Chinese bridge. Alexandria Park in Belaya Tserkov
The park situated in Belaya Tserkov is no less romantic than the one in Uman. It is no less filled with the legends than the one in Kachanivka. And it has been preserved much better than other parks in Ukraine. Besides the park is located very near to Kiev. This is the masterpiece of landscape architecture created by dynasty of Branicki counts. It pleases the eyes of visitors more than two hundred years. So let us invite you to the world of harmony and beauty...
Parkhomovka is a village in Kiev region. There is the monument of world significance in Parkhomovka. That’s the Church of the Protection of the Blessed Virgin with mosaics created by Nicholas Roerich. There are unusual interiors in the church. You can see the synthesis of Gothic architectural traditions, Asian architectural traditions and pagan worship forms. When you visit the church you understand that its creators and sponsors were interested in the Oriental culture. There you will see one of the "Wonders of Ukraine".
Alexandria park is not situated in Egypt, as you might think but in Kiev region... This park, as the park in Uman, has been founded thanks to the generosity of a man and the beauty of a woman. In 1781 there was a wedding of F.K. Branitsky and Alexandra Engelhardt in St. Petersburg.
Branicki’s lands were in the Kiev region, and there Polish aristocrat brought his young wife. He gave his wife a carte blanche for "landscaping".
The construction of the park was started at the end of 1780s. The author of the park planning was the famous French landscape designer Myuffo. Many plants for the park were imported from Europe. By the middle of the 19th century Alexandria park had been known as one of the most beautiful landscape parks of Ukraine. There the elements of romanticism were mixed with sentimentality.
The park nooks were decorated with some little architectural forms such as the Echo colonnade, Rotunda, Chinese Bridge, Romantic Ruins, the Column of Sorrow, Red House, Chinese Gazebo and so on. The spectacular light suspension bridge was erected over the deep ravine at the beginning of the valley. The bridge is known as "Devil's Bridge", Branitsky decorated The park was decorated by the Branickis with bronze and marble sculptures and vases that had been made by famous Russian and foreign masters. Some large boulders were arranged in the picturesque decorative way and some artificial earthen hills were made in the park too.
Don’t you want to visit Alexandria park? We invite you!
During the tour you will be enchanted with the world of mysticism and spiritual search. Intercession Church in Parkhomovka is only partially similar to the typical Orthodox church. Marble, granite, forged steel, slate, wood and ceramics are used in order to decorate the church. You can find even a symbol of the fiery wheel called swastika. You can find no similar architectural decorations in any Orthodox church. Village of Parkhomovka was the property of the well-known mystic and philanthropist Viktor Golubev. The monument to Viktor Golubev can be seen near the church. Only five Roerich’s mosaics have been preserved in Ukraine. Two of them can be seen in Parkhomovka.
The aura of the temple is mystical and enlightened. Here you feel the scale of thought and creativity of Nicholas Roerich, one of the most enigmatic personalities of the previous century.
Here is some useful information:
- Our tour is 7 hours long tour.
- Transportation, guide service on the route, group insurance, entrance fees are included in the price you pay
- Our English, German speaking guides are at your service. All our guides are high qualified licensed tour guides.
- You can order your private tour any time. We can provide you with transportation service too. There are 2, 5, 17, 22, 30 and 45 pax vehicles in our company.
Chinese sage’s statue
|Monument to Decembrists||Varna monument|
The Director of the National Park “Alexandria”
“ALEXANDRIA IS A KIND
OF A ROUND-THE-WORLD TRIP”
If your curiosity and love for various miracles bring you to the park “Alexandria” in Belaya Tserkov near Kiev, you should know that you will find yourself in the oasis of miracles there and will experience several hours of genuine pleasure.
It is especially true for Sergey Ivanovich GALKIN, who has been enjoying “Alexandria” since his very childhood. He is a native of Belaya Tserkov, who became a farmstead engineer right after his active duty forty years ago. That was quite natural for a local inhabitant. Now he has been heading this world-known touristic Mecca for almost ten years. Every day he keeps being astonished by this natural and hand-made miracle, he continues to explore it carefully, sharing all the secrets of “Alexandria” in his scientific works and excursions…
— Sergey Ivanovich, what does “Alexandria” mean for you personally?
— “Alexandria” park is a special place, “the garden of Eden” for someone, who was born and grew up in Belaya Tserkov. All local inhabitants are proud of it and I`m not an exception. By the way, my wife`s grandfather Matvey Pimonovich Khomenko served “Alexandria” for many pre-revolutionary years. My elder daughter Natalia has been working here since 1998, she heads the laboratory of seed growing and initial trial of plants. This explains everything: from generation to generation, old inhabitants of Belaya Tserkov bless the young one to work in “Alexandria”, parents encourage their children…
— What area in the park attracts you most of all and why?
— There is not a special favorite place for me here. Many interesting and wonderful historical – cultural constructions are placed on the territory of 400 hectares. 22 of them are architectural monuments of Ukraine of the 18th – 19th centuries.
The main entrance
The colonnade “the Moon” with its wonderful acoustic is especially interesting. A word, even pronounced in whisper on one side of this construction, is perfectly heard on the opposite side… It is impossible not to mention the historical “Paliyeva Mountain”, the centuries – old oak-grove, romantic waterfalls, merry fountains and sophisticated bridges… Another attraction is an original fruit garden… The spaces of the “Big Glade” are impressive and captivating. It is a ten-hectare plain in the center of the park, which slightly bends forward to the Ros bank… In fact, many compositions in the park are connected with the beautiful Ros River, which bends along the park. Irresistible local sceneries, the Ros with its picturesque banks attract everybody – both visitors, and the workers of the park.
— What is the life of the park like today? What remarkable events in its life are happening or are planned in the nearest future?
— I`m sure that the group of scientists, who were honored to work in “Alexandria” at the beginning of the 20th century, were very lucky. Since before that the park had been in decay for almost 80 years. There were many reasons for that, caused by our past life.
Now, the team decided to find out why the park was created in this particular way. Why did Alexandra Engelhardt, who received an estate in Belaya Tserkov from her fiancé the Crowned Hetman of Poland Ksaveriy Branitsky, decide to create the so-called landscape park here? Did she just follow the fashion of that time? We also wonder who certain compositions and architectural constructions were devoted to…
Having learned the structure and the symbols of “Alexandria”, the collective is working at restoring the historical past of the park. We have managed to fulfill the whole range of restoration and renewal works lately. “The Turkish House”, “Pelican`s Column”, the “Moore Garden”, “A Horse Grave”, the islands of “Mary” and “Roses” have been revived and resplendent again…
The historical ferry boat crossing on the Ros is planned to be restored in the nearest future. We are eager to restore the spurge house on the right bank – one of the essential elements of the park romantics, to increase the territory of the fruit garden, to restore the “ballroom”. On the western side of the park on the area of 50 hectares we plan to equip a new area – the so-called “Park of Ecological Enlightenment of Population”.
The “Moon” colonnade
The statue of Diana
— Are you concerned about ecological problems?
— Of course, I am. We all live in the industrialized world, so there is no way to escape the anthropogenic pollution of nature. Industrial emissions of local factories damage the park constantly, tough, not so extensively, luckily. Besides, sanitary-prophylactic care of the park demands constant care and much means. It is hard to do without help of investors and Maecenas here.
— Considering how ceremonially and warmly “Alexandria” meets its guests, it has enough friends, helpers and Maecenas, doesn`t it?
— We owe that to the mobile operator “Kievstar”: in the framework of the project “Ecological Responsibility” and with the assistance of Belaya Tserkov City Council and mass media, the company equipped the territory around the restored “Turkish House”, bought and planted magnolia and some other decorative plants. We maintain tight cooperation with Belaya Tserkov job center, which sends its workers to help beautify the park annually. The League of Entrepreneurs of Belaya Tserkov helps a lot to equip the collection areas. The local enterprise “Ukrinterm” became in charge of technical equipment of the park. Some metropolitan figures, in particular people`s deputies, have been taking care of “Alexandria”, reviving its historical past…
The Chinese Bridge
In a word, “Alexandria” really has good friends and helpers and generously thanks everyone with its beauty and hospitality.
— What kind of people visit “Alexandria” and how often?
— Of course, the park is highly estimated not only by local inhabitants and their friends. Over 500 thousand guests from the whole Ukraine visit “Alexandria” every year. Most of guests are from Kiev, Cherkassy, Chernigov, Odessa and Vinnitsa region. Famous state figures, representatives of culture and art are frequent guests here. The park attracts tourists from the near and far abroad, their number keeps increasing. Objectively, “Alexandria” deserves being put onto the touristic map of Europe.
— I wonder what parts of the park are especially popular with guests.
— The arboretum “Alexandria” is attractive and interesting for tourists at any time due to its unique plants, compositions of century-old trees and bushes. When walking across alleys and paths, guests are not likely to realize that they go on a unique and a very informative trip around the Earth. Since many trees and bushes, represented in our park, come from distant continents and islands.
The ruins – illusion of the constructions, ruined by time
The centuries-old oak-grove with the area of almost 50 hectares is the core of the park. It is really the national heritage of Ukraine. Some specimens of oak trees of the park have reached the age of 300-350 years old. Alien trees from the North America, Chinese, Japan, Korea, Southern and Western Europe, Crimea, Caucasus and the Far East have taken roots and feel well here. Among them there are such trees as western thuja, staghorn, white Amur bream, lime-trees, Siberian larch, Veymutov pine tree, cypress, tulip poplar, smooth hydrangea, tree-like peony, magnolias Kobus and Sulandga and many other exotic trees and plants. The arboretum impresses its guests with wide loans, shady alleys, old architecture, cascades of pools, waterfalls, fountains.
“Alexandria” is a favorite place of recreation for inhabitants of Belaya Tserkov. On its alleys one can always meet cheerful groups of young people, happy newly-weds, dreamy young mothers with infants in baby – carriages, sedate mature people.
— Is the park interesting for representatives of art?
— Definitely, especially for cinema artists. Shootings of feature and documental films are constantly conducted on the territory of the park. National TV channels shoot various popular science shows, demonstrating people`s recreation, our holidays…
— What kind of holidays are those?
— We maintain friendly relations with many public organizations, creative groups, educational establishments. So, various thematic and festive events on the territory of “Alexandria” can be called our common “brainchild”. As an example, I can call some of them, which have been held recently and attracted numerous guests. The children`s festival “Childhood formula”, devoted to the day of Protection of Children, is one of them. The public organization “Efficient Youth” became its organizer. “Alexandrian Ball” with its wide concert program and the fair of national costumes and adornments attracted attention of both little kids and adults. This event was organized together with the Entrepreneurs League of Belaya Tserkov and everybody, who wished, was invited. “The Earth Day” is supposed to attract young people, concentrate their attention on environmental protection, on the everyday life of our park, where they often spend their free time. The second Saturday of September annually becomes the city holiday, since “the Park Day” is celebrated on this day.
During an excursion
— What is “Alexandria`s” everyday life saturated with?
— Of course, “Alexandria” is meant to give people pleasure. At the same time, it is a scientific botanic establishment, located on the territory of 400, 67 hectares. Along with strictly scientific functions, it works to satisfy esthetic – cognitive needs of guests of the park. 120 specialists of different profile work here for this purpose. 22 of them are scientists. Although, it should be mentioned, that the number is not enough, comparing with the arboretum “Sophiyevka” in Uman. 530 people work on the territory of 168 hectares there.
Despite that, sanitary and ecological norms have been strictly observed. Local school children and inhabitants of the city help a lot. We have tight versatile relations with the city authorities. According to the decision of the City Council, a month of equipment with services and facilities is organized monthly in “Alexandria”. Educational establishments of Belaya Tserkov participate in the city movement “Revival of the City Park Concerns Everyone”. I would also like to thank the technological-economic college, the training college of Belaya Tserkov, the class 7-a of the secondary school № 5…
Scientists mostly take care of preserving the biological diversity of the park and enriching it with new perspective plants, and, of course, exploring, preserving and reconstructing historical park compositions. International scientific conferences are conducted systematically. Their thematic and status speak for themselves: “Old Parks and Botanic gardens: problems and perspectives of functioning” (on the occasion of “Alexandria`s” 215th anniversary), “Landscape Architecture of Botanic Gardens and Arboretums”. We cooperate with a number of domestic and international organizations, such as the National Botanic Garden named after M.M. Gryshko, the National University of Nature Management and Bio Resources, Kiev National T. Shevchenko University, Belaya Tserkov National Agrarian University, the Institute of Hydrobiology of the Ukrainian Academy of Sciences, with authoritative botanic gardens of the world…
There is a scientific – informative center functioning in the park. It actively popularizes love for the native land, nature and delicate attitude to it, organizes and conducts excursions.
— I wonder if there are “descendants” in the park – someone from the old dynasty of the graphs Branitsky and Engelhardt.
— We maintain friendly relations with direct descendant of the family of Branitsky. They live in the castle of “Montrezor” in France. We have got much new interesting information about the history of the park from them.
— They say that the total length of paths and alleys of the park is over 20 kilometers, so a day won`t be enough to walk about the whole territory. Can one be provided with accommodation for several days?
— There is a hotel “Ros”, containing 300 rooms by the main entrance to the arboretum. There is also a restaurant “Bereginya” and a café with an open-air ground, where one can have a snack and be entertained.
The Temple of the Most Holy of Mother of God
— Sergey Ivanovich, there is another “miracle of Ukraine” – the Temple of the Most Holy Mother of God in Parkhomovka village of Volodarka region. Have you been there?
— Of course, I have. The architecture there is wonderful. It is a genuinely historical object – the monument of culture of world importance, which needs additional attention of the state authorities. Oriental motives can be seen distinctly in its architecture. Attention of numerous specialists and admires is attracted by the unusual inner decoration, the wonderful mosaic of Nikolay Rerikh, which has been preserved till present time.
After visiting the park “Alexandria”, people go to Parkhomovka to see the wonderful Temple of the Most Holy of Mother of God. All the more, it is very close – just within thirty minutes` drive along the road, leading from Belaya Tserkov to the district center Volodarka.
The interview was conducted by Vladimir TARASYUK, journalist.
Media Center of “Prime Excursion Bureau”