Though Khortitsa is considered to be the largest island on the Dnipro river, one could easily walk around it in a day. However the island’s dimensions in geographical terms are far from equal with its cultural value. The concentration of Ukrainian culture and history here is much higher than in many other considerable geographical points.
The first settlements emerged here over 10 thousand years ago. The burial mounts of the Sarmatians that survived till nowadays are today preserved and restored. The Scythian stone statues found their shelter in the modern museum complex named “Skifsky stan” (Scythian settlement). Or, rather, the complex grew around them. The silent witnesses of the ancientry, the eternal history watches, they stand along the paths where the ancestors walked in the shadowy past, on the hills from where the old lords looked at their land…
The main thing that the island’s name is associated with is the hub of Dnipro Cossack community, the Zaporozhska Sich (Zaporozhian Host). It was here that the tumultuous freedom-loving spirit burned. It was the place where all the bravest and strongest headed to escape the slavery. And of course here the Cossacks wrote the famous letter the Turkish sultan.
Wooden fortresses and stone ramparts were raised here. Today these constructions are recreated by the Museum of the Cossack Community History for the visitors to be able to touch the history, to feel its breath.
Khortitsa is abundant in historical monuments as every generation of people who lived here left their traces and created legends about the glorious heroes’ deeds and the prominent events of their times. An old story is connected with almost every rock and stone on the island.
Another outstanding feature of the place is its unique nature. As if by someone’s conception all the Ukrainian landscape types are represented here: rocky and sloping banks, hills and hollows, forest, heath and lakes… Such favorable conditions couldn’t but attract the old Slavic tribes that settled here. And nowadays Khortitsa is a remarkably picturesque and mysterious patch of nature, history essence in the middle of the giant modern industrial center – Zaporozhye.
You can reach Khortitsa over the bridge connecting the island with the right bank. If you have more than one day to visit the place it would be a great idea to rent an apartment in Zaporozhye so that you shouldn’t hurry with the exploration of the legendary island and had the opportunity to enjoy all its beauties and secrets.
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