The beauty of Sofiyivka was created by the work of hundreds of nameless masters – the peasants of Uman’shchina. Even such a “miracle” as the island of Love, which looks natural, harmoniously complementing the landscape, is man-made. The island was poured by hand, its banks, as well as the banks of the pond, were fortified with granite.
Here, over 2000 species of trees and bushes grow, including marsh cypress, Weimutov pine, tulip tree, platan, ginkgo, spruce and many others.
When you get to “Sofiyivka”, immediately visits the thought that he was in a fairy tale. And this is not accidental, because the basis of park composition is based on stories from the mythology of ancient Greece and Rome. Some corners of the park resemble the homes of Greek gods, heroes, philosophers.
Solemnly opened in 1802, Sofiyivka is still struck by a delicate combination of natural and artificial elements, that is, man-made elements. The unity of these two components in the park is so perfect that it is defined as harmony. Harmonious relations with the environment – the eternal human wisdom, which stores the green tent “Sofiyivka.”
The park was the property of the Polish tycoons Potocki. Named Sofievka in honor of the wife of Count Stanislav Potocki – Sofia. The author of the park project was the Polish military engineer Ludwik Metzel. Under his direct guidance, ponds, floodgates, fountains and waterfalls, the island of Anti-Circe, the underground river Acheront, bridges, grottoes, the Champs Elysees, the road-alley system, and statues were erected.
2. What structures are the decoration of the park?
The park composition unfolds along the Kamenka riverbed, where a number of artificial basins and ponds are built: Upper – over 8 hectares, Lower – about 1.1 hectares and others, waterfalls, sluices, cascades, underground river Acheron, waterfalls, etc. Park decorate artificial rocks, pavilions, gazebos, sculptures.
From the main gate on a high rocky rock is seen a wooden gazebo. Light construction, it allegedly completes the rock, successfully fits... into the surrounding landscape. The rock is called Tarpeyskaya – from the name of the south-west wall of the Capitoline fortress of Ancient Rome, which has survived to our time.
An exquisite view of the Flora Pavilion is due to the high columns and bas-relief on the frieze with the image of leaves and brushes of grapes. The ornament was made in 1852. A granite staircase leads to a spacious oval hall. In the intervals of white columns, a panorama of the Lower Pond opens up.
In the middle of the Lower Pond from the wide open jaws of the snake, which wriggles on a rock, a column of water flies up – the fountain “Snake”.
Water enters the fountain along a gravity-flowing underground water pipe, covered with granite hewn stone.
The oldest buildings of the park include the Great Falls. You can admire the hours of bright water overflows, which falls almost from the 15-meter height, listen to her magical rumble. Water comes here through the underground river Acheron from the Upper Pond.
Over the Square of the Collections along the large granite block, the granite steps rise to the top. Directly on the left is the Western grotto of pink granite, in which granite rows and a table are made.
One of the most perfect is the grotto of Lion, or Thunder. It is built so expertly that, only when you come to the middle and see the treated areas in separate places, you are convinced that it was created by human hands. There, in the right corner of the cave, there is a small waterfall, the roar of which, obviously, served as an occasion for its name.
The grotto of Thetis resembles its clear architectural forms the entrance to the ancient temple. The mainsail has a vestibule, which consists of four columns. They keep on themselves a granite slab and a semicircular window. The middle of the cave is adorned with the sculpture of Venus.