The Kozaks (also Cossacks) are legendary in Ukraine. This fierce group of warriors ruled a vast territory, and struck fear into the hearts of all civilizations. They had great influence on the history, culture, and psychology of modern day Ukraine!
The Kozaks roamed the steppe from the 15thC, and became an independent state in 1649!
It was the Kozaks who spread and popularized the term “Ukraine” as a name for their territories.
They created a stronghold called the “Zaporozhian Sich” on a small island on the Dnipro river.
Today a recreation of the Sich stands on the island near Zaporizhia, and Kozaks still live there today!
Borschiv is an ethnographic region in Podillia, near the western city of Ternopil. It is famous for its Borshchiv embroidery technique – a very dark colored floral pattern. This unique style of embroidery is much darker than other Ukrainian styles, which are usually full of colour.
The story behind this dark embroidery is quite morbid.
Legend has it, that several centuries ago, when Tatars were carrying out raids across Europe, they slaughtered many men in the small village around Borshchiv. As a form of mourning, the remaining widows embroidered black blouses, and swore to wear blouses of black thread for seven centuries after to commemorate the tragedy.
For many years the technique of Borshchiv embroidery was thought to be lost, because samples were burnt or thrown away.
However there are a few people who have managed to revive the tradition of Borshchiv blouses, and now examples are available in museums across Ukraine, including a special exhibit in Ternopil.
Western Ukraine is home to some of the most beautiful places in Ukraine, and also some of the most historic. We will take you on a journey back in time, through centuries-old cities and ancient fortresses.
Central Ukraine is our new Cobblestone Freeway favorite! From the Magnificence of Kyiv and its domed churches to the international flair of Odesa. Experience the heartbeat of Ukraine and step back in time to the land of Kozaks.