The small picturesque town Vasilyevka is a must for all adventurous history and nature lovers. Located on the southeast of Ukraine in Zaporozhskiy (Zaporozhye, ZP, Z-city) region, it brings the spirit of old Ukrainian traditions, culture and mentality to everyone. Mild climate of Ukraine with hot summers and snowy winters, the nearest Kahovskoe reservoir and the river with unusual name Karachekrak makes this town a perfect place for the green tourism and the weekend rest from "big city life”. Join it!
So, are you interested? To reach Vasilyevka you need to get through almost 50 km from the Z-city. You can use the highway Kharkiv – Simferopol (or M-18, E 105, T-0817, P-37 roads) and by the railway Zaporozhye- Simferopol (station Tauride, Dnieper railway junction is the beginning of a branch going to the city and Dneprorudnoe Energodar.)
The spirit of the Wild Field
The history of Vasilyevka began from the small cossacks settlement on the left side of the river Conca, formed as a border between Russia and Crimean Khanate by the Treaty of Belgrade (1739). After 1784 several such settlements district under the decree of Catherine II and became the property of Major-General Vasily Popov, whom immediately began to settle in his own serfs from Ekaterinoslav (Dnepropetrovsk now) and Chernigov governorship. Soon there were formed the village Vasilyevka, named by its owner-landlord. Since 1957 near 15500 friendly people officially call this amazing place «town».
In 1864 the grandson of Vasily Popov, began the building there of one of the most known ZP landmark – Popov Castle, the biggest palace and park complexes in the south of the Russian Empire in that times. Now it is the only manor castle complex in the Zaporozhskiy region and, just imagine that – is the only complex in Ukraine, where represented almost all elements of building since the development of the Wild Field.
As the legend say, Vasily tried to make the building of the castle as long as he could, because he had reached the prediction, that the beginning of the castle’s life bring the end of his own life. Ended only to the twentieth century, the buildings of Palace combine elements of Baroque, Romanesque and Gothic styles. The castle like a real royal palace was gorgeous inside – there were the famous mirror and the mechanical rooms. The constituent parts of the architectural complex were three outbuildings, stables and an observation tower, the facade of which was like a fragment of the Moscow Kremlin. Below the castle were the wine cellars and saunas for every taste - Russian, Turkish, Finnish and Roman. Above – ballroom and art gallery. In the latter collected the originals of Titian, Goya and Rembrandt. Since 1907 in the castle was functioning unique Museum of Ethnography, which was representing 15 nations of the world. At the beginning of the century in Vasilevka was put the service of electrical and meteorological station, which was included in the overall network Met Russia. On the 4th floor of the Observatory was created a platform with a telescope. Next to the telescope were the statues of Italian sculptor Lombards.
Going, going, gone?
Unfortunately, this pearl of architecture is almost destroyed and lost in now. In January 1918 the Bolsheviks looted all valuables and threw the statues down.in 1934, after a terrible famine, the local people decided to build a house of culture, trying to save the greatness of that place. All in all, as the official version says, the Nazis at last destroyed the palace: the building demolished for the construction of fortifications. In 1944-1945, the rest of the palace was commissioned to build roads and barns. However, three outbuildings, the stable and the observation tower were saved, although they need reparation so much.
The observation tower – the most valuable architectural structure of the complex Experts from Moscow and St. Petersburg, called it "a masterpiece of urban planning world importance.", as they were surprised by precision and craftsmanship of masonry brick, brought to perfection: the gap between the bricks on the outside - 4 mm, and lancet arches, only 1 mm.
Past-future-present of Vasilyevka
In 1989 the work on the creation of the museum had begun. Finely, the museum was created in 1993 and now has a permanent exhibition. No are open to the public: Ethnographic Hall, a room devoted to the Second World War, exhibition by local artists and the hall, which contains exhibits relating to the Popov castle: photos, documents, model-reconstruction of the estate, elements of interior decoration of the castle, some of the remaining items from his room.
Also you can join local festivals-tournaments for people involved in historical reconstruction of different ages and countries, as well as those interested in role-modeling. Or you can visit thematically evenings, like "Tsvetayeva fire” at this weekends. Don’t forget to tasty delicious Ukrainian food! All in all, even the rests of luxury castle are worth of seeing – they show how important is to appreciate the past and the history.
Feel the mystery
To experience the spirit of nature and real Slavic culture visit the reservation "Lysaya Gora”, created in 1972. Why this place is so special? Well, according to legend, witches and other fantastic creatures met regularly on the "bald mountain" or "lysaya gora”, where they organized covens. Mentions of bald mountains are found in numerous historical and literary sources, including the works of Nikolai Gogol and Mikhail Bulgakov, as well as in the works by Modest Mussorgsky, Strugatsky Brothers, and others.
So, at this reservation you can see excavated Neolithic burial ground (V mil BC) with 30 graves testify to the settlement of the area in ancient times. Near the burial ground discover the remains of the Late Bronze Age settlement.
Do you want to make your dreams come true? On the Kahovskoe reservoir beach try to find a little rock with a small hole. As a legend says, to make your wish come true you need to see, "to catch” the last beam of the sun in that hole. Even if you don’t find the magic rock, sunsets there are very peaceful and quiet. Relax there and take everything easy! And a couple of camping days in the forest are the greatest way to feel your relation with the Nature. For something hot, explore the nearby hills, rocks and clay cliffs.
To touch a lion
One of the attractions of Vasilevka is a zoo, which is owned by a local man, blacksmith, artist Alexander Pylyshenko. Publications in regional journals and subjects of local and national television gave this place the great popularity. Do you want to know, how "two king of jungles” –a human and a lion – can be friends? Join this zoo and ask the owner about his feelings about the 35-days long living in the cage with the lions – the new Guiness record.
We are going to Vasilevka
Zaporozhskiy region is very charming place for a trip. Vasilevka can give you a bit of peace, a bit of culture and nature string. For something more modern and urbanized you can join nearby Azov sea or Zaporozhye with its cafes, theatres, museums, island Khortitsa and DnieproGES. All in all, Vasilevka and ZP have something special for everyone. Welcome!