Today we are going to travel to Ukraine, and more precisely to the Uman region, near Kamianka River. Why has this particular location drew my attention? Because it is home to Sophievka Park, a real jewel in terms of gardening design. Just to make you understand just how impressive the landscaping architecture is, it is enough to say that the park attracts half a million visitors on an annual basis.
The park dates from the latter part of the 18th century, when a Polish nobleman by the name of Potocki has taken upon himself the task of rebuilding Uman and embelishing the city with a wonderful addition, a botanical garden of massive proportions.
The first step in putting the project into motion was to import a great variety of rare plants from all over the continent. These were artistically arranged, but the park has become a complete work of art due to the multitude of fountains, ponds, waterfalls and artificial basins which were tastefully prinkled throughout the park. The botanical garden is renowned for its diversity which consists of more than 2.000 forms of plantlife, both local and exotic, but also for the additional decorative objects, such as sculptures, which convey a certain allure to the entire ensemble. If we add the stone garden, the gazebos, artifical cliffs and grottos than we would get a clearer understanding of the reason for which the Sophievka Park is counted as one of the Seven Wonders of Ukraine.
The original appearance of the park has been maintained to the present day so that tourists can indulge themselves with a walk in the park and admire exquisite exemples of European landscape garden design from the turn of the 18th century.
The park is divided in several parts, each named in accordance with the type of trees or bushes grown there. For instance, the area named Small Switzerland came into being in the last decade of the 19th century, when pine trees and cypresses were planted there.
While many of the decorations are artificial, as it has been previously mentioned, there are also natural elements in the park, such as the Silver Sources Spring which has been adorned in the antique style.
Another notewarthy aspect about the park is that it presents fragments of Homer’s masterpieces, the Odyssey and the Iliad. So, the conclusion is that if you have the chance to visit the Sophievka Park, you should take it because you will have no regrets. Unique species of plants and trees as well as inimitable landscaping designs await you.