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In search of picturesque landscapes and places of recreation, the traveler’s road can lead to the most different parts of Ukraine. One of the most mystical and mysterious regions of our country is the Carpathians, which attract all those who want to enjoy majestic views of nature.
Mountains, rivers, lakes – here everyone will find a place for relaxation and recreation. Hundreds of hotels, sanatoriums, private hotels and ski resorts welcome thousands of tourists not only from Ukraine, but from all over the world.
What secrets do the Carpathian Mountains hide, and what should every vacationer see? We will tell you about the most interesting and mysterious places in the Carpathians, after visiting which you will get unforgettable impressions and the most vivid emotions.
Of course, our Ukrainian Carpathians can boast of a considerable number of beautiful lakes. If you intend to visit the Skole Beskydy National Park, we recommend visiting one of the most mysterious lakes not only in the Carpathians, but throughout Ukraine.
We are talking about Crane Lake, which is better known under its popular name “Dead Lake”. This natural reservoir is located near the village of Kamenka, Lviv region. The Dead Lake is literally shrouded in old secrets, and its waters hide many tales and tales at a depth, which the locals used to tell around the fires.
A distinctive feature of the Dead Lake is its literally “black” waters. Already a few meters from the shore, the clear water begins to darken before our eyes. In the center of the lake is a small island that moves in one direction or the other.
Dead Lake is located at an altitude of 572 meters above sea level. It can be reached by an old stone-paved path that takes you higher and higher. The lake has an irregular shape, and its water is both transparent and darker than the night, as the locals say.
The island moving along the lake is a cluster of trunks and roots of trees, branches and accumulations of grass that have fallen into the reservoir for many years, which has grown on the ground caused by the wind. The blackness of the lake is due to the fact that a lot of branches and trees, as well as silt, have accumulated at its bottom, so no one knows the real depth of the reservoir.
Like most lakes in the Carpathians, Crane Lake owes its name to various stories, the authenticity of which is already difficult to verify today. According to one, cranberries used to grow on the shore of this lake, the place was uninhabited by people, and cranes often nested near the reservoir.
According to another version, the Dead Lake in the Carpathians got its name because of the impassable and wild places, because of which many travelers in these places said goodbye to their lives here. If you look at things more realistically from a modern point of view, Dead Lake got its name due to the fact that no one lives in it.
This is explained quite simply: in the reservoir there is a constant process of decay of organic matter, which produces a lot of carbon dioxide and hydrogen sulfide, which comes to the surface in the form of bubbles. True, travelers are not told about this once again, trying to preserve the mystical aura of this place, which is the only lake of its kind in the Carpathians.
In what period and because of what the Dead Lake appeared also remains a mystery. Some experts believe that this is the result of melting snow and constant heavy rains. The natural mountain “hollow”, in the end, became a real lake.
Burkut is an abandoned village in the very center of the Ukrainian Carpathians, located on the Ukrainian-Romanian border. You will not always find it on the maps, but the locals bypass Burkut by third roads, and you can get here only in summer.
Why the village was abandoned by the locals is not known for certain. Legends say that they intended to build a church here, but never built a church, so higher powers did not protect the inhabitants. In addition, a hundred years ago it was a well-known balneological resort, which contained 18 villas, some of which were built on an old cemetery, which also led to a future curse.
At the time of its dawn, Lesya Ukrainka, Ivan Franko and other famous people often rested in the Burkut resort. After the flood in 2008, there are no permanent residents in the village, so many houses are empty. Burkut is famous for its mineral water, which is similar in quality to the Georgian Borjomi.
Today in Burkut there is only one farmstead that accepts tourists.
The castle in Uzhgorod is one of the places with a long history that everyone should visit. The real nobility lived here and fierce battles were constantly going on. The ancient fortress is located on the very top of the Castle Hill and proudly rises above the historical heart of the city of Uzhgorod. Today the castle is considered one of the most significant military buildings in the Carpathians.
Many locals say: “Seeing Uzhhorod Castle on a map near your location and not visiting it is like being in Paris and not climbing the Eiffel Tower.” He really deserves your attention.
What do we know about its history? Around the 8th century, there was a settlement of White Croats on the top of the local mountain. Starting from the end of the 9th century, a fort was built instead, which became the residence of Prince Laborets. The wooden fort did not last long and was burned down by the Hungarians, who rebuilt it again.
The Hungarian king granted the new castle to the Italian nobility in the 14th century, after which the Druget dynasty appeared here. Subsequently, the Uzhgorod castle was besieged many times during the period of numerous peasant riots and religious confrontations.
Over the years, the defensive structures were improved and strengthened, and the castle in Uzhgorod was no exception. The modern look of the fortress was planned by Italian fortification planners during the reign of the Druget family.
The military protection system of the castle is not complicated, but reliable. Around it, on three sides, a ditch has been cut into the rock, and on the fourth, a sharp cliff. The castle has the shape of an irregular quadrangle, at the corners of which there are bastions connected by high masonry.
The bastions were built protruding from the walls, making it possible to fire along the defensive walls. Artillery stood on the towers of the bastions, preventing the enemy from approaching the gates.
Today the castle is considered one of the most mystical buildings of its kind and purpose. The legend says about the White Maiden – a ghost that lives in the castle. Once, during the reign of Count Druget, his daughter fell in love with the governor of the Polish army.
He was an enemy of the local rulers and wanted to capture the fortress. Madly in love, the girl told the Pole about the secret passages under the castle. For such an act, her father ordered her to be walled up alive in one of the walls of the castle. Since then, every night the ghost of a girl in a white dress has been wandering around the castle, looking for her beloved and crying bitterly.
Such a story makes an unforgettable impression on guests, especially during a night tour of the fortress.
Tustan is a unique and one of a kind “ghost fortress”. It’s all about its placement and the construction process itself. Even in the Middle Ages, the fortress was built right on the rocks. Craftsmen manually hollowed out grooves in stone blocks, into which later wooden beams lay, which served as the basis for fortification.
The fortress was located on the rocky complexes Stone, Sharp Stone, Small Rock and Trench, adjacent to the Voronovy Ridge. According to researchers, the fortification complex was built in the 9th century by the Slavic tribe of White Croats.
The Salt Road from Drohobych to Europe and a segment of the Silk Road Portugal-China in the period of the 9th-16th centuries ran past the rock fortress. The fortification played the role of a customs post, where the armed tribes of White Croats collected duty from merchants. In exchange, they guaranteed protection and supplied them with guards.
The fate of the fortifications was decided at a time when the Salt Way lost its relevance. This was due to the fact that the Europeans found for themselves another source of salt. This was the first step towards the decline of the once powerful defense complex. In subsequent years, Tustan was simply mentioned as a customs border.
To date, the wooden fortifications of the Tustan fortification complex can only be seen on the stands of the local location. By visiting the ghost fortress, you can see the amazing rocks, which are among the most interesting on the territory of Ukraine, the remains of the walls that our great-grandfathers used to walk on in ancient times, and even get to the vaults through old corridors.
It is very easy to plunge into the times of the past here. In the zone of special attention is the reproduction of the battles of Russian warriors with hostile tribes. The program of activities here is rich: ethno-discotheques (Slavic, Celtic motifs and folk groups), and real knightly buhurt tournaments, when teams of swordsmen clad in armor fight each other, and excursions, and various master classes.
Among the latter in Tustan, it is worth noting master classes in pottery, where you will be taught how to make pots, weave, dance, and for the more martial – throwing a spear and archery. If you are tired, you can always sit on the lawn, watch the tournament, listen to music and taste medieval cuisine – for example, fried meat and potatoes, hot wine, ale.
Almost all those who have been here consider Lake Synevyr one of the main and picturesque reservoirs of the Carpathians, which is quite deserved. It attracts everyone with the blueness and purity of its waters, thanks to which it received a second name from locals and tourists – “Sea Eye of the Carpathians”.
What is unique about this lake? First of all, the fact that this is really the largest and deepest alpine lake not only in the Carpathians, but throughout Ukraine. The area of the lake is more than 5 hectares, and the maximum depth exceeds 24 meters (during the rainy and snowmelt periods).
Of course, the size and depth of the lake are impressive, however, this is not all that tourists appreciate. Here to enjoy the fabulous picturesque, breathe in the intoxicating mountain air and, of course, for photo and video sessions. Local legends about the eternal love of the young lady Sin and the poor shepherd Vir give Synevyr Lake a special romance.
Lake Synevyr is located within the NNP “Synevyr” at an altitude of 989 meters above sea level. Despite the height and sometimes not the best path, tourists love this place. On big holidays (for example, Easter), there is literally no crowding here.
It should be noted that it is strictly forbidden to kindle fires on the territory of the NNP and swim in Synevyr Lake. Of the pluses for tourists, one can note magnificent views, the ability to easily get there by one’s own transport, the presence of a developed infrastructure near the reservoir (cafes, hotels, souvenir shops).
You will always find something to do at any time of the year. Vacationers can ride horses, take walks around the lake, climb Mount Ozernaya to a height of 1492 m, ride a raft.
Most tourists, as practice shows, try to visit the Carpathians during the warm periods of the year. Usually this is due to the fact that they want to see the majestic and mysterious, beautiful and picturesque lakes, the number of which is measured in dozens.
One of the most “fragile” and picturesque lakes is Maricheika, which was formed as a result of the melting of glaciers. The reservoir is located in the Chernogora mountain range, and its name is associated with the name of one brave local girl.
What can be said about this reservoir? The lake is small in size compared to others: the maximum length is 88 m, the width is 45 m, and the depth here is no more than a meter. Lake Maricheyka is located at an altitude of 1510 meters above sea level.
It is surrounded by rather gentle shores, on which alpine meadows bloom in the warm season. Ancient pines are located around the lake, which literally hang over the surface, as if protecting the waters from external threats.
The shallow depth allows the lake to warm up in summer, so vacationers often swim in it. Children especially love it, because even ten meters from the shore the water reaches only waist-deep. The area around the lake is quite colorful, and on the way to it you can meet some local inhabitants, including:
On the shore, many tourists prefer to stay overnight in a tent. In the morning, having a snack and admiring nature again, you will literally have a burst of energy for further travel through the Carpathians.
The history of Lake Maricheyka is covered with secrets and local legends, like most other sights of the region. It is the secrets and mysticism that are the reason that your routes in the Carpathians will help you learn something new.
The most famous legend of Lake Maricheyka says that a rather sad story predetermined its appearance in many respects. Once upon a time, a girl Marichka and a boy Ivan lived here, who were in love with each other more than life.
But they were forced to constantly hide their love from others, meeting secretly in the thicket of the forest between the trees. One day, Marichka was in a hurry to meet again and noticed from a hillock that an enemy army was approaching the village.
She rushed to her Ivan and ordered him to urgently run to the villagers and warn them about the raid of the invaders. Marichka herself led the enemy army deep into the forest in order to take trouble away from her fellow villagers. The end of the story is sad: the girl was captured and killed, and the body was thrown into the middle of the forest.
Marichka’s efforts were not in vain, because all the residents managed to save themselves and their property in advance. Ivan was later able to find the body of his beloved, after which he cried for a long time and did not leave this place for days. Ivan’s tears formed a lake, which the locals later called Maricheika.
There is another version of the legend, in which nature itself took revenge on the evil invaders. After they killed Marichka, the forest and mountains joined forces, taking revenge on the enemy army. An abyss appeared under the feet of the warriors, in which they all died, after which the Carpathians mourned the death of the girl for many days, pouring with continuous rains.
It was as a result of these rains that Lake Maricheyka, famous in all the Carpathians, appeared.
Such secret places of the Carpathians attract and will attract thousands of tourists both from Ukraine and from all over the world. It should be noted that there are many such sights, and stories about them can last for hours.
If you decide to relax in the Carpathians, you will definitely have something to see and where to get new emotions and impressions. These are really mystical and mysterious mountains that do not leave anyone indifferent, regardless of mentality and nationality.
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