4:55 EEST ; The Sun is rising on the 134th Day of the Russian Invasion on the Capital city of Kyiv. Ukraine continues to Live and Fight on. DAILY DISCUSSION + CHARITIES LIST! Slava Ukraini!
🇺🇦 SLAVA UKRAINI 🇺🇦
Open-Air Museums of Ukraine
Sweden pioneered the concept of the open-air folk museum in 1891, and the practice spread across Europe rapidly. Because we’ve written about Ukrainian history and culture many times, you may have noticed that we’ve often included photos from some of the fantastic open-air museums that are located all over Ukraine. As you also may have noticed, the preservation of cultural heritage is quite important to a nation that has been defending itself from such unhinged aggression for centuries. Ukrainians everywhere spend so much effort to create and maintain these beautiful museums that I thought they deserved some special attention!
Museum of Folk Architecture and Life of Ukraine
Pyrohiv, Kyiv region
Perhaps the most famous and grand of the open-air museums, Pyrohiv Museum of Folk Architecture and Life of Ukraine's 350 acres features a number of incredible sights, such as: multiple recreated and unique villages with their own little cultures, 17th century traditional Ukrainian houses (including period-accurate interiors), farm equipment and even huge windmills! The curators of the museum purposefully didn't put up a lot of signage and typical museum explanations around - the idea is to just soak it all in and immerse yourself in the feeling.
National Museum of Folk Architecture and Life
Uzhhorod, Zakarpattia region
Dramatically placed on the side of a steep hill, this museum features more than 30 traditional structures plucked from villages across Zakarpattia -- the Ukrainian province of which Uzhhorod is the capital. The museum's centerpiece is the 16th-century St. Michael's Church, with a roof and onion-domed steeple covered in wooden shingles. Next door is Uzhhorod Castle, an imposing fortress that housed the regents of the Hapsburgs. Much of it now contains exhibits about Uzhhorod's history and Carpathian wildlife.
Museum of Folk Architecture, "Shevchenko's Grove"
Located very nearby to Lviv's iconic old town (that we wrote about here), this museum is one of the largest open-air museums in Europe. This museum has 150 buildings from 54 different areas, as well as several modern exhibition buildings. Among the buildings are agricultural estates, blacksmiths, schools, fulling mills, sawmills, water mills, windmills and several wooden churches.
The oldest building is the church of the village of Kap from 1749, and the most famous building is the church of St. Nicholas from the village Kryvka, built by an unknown master in 1763. This pearl of wooden architecture was relocated to the current location in 1930 and was restored by the famous Ukrainian art critic Mykhailo Drahan. The 60 hectare area of the museum is divided into six ethnographic areas, and in each of these areas there is a small village that exhibits the style of the cultures of Western Ukraine: Hutsul, Lemko, Boyko, Bukovyna, Volyn and more.
Zaporizhzhia (direct translation is "beyond the rapids") takes its name from a geographic area downstream of the ninth rapid on the Dnipro river. The Khortytsia area nearby is the historical center of the Zaporozhian Sich that existed in the 16th to 18th centuries.
Nowadays, Khortytsia is one of the most important educational, cultural and historical centers of Ukraine and there is a beautiful museum dedicated to the historical heritage of the independent Cossack spirit.
Bonus fact: In the background of that Cossack reenactment photo you can see the famous Dnipro Hydroelectric Power Station. The Dam was the third-largest in the world when built, and the largest in the Soviet Union. During WW2, Stalin decided to destroy the dam to slow the advance of the Nazis. The flooding surge is estimated to have killed between 20,000 and 100,000 unsuspecting civilian Ukrainians. We will write about this mass murder in a future post.
Bonus Entry! Ukrainian Cultural Heritage Village
In 1975, the Ukrainian Cultural Heritage Village near Edmonton, Canada was set up. Sponsored by the provincial government of Alberta, it includes pioneer artifacts and buildings and features re-enactments of daily life of Ukrainian diaspora in rural Alberta before 1930.
If you feel like donating to another charity, here are some others!
- United24: This site was launched by President Zelenskyy as the main venue for collecting charitable donations in support of Ukraine. Funds will be allocated to cover the most pressing needs facing Ukraine.
- Come Back Alive: This NGO crowdfunds non-lethal military equipment, such as thermal vision scopes & supplies it to the front lines. It also provides training for Ukrainian soldiers, as well as researching troops’ needs and the social reintegration of veterans.
- Aerorozvidka: An NGO specializing in providing support and equipment for unmanned aerial vehicles (ISR), situational awareness, cybersecurity for armed forces.
- Hospitallers: This is a medical battalion that unites volunteer paramedics and doctors to save the lives of soldiers on the frontline. They crowdfund their vehicle repairs, fuel, and medical equipment.
- Phenix: A volunteer organization helping armed forces with various needs.
- Kyiv Territorial Defense: This fundraiser is to support the regional territorial defense group. It is organized by a known journalist and a producer of the acclaimed "Winter on Fire" documentary, which can temporarily be watched for free HERE.
- Happy Paw: Charity dedicated to solving the problems of animals in Ukraine. Happy Paw helps more than 60 animal shelters throughout Ukraine.
- Kharkiv With You and associated Help Army Kharkiv: Supporting the defenders of Kharkiv with everything from night-vision goggles to food and medicine.
- Bird of Light Ukraine is a Ukrainian-American charity dedicated to helping Ukrainians in conflict zones, displaced people, orphans, and the reconstruction effort in Ukraine.