Khortytsia National Reserve
Khortytsia is an island and the National Reserve, located on the Dnipro in the city of Zaporizhzhia. Museums, historical-cultural complexes, panoramas and historical heritage reflect the Khortytsia history while making you come back through the ages to the most striking and significant period of the Ukrainian Cossacks, the time the island was a cradle of Zaporiz’ka Sich.
The location of Khortytsia was caused by abundance of natural resources. The island of 14 kilometres long is rounded with rocks, rapids, as well as small islands. Three natural columns are rising to the north: Divan, Pokhyla and Serednia rocks, to be considered the gates to Khortytsia since long ago. Nowadays, these 35 m granitic rocks are the alpinists’ choice. To the south the rocks gradually are changing into overflow land with its pictorial gullies and steppes. In the 16th century well-fortified military camps (in Ukrainian – sich), kurens, churches as Cossacks were very religious people, were located on this territory. Later, they founded a shipyard, where they together with Russian masters under the direction of the vice admiral Naum Seniavyn built a rowing flotilla.
The Zaporizhian Cossack's History Museum with its historical-cultural complex “Zaporiz’ka Sich” present dwellings and household constructions of Cossacks, walls with cannons, kurens and the other buildings so you could feel atmosphere of that period, as panoramas of battles and Cossacks’ meetings are performed in the smallest details.
To the south-east of the island you can visit the Folk Ethnography Theatre of Horse Riding “Zaporizhian Cossacks”, where you’ll have opportunity to see equestrian shows and performances of Cossacks, their craft, sabre fights etc. You’ll meet real Cossacks! Local cafes offer you great meals.
On the territory of the museum you’ll see ruins of genuine defensive walls, life items, coins, weapon, and cannons while granitic plates are to make you feel moving along the cave. Ancient barrows, Scythian plates, stone sculptures in the open-air are performed in the most delicate and unobtrusive way as if no one touched it all before. Guide signs on the island are there to find your bearings on the ground.
On Khortytsia you might see exotic plants, centuries-old trees, a centenary wild pear, old oaks, Tatar maples, black and silver poplars, pine forests, all together to compose more than 960 species. In gullies mainly you are going to meet more than 30 species of wild animals and 120 species of birds, including roes, wild boars, foxes, mooses, kites, herons, turtles and the others.
You’ll be impressed with the primordial nature of Khortytsia, as well as the history of Ukrainian Cossacks.