Osynove: One of the Most Incredible Ukrainian Villages
Lovely architecture, history, and landscapes bring tourists not only to crowded cities but also to tiny villages and towns. Ukrainians can vote online for the most picturesque village. The winner receives a cash award for implementing business projects
Its church, which was built in 1802, has a shimmering blue and gold roof that includes elements of both Baroque and Classic styles. Its murals date back to the 19th century.
“Here you can see the Italian porticos, moldings, and pilasters,” Novopskov History Museum researcher Olena Sukhorada said, showing off the church.”In 1963 the church was added to the Catalog of Nationally Significant Landmarks. It is one-of-a-kind in the whole world.”
The church survived two World Wars and, according to legends, was visited by Ukrainian philosopher Hryhoriy Skovoroda.
Three burial grounds and 12 tumuli were found near the village, as well as a Kurgan stela. In the previous century, sharks’ teeth, and the remains of a mammoth were also found.
“Students were searching for shell casings, and eventually found mammoth bones. At first, they found vertebrae of a trunk, and then – the rest of the bones and a fragment of a tusk,” historian Oleksandr Chernukha said.
All these valuables are kept in a local history museum.
“These are mammoth bones and a horn of an aurochs,” Sukhorada said, gesturing toward the bones which lay on a display table. “The mammoth bones were found in the village of Osynove. Most of what had been found was later brought to the Luhansk Regional Museum, which is now located in the occupied territory. Some of the exhibits were left here.”
Also in Osynove, a relatively nondescript hole in the ground is the entrance to a cave that used to be an underground church. Though now it’s impossible to get inside, historians plan to excavate the cave and open it to tourists.
“It dates back to the 10th century. First Christians used this cave as a sacred place, it was a place where they hid,” Chernukha said.
On the outskirts of Osynove, there is an old wooden cross painted red and hidden in a cornfield. It is believed that the cross protects the village from fires and bad harvests.
“This is a wayside cross. Religious people used to ask it to send rain,” local resident Mykola Romachenko said.
Osynove is now participating in the fourth “Incredible Villages of Ukraine” competition and hopes to win.
“If we win and Osynove makes it to the top of the ‘Incredible Villages of Ukraine’ competition, our young people would be able to buy new musical equipment worth a hundred thousand hryvnias. They need it for holding a festival of Ukrainian songs, called ‘Melodious Aidar,'” Tetiana Chervenko, a representative of the Novopskov Amalgamated Territorial Community said.