UNESCO World Heritage in Ukraine

Ukraine is rich not only in natural resources but also in cultural heritage. Throughout its long history, the predecessors left real architectural masterpieces that have been admired by more than one generation. So on the territory of Ukraine today there are 7 objects that are included in the UNESCO World Heritage List. This is 0.7% of the total number of objects on the UNESCO list. According to cultural criteria, the list includes 6 objects, one of which is recognized as a masterpiece of human genius. According to natural criteria, there is 1 object.

Let us introduce the objects of cultural heritage of Ukraine, which have survived to this day and are unique in their kind:

1.1.St. Sophia’s Cathedral (Kyiv) – the greatest architectural structure, built by Yaroslav the Wise the Grand Prince in 1037. It preserved until now not only the richness of ancient architecture, but also the picturesque decoration of the 11th century, mainly mosaics and frescoes. Religious and state ideas of that time were embodied in the artistic image of Sophia of Kiev. The ensemble of mosaics is decorated with the main altar of the St. Sofia’s Temple. Entering the Cathedral, the glance is captured by the majestic figure of the praying Virgin of Oranta (Divine Wisdom), located in the vault of the altar. Frescoes of St. Sophia’s Cathedral are an interesting source of information about the life of the prince’s court and that way of life. They are the only preserved collection of paintings from the period of Kievan Rus. There are graffiti, i.e. ancient Russian inscriptions, which are the most important document of the dating of murals, on the walls of the cathedral. Apparently, the central part of the building works was performed in the 40’s, and in the galleries – in the 60s of the 11th century. Along with the famous ensembles of Ravenna, Venice, Montreal, Daphne, Palermo, ancient Constantinople, they occupy a prominent place in the treasury of world culture. St. Sophia Cathedral is included in the UNESCO’s World Heritage List.

1.2.Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra (Kyiv) – was founded in 1051 by the monk Anthony, who created here the first prayer communities, settling in the caves of the future Pechersky monastery. It is from the caves that the monastery takes its name. At the request of Antony, Prince Izyaslav gave the monastery territory, which includes the whole mountain above the caves. In 1062 the monastery was called Pechersky. Since the end of XI century. began to build-up the territory of the monastery. The Assumption Cathedral, the Trinity Gate Church and the Refectory were built.
It was in the walls of the Caves Monastery in 1113 that the chronicler Nestor wrote “The Tale of Bygone Years” – the main source of modern knowledge about Kyivan Rus. The monastery received the status of the lavra in 1688. The lavra was an honorary title, which was awarded only to large and significant monasteries. The Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra becomes a spiritual and cultural-enlightenment centre. In the middle of the XVIII century was formed a unique architectural ensemble of the Lavra, preserved to this day.

The Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra became the largest monastery of Kyivan Rus, the area of which was about 30 hectares. The territory of the monastery includes near and distant caves. It should be noted that the bell tower is 96.5 m high, which until the 20th century was the highest building in Kyiv. In the 1920’s the monastery was closed by making a museum town on its territory. In 1941 The Holy Dormition Cathedral was blown up. Only in 1988 the Lavra was opened, and in 1990 is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage List. In 2000, the Assumption Cathedral was rebuilt. Today, on the territory of the Lavra, there are museums, unique shrines, and in the caves are the relics of saints.

1.3.The Transfiguration Church (Church of the Savior on Berestov, Kyiv) – one of the oldest churches in Kyiv, it is located near the Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra. Being outside the Lavra, the church is still considered to be a part of the historical complex related to the World Heritage. The name of the church comes from Berestovo village, which used to be here (now it is the territory of the Glory Park). The village was a suburban estate of Kyiv princes. According to the annals, the church was built by Volodymyr Monomakh in the beginning of the XII century as the main cathedral of the Transfiguration Monastery, because it is the residence of princes of the Monomakhovich family. Not only the representatives of princely family are buried here, but also Yuri Dolgoruky, Gleb Yuryevich, the Prince of Kyiv. In the XVII century at metropolitan Petra Mohyla, the Athonite masters were invited to work on the murals of the church. In the XVIII century the temple was reconstructed, and in the XIX century was completed the bell tower. In the 1980s during the excavation, about 80 different graves were discovered. The Church of the Savior on Berestov has been listed in UNESCO World Heritage List since 1990. Until now, not only the church itself, but also its interior with the ancient frescoes of the XII century, has survived.

2.The historical center of Lviv is the central part of the city of Lviv, or the Old Town. Lviv is rightly called the city-museum. Here the buildings from the XIV-XVIII centuries, which are now architectural monuments and protected by the state, have survived to this day. In its urban development, Lviv is a unique example of the combination of architectural and artistic traditions of Eastern Europe. For many centuries, Lviv has attracted the attention of various states and nationalities, being the epicenter of cultural, commercial and political life. As proof of this, we see today the architectural diversity of Lviv, such as the buildings of the Habsburg Empire period, the so-called Austrian Lviv, the oldest Armenian church with its unusual paintings, a beautiful Polish church with rich decoration and other religious buildings included in this list.

3.1.Point of the Geodetic Struve Arc “Katerynivka” (village of Katerynivka, Khmelnitsky region) is the point of the Struve Arc on route 49 ° 33′57 ″ alt 26 ° 45′22 ″ long. The Struve Arc is a network of 265 triangulation points with a length of about 2,820 km. It is stone cubes embedded in the ground (the length of each bar is 2 m). The arc was created by the astronomer Friedrich Struve to determine the parameters of the Earth, its shape and size. The measurements carried out by F. Struve in 1816-1855 were of great importance for science and have been used for more than 130 years. Nowadays, the verification of Struve measurements using satellite methods has shown an error of only 2 cm. Today in Europe there are 34 points of the Struve Arcs, which are included in the UNESCO World Heritage List.
3.2.The “Felshtyn” Point of Struve geodetic arc (vil.Gvardiiske, Khmelnitsky region) lies along route 49 ° 19′48 ″ altitude and 26 ° 40′55 ″ longtitude.
3.3.The “Baranivka” geodetic Struve arc point (Baranivka village, Khmelnitsky region) lies along the route 49 ° 08′55 ″ altitude and 26 ° 59′30 ″ longtitude.
3.4.The “Staro-Nekrasivka” Struve geodetic arc point (the village of Old Nekrasivka, Odessa region) is located along the route 45 ° 19′54 ″ altitude 28 ° 55′41 ″ longtitude.

4.The mighty beech forests in the Carpathians are a protected zone, which includes ten reserves located in Ukraine and Slovakia along an axis of 185 km. Reserves as a model of pristine forests are an ecosystem of a moderate climate zone. The conditions preserved in the reserve zone allow studying the ecological structures and growth processes of European beech. The ancient beech forests of the Carpathians are an invaluable genetic repository of beech and indicate the processes of both restoration and development of terrestrial ecosystems and settlements. In Ukraine, the heritage list includes the national natural parks of “Synevir”, “The Enchanted Land” and “Podilski Tovtry”, as well as the nature reserves of “Gorgany” and “Roztochchia”.

5.The residence of the metropolitans of Bukovyna and Dalmatia (Chernivtsi) is the former residence of the Orthodox metropolitans of Bukovyna and Dalmatia, built in 1864-1882. The structure impresses with its architectural design and rich decoration, combining Byzantine, Oriental and folk motifs. The residence is the main attraction of the city of Chernivtsi.

6.The ancient city of Tauric Chersonesos and its choir (Sevastopol) is a historical and archaeological reserve located on the coast of Crimea. Chersonesos, founded in the 5th c. BC, is considered to be the only ancient polis (the so-called urban community) of the Northern Black Sea, in which life was maintained until the end of the XIV century. It is another cultural heritage.

7.1.The Church of St. Jura (Drohobych, Lviv region) is a wooden church in the Galician style, built in the XV century. As a unique wooden church, it is part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site Wooden Churches of the Carpathian Region of Poland and Ukraine. The list includes 16 churches, 8 of which are in Ukraine. In total, Ukraine has preserved up to 2 thousand objects of wooden sacral architecture.
7.2.The Cathedral Church of the Blessed Virgin Mary (v. Matkiv, Lviv region) is a wooden church built in the style of Boikovian architecture (1838).
7.3.The Church of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary (Nyzhnii Verbizh village, Ivano-Frankivsk region) is a wooden church, built in 1756-1808. The style is more like sacral structures of Podillia and Slobozhanshchina rather than typical Hutsul structures.
7.4.The Church of the Descent of the Holy Spirit (Potelych, Lviv region) is a wooden church built in 1502. It is a type of Galician architecture and is the oldest church preserved in Lviv region.
7.5.The Church of the Descent of the Holy Spirit (village Rogatin, Ivano-Frankivsk region) is a wooden church built in 1598, although the first mention of it is found in 1481. It is considered to be one of the oldest wooden churches in Ukraine. Today the building is used as a museum and is included in the museum complex. Here you can see the authentic iconostasis of 1650.
7.6.The Church of St. Michael the Archangel (Uzhok village, Zakarpattia region) is a wooden church in the style of Boyky architecture (1745), located on the ledge of a high hill.
7.7.The Church of the Ascension (village of Yasynia, Zakarpattia region) is a wooden church built in 1824. It is a monument of Hutsul architecture. An ancient iconostasis has been preserved in the church, and an old cemetery and belfry (1813) are located next to it.
7.8.The Church of the Holy Trinity (Zolkva village, Lviv region) is a wooden church in Galician style (1720). The church houses a unique iconostasis, where the images of saints are endowed with elements of Ukrainian type.

This list of wealth of Ukraine does not end here. The government has proposed a number of objects on the list of world heritage sites. So let’s wait for a positive outcome. In the meantime, we invite you to visit our country and see for yourself its beauty and versatility.


БудьмоFirst of all, every tourist will definitely get acquainted with the national cuisine of the country you came to. If you plan to visit Ukraine, then be sure, we have something to surprise. It has long been no secret that many dishes of Ukrainian cuisine have gained love, becoming popular all over the world.
Ukrainian cuisine, associated with our culture, evolved over the centuries. The peculiarity of the cuisine is rich and high-calorie dishes, mostly boiled or stewed, and quite diverse. This diversity was contributed by ethnic groups of Ukrainians and various nationalities living in Ukraine, and, of course, favourable climatic conditions of the country.
In Ukraine, for a long time grown all kinds of crops, fruits and vegetables, bred pigs and poultry. The abundance of rivers and lakes gave many fish, and forests – mushrooms and berries. On the table there were always baked bread, porridge, borsch and lard with garlic.
It is impossible not to say about the hospitality of the Ukrainian people. Many foreign guests who have visited Ukraine first of all will note this distinctive feature of Ukrainians. We go to visit with great pleasure! And the hosts greeted the guests with “bread and salt”, serving the most delicious food on the table. Although today an ancient tradition to meet with bread and salt has preserved only during wedding ceremonies. And nevertheless, if you visit the Ukrainian even for a minute, you will be asked to come into the house and be sure to invite to the table.
So what dishes should be taste first of all? Let’s name the most popular, which became a visiting card of the Ukrainian cuisine:

1. Ukrainian borsch with pampushkas. The history of the creation goes far into the oblivion, therefore the author of this dish is unknown. We consider that borsch was invented by Zaporozhian Cossacks, and the word “borsch” was obtained by rearranging the letters from the name of the soup “shcherba”. Although some Slavic peoples consider this dish to be their creation. But anyway, borsch is known and loved all over the world. And it got the biggest distribution in Ukraine. Borsch, the so-called Ukrainian or red, is brewed on meat broth or on a roast (garlic, onion, lard). The mandatory ingredient is beetroot (Ukrainian “Buryak”). Sour cream is condiment to this dish and served with a roll (ukr. “Pampushka”), grated garlic.
2. Cabbage rolls. This centuries-old dish, borrowed from other nationalities, has become so popular in Ukraine that many consider it to be national. Cabbage rolls consider especially tasty in Western Ukraine, where the quantity of recipes of this dish simply can not be count. Traditionally, Ukrainian cabbage rolls are prepared from minced meat mixed with boiled rice and wrapped in a leaf of cabbage.
3. Deruny. Another favourite dish among Ukrainians. They are potato pancakes from finely grated potatoes, which are served with various fillings (sour cream, cracklings, mushrooms). In Ukraine, in various regions of the country, the deruny are also called “dranyky”, “drachanyky” or “kremzlyky.”
4. Varenyky. Ukrainian national dish. Prepared varenyky from an unleavened dough in the form of a small envelope with a filling inside. Fillings can be both sweet and salty. Popular are varenyky with meat, potato, cheese, stewed cabbage and cherries. Served with sour cream, butter, onion and cracklings. Besides to the kitchen, varenyky are often remembered in folk songs and verses:
«А мій милий вареничків хоче.
А мій милий вареничків хоче.
Навари, милая, навари, милая.
Навари, у-ха-ха, моя чорнобривая…»
5. Lard. A traditional product, which is necessarily presents on the table of every Ukrainian. Even in our ancestors, lard was considered indispensable not only in food, but also in the treatment of various diseases – toothache or pain in the joints. We can not imagine a Ukrainian without lard. Even in Ukrainian jokes and fables you will certainly hear about lard:
“Two Ukrainians are talking:
“Did you hear that there is sclerosis from lard?”
“That’s what I think, when I eat lard in the morning, I do not remember the whole day that I want to eat.”

So in Ukraine, lard is served in any form – fresh, salted, smoked, boiled, fried. Most often it is eaten with garlic, onion, pepper and, of course, with black bread. Desserts are also prepared from lard. For example, lard in chocolate is served in restaurants as a delicacy.
And in Lviv is the only museum-restaurant of lard in the world, where you can not only eat a national dish, but also admire the exhibition of products from lard.

And finally, the list of festivals dedicated to traditional Ukrainian dishes:
– gastronomic festival “Borshchiv” (September, Borshchiv village, Ternopil region)
– Festival “Derun Fest” (September, Korosten, Zhytomyr region),
– Festival “Lard and moonshine” (September, Ternopil).

Welcome to Ukraine!