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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 Grotto.

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 "Eternal Jew".

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" nor "Ahasuerus".

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.

The park, as a scientific institution of the National Academy of Science of Ukraine, is engaged in researches of connatural and cultural flora of austral Forest-steppe of Ukraine, introduction and acclimatation of plants in the region.

The article of the director of the famous park I. Kosenko summarizes this work:

45 years in Ukraine's NAS

In the final article of I. Kosenko the review of the park's whole history from the moment of the foundation till todays is made:
205 years since the foundation of Sofiyivka

The team of scientists of the park issued the catalogue of plants with the total amount 1994 taxons, in which 25 taxons of hazels, 24 beeches, 41 fir-trees, 44 junipers, 100 lianas, 320 roses, 57 rhododendrons and 98 flower plants - totally 1220 trees and bushes and 774 herbaceous plants.
Catalogue (zip 380 КB)

The hothouse of the park is the unique center of cultivation of conifers and deciduous trees, bushes, roses seedlings - total more than 200 items.
Open|Download (22 КB)

The beauty of the park was sung by a lot of poets, but the poem of the Polish poet S. Trembecki occupies an especial place. Written in 1811, it is the park guide book in verses.
"Sofiowka" and comments of Adam Mickiewicz (polish)

Park as the tourist center offers the visitors a complex of services - excursion support in six languages, hotel, restaurant, conference hall etc.
List of services