79019 Lviv Ukraine
VERKHOVYNA / WIERCHOWINA / ŻABIE
Verkhovyna, the original name Żabie (until 1962), is a picturesque center of Hutsul culture. Verkhovyna, which means a "highland place", is now an urban-type settlement in Ivano-Frankivsk region. This lovely village lies on the banks of the river Chornyi Cheremosh. There live about 5412 people.
The first mention about the settlement (as Żabie) is dated by 1424 as a center of the mountain region inhabited by Hutsuls ethnicity, also known as Pokutia.
Thus, Verkhovyna nowadays is famous as the center of Hutsul culture. Here is the best place where one can get to know the old Ukrainian ethnic traditions. The urbanization processes had almost no influence on the development of this mountain town. One can enjoy pure and original Hutsuls culture through the whole year, but especially during a visit in Christmas, Easter or Pentecost period.
Even being such a small and quite traditional town, Verkhovyna is well known by its Folk Song and Dance Ensemble "Cheremosh", its healing resorts and picturesque landscapes. This town was an inspirational place for many Ukrainian writers of XIX century (among them, Ivan Franko, Mykhailo Kotsiubynskyi) as well as for the famous Armenian film director Sergiy Paradzhanov, who shot the film “Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors” about the life, customs, traditions and beliefs of Hutsuls.