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Zhytomyr region is one of the largest in Ukraine, but it is not very popular among tourists. Most of them are sure that there are few attractions, so they prefer to visit more famous and popular tourist places. However, the truth is that Zhytomyr region has a lot of historical buildings, monuments and museums.
Here is a collection of facts that will help you to look at this region from a different angle. We recommend you to rent a car in Zhytomyr from our company in order to drive around all interesting places in this region quickly and comfortably.
1. First of all, the region is famous for its lush nature. Unique landscapes of Zhytomyr region delight almost every traveller. Here you can walk through dense forests and enjoy the fresh air among endless steppes. There are also many rivers where you can swim and fish. This is why people who are tired of the hustle and bustle of everyday life mostly come here.
2. The oldest theater in Ukraine – the Richter Philharmonic – is located in Zhytomyr. It was built back in 1858 by the famous architect I. Shtrom. Since then, the most famous artists not only from Ukraine, but also from the whole world have performed on its stage. Now the Philharmonic is open to visitors. Here you can enjoy high-quality music, and its staff can organize any concert that will please even the most capricious listeners.
Photo by Milamixalchuk, license CC BY-SA 4.0
3. Stunning forests. Zhytomyr region is the leader in Ukraine in terms of area occupied by forests. Here you can find both centuries-old trees and young shrubs. Among the most common trees growing in the forests of Zhytomyr are pine, oak, beech and birch. Every spring, foresters plant new seedlings here, making the forests in the region even more beautiful.
4. Unique plants and animals. The flora and fauna of the Zhytomyr region is rich and unique. This is due to the fact that the region has a steppe, dense forests, reservoirs and impenetrable swamps. That is why you can see so many rare plants, animals and insects here. By the way, near the Slovechansko-Ovrutskyi ridge, dense azalea bushes still grow green. According to scientists, they have been growing here since the appearance of mammoths. Also, near the village of Chervonka you can see a real rock oak. The indigenous population of the region claims that an ancient oak tree, which grows only near the village of Vyshpil, can heal anyone from any disease.
5. The legendary Hromovyshche, one of the most mysterious and mystical places in Ukraine, is located in Zhytomyr region. It is located near the town of Korosten, 94 km from the regional centre. Local residents say that many centuries ago the luxurious lands of one landowner were located here. That man was famous for his sharp temper, so he always abused his fellow villagers. The locals cursed him for it. A lightning hit his estate, and it burnt down together with the owner. Since then, there has been no one living on the estate and nothing has grown here. The tourists who have once been to the Hromovyshche have noticed a dramatic collapse of energy and apathy. Locals say they often see anomalies in the form of a bright ray that comes from the ground and reaches for the sky. Moreover, every thunderstorm in this area is accompanied by lightning, which always strikes the Hromovyshche.
6. Industrial centre. There are a lot of various plants, factories and other industries in Zhytomyr and the region. Marble, precious and semi-precious metals, and even titanium ore are mined here.
7. A unique museum of precious and decorative stones. It is located in the village of Khoroshiv (52 km from Zhytomyr). There are more than 1500 exhibits of various minerals, rocks and gems. But the most valuable exhibit of the museum is the unique topaz, which weighs about 300 kg.
8. Lutheran Church in Zhytomyr is one of the oldest churches in Ukraine built in Gothic style. It is said that the grandfather of the famous pianist S. Rikhter played the organ in this church.
9. Zhytomyr region is a land of geniuses and world celebrities. It’s a birthplace of such famous personalities as Oleksandr Zinchenko (Ukrainian footballer), Nina Matviienko (singer), Raisa Nedashkivska (actress), Valerii Kharchyshyn (rock musician), Serhii Korolov (famous constructor and scientist), Lesia Ukrainka (poetess), Yuliia Olishevska (track and field athlete, 2012 European champion), Tetiana Riabchenko (cyclist), Volodymyr Demchuk (world champion in kickboxing) and many others.
10. Bathing-places of Princess Olga, popularly called the Little Switzerland of Zhytomyr, are located in Korosten. People say that Princess Olga settled in this town and built a small church near the central park, which is still here. Not far from the church there was a picturesque place with huge boulders, from which pure and clear water flowed down. It was the place that the princess chose for swimming. The bathing-places look wonderful, that is why they are very popular among both natives and travellers.
Photo by Korturinfo, license CC BY-SA 4.0. Image cropped
11. The unique nature reserve Kaminne Selo is located in a forest near the village of Rudnia-Zamyslovetska (about 170 km from Zhytomyr by car). This place is remarkable because of huge boulders covered with green moss, which have the shape of houses, temples and other buildings. This is why the reserve is called the Stone Village. No one can say for sure where these stones came from. Scientists claim that they are the consequences of the glacier movement. But many people believe that the boulders are reminders of the battle between the God and Satan. On some of the boulders, you can even see the imprint of God’s footprints and the claw marks of the devil.
12. American Cafe Melrose is one of the best cafes in the region. First of all, visitors are amazed by its interior: people who come here have the impression that they have been transported in the several decades old USA. Tables in the form of bright convertibles and denim chairs look especially impressive. The cafe menu is varied and rich: here you can enjoy dishes of not only American and Ukrainian, but even Japanese cuisine. The only disadvantage of this place is slow service: sometimes you have to wait 30 minutes for your order. This is mainly due to the popularity of the place and the large influx of customers.
13. The Museum of Ukrainian Home Icons is the only museum of this type in Europe. It is located in the Radomyshl Castle (75 km from Zhytomyr by car). There are more than 5,000 unique home icons collected at different times by the Ukrainian doctor and public figure Olga Bohomolets. By the way, this collection is also the largest collection of Christian icons in Europe.
Photo by Olga Bohomolec press-office, license CC BY-SA 4.0
As you can see, Zhytomyr region is a unique and interesting part of Ukraine. There are mystical places, and ancient sights, and picturesque nature there. Its beauty and uniqueness will not leave any guest indifferent. Prepare a car or rent one, and no interesting place will hide from you. Enjoy your travels!