Ukrainian landscape can boast a wide network of small and big rivers. In general, the territory of Ukraine includes more than 70 000 rivers, located in the different corners of the country. Many of these rivers are notable not just for their refreshing waters and natural beauty, but also for various interesting legends related to their history. Let us consider the most exciting stories about some of Ukrainian rivers.
Striy River has its source in the Carpathians and flows through Lviv oblast. Striy is the right tributary of Dniester River. The legend says that long time ago two brothers lived at the foot of Yavornik Mountain in Carpathians. The older brother was calm and thoughtful, while the younger brother was vivid and agile. One day, the brothers decided to travel to the far lands. They agreed to start their journey next morning. The older brother went to sleep early, but the younger brother wanted to walk around for some more time, so he went to sleep late. He slept so tight, that he did not notice when his brother woke up. The older brother looked for the young one, but did not find him, so he decided that his brother had already gone. So the older brother started his trip, choosing the comfortable places in flat valleys. When the younger brother woke up, the sun was already high in the sky. He did not find his brother and began to rush, running quickly through the mountains and rocks, making a lot of noise. He hardly caught up with his older brother in the valley and gripped him by the right hand, because he was exhausted and could not move on his own any more. The names of the brothers were Striy and Opir (Opir River is the right tributary of Striy). The brothers continued their way to their big relative called Dniester (a big Ukrainian river).
Read: Beautiful Travel Destinations of Western Ukraine
Prut River passes Hoverla, the highest Ukrainian mountain. The source of this Carpathian river is located in Ivano-Frankivsk oblast’. Prut flows along the border of Romania with Ukraine and Moldova. Prut waterfall, a beautiful natural monument, is located near Prut River. Prut was mentioned for the first time by ancient Romans. The river was also mentioned under the name “Burat” in Bulgarian chronicles dated 1680. Prut River has its own legend. According to the legend, a young man called Prut lived in one of the Carpathian villages. Once he met a beautiful girl in the forest. Her name was Hoverla, and Prut fell in love with her right away. He wanted to be with his beloved girl all the time. But when Hoverla`s father, the mountain king, found out about their love story, he got angry and forbade his daughter to date Prut. Hoverla could not resign herself to father`s decision, so she committed suicide by jumping into the abyss. Later, Hoverla Mountain appeared on that place. When Prut found out that Hoverla was dead, he desperately ran to the mountain. Nobody has met him after it, but soon people noticed a new river flowing under Hoverla Mountain, This river was given the name “Prut”. Nowadays, the popular Ukrainian resorts such as Vorokhta, Kolomya and Yaremche are located on Prut River.
Read: Dniester Canyon in Ukraine
Seret River, the tributary of Dniester, flows through Ternopil and Lviv oblast`. This river source is composed of three streams. Seret has high banks, which are abrupt on the one side and rocky on another. The river crosses middle-size mountains with cone-shaped peaks. The right bank of the river impresses with picturesque cliffs. There are a few ponds in the upstream flow. Travelers enjoy exploring Pod caves, located around Seret. The sad legend of Seret River comes from the times, when Ukraine suffered from Mongol-Tatar invasion. The Golden Horde was destroying all towns and villages on its way. The dwellers of some villages decided to resist Batu Khan army, which was coming from the South. The people hid their children in the forest and came to fight the enemies. Mongol-Tatars, who had very strong army, quickly gained victory in the cruel battle. They threw survived villagers in the river. When Batu Khan warriors went away, the children came out of the woods. They were walking along the river and crying for their parents. After this, the river got the name “Sirot” (“orphan”), and then the name transformed into modern “Seret”.
Ros` River has its source between Levkivka and Ordintsy villages in Vinnytsia oblast. It flows through Kyiv and Cherkasy oblast’ and then discharges into Dnipro River. Nowadays, Ros` is well-known for its great canoe routes. According to some historians` opinion, the origin of names “Rus`” and “Russia” is related to Ros` river. In Kyivan Rus` times, Poross defense line was arranged along the northern bank of Ros`. This line was protecting south border of the country from interventions of steppe nomads. The surroundings of Ros` River are extremely beautiful. This is a perfect place for family vacation. The ancient town Boguslav is located on Ros` River only 120 km away from Kyiv. This historical town was established in 1032 by Yaroslav the Wise, the famous Kyiv prince. In Boguslav, the beauty of nature wonderfully combines with historical landmarks. The monument to Maria Boguslavka, located on the Ros` bank, is one of the best-known local sights. According to the legend, Maria lived in the first quarter of XVII century in Boguslav and was a daughter of Pokrovska church priest. During one of Mongol-Tatar invasions, the young girl was captured and then was forced to marry Turkish pasha. In Turkey, she performed a feat by letting 700 captured Cossacks out of the prison. In the end of ХХ century, the monument to Maria Boguslavka was built upon her grave.
Enjoy the picturesque views and the exciting legends of the most beautiful Ukrainian rivers.
Photo source: ua-travel.info, uk.wikipedia.org, depositphotos.com. All photos belong to their rightful owners.