms. Facade decor: the first floor is rusticated by "rough cast", the second is trimmed according to the rules of classical architecture using of half-columns and pilasters of the Corinthian order which is based on the carrying part of the building called "entablature". Frieze and pilasters are covered with stucco garlands, vignettes, cornice upholds by frequent modillions relief . Window pediments decorated with locks arched bridges in the form of lions' heads. In the niches between the protruding portions of the facade there are cozy balconies with molded balusters. Both buildings are architectural ensemble combined with openwork metal grille plastered brick pillars.
Parkhomovka village on the river. Kotel'va located between Ahtyrka and Krasnokutsk. Founded in 1688, village belonged to Colonel Akhtyrsky and large landowner I. Perekrestov but in 1704 it was confiscated by the Treasury for money-grubbing. In 1769 Empress Catherine II gave the village to famed Lieutenant- General and Count I. Podgorichani, Serb by origin, who established the manor and founded a distillery. In the end of XVIII century two-storey palace in the style of the Florentine palazzo was built here and the regular park grounded. Part of the estate was Intercession Church which was built in 1808 by the widow of general by general project of Kharkov province architect, P. Yaroslavsky. After the death of the Podgorichani sons in 1812 Parkhomovka inherited by their distant relative, I. Vukotic. Then changed owners several times. In 1882 Pakhomovka was bought by the entrepreneur P. Kharitonenko then he started sugar factory there, where manager was the artist's Malevich father ( there is a house of manager) . Now there in the palace of Podgorichani is a unique art gallery which is based by Parkhomovsk-teacher Lunev in 1955. Parkhomovskian History and Art Museum called "rural Hermitage" thanks to many masterpieces of world art including works by Rembrandt, Benoit, Aivazovsky, Malevich, Kandinsky, Roerich, Picasso etc.
Nizy ("Gutter") is a small village in the valley of river Psyol and located 20 km on south from Sumy. Founded in XVI by Sumy Colonel G. Kondratiev. The name probably originated from the unusual location of the village on a high flood plain of the river valley. In the middle of XIX century descendant of Colonel N. Kondratiev opened sugar factory and built a small wooden manor house here in Nizy. In 1871-79 Kandratev was visited by the composer Tchaikovsky almost every summer. He wrote the famous opera "Slippers", worked on the Second and Third Symphonies and possibly on the opera "Eugene Onegin" here. In 1880 the estate became the property of industrialist Sukhanov who had demolished outbuilding of Tchaikovsky in the process of manor reconstruction. In Soviet times, there in the manor house high school was located. Now it is a memorial museum of Tchaikovsky. The church built in the second half of XIX century is well preserved by now.
Trostianets city is the district center on the river Boromlya (Vorskla inflow) and lays on Sumy-Poltava track, 20 km from Ahtyrka . Founded in the XVIII century by runaway peasants and Cossacks near the picturesque place Neskuchnoye ("Not boring :)") where are three lakes placed among mixed pine-hardwood forests. The name probably due to the vegetation on the banks of ponds . In 1672 the land was in temporary use of Akhtyrsky Colonel I. Perekrestov . 13 years later he took Trostianets in permanent possession but lost it under Peter I "because of greed ". Departed to the Treasury this land in 1720 were transferred to Peter`s I confessor T. Nadarzhinsky, whose sons – Joseph , Denis, Gerasim and Philip – in 1749 built a peasant manor "Round House". Nadarzhinsky built and Annunciation Church ( 1750 ) preserved to this day. Since 1843 the estate became the property of Prince Golitsyn who built a palace in the classical style and retooled "Round House" under the open-air theater in the style of the Roman Colosseum. Famous composer Tchaikovsky has been visiting Golitsyn. The last owners of the manor were sugar-planters Koenig . Trostianets now known with products of the chocolate factory "Ukraine" (trade mark "Korona" ("Crown") belongs to Kraft Foods inc.).
Ahtyrka-city founded in the middle XVII on the bank of Vorskla on the site of the Tatar yurt Akhtyrov . The name comes from the name of the river and a small mountain Akhtyrov (Turkic – " white ravine" ) . Already, in 1647 Akhtyrka-city contract passed under the authority of Moscow tsar. Core of the city was contented with a small fort which occupied the territory of present center: from the river to the area of the St. Basil's Cathedral (not preserved). Akhtyrska fortress played an important role during the Great Northern War, forcing Charles XII abandon plans to capture the city and moving to the East . After the liquidation of Cossacks in 1765 Ahtyrka became a district center of Kharkov province. Now it is not only a major industrial city and a center of oil production but also a kind of museum of temples in the open air. There are many monuments of religious architecture: St. Basil's Cathedral ( 1753-68 yy.) By Rastrelli, Vvedenskaya Church ( 1774-84 yy.), St. Michael church ( 1884 ) with domes, St. George's Church (1908) and revived Trinity Monastery founded in 1654 in the forest on the banks of the Vorskla nearby modern resort area Buymerovka .
Kotel'va village is the district center on the river Kotel'va ( Vorskla inflow ) on the Sumy-Poltava-track. The settlement appeared around Kotelevskaya fortress built in the beginning of XVII to protect Sloboda Ukraine. First mentioned in the report of Hetman S. Skalozub ("Puffer") about Tatar`s attack. Name possibly due to the low-lying ("kotel") of the village, although according to local legend , was the name of the first settler – Cossack named Kotel ("boiler"). At various times Kotel'va was little town subordinated to Hadiach, Poltava, and Zinkovska Okhtyrskiy regiments. Pentagonal fortress was strengthened by a deep moat and high earthen wall with four wooden towers with heavy gates on top. In 1709 it was taken by Swedish troops. In the second half of XVIII century Kotel'va became the center of Chumak fishing. Here were born writer Nikolai Burliuk and the famous guerrilla commander S. Kovpak (monument) . Preserved Trinity Church ( 1812), Kovpakivskiy arboretum ( 1918) . Nearby is the famous Belaya (white) settlement, which equated with the Scythian capital Gelon. Administration of the Historical and Cultural Reserve "Bielsko" placed in Kotelva . Bel'sk village at the river Vorskla founded in XIV century on the site of the largest in Europe Scythian settlement (VII-III centuries BC). First Bel'sk mentioned in 1399 in due to the battle between the troops of the Lithuanian Grand Duke Vytautas and Temir Kutluy. Appears on the map G. de Boplan (XVII century.) while it was the possession of Prince Vishnevetsky . At various times, was part of the Bielsko Hadiach, Poltava, Zinkivskogo Regiment. In the XVIII century became а part of the Russian Empire. Now attracts tourists with the giant hill forts located around Bielski settlement. To create a museum complex is also in plans.