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Natural Monuments of Vinnytsya Region
05.07.2014, 03:19

Podolian nature presents not only picturesque landscapes with rich flora, rivers and lakes, that awaken the inspiration in artists. There are also unique natural monuments in Vinnytska oblast. They tell about the history of the planet creation, continents shaping, the climate formation. They are millions years old. Moreover, Vinnytska oblast is famous for its medicinal springs that attract many people who wish to undergo a cure in the wonderful Podolian nature. 

Illinetska astroproblem is a unique object widely known by the scientists. An astroproblem (from Greek — "star wounds") appears on the Earth's surface when a celestial body falls down. On the surface of the Ukrainian crystal shield there are seven shock explosive craters (astroproblems). The Illinets crater is the oldest one, and it is one of the oldest craters in the world. It is about 400 million years old. It was discovered in 1851 by K. Feofilaktov, a professor from the Kyiv University. In 1898 it was described and studied by V. Tarasenko. In 1970s, Ukrainian scientists defined this place as an astroproblem. In 1999, 2002, 2005 and 2008 international conferences were held in Vinnytsya. There the problems of interaction between small celestial bodies and planets were discussed.

Geological monuments in Vinnytska oblast include also the nearby area of Hrushka vil- lage in Mogyliv-Podilskiy district. That is the so-called Hrushkinska Suite. It appeared in the late Precambrian Era. It tells about such events as Precambrian shields creation, the beginning of the sedimentary cover formation, appearance of multicellular organisms and metaphytes, formation of the ore ledges and deposits of many minerals. The Hrushkinska Suite is 13.3 km depth, ii consists of green-grey argillo-arenaceous deposits, Further down they gradually change lo soiled brown sandstone. In the basement there is a breccia stratum of the crystal rock fragments.

The botanic reserves of the national importance include the woodland "Ustyanska Dacha" (Potashnya village, Bershadskiy district). Its area is 173 hectares. It was founded in 1982. This is a valuable forest with ash trees, oaks, relict birch and tillet. In the underwood, there are dwarf spindle trees. In the region's forests there are mostly oaks, hornbeams and ash-oak forests. There are the Mediterranean Coastal floral species, and also the Baltic and the Middle European ones. There are no forests of this kind in other regions of Ukraine.

Olexandrivskiy park (Blagodatne, Tomashpilskiy district) was founded in the late 19th century at the Countess Benet's estate. It occupies 11.3 hectares, and there are 80 tree and bush species, including silver fir, pin oak, red oak, nickar tree, large-leaf lime, Austrian pine, water ash, cornel, sweet chestnut. As for the bush species, there are wooly thorn, four-stone thorn, snowball tree, snow berry, and jasmine bushes. There are three ponds with a dam system in the park.

Podolian city of Khmilnyk is widely known outside Ukrainian borders, as a spa. It is called a "radon treasury". Khmilnyk Spa is unique due to three natural factors of an active biological effect. They are: radon water, therapeutic muds, and mineral water (of Truskavets water type). Radon mineral water field was discovered in 1934, incidentally. Its hydrogeological origin and ionic structure is unique. It has no analogues among well-known European mineral water types. After its discovery, the construction of spa hospitals was started, but it was paused for the World War II period. Now there are about 30 wells in the city. High radon level helps to treat nervous system, cardiovascular diseases, rheumatism, etc.

Khmilnyk town is situated in the Ukrainian shield, its groundwater is enriched with different kinds of mineral salt, gas and radioactive elements. The district's relief and climate are unique, its vegetation is rich (about 200 species). Nowadays there is a regional spa hospital and 6 sanatoriums in the city. 

Incomparable landscapes, unique ethnography and historical legends characterize the area of the Rusava River (Stina [English wall] village, Tomashpilskiy district). According to the historical sources, the village's name "Stina" ("a wall") relate to its relief with steep slopes. They surround the village like a wall. In the north-east there is a Drowsy Glade. There are 5 hectares of turf, and at the beginning of April the relict spreading basque flowers blossom there. The scientists believe this place should have the status of a national reserve. 

The greatest of Stina's monumental buildings are situated on the Castle Mountain. The former fortress (the 16th - 17th cent.) is presented by the wall remains in the east, the west and the north. Between the medieval town and the castle remains, in the location of the former fortress, from the time immemorial there is a small brick church. This is the witness of the wars between the Cossacks and the Polish soldiers.

A legend tells that a Cossack, Stephan Nechai, built it in the place where he had found the St Nicholas icon. At first the church was small, and there was a wooden bell-tower near it In 1843 a nan hex and a vestry w as added to the church. A stone bell-tower was built instead of the wooden one. In 1986 the church was adapted as a museum, and its central cupola (domn) was removed. In 1997 the building was returned to the community of Ukrainian Orthodox Church in Stina village.

There is a cemetery, a forest warder's house and a mill (the late 19th - the early 20th cent.).


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