The Chinese pergola is situated in the western part of the park, called Dubinka.
The pergola was made of wood and painted in different colors;
it was restored several times. The name "Chinese pergola" was
first mentioned in Lypa' book (1948). T.Themery named it an
octagonal pavilion. In a brief report about the work done in
the garden in 1838 - 1847 (April), we can read: "In 1848 a wooden
pergola in Chinese style, covered with wooden boards was built
" It is worth mentioning that in his hand-written essay L.O.Kazarinov
wrote that the terrace Belleview was made by V.V.Pashkevych.
This statement of the man who had worked in the park for 60
years once again proved that both before the revolution and
till present time the history of the park is not known very
well. Describing the park, in 1846 T.Themery noted that gardener
Ferre arranged this picturesque landscape in 1840, and V.V.Pashkevych
began to work in the park in 1890.
Not far away from the crowded central part of the park you can relax and dream
admiring the Great Waterfalls and the Assembly Square. The Chinese pergola is
covered with fine branches of a larch tree on its western side, and close to
it a 400-year-old oak-tree stands out vividly, being a mute witness of many
events, which took place here. Folk legends told us that it was under this oak-tree
that legendary heroes of anti-feudal uprising of peasants guided by Maxim Zalizniak
and Ivan Gonta met there. It could be quite possible that the leaders of the
Southern society of Decembrists, namely, P.Pestel and I. Davydov, discussed
their plans at this place, when they came to Oman to visit with one of the most
active participants of the movement S.Volkonski.
In 1975 the memorial stone was installed near the pergola in memory of revolutionary
events, which took place there. The meadow was the place for demonstrations,
meetings and gatherings. In 1904 the first illegal May-Day meeting took place
there, in 1919 May Day was celebrated solemnly.
In the years of the Great Patriotic War the invaders chose the meadow Dubinka
to be a burial place for their officers. The old residents of the town remember
that in post-war time the meadow was covered with crosses made of birch-trees.
The following story goes back to 1985: two senior tourists from Germany came
to visit the park. When the excursion was over they asked the guide to show
the cemetery to them. The tourists were taken to the meadow, and there they
measured it with steps right at the place where three beautiful hazelnut trees
were grown (Corylus L.). Finally they put flowers and stood silent for some
minutes. Later they explained that their younger brother was buried on the sixth
place in the seventh row there. At present there are no signs of the cemetery
at the meadow. In the first years of the post-war period there was a nursery
and a hotbed there. Later at the end of the 1950ies, they both were removed
and the meadow got its original look. But for quite a long period of time it
was not completely planned, and had a clear rectangular form. In 1985-1986 a
general reconstruction of the meadow was made, new grassy covering was grown;
partly the trees were taken away, to make the meadow look naturally. In 2000
according to the agreement between the government of Ukraine and that of Germany,
and with the permission of the administration of the park, excavations of the
graves were done at the meadow. The remains of over 1600 owners of military
counters were taken to Germany for reburial. Presently this composition of the
park is being planned and restored.
To the left of the Great Waterfalls a large fir-tree grows, which catches on
the edge of a granite cliff with its roots. To the right, according to L.O.Kazarinov,
a birch-tree grew, but it died long ago. From the bridge you can pass by the
Broken Column walking to the Elysian Fields (in case you will go to the right).
Coming back from the Acheron Lake to the English Park, which begins with a small
meadow, we can see a bust of an ancient philosopher Socrates in the middle of
it; the bust was installed on a granite pedestal in 1957. The bust of Socrates
as well as those of other philosophers was installed on wrong places, if we
want to read "Sofiivka" as an iconological work of art.
The iconology is the tendency of art in the XX century, which studies the subjects
and figurative motives in the artistic works to determine their historical and
cultural content and ideology. That is why, the statue of Homer, Socrates, Plato
and Aristotle should be placed on the area of the Athenian school. It would
be better to install the bust of V.V.Pashkevych, who did a lot for "Sofiyivka",
on the place where the bust of Socrates stands now.
The English Park or arboretum named after V.V.Pashkevych occupies
a small territory in the form of triangle, its area being about
2 hectares. Its top touches the gates of Uman State Agrarian
Academy (from 2003 - Univercity). One side of the triangle
is confined with a wide asphalted road planted with very old
linden-trees; the other side borders on the parterre amphitheatre;
a meadow with a bust of Socrates is situated on the line of
the basis. The territory of arboretum is densely cut with rather
complicated maze of paths. One can see a pool, where once there
was a collection of aqueous plants, and also a stony hill, covered
with succulent plants, that is, perennial plants, whose vegetative
organs can absorb water, due to this they can grow in deserts,
on the stones and in sands.
There are a lot of exotic trees and shrubs on the areas of arboretum, which
are valuable in ornamental gardening and forestry. In 1987 their number amounted
to over 100 species and forms.
When we walk along the alleys of the English Park to the Acheron Lake our attention
is attracted by the hill, made artificially. We assume that this barrow symbolizes
Elpenorus' grave. Elpenorus was the youngest men in Odysseus' crew, and, as
Homer mentioned, he was not very clever. When Odysseus and his friends spent
the last night on the island of Circe before their leaving for the underground
kingdom of dead souls, Elpenorus slept on the roof of Circe's palace; when he
heard the people getting prepared for the departure and being drunk and not
able to use stairs, he just fell down from the roof and his soul flew away to
Aid's kingdom. Having visited Aid's kingdom, Odysseus returned and buried Elpenorus,
he also put an oar on his grave, as Elpenorus' soul asked to do this. This is
also our assumption. It could be that this grave was situated on the Island
of Anti-Circe during the first period of the foundation of the park. S.Groza
(1843) wrote about it. " A raised place occupies the middle with a granite basis
and some steps. S.S.Potocki could be buried at this place under a huge pyramid.
But this plan, except for Trembecki's mentioning, was not realized." Possibly,
L.Metzel created this raised place symbolically as Elpenorus' grave.
When you are in the parterre amphitheatre, you can see greenhouses and academic
buildings of Uman State Agrarian Academy; they have been under its jurisdiction
since 1939; that year the park became an independent institution. In front of
the above-mentioned buildings, there is a three-level area of the park, arranged
in a regular style. The upper part of it is mown lawns whose edges are decorated
with different kinds of roses. The middle part of the parterre amphitheatre
is made of a granite wall and a wide horse-shoe-like alley, which turns the
part of the hill with rich grassy vegetation that descends to two lines of western
thuyas. The granite wall was built in 1845 and it was decorated with platted
roses, vine and honeysuckle.
The Parterre amphitheatre underwent numerous changes. First of all, it is necessary
to mention that at Potocki's time this was the entrance to the park. In old
pictures, saved from a pre-revolution period, we can see narrow paths, situated
in the middle part of the hill and filled with roses; the paths descended to
the "Seven-Jet" Fountain. It was then that the name "The Valley of Roses" appeared.
Before the Great Patriotic War, a straight two-row trellis consisted of only
one row of thuyas planted in 1910. It limited the regular part of the park,
as it was cut only at the height of 1 meter. During the war time, the park was
to a certain degree neglected, thuyas were not cut, and after the war in the
1950ies it was decided to plant another row of western tuyas, the upper one.
As it was difficult for visitors to walk along these narrow paths, in 1957 this
part of the park was planned in a different way. Granite steps, which led to
the "Seven-Jet" Fountain, were built in the center of the hill; roses were removed,
and various species of juniper and thuya were planted, the edges were planted
with cypresses. During the first period of the foundation of the park almost
all the steps in the park were wooden, they got older and broken; in 1950-1960
they all were changed for granite ones.
In 1996 when the restoration of the park took place, the parterre amphitheatre
was changed considerably. The map of "Sofiyivka" of 1855 was widely used, where
this part of the park was clearly seen. Granite steps were removed and serpentine
paths were restored. Thuyas, junipers, mulberry-trees and other valuable plants
were transplanted to new landscapes of the western part of the park.
The "Seven-Jet" Fountain was probably built during the first
period of the foundation of the park, it was not proved by any
documents though. Neither S.Groza nor T.Themery mentioned about
it. The fountain is a small round pool with an openwork bronze
vase in the middle of it. Seven streams of water come out of
the base rapidly. The water of the fountain is supplied along
the underground pipes from the Dead Lake. Because of the overfall
of the location, the height of the central stream reaches 5
meters. The excess of water flows through the underground drain
in the Lower Pond. The fountain is probably associated with
the legend, as "seven" is symbolic in many mythological systems.
A very popular myth "Seven against Phoebe" is associated with number "seven"
(it was before Trojan war). The myth is described in ancient works of the Athenian
playwrights of the Vth century BC such as Aeschylus, Euripides and Sophocles.
The epic poem "Phivanda" was the main source for them and for other authors;
unfortunately it was not saved till our days. In "Seven against Phoebe" and
about the capture of Phoebe we could read about fighting among different kingdoms
of Mycenaean period, not long before their decline, about seven entrance gates,
which could have existed in the Phoebe. The united troops, which consisted of
seven armies headed by seven commanders, rushed through the gate. The reason
for the campaign was the enmity among the sons who ruled the country and could
not share the throne.
We described one of the options of L.Metzel's plan, but probably this fountain
reflected those seven years, which Odysseus had spent on the island in Calypso
Having walked down the serpentine to the "Seven-Jet" Fountain, we admire it
from a close distance and walk straight to the statue "Winter". According to
the map of "Sofiyivka", issued by T.Themery it was here, near the fountain.
S.Groza (1843) called it as a sculpture of an old man and noted that it was
installed on the Belvedere, situated on the Leucadian Rock. Later it was placed
in the Elysian Fields, and after the Great Patriotic War and till not we can
see it in the Upper Alley.
In 1996, according to the plan of "Sofiyivka" of 1846, it was placed here.
The statue shows an old man whose face expresses pain and suffering; trying
to protect himself from cold he makes an attempt to cover himself with tunic.
It was considered to be the allegory of a season and a human life. But in the
first guidebook "Across Sofiyivka" both T.Themery and A.Regel called this sculpture
According to a medieval legend, Eternal Jew is one of those who teased Jesus
Christ, when he carried a heavy cross to Golgotha to the place of crucifixion.
He did not allow Jesus Christ to stop and to have a rest. For this, he was punished
to wander around the world till the Day of Judgment. The legend about Ahasuerus
(Eternal Jew) was very interesting and was reflected in the works of Goethe,
Shlegel, Lenau, Pushkin, Zhukovskyi, Kuhelbeker, Shelly, E, Siu, Jan Potocki
and many others.
Taking into consideration our literary researches and the fact that the whole
"Sofiyivka" depicts heroic adventures of Odysseus, we think it is neither "Winter"
It is the statue of Odysseus himself in front of us; depending on circumstances
goddess Athena turned him into an old man in tunic (we can see in the park)
or into a strong, young and handsome man. Odysseus, an old man, showed up in
the Island of Feakians, and when the competition began he turned into a brave
and strong warrior. The same happened when he came to shepherd Eumeus: Odysseus
was an old man because he did not want to be recognized. Here is a quotation
(Boris Ten's translation, p.232): " Athena touched Odysseus with warder. Wrinkles
appeared on his strong and nice skin, his fair hair fell out, suddenly he bent
as an old man, his beautiful and bright eyes grew dull "
S.Groza had reasons to call the sculpture "An old man"; he also stated that
it was on the Leucadian Rock, in fact, in his native land - the Island of Ithaca.
We are convinced that the sculpture of Odysseus has to be called this way and
to be placed on the very top of the Island of Ithaca. There the busts of Kosciusko,
Tsarina Oleksandra Fedorivna, T.G. Shevchenko, V.I.Lenin stood at different
times. The sculpture was brought to the park after L.Metzel had left for Warsaw;
so, he could not realize his plan. Meanwhile, the sculpture had numerous places
in the park within its 200-year-old history.
Leaving the fountain and walking along the path you can find
yourself on the Terrace of Muses and come up to the granite
obelisk, which we could watch from Flora Pavilion. We see absolutely
fascinating pictures of unusual beauty. It is from this place
that you can see the picture "painted" by man and nature, which
you could see in parts. Flora Pavilion, reflected in the mirror
of the Lower Pond, looks tiny, as if it hovers in the air; the
shining stream of Snake Fountain impresses our imagination (we
look at it from above); the Leucadian Rock, the Caucasian Hill
(the Ithaca Island), the Assembly Square, the Valley of Giants,
a wooden bridge in the Tempe Valley, the Great Waterfalls -
all this stays in our memory for a long time, as a beautiful,
romantic picture, ideally depicted by nature and man.
K.Ferre created the hill, named by T.Themery the Terrace of Muses, in 1840.
I.A.Kosarevskyi wrote that the Terrace of Muses was created in 1796-1800. We
may think that K.Ferre managed to accomplish L.Metzel's plan. T.Themery noted
that on holiday days the terrace was decorated with flowers, benches were put
there, where women could sit; as a whole it looked like Helicon with enchanting
nymphs. (Helicon was the mountain in Middle Greece in the south of Beotia; according
to Greek myths, muses, patronesses of art, resided there).
In 1856 a granite obelisk was installed; before the revolution of 1917 its
top was decorated with a gilded three-headed eagle, the inscription said that
it was placed there to honor the visit of tsar Nicholas I. After the revolution
the obelisk with the inscription disappeared, and only in 1996 according to
the project of "Ukrprojectrestoration" a three-headed eagle was made as a family
emblem of Romanov's dynasty, which really did a lot to save this park for the
generations to come. It is true, that the obelisk and a 150-year-old fir-tree
are in some contradiction to the initial plan of the park, as one of the most
a magnificent pictures, namely, 200-300-year-old oak-trees, is not seen from
Flora Pavilion because of it (the trees are grown in front of the greenhouses).
But this is just history, and we can only be sorry about that, especially if
we remind you of the Grotto of Apollo of Belvedere, which was built there at
Potocki's time (we have already mentioned this fact). The obelisk is fenced
with a forged decorative chain.
However, let us walk down to the Upper Alley and admire the panorama of the
Lower Pond from another viewing point. Here, according to T.Themery, on the
Terrace of Muses, K.Ferre constructed a large granite grotto of a rectangular
form, which got the name of Apollo, because the statue of Apollo of Belvedere
stood there. The entrance to the grotto was decorated with two granite vases
with flowers on both sides, there was also a bench to sit and admire the beauties
of this area. One could hardly choose a better place for the grotto, but when
the obelisk was being installed, there was a threat for the grotto; it was decided
to sacrifice it. No doubt, the park lost one of its most attractive objects.
Having walked along the Upper Alley, you will find yourself on the top of the
terrace Belleview; from this place you can see amazingly nice pictures of the
park. If you walk along the alley, which leads to the Chinese pergola, you will
see closer a beautiful meadow Dubinka. Cross the meadow toward the oak-trees,
which stand aside, and you will see wonderful hazelnut trees on the right, which
will direct you to a new alley. The alley was built in 1987; beautiful landscapes
are everywhere around you.