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Kholodnyi Yar

The isolated terrain Kholodnyi Yar (Cold Ravine) is a relict forest tract and a historical sight covering an area of 533 hectares. Due to the steep slopes of ravines and gullies covered with a thick wood (124 types of trees) almost a mystic atmosphere reigns there. In the vil­lage of Buda it is possible to touch the millennial oak of Maxym Zaliznyak (the circumference of the trunk is 8.65 m. and it is 21.7 m. high). A monument to the leader of insurgents was erected in the village of Medvedivka. The name “Cold Ravine” is obviously linked with climatolo­gy. In summer cold air gathers in the deep wooded cavities and gullies, and from there always comes coolness. The remains of a few sites of ancient settlements have been preserved in the forests. The largest of them is Scythian or Motrona’s sit (6 th cent. B.C.). In the center of it there is an architectural monument – the Church of the Trinity of Motrona’s monastery. Everywhere in the territory of the Ravine and surrounding fields tower up the burial mounds of Scythian days and later epochs. During the foundation of Zaporozhian Sich the terri­tory south of the Cold Ravine was a frontier zone. After destroying the Sich, Empress Catherine II gave away these lands to her favorites. In the second half of the 19 th century the famous sugar manufac­turer Mykola Tereschenko became the owner of the Cold Ravine. During the Civil War of 1917-1920 there existed Kholodnoyarska republic, which was headed by brothers Chuchupaki. The peasants with arms in hands resisted the bolsheviks and the latter needed several years before they managed to come into power. To remove a potential threat, the communists closed Motrona’s cloister at the beginning of the 1920 th. With the outbreak of World War II the Ravine became the place of resistance again.

According to a legend the appearance of Motrona’s convent preceded the time when Prince Yaroslav the Wise presented the Cold Ravine to his voevode Myroslav. The latter built a new fortress on the remains of the Scythian settlement, and surrounded it with ramparts and a ditch. Setting forth for a campaign, the voevode or­dered his wife Motrona to take care of the fortress. On the way back Myroslav decided to check up vigilance of the outpost and for this purpose did not find a better idea, than to change his people into Petchenegs’ clothes. As soon as they approached the fortress, Mot­rona ordered “to beat the enemy.” Myroslav perished together with other warriors. To immortalize the memory of unwise, but beloved husband, Motrona built a convent and took the veil.

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