Author: W2U

10 Interesting Facts about House with Chimaeras

10 Interesting Facts about House with Chimaeras

House with Chimaeras or Horodecki House is an Art Nouveau building located in the historic Lypky neighborhood of Kyiv, the capital of Ukraine. The name derives from sculptural decorations representing the land and underwater wildlife, the attributes of hunting, and fabulous creatures. They look impressive but the following facts will impress you even more.

Fact 1

The house with chimeras was being built from 1901 to 1903 using borrowed funds. The total cost of work and land resulted in 133,000 rubles – a colossal amount for those times.

Fact 2

The estate was erected on an uneven plot over a cliff, which allowed the architect to save on the purchase of land. From the Bankova’s side, the building looks like a three-story building, and from the side of Ivan Franko Square it has twice as many – six floors.

Fact 3

During the construction of the house, Vladislav Gorodetsky passionately dreamed of going on a safari to distant Africa. According to his idea, the building should remind of an African mountain, towering above a lake. That’s why its walls and roofs are adorned with concrete heads of lions, giraffes, antelopes, crocodiles, rhinos and other inhabitants of the savannah.

Fact 4

Excessive passion for hunting led to the fact that in July 1912 Gorodetsky had to lay down the estate. Next year, the mansion was sold by the Kiev Mutual Credit Society to a new owner. To his great regret, the architect was unable to pay his debts on time.

Fact 5

The building was designed and built as a tenement house. On five floors there were apartments that the owner leased. And on the fourth floor (the first on the side of Bankova) there was his own apartment of 13 rooms. The Gorodetsky family occupied the best apartment in the house.

Fact 6

In addition to the apartments, the estate provided a place for two stables, wine cellars, a laundry room and pantries, as well as rooms for coachmen. Moreover, there was a real barn! Gorodetsky was very fond of coffee with fresh cream, and he was going to treat guests with the best milk. The cowshed was arranged so that an unpleasant smell did not penetrate into the rooms and did not cause inconvenience to the residents.

Fact 7

After the sale, the building changed owners a couple of times, and during the October Revolution it was nationalized. At first, communal apartments were made here, and then they were alternately occupied by the military labor logging team, the veterinary department and the hospital of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Ukraine. Now the House with Chimaeras is the Small Residence of the receptions of the President of Ukraine. Foreign delegations are brought here.

Fact 8

In the early 2000s, the House with Chimaeras was completely restored. Workers restored the luxurious interiors of the mansion and bearing piles.

Fact 9

At one time, Mikhail Bulgakov said that without the House with Chimaeras there would have been no Woland nor Azazello. It was the famous decor of the mansion that inspired the writer to create the characters of “Masters and Margarita”.

Fact 10

The story of the House with Chimaeras is fanned by many legends. One of them says that before leaving his beloved mansion, the architect imposed a terrible curse on it. All residents of the estate will be unhappy and will soon go broke. And only the descendants of Vladislav Gorodetsky will be able to live safely in the famous house on Bankova.

Summer in Ukraine: TOP-7 Lakes To Refresh Your Mind And Body

Summer in Ukraine: TOP-7 Lakes To Refresh Your Mind And Body

Ukraine is notable for its glorious landscapes and gorgeous lakes in particular. There are over 20 thousand lakes in Ukraine widely scattered to the floodplains, sea gulfs and deep in the mountains. Here are 7 most beautiful genuine pearls of Ukrainian nature.

1. Synevir Lake

Where: Synevirskaya Polyana, Transcarpathian Region

Synevir is widely regarded as the most beautiful lake in Ukraine. The largest lake in the Carpathian mountains located at the altitude of 989 m, and its area is 4-5 hectares. Maximum depth of the lake is 24 m. The water is very cold, even in the summer the temperature does not exceed 11 degrees.


Synevir lake attracts tourists with its crystal clear waters and unique landscapes.

2. Svityaz Lake

Where: Hayivka, Volyn Region

Shatsky lakes – the largest group of lakes in Ukraine includes more than 30 lakes. Svityaz is the best known one among them. Svityaz is considered to be the deepest Ukrainian lake – its depth reaches over 60 meters.

The lake is rich in fish, therapeutic mud, has clean, extremely clear water and sandy shores.

3. Syvash Lake

Where: Hryhoryivka, Kherson Region

Gee-whizz other planet landscape tinged pink! Syvash Lake is the Gulf of the Azov Sea, the water comes here only through one narrow strait, which frequently dries up in Summer.

The water in the lake is very salty and has a pink color. Scientists have confirmed that a large number of minerals in Sivash water make it therapeutic. It improves the functioning of the joints and strengthens the body as a whole.

4. White Lake

Where: Rudka, Rivne Region

The White lake is well for both family vacation and for tourists. The White lake is known as the lake of youth. The water is famous for its skin softening properties because it contains a lot of glycerin. Lake water is so clean that you can see the sandy bottom through the depth of several meters. The lake has sandy shore and is embosomed with pine forest.

There is a couple of piers where you can jump into water or fish for a while.

5. Molochnyi (Milk) Estuary

Where: Zaporizhzhya Region

Milk Estuary is located on the coast of the Azov Sea. It is separated from the Azov Sea by a split, and at the same time, is joined with it with an artificial channel. The mud of the estuary has therapeutic properties.

6. Yalpuh Lake

Where: Bolgrad, Odessa Region

Yalpukh is the largest lake in Ukraine and the second in Europe freshwater lake of natural origin, which is spilled for as much as 25 kilometers. The lake was formed in the basin of the Danube River.

Yalpuh is gracing the city of Bolgrad, which is surrounded with gardens and vineyards.

7. Shelekhiv Lake

Where: Mezhyrich, Sumy Region

Shelekhivske is the most ancient lake in Ukaine. This lake preserved its pristine beauty from the ice age period. The water in Shelehiv Lake is always cold. This is a very picturesque place.

Due to its remote location, the lake is not popular among travelers. It is very calm and silent area surrounded by pine, maple and alder forests. The lake has a horse-shoe form that envelopes a tiny island in the middle.

Exploring Chernobyl: 6 Must-see Locations of the Exclusion Zone

Exploring Chernobyl: 6 Must-see Locations of the Exclusion Zone

Chernobyl, a town nearby Kyiv is known infamously for the accident in the nearby nuclear power plant on 26 April 1986. Nowadays Chernobyl is visited by 60,000 tourists annually. Radiation from the accident remains around the site, making access severely restricted. A visit to the exclusion zone is a unique experience however, and offers an insight into the scientific, technological and humanitarian aspects of the disaster.

1. Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant

The Chernobyl disaster was the worst nuclear catastrophe in history. Now the deserted station is surrounded by Zone of Exclusion 30 kilometres radius.

The fourth reactor was working for only 3 years, when it suddenly exploded at April, 26 in 1986. The explosion threw 8 tons of radioactive fuel into the atmosphere. The amount of radioactive substances thrown into the atmosphere was 400 times greater than the ejection from the Hiroshima bombing. The disaster was classified by level 7 – the highest one of the nuclear accidents scale. And it is the only accident in history with such a grade.

When visiting the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant today, visitors get to see a giant some 100 m high arch called the New Safe Confinement building, often referred to as the NSC. Its construction was a joint international effort, finished late 2018. Guided tours still stop at a monument about 200 m from the NSC, dedicated to the workers who sacrificed their health in the construction of the old protective Sarcophagus in 1986. Much in contrast with 1986, the radiation levels around the power plant are very low nowadays, and thus very safe to visit.

2. Pripyat ghost town

Abandoned town Pripyat is has become world renown after a fatal accident. Pripyat was the youngest town in the USSR and nowadays it beggars belief that life was once boiling here. New sixteen-story buildings were being built, a modern hospital complex was working daily, a new amusement park was about to open, and smiling children ran along the school corridors. In one tragic day, the life of the inhabitants of Pripyat was divided on before and after the Chernobyl disaster.

Pripyat is located only two kilometers from Chernobyl and took the biggest impact. To save people they were literally taken from the streets away from the place of the catastrophe without money and documents, children were taken from the kindergartens and schools not by their parents, but by rescuers. In this whole mess, often it took several days to find their loved ones, and then for years to restore their documents. Now the abandoned city of Pripyat looks like a shot from a horror film.

3. Pripyat Amusement park

The fun fair in the Pripyat is the place where you realize the whole scale of the catastrophe. Looking at prepared for children carousels, cars and boats where children never skated, you involuntarily feel frightened by the tragedy that has ruined thousands of innocent lives. The Ferris wheel was one of the main attractions and became a cult symbol of both the Pripyat city and the Chernobyl accident. According to an unofficial version, the Ferris wheel worked the next day after the accident…

4. Duga Radar unit

The over-the-horizon radar Duga or Chernobyl-2 object is the largest, most secret and grandiose object of the whole USSR.

Its roar, the rumbling of the torn fastenings is heard to up to now in windy, rainy weather. A top-secret radar was built for the early detection of enemy intercontinental ballistic missiles. Surprisingly, but the station itself was discovered only after it began to work, because the enormous dimensions of the over-the-horizon radar (OTH-SW) allow us to see it literally from outer space.

The construction consists of two antennas – the height of the low-frequency is 150 meters (half of the Eiffel Tower), the high-frequency one – 100 meters (the height of three nine-storey buildings placed on top of each other), the width of the structure is 730 meters which is equal to the length of ten football fields.

This radar unit was dubbed “Russian Woodpecker” for the distinctive sound of rapping in the air. 600 to 700 million dollars was spent on construction – twice as much as for the construction of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant. The construction was ahead of its time, but it became another post-apocalyptic landscape.

5. Monument to the Chernobyl Liquidators

The Monument to the Chernobyl Liquidators is dedicated to firefighters who took part in the liquidation of the consequences of the Chernobyl Disaster. The inscription “To Those Who Saved the World” implies all heroes who consciously sacrificed their lives for the sake of saving others.

The firefighters who contained the blaze had no idea of the real cause of it, so they weren’t properly protected from radiation. Most of them died from acute radiation syndrome in next few weeks. They were buried in zink coffins and their graves were concreted to avoid the spread of radiation from their corpses.

The monument is located near the Chernobyl Fire Station. It is installed on the means of the firemen themselves and is made of concrete, which was used to build the Sarcophagus.

6. Abandoned cargo port

The cargo port was built to provide all necessary supplements for the construction of new power units (5th and 6th reactors) and a modern city of nuclear power engineers. But because of the tragedy it could not fulfill its mission, as well as an amusement park.

Now these metal giants are abandoned and forgotten, and the floating crane slowly disappears under the water and soon only piles of scrap will remind of their existence.

TOP-8 Historical Objects to Visit in Kyiv

TOP-8 Historical Objects to Visit in Kyiv

Kyiv, the capital of Ukraine and one of the oldest and most beautiful cities of the country, offers a variety of interesting and exciting places to see and to visit.

1. Golden Gates

Golden Gates (Zoloti vorota) is another symbol of Kyiv a one of the most important architectural and historical monuments remaining from the Kyivan Rus’ period. The gate, built in 1164 protected the old town and served as the main entrance to Kyiv. You can visit the museum exposition and part of the ancient wall inside and have a look at the city center from its top.

2. Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra

Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra church complex, an UNESCO World Heritage Site, since the foundation in 11th century has been one of the most important places for the Orthodox Christians. You should also visit the caves located within the complex. The Near Caves and the Far Caves exhibit numerous archaeological artifacts.

3. Sophia Kyivska National Reserve

St. Sophia Cathedral, is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It features the largest collection of 11th century frescoes and mosaics.

4. Andriyivsky Uzviz

According to the legend Andriyivsky Uzviz is the exact place where Apostle Andrew predicted the foundation of great Slavic city of Kyiv, overlooking the beautiful lands lying around the hill he was standing on.

Andriyivsky Uzviz is one of the oldest streets in Kyiv and the most creative one – for sure, known as Kyiv’s Monmartre. It seems to be a residence for artists and souvenir sellers. Moreover, it is a very mystical place surrounded by myths and legends.

The highlight of the Uzviz is the stunning gold and blue St. Andrew’s Church shining at the top street.

5. House with Chimaeras

The House with Chimaeras was buildt Vladislav Gorodetsky, the famous Ukrainian architect. The house with Chimaeras is located across the street from President Administration on Bankova Street. This building will catch your eye with its extraordinary figures of exotic animals and hunting scenes.

In the beginning of XX century Gorodetsky wanted to demonstrate possibilities of concrete and decorated the house with numerous of figures.

6. Museum of Ukrainian Folk Architecture

The open-air museum located at the southwest edge of Kyiv displays different samples of regional folk architecture: houses, windmills, churches and schools.

All these buildings are surrounded by beautiful green park.

7. Maydan Nezalezhnosti

Maydan Nezalezhnosti, the central square of Kyiv, can be truly considered the heart of the city. The name is translated as “Independence Square”.

Maydan has become a place of great hope where history was written. The square have witnessed the most dramatic chapter of contemporary Ukrainian history, the events that changed Ukraine, such as the Revolution of Dignity 2013-2014, the Orange Revolution in 2004 and pro-independence protests in early 1990’s. Every single sightseeing program includes this point.

8. Chernobyl Exclusion Zone

33 years ago, the world’s worst nuclear disaster took place in a Ukrainian town near Kyiv. The Chernobyl nuclear disaster happened overnight on 25-26 April 1986 in the now-abandoned town of Pripyat, when an explosion sent radioactive material into the air.

The exclusion zone is has been open to the public since 2011, when authorities deemed it safe to visit.

Kyiv Is Among the Greenest European Cities

Kyiv Is Among the Greenest European Cities

Living in a capital or a big city is cool in many aspects: you get access to employment, better schooling, healthcare and cultural events. But there are many disadvantages, too — such as increased stress and noise, and lesser access to fresh air and nature. That is why urban centers with enough green spaces are so appreciated. And that is why it’s so good to know that the capital of Ukraine is among the greenest cities of Europe.

This was identified by Phillipp Gärtner, the urban and forestry researcher who used a method of processing satellite images and measuring their pixels to detect which cities are better for living from the ecological point of view. Gärtner has generated the Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) for 43 of Europe’s capitals. The NDVI analyses remote sensing measurements to determine whether a target area contains live vegetation or not. For consistency, the area analyzed is a 5-mile radius circle around each city’s official city center.

The results tend to be weighted towards the smaller capitals as they generally have less metropolitan area. Coastal cities feature on the low end of the scale due to the non-plantable area so Gärtner has compiled a list of both cities with a population of above two million and the greenest seaside capital.

Here are the rankings from most green to least green:

Sarajevo – 0.6778
Vaduz – 0.6738
Ljubljana – 0.6114
Andorra La Vella – 0.6074
Bern – 0.5996
Luxembourg – 0.5801
Vilnius – 0.5137
Tallin – 0.459
Monaco – 0.4395
Oslo – 0.4356
Riga – 0.4238
Zagreb – 0.4121
Bratislava – 0.4043
Chisinau – 0.3926
Kyiv – 0.3887
Stockholm – 0.3777
Helsinki – 0.3769
Prague – 0.3692
Warsaw – 0.3653
Pristina – 0.3535
Sofia – 0.3379
Skopje – 0.3105
Belgrade – 0.295
Dublin – 0.291
Tirana – 0.2793
Minsk – 0.2718
Copenhagen – 0.2637
Reykjavik – 0.2637
Berlin – 0.2519
Bucharest – 0.2519
Podgorica – 0.2363
Amsterdam – 0.2285
Brussels – 0.1973
Vienna – 0.1738
Rome – 0.1699
Madrid – 0.1543
Moscow – 0.1426
London – 0.1348
Lisbon – 0.127
Paris – 0.1191
Valetta – 0.0957
Athens – 0.0879

The full analysis can be found here.

Kyiv boasts a number of parks and gardens that are perfect for rest with friends, family, or just alone. Those who like exotic plants are welcome to visit the Central Botanical Garden. Children as well as adults get positive emotions visiting Kyiv Zoo and getting acquainted with funny and cute animals. And if one wants just to have fun, he will, probably, never find a better place than the Hydropark.

How Ukrainian Flag Got into Space

How Ukrainian Flag Got into Space

The pictures of the Ukrainian flag on the Space Station recently circled the media, while the flag itself circled the Earth literally. Why the US astronaut Randolph Bresnik cared to take the blue-and-yellow canvas to the orbit? The story is quite interesting…

Mr. Bresnik told it during a teleconference with Kyiv, which took place last month. It turns out that he got the flag last year in the city of Dnipro (former Dnipropetrovsk) where he was spending leisure time with his family. The point is that it is the home city of Mr. Bresnik’s adopted son. “And that’s why we went back there with the whole family, spent several days in Novomoskovsk, and then a few days in Kyiv. That’s where I got the flag. And that is why I took it with me,” said the astronaut. He also added that planned to bring the flag of Ukraine back from space to earth.

What is intriguing, this is not the first appearance of Ukrainian flag in the orbit. It’s already been there exactly 20 years ago — brought there by Leonid Kadenyuk. He went through the Soviet program of training cosmonauts, but flew into space as a representative of independent Ukraine, and on the American Shuttle. Back then, in 1997, the appearance of its own astronaut was another confirmation of the high international status of the country.

Hear and see more from the Commander Randy Bresnik of NASA telling about his work aboard of the International Space Station, Expedition 53 as told to Ukrainian students gathered at the America House in Kyiv, Ukraine on October, 25, 2017. The moderator of the meeting was Ambassador of the United States of America to Ukraine Mila Jovanovic.

Read about 15 Ukrainian inventions that changed the world.

Ukrainian Beauties: Dasha Khlystun

Ukrainian Beauties: Dasha Khlystun

Ukraine is famous as a land of the most beautiful women. You can see them everywhere here. But some of them got from the streets right to the highest world fashion podiums. Meet Dasha Khlystun, the new addition to the clock of famous Victoria’s Secret Angels!

This year the 22-year-old will join the 19 permanent ‘angelical’ models invited from around the world. She won’t appear in the nearest tour of the annual grand show in China — because she failed to get the Chinese visa along with a few Russian colleagues. But we’ll hope to see her on stage in other countries.

Dasha comes from a small town in the Dnipro (Dnipropetrovsk) region. She is one of the supermodels who never dreamed about the podium but was accidentally noticed by an agent — this time not on a street but in the social media.

She started relatively late — after school, while most of the models begin much earlier today. For the sake of walking on the catwalk, Dasha dropped out at the Customs Academy. And she’s never regretted the choice. She says that she is in love with modeling, and does not see herself in another role. According to the beauty, if a guy forced her to choose between relationships and work, then her choice would not be in his favor.

Dasha confesses that she is unspeakably happy about her present career. She got her first foreign modeling experience in Japan. At the time she did not even speak English. But thanks to her dedication and hard work, Dasha managed to become one of the most promising Ukrainian models in just two years.

She walked on podiums for such big names as Kenzo, Valentino, Givenchy, Christian Dior, Lanvin, Sonia Rykiel, Giambattista Valli, Nina Ricci, Chloe and others. In an ad campaign for La Perla she posed together with such supermodels as Sasha Pivovarova, Valeriya Kaufman and Naomi Campbell.

According to Dasha, in real life she would never wear clothes that she demonstrates on the podium. She likes more simple and convenient things. And we like her like this, too. But we can’t wait to see the Ukrainian beauty in all the shine of the Victoria’s Secret show!

Ukrainian Records: Trembita

Ukrainian Records: Trembita

Ukraine is a land of many record breaking phenomena. And one of them is trembita – a unique Carpathian wind instrument that is officially the longest in the world.

Don’t be confused when you come to the Carpathians – the name may belong to numerous things and institutions. Like Lviv-based guitar making factory ‘Trembita’. Or a few mountain hotels with the same name. The image of this instrument also decorates posters and logos of Hutsulshchyna, a picturesque region in the west of Ukraine. So, trembita may be everywhere here. But the real one is not that easy to find…

Where To Find It

The only sure chance is visiting a Hutsul or Boyko folk festival where guests are usually welcomed with trembita sounds. But it’s not the kind of a device you can find in more common place. Surely not on restaurant or other premises. Because trembitas are huge. And loud, too. So they are usually played outsides.

What is interesting, in the past this tube made of larch or spruce played a role of today’s telephone. When there was an important and urgent message to spread, trembita players climbed to the top of the nearest mountain, and performed special tunes. It sounds amazing, but trembita sound can reach as far as 10 kilometers. And that’s how messages were conveyed from mountain to mountain across all the region informing the locals about good and bad news, dangers and other events…

Trembita is also used by shepherds to gather sheep and dogs, and it is traditionally played at Christmas time. Another common use of the instrument is at funerals. But it’s never played on occasion of someone’s birth or wedding.

How To Make It

Today there are just a few masters making trembitas left in the Carpathians. And they usually do this not for the local shippers or amateurs, but mostly for professional musicians and concert bands. Creating a trembita is not that easy. It starts with choosing an appropriate wood, usually a tree that was struck by lightning. They say that the more it is damaged, the louder the trembita will be.

The tube that can reach 4 meters is made from a long straight piece of wood which is split in two in order to carve out the core. Trembita sounds louder when its walls are thin. Then the halves are once again joined together and wrapped in birch bark or osier rings. Before playing trembita’s hole must be filled with vodka or hot milk.

The trembita has no lateral openings and therefore gives the pure natural harmonic series of the open pipe. Its sound is unmistakable and unforgettable.

Trembita Today

Trembita is officially enlisted in The Guinness Book of Records as the longest instrument in the world. What is interesting the actual longest trembita (8,35 meters!) was made by a Polish folk musician Józef Chmiel located in Czech Republic.

Today trembita may be considered a symbol of not just the Carpathians but the whole Ukraine. In 200th it was shown on Eurovision Song Contest by the Ukrainian winner Ruslana during her performance of the song “Wild Dances”.

It is also used by recent popular Ukrainian band ONUKA.

Come to Ukraine and enjoy its uniqueness!

Loading...
Skip to toolbar