The spirit of the Carpathians. Bohorodchany
In the southwestern part of Ukraine everyone can find the Carpathian
Mountains. They are divided into Gorhany (the highest peak Syvulia is
1,836 m high) and Chornohory (the highest peak Hoverla is 2,061m high).
So, the Ukrainian Carpathians are not very high. But this is a splendid
and unforgettable sight. The rapid waves of the mountain rivers clearly
break over the steep banks. The high hills stretch to the blue sky. A
lot of peaks are covered with snow even in early summer. Aromatic
forests greet you with the cool and heady air of fir trees.
The Carpathians have the summits and gentle slopes. There are many
treeless summits, which are called polonynas. The mountains have mostly
coniferous and deciduous trees. You can find fir, pine, oak, beech,
birch, hornbeam and linden in those places. The wealth of the forests
includes also a variety of berries and a great number of mushrooms and
Among all this beauty many animals live. The animal rife of the
Carpathians is unique. We can find roe-deer, fox, marten, wild boar,
wolf, hare, mink, lynx, badger, stoat, deer, bear which dwell here. Rich
and varied is the world of birds. Black-cock, golden eagle, woodpecker,
stone thrush fondle us their songs and majesty. In spring the plateaus
are abloom with saffron, primrose, mercury, snowdrop, edelweiss.
There are many legends about the springs with the healthy water! The
swift rivers take their sources in the mountains. The Bystrytsia and
Limnytsia, the Svicha and Prut, the Cheremosh and Lukva make the blue
roads through the green forests and yellow valleys.
Wonderful and hard-working people live in this land of beauty called the
Subcarpathian region. They use the nature’s gifts in their life but try
to keep its grandeur. According to the way of living, the people are
divided into the inhabitants of towns and villages. But most people live
in the villages. Everyone knows they are hospitable, friendly and
This region has a rich and glorious history. The territory of our land
was settled nearly 100,000 years ago. More than 20 settlements of
Trypillia were found in Precarpathian region in Gorodenka, Kolomyia and
Sniatyn districts. But this land is famous for today’s national roots
too. The works of carving, embroidering, weaving, ceramics and engraving
are known all over Ukraine and in many countries of the world. The best
craftsmen make real masterpieces using wood.
If you want to see the old traditions, welcome to Precarpattia. We’ll
teach you to dance kolomyika and to sing folk songs and carols, to play
the trembita and to cook real varenyky, kulish and brynza. We’ll show
you genuine Ukrainian Hutsul wedding in their original costumes. You
will have a chance to listen to the interesting stories about glorious
past, nowadays life and plans for future of ordinary Ukrainians near the
real vatra. If you like different curious tales we’ll tell you true
stories about the unusual inhabitants of ancient castles, about today’s
residents of the forests: mavkas, vodianyks, lisovyks, rusalkas, and
domovyks that are members of the family and live in each house. Don’t be
afraid of them. They are very friendly and kind creatures. But be
careful of bad witches and spirits that can stand on your way.
The legends and true stories are described in the works of our poets and
writers. Maybe you’ve heard about such outstanding people of
Subcarpathian region as Vasyl’ Stefanyk,
Les’ Martovych, Marko Cheremshyna, Antin Mohyl’nyts’kyi. The best
classics of Ukrainian art M.Kotsiubyns’kyi, L.Ukrainka, H.Chotkevich,
M.Lysenko, M.Zan’kovets’ka, I.Franko liked to work and rest near the
Carpathians. Many poets and writers, painters and composers glorify our
rich and wonderful land. The name of Nastia Lisovs’ka or Roksolana is
known all over the world. She was the favourite wife of Suleiman sultan
of Turkey.Roksolana came from Galicia, she was a very educated, clever
and pretty woman who made a large contribution to the history of two
The picturesque Ivano-Frankivs’k region is situated in the southwest of
Ukraine at the foothills of the Ukrainian Carpathians. Prycarpattia
stretches for 143 kilometres from east to west and 196 kilometres from
north to south. We see that in the northwest this region borders on
Ternopil’ region, in the southeast on Chernivtsi region and in the
southwest on Tranthcarpathian region. The state border between Ukraine
and Rumania runs to the south of Ivano-Frankivs’k region.
The region covers the territory of 13,9 thousand square kilometres and
has a population of 1,5 million people, mostly Ukrainians. The regional
centre is Ivano-Frankivs’k. Bohorodchany, Dolyna, Halych, Horodenka,
Kalush, Kolomyia, Kosiv, Nadvirna, Rohatyn, Rozhniativ, Sniatyn,
Tlumach, Tysmenyts’a, Verkhovyna are the district centres. Every
populated area has its rich history presented by monuments or memorials
to the past or nature. But there are many special places that welcome
tourists mostly from various parts of Ukraine or world. They are the
nature resorts. Yaremche, Maniava, Guta, Osmoloda, Vorokhta, Bubnyshche
attract a lot of people each season. Halych, Krylos, Rohatyn, Hoshiv,
Otyniya, Kuty are the famous places of the past. There are many routes
of tourists’ paths which can help you to learn Prykarpattia better.
Welcome to our land!
And now some words about my native town. I live in a small settlement
which is situated in the picturesque corner of the Carpathian Mountains.
Its name is Bohorodchany. It is a small but very beautiful town.
Bohorodchany isn’t very old. It dates back to 1631 but there is a
village near it which has already celebrated its 560lh anniversary and
was the basis of today’s town. Bohorodchany lies on the right bank of
the River Bystrytsia Solotvyns’ka, the tributary of the Prut. The
population is 8 thousand people. They like the town and take care of its
prosperity and harmony.
Let’s make an imaginary excursion along the town’s streets. Our
excursion will not be very long because I’ll stop on the most important
sights. Frankly speaking, our town became beautiful due to foreign
builders: they built fine and modern buildings for the townspeople. Now
we have houses which look the same as in Hungary, Slovakia, Germany, and
Poland. That’s why it looks like a real small European settlement. And
one time there was an intention to rename it to the town of Druzhba
(Friendship). But the old name keeps its strength. So, our town is named
after the goddess and there are some legends about her intercession for
the inhabitants of these places.
There are a lot of historical monuments in Bohorodchany. I want to start
with two churches which are our pride. In the 18th century, there was a
Dominican monastery here. It was the large complex of buildings. Today
there is an Orthodox Church there. On one of its walls we can see the
bas-relief to the famous man Olexa Dovbush. According to legend Olexa
with his legins attacked the Fortress of Bohorodchany and burned it
down. The remnants of the walls of the fortress are at the river. The
other Greek-Catholic Church is a tall and magnificent edifice. There is
a statue to our patron goddess near it. On the walls of this church
there are two memorial plaques to G.Chomyshyn and I.Latyshevs’kyi.
Our town is famous for the great Ukrainian patriot Olexa Hirnyk who was
born in it. He had burned himself in Kaniv on Chernecha Hill in a
protest to the then politics. There is a monument near his native house
and the bas-relief on the building of school # 1 named after him.
Bohorodchany is known for the iconstand which is the masterpiece of the
Ukrainian painting of the 18th century by Iov Kondslevych. It is
exhibited in L’viv now.
There are some more monuments to the past in our town: the bas-relief to
P.Martynets’ (a strilets’ of Sich) and D.Mysuchin (a hero of the war), a
monument to the tortured soldiers of UUA, a memorial complex to those
who died in World War II, a symbolic tomb to the fighters for the
freedom of Ukraine, a monument and a bas-relief to T.Shevchenko. It was
the glorious past of our town. But nowadays the inhabitants of
Bohorodchany live and work to show the beauty of today’s life. Among the
majestic nature people have built different enterprises. The largest one
is the gas-compressor station on the oil pipelines and the gas mains.
If you are in the Carpathians, you can visit Bohorodchany driving from
Ivano-Frankivs’k to Guta or Maniava. You’ll like it. You’ll rest in the
nature’s lap, enjoy fresh air and clean water, visit good and hospitable
people and forget about your everyday life in town.
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