Tag Archives: ukraine

Things to See in Ukraine: The Motherland Monument in Kiev Travel Attractions 01 NOV 2016

One of Kiev’s most striking skyline elements is the massive Motherland Monument, also known as Rodina-Mat. Standing at a colossal 62 metres high and visible from just about all over Kiev, there is no surprise in it often being described as one of the capital of Ukraine’s most distinctive features.

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Referred to as “Brezhnev’s Daughter” by the locals, the Motherland Monument is a giant stainless steel statue modelled by Vasyl Borodai and built in celebration of the Soviet Union’s victory over Nazi Germany in the Second World War.

The sculpture is a part of the Museum of The History of Ukraine in World War II, and as a whole, its structure measures 102 m in height, with it weighing in at around 560 tons.

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The sword in the statue’s right hand is 16 m long weighing 9 tons (interesting fact – it had to be shortened so that it no longer stood higher than the cross of the Kiev Pechersk Lavra, aka the Kiev Monastery of the Caves), with the left hand holding up a 13 by 8 m (43 by 26 ft) shield emblazoned with the State Emblem of the Soviet Union.

The Memorial hall of the Museum displays marble plaques with carved names of more than 11,600 soldiers and over 200 workers of the home-front, honored during the war with the title of the Hero of the Soviet Union and the Hero of Socialist Labor respectively.

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The slightly controversial (mostly around cost and choice of premium building material) statue was opened in 1981 (following a short two years of construction) in a ceremony attended by Soviet president Leonid Brezhnev. Interestingly enough, April 2015 saw the parliament of Ukraine outlawing all Soviet and Communist symbols, street names and monuments as a decommunization attempt, but luckily for Mother Motherland, World War II monuments are excluded from these laws.

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The sheer scale of this statue makes it an interesting  attraction to seek out, and of course, for military history buffs, the associated museum is an absolute treasure trove of information, gear and machinery.

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(Also, check out Destinations if you are looking for a good Travel Guide about Ukraine)

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Related Link: Motherland Monument | Wikipedia | Kiev

Things to See in Ukraine: Sofiyivsky Park in Uman Travel Attractions 27 OCT 2016

The once privately-owned city (by Poland) of Uman, situated in the Cherkasy Oblast in central Ukraine, is home to the beautiful 220 year old Sofiyivsky Park, a landscaped arboretum that accounts for over 2,000 types of trees and brush, and which is recognised as a scenic landmark of word gardening design at the beginning of the 19th century.

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One of the Seven Wonders of Ukraine, Sofiyivsky Park was founded in 1796 by Polish noble  Count Stanisław Szczęsny Potocki, and was then later presented (in 1802) to his Greek wife, the adventurous and storied beauty that was Zofia Potocka as a birthday gift.

Designed by the military engineer Ludwig Metzel, Sofiyivka was largely planned in the classic Italian Baroque gardens tradition of the time, with many concepts from Greco-Roman antiquity in full display. The story has it that by design, the park illustrates different parts of Homer’s poems Odyssey and Iliad. For example, the park has its own Elysian Fields and its own River Styx, with various statues and busts of Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, Apollo, Mercury and Venus gracing the alleys and groves.

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Metzel also incoporated the more contemporary “English style” ideas in landscaping in his design, with so-called “wild sections” also added in for good measure.

These days Sofiyivsky Park is both a public space, a national arboretum and home to the scientific-researching institute of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine (NASU Department of Biology).

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Full of exotic trees, fragrant flowers, hidden pathways, and small lakes, the park is a popular recreational spot, with a reported annual visitor count of around 500,000 people.

In other words, perfect for romantic strolls and picnics then!

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That said, if you are without a date and maybe need some help in the department of dating Ukranian girls, you may very well want to jump on over to jump4love.com and perhaps give one their romance tours a try! ;)

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Related Link: Sofiyivka | WikipediaUman