20+ Amazing Facts About Ukraine, the Heart of Europe, Everyone Needs to Know

2022-04-05 Stories

This article was originally published on our website: storieswithpictures.com

Recent events have shifted the attention of the whole world towards Ukraine and the tragic events that are unfolding there as we speak, but not many people realize that this country is so much more than news about war and aggression. With its rich land, breathtaking sceneries, colourful traditions, and delicious cuisine, Ukraine is a land of vast contrasts and mysteries waiting to be solved. Here are 20+ facts that will change the way you see Ukraine forever.

The Coffee Mecca of Europe

While Austria is considered to be the main culprit of inventing coffee houses in Europe, Ukraine also claims to be the birthplace of Europe’s coffee shops. And if you look at one of its cities, Lviv, you will clearly see that this claim may actually be right!

This European city has more coffee houses than it has regular buildings – we kid you not. Wherever you go, you will find a bunch of versatile cafes and coffee boutiques catering to all kinds of coffee lovers. The coffee culture is definitely strong here.

It is also a historical fact that Yuri Kulczycki, who helped free Vienna during the Turkish Siege in the 1600s took with him numerous bags of Turkish coffee seeds no one knew what to do with. Being a merchant, he knew very well just how precious they were. It is believed that he was the one who started coffee business in Europe, brewing the first cup of hot coffee in Vienna himself.

Ivana Kupala Festival

Ancient traditions are still going strong in Ukraine. Long before Christianity came to this country, Ukrainians were celebrating various pagan festivals connected with the change of seasons, collecting crops,

This Slavic holiday is celebrated in the end of June and is one of the biggest and most fun festivals during the year. Girls and young women make wreaths of flowers and herbs and let them float on rivers with candles – while doing so they make wishes about their romantic relationships and try to foresee what they will be.

Everyone also lights up huge bonfires and men jump over them to show off their bravery. Couples also jump over the fire while holding hands. It is believed that if they separate – their relationship will be short-living. There’s also a belief that a magical flower, the Fern flower, blooms only on this night.

The Longest Musical Instrument

Maybe some of you have seen didgeridoo, a wind instrument that originated in Australia, which is quite, but it has nothing on Ukrainian trembita! This wind instrument is used mostly in the mountain region and it is the longest in the whole world.

Trembita has such length to produce powerful sound, which is necessary in the mountains as it helps people ‘communicate’ with each other on long distances without actually going to the place, which can be dozens of miles away.

It’s mostly used to report different important events like wedding or a local gathering. Usually, trembitas are made of tree trunks, but not ordinary ones. Trembita-makers look for special trees that were hit by a lightrning – this gives wood special qualities in terms of sound and, some believe, magic as well.