Bila Tserkva

About the place

Oleksandriia Arboretum under the National Academy of Science of Ukraine is the oldest one not only in our country, but throughout the whole Europe. It was created along the shores of the Ros river back in 1788. At that time, these lands were owned by Count Franciszek Ksawery Branicki. He gave the estate in Bila Tserkva to his wife Alexandra. And she, inspired by European parks, decided to create her own one around their family estate.

Oleksandriia has maintained its major landscape compositions and today, it is a unique landscape architecture landmark of late 18th to early 19th century. The park is based on natural wood-and-steppe landscape, formed by oak woods combined with clearings, meadows and water bodies. Natural sceneries are seamlessly intertwined with architectural structures.

One of the most original ones is Ruins Caprice, with a waterfall spouting from its bottom tier. The caprice has been preserved since the 18th century and has been initially designed as a ruined castle to remind us about the transience of time. Another architectural landmark from the 18th century, the Echo classicism-style colonnade, named so because of its unique acoustics. The colonnade is over 38 meters long, but you can hear each other’s whisper standing on its opposite ends. The park combines architectural styles of different cultures and continents. Only here you can cross a Chinese bridge to go from a Greek amphitheatre to an Ottoman cottage. The cottage is decorated with marble plates from an ancient fortress in Varna, Bulgaria. Visitors are greeted by the Rotunda pavilion near the main entrance, dedicated to Duke Potyomkin and decorated with exquisite stucco.

The highest point of the park, Mt. Paliieva Hora, retains remnants of Cossack fortifications from the early 18th century. The Cossack legacy of these lands is also recalled in a stone tower, decorated with themed reliefs.

With a total area of over 400 ha, Oleksandriia Arboretum hosts about 2,500 species, varieties and forms of plants. The Wall Garden in the northern part of the Arboretum preserves multiple valuable varieties of fruit and berry crops that were quite rare in Ukraine at the time. The plantations are currently being restored and complemented, with a tasting hall arranged to taste and purchase organic fruits and berries, grown in Ukraine’s largest arboretum.

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