Kolochava: A Museum Town In The Heart Of Carpathians

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Kolochava: A Museum Town In The Heart Of Carpathians

Kolochava is a small picturesque mountain village located in the very heart of Carpathian Mountains in Ukraine. This is a very popular recreational destination, which offers fresh mountain air, breathtaking views, mineral water springs and impressively well-preserved culture and traditions of the region. Kolochava is often referred to as a museum-village. Here travelers can discover the genuine lifestyle of Carpathian ethnical groups.

Kolochava is a very big village which is situated in the valley of the River Tereblya which is fed by several tributaries; it is also one of the longest villages in Ukraine - it stretches for over 40 km (24 miles). The village has two secondary and several elementary schools, three Orthodox churches and a Greek Catholic Church. The villagers are proud and fiercely independent people who know how to take care of their affairs and how to run their community without undue interference from the outside. The establishment of the strong local self-government is attributed to Mykola Shuhay (1898–1921), a man of rebellious nature who promoted local self-government. There was a lot written about him, a novel by a Czech writer included. There was even a film made about him in 1947.
Read: Beautiful Travel Destinations of Western Ukraine

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There are 10 museums in Kolochava: "Old village", "Soviet school", "Czech school", military-historycal museum, and others. One of the most interesting museums to visit in Kolochava is the Village of Old Times open-air museum. 

The creation of the Village of Old Times open-air museum, the first of its kind in that area, was initiated and brought to completion by Stanislav Arzhevitin, an MP who was born in Kolochava. Visitors can explore original samples of Carpathian vernacular architecture, the old sawmill and water mill, the village police station dating back to Austro Hungarian Empire and other attractions. All items are very well preserved and brought together in this museum from different private collections, some of the oldest families, who have been living on these territories for centuries as well as from the collections of Ukrainians who have emigrated from Ukraine under Soviet regime. 

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All the visitors, especially the youngest, love to watch sheep and lambs grazing peacefully on the territory of the museum. Horseback riding enthusiasts can ride stocky horses, the special Hutsul breed. Local shop offers fresh locally produced dairy products, honey, jams, bread and smoked fish and meats. 

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Don’t leave the village without visiting the wooden Greek-Catholic church of the Descent of the Holy Spirit. The church in Baroque style was built of spruce boards by the master Ferenc Tekke in 1795. Since 1953, this beautiful building was used by Soviets as a museum of atheism. Ironically, it helped to preserve the appearance of the church in its original form. In 1969-1970, the church was completely renovated. Today, it is used as a museum of local lore of Kolochava. Here you can learn some interesting facts about the Ukrainians living in the mountain regions of the country. The church is located in a convenient location for tourists, who have an opportunity not only to get acquainted with an interesting architectural heritage but also to enjoy the beauty of the nature of the Carpathians. 

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Read: National Parks in Ukraine
Image source: shutterstock.com

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