Our pragmatic age is not the time of really impressive deeds. Men still present their ladies with flowers, less frequently with diamonds, cars, and even houses, but it is still somewhat underwhelming – as no one either travels to the other end of the world, or conquers new lands or lays out landscape parks in the name of love. We can only sigh for the legends of the previous centuries and admire the beauty as a symbol of love for a woman and art to present this love in a remarkable manner. To see how stunning it could be, go to a place where the canopy of centuries-old leaves, tournures of the marble statues, and murmur of the waterfalls cherish a touching story of the great feeling. Visit the fabulous Sofievka Park – one of the most beautiful places ever created by men!
Getting into the fantastic park in the city of Uman, situated 200 kilometers from Kiev, everyone is transported to another era. Here time slows down and the air itself seems to possess unique properties: being heady and impregnated with love, it winds ups for romantic mood and gives airiness of feelings, dreams, and thoughts... Being one of the wonders of Ukraine, Sofievka Park was founded in 1796 at the behest of the Polish magnate Stanislav Potocki – the count conceived the park as a gift to his beloved wife Sofia Witt Potocka. They both were legendary personalities of the time. Being one of the richest people of the XVIII century, he was also a prominent political and military figure, gifted publicist and speaker. She was an Aphrodite with an unusual destiny: a Greek by birth, in her young days, she was sold to the Polish ambassador by her own mother. Afterwards, she was purchased by Witt – the son of the Kamenetz-Podolsk city governor, – who took Sofia to be his wife. The whole of Europe was wild about her, and Potocki couldn’t wrestle against her charms either – he persuaded Sofia’s husband to file a divorce, paying him a huge break-up fee of 2 million zlotys.
Married, Potocki and Sofia settled in the count’s estate in Uman, where the park of unprecedented beauty was laid out. The territory of 150 hectares housed myths and legends of Ancient Greece and the Roman Empire, a piece of Champs-Elysees de Paris and the charms of the British parks, and became an illustration to the beautiful epic poems of Odyssey and Iliad by Homer. More than 2 centuries have passed since those events, but Sofievka still boggles the visitors` imagination with natural elegance and a fine taste of its creators who had thought over every detail. Centuries-old trees and bullis vine, hazel and juniper underbrush, fountains and sculptures, mirrors of ponds and silver strings of waterfalls, grottos and labyrinths, floral carpets and brooks with delicious cool spring water – everything is integrated into the surrounding landscape so harmoniously that seems to exist here forever – since the creation of the world.
Walk through the shady alleys of the park, feed the swans, begging for food, go on a boat or a steamer cruise to the Island of Love, make a journey down the underground River Styx, take a ride on a luxurious carriage driving along the ponds, or simply lay a blanket on a sunlit meadow – and Sofievka will definitely win your heart – just as its gorgeous mistress Sofia won the heart of count Potocki.
Book tickets to Kiev (about 200 km to Uman) on