Uman: diamond of Cherkasy Region Class Teacher

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Uman: diamond of Cherkasy Region

Class Teacher: Good afternoon students! I am glad to inform that today you are to present the results of your research on the project “Uman: diamond of Cherkasy Region”. So, you are welcome!

Subgroup 1. Cherkasy Region: introduction

Student 1: We are to speak about Cherkasy Region in general!

Student 2: Ukraine is a rich and picturesque country. Ukrainians are hardworking and generous people.

Student 3: Today we will tell you about its jewel – Cherkasy Region. (Presentation: Cherkasy Oblast)

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Student 4: Cherkasy Oblast is located along the Dnieper River. The administrative center of the oblast is the city of Cherkasy. With 20,900 km², the Cherkasy oblast is the 18th largest oblast of Ukraine, comprising about 3.5% of the area of the country. The south flowing Dnieper River with the hilly western bank and the plain. The larger western part belongs to the Dnieper Upland.

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Student 5: The Cherkasy Oblast was created as part of the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic on January 7, 1954.

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Student 3: Cherkasy Region is devided into districts (raions). They are:

  1. Cherkasy Raion

  2. Chornobay Raion

  3. Chyhyryn Raion

  4. Drabiv Raion

  5. Horodyshche Raion

  6. Kamyanka Raion

  7. Kaniv Raion

  8. Katerynopil Raion

  9. Khrystynivka Raion

  10. Korsun-Shevchenkivskyi Raion

  11. Chornobay Raion

  12. Chyhyryn Raion

  13. Drabiv Raion

  14. Horodyshche Raion

  15. Kamyanka Raion

  16. Kaniv Raion

  17. Katerynopil Raion

  18. Khrystynivka Raion

  19. Korsun-Shevchenkivskyi Raion

  20. Lysianka Raion

  21. Mankivka Raion

  22. Monastyryshche Raion

  23. Shpola Raion

  24. Smila Raion

  25. Talne Raion

  26. Uman Raion

  27. Zhashkiv Raion

  28. Zolotonosha Raion

  29. Zvenyhorodka Raion

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Student 2: The oblast borders the Kiev Oblast to the north, the Kirovohrad Oblast to the south, the Poltava Oblast to the east, and the Vinnytsya Oblast to the west.

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Student 4: Student 3: Cherkasy - is a city in central Ukraine. It is the capital of the Cherkasy Oblast (province), as well as the administrative center of the surrounding Cherkasky Region (district) within the oblast.

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Student 5: 6 cities (municipalities) are directly subordinate to the oblast government: Vatutine, Zolotonosha, Kaniv, Smila, and the administrative center of the oblast, Cherkasy. There are a total of 25 cities, 34 towns, and 838 villages.

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Student 1: Chercassy Region attracts people from all around the world by Sofiivka, Trypillian culture, Shevchenko National preserve, Martynivka Treasure housed in Kiev.

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Students (together): Thank you for your attention!

Subgroup 2. Uman: geographical position

Presentation: Welcome to Uman

Student 1: Welcome to Uman! A well-known city around the world.


Student 2: Uman is a city located in the Cherkasy Region in central Ukraine, to the east of Vinnytsia. The city rests on the banks of the Umanka River and serves as the self-governing administrative center of the Uman district.


Student 3: Uman was first mentioned in historical documents in 1616, when it was under Polish rule. Its role at this time was as a defensive fort to withstand Tatar raids, containing a prominent Cossack regiment that was stationed within the town. In 1648 it was liberated from the Poles by Ivan Hanzha, colonel to Cossack leader Bohdan Khmelnytsky, and Uman was converted to the administrative center of cossack regiment for the region.

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Student 4: Uman is situated in central Ukraine, at the meeting place of the Karnenka and Umanka rivers. Total Area 41 km2 (16 square miles). The city of Uman has very fertile ground and is surrounded by thousands of square miles of beautiful, flat farmlands. When driving through the countryside you will find many farm stalls selling the freshest fruit and vegetables.

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Student 1: Among Ukrainians, Uman' is best remembered from its depiction in Haidamaky ( The Haidamaks, 1843), the longest of the poems of the most widely read Ukrainian writer, Taras Shevchenko. Based loosely on events during the 1768 haidamak rebellion, Shevchenko's work expresses the wild and often merciless characters.


Students (together): Thank you for your attention!
Subgroup 3. Uman: historical reference

Slide 1. Student: Uman was first mentioned in historical documents in 1616, when it was under Polish rule. Its role at this time was as a defensive fort to withstand Tatar raids, containing a prominent Cossack regiment that was stationed within the town. In 1648 it was liberated from the Poles by Ivan Hanzha, colonel to Cossack leader Bohdan Khmelnytsky, and Uman was converted to the administrative center of cossack regiment for the region.

Slide 2: Student: Poland retook Uman in 1667, after which the town was deserted by many of its residents who fled eastward to Left-bank Ukraine. From 1670–1674, Uman was a residence to the Hetman of right-bank Ukraine. Under the ownership of the Potocki family of Polish nobles (1726–1832) Uman grew in economic and cultural importance. A Basilian monastery and school were established in this time.

With the 1793 Third Partition of Poland, Uman became part of the Russian Empire and a number of aristocratic residences were built there. In 1795 Uman became center of Voznesensk Governorate, and in 1797, Kiev Governorate.

Slide 3. Student: Into the 20th century, Uman was linked by rail to Kiev and Odessa, leading to rapid development of its industrial sector. Its population grew from 10,100 in 1860 to 29,900 in 1900 and over 50,000 in 1914.

Slide 4. Student: During the Second World War, in 1941, the Battle of Uman took place in the vicinity of the town, where the German army encircled Soviet positions. Also in 1941 Adolf Hitler, together with Benito Mussolini visited Uman.

Uman was occupied by German forces from August 1, 1941 to March 10, 1944.

Slide 5. Student: Today the city has optical and farm-machinery plants, a cannery, a brewery, a vitamin factory, a sewing factory, a footwear factory, and other industrial enterprises. Its highest educational institutions are the Uman National University of Horticulture and the Uman State Pedagogical University.

Subgroup 4. Touring around Uman

Student 1. Uman is a picturesque townlet in the very heart of Ukraine and at the intersection of all the roads of the country. If you are tired of big cities with their infrastructures and want to roam about quite calm and beautiful streets our town will suit you.

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Uman is smothered in green trees in spring and is fairylike in winter with its mysteries, legends and parks. (Slide 3, Slide 4)

If you want to go sightseeing at once you may go to the park “Sofiyivka”. One of the entrances is opposite the buss-station accompanied by the hotel to settle in before admiring the beauty of the nature and human creativity. (Slide 5)

But it will take you long hours to walk along the paths and roam about marvelous places of the park feeling the smell of the fresh air and old trees and admiring the beauty of the nature! Come one day and try it on your own!

Student 2. Uman is not so big so it won’t take you much time to walk it back and forth. Walking along the main street you will find chestnut trees lined in two sides of the road which are in blossom in spring. (Slide 6,7). There are a lot of shops and supermarkets, banks and offices there. The town hall is situated in the center of the town, opposite a small park where you can sit and have a rest from sightseeing.

Subgroup 5. Legends of the town

1.Presentation: Uman Treasures

Student 1: Uman has a rich history and mysterious myths. Though sometimes it is difficult to tell them apart.


Student 2: Uman lands are very rich in archaeological findings. And treasures with precious metals, masterpieces of art and valuables are not rare among them. Not once and not twice, have Uman residents found in their own vegetable gardens coins of the 17th-19th centuries.

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Student 3: They say that a lot of various ancient artifacts have been found in medieval subterranean passages, which as if spider web encircles the whole Uman. They say that there were pots with coins among them, and tableware made from precious metals, and even a cask with medieval wine, which in the course of the years had turned into jelly.

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Student 1: All mysterious findings in Uman are traditionally connected with the Cossacks and Haydamaks. For example, one ancient story says: “In Uman, where they found Haydamaks, at the place where they stopped in the oakery with their kish, you will find three oaks on the same root. These were Haydamaks who dug under the oak, as deep as it was possible, and shoved casks with money straight under the root…”

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Students (together): Thank you for your attention!
2.Presentation: Living Stones of Sofiyivka

Student 1: And another beautiful legend.


Student 2: Once a girl was grazing geese in the river valley of Kamianka that had rocky banks. She was a young, beautiful and slim girl with long blond hair. It was already not the first summer when the sun was burning pitilessly and rivers began to dry up. The small Kamianka turned into a brook, which barely pushed its way through the stones sparse in the valley. The girl began to cry. The geese had nowhere to swim and she had nowhere to graze them because the grass burned out completely.

A lad was walking along the bank. He saw the girl, walked up and greeted her. The fellow asked why the girl was crying. (Student 1 and Student 2 Dramatizing the following dialogue):

“If you are a real Cossack and a hero, help me and my geese; there is no spring water for them to drink, they have nowhere to swim, and a goose without water is the same as a girl without love.”

The fellow went deep into his thoughts. ‘What do you expect me to do, my beauty?’

‘Make a river, let spring water run between the rocks, the green forest grow on the stone. So that the desert would become a Paradise.’


Student 3: The fellow was quite for a long time. ‘I will plant a forest and make a river. In addition, there will be brooks running down the stones. There will be water for you and for your geese, my beauty.’

The girl stopped crying, her cheeks blushed, and her eyes began to shine. “What is your name?”

“Zaremba. And your?”

“Halshka. When there is a piece of Eden here, send match-makers to me… I will accept…”


Student 4: Time was flowing. Zaremba was working on Kamianka river for Count Pototsky. He was working hard, making lakes, reservoirs, planting trees. But once he heard the rumour that gentries wanted to insult over Halshka, and the girl escaped somewhere and waited for her fiance Zaremba to punish the evil men.

Suddenly, clouds appeared in the sky, a lightning flashed, strong wind started blowing and thunder stroke the rocks of Kamianka. Water began to flow from under the highest rock. A brook was born, and Halshka witnessed that. The water was flowing among the stones – water was doing down the valley below Uman’s outskirts, and it flooded habitations of the gentries. The girl was happy. Zaremba came to her. She kissed him.


Student 5: However, a misfortune happened. Gentries found the brook and exhausted its water to the last drop. Halshka prayed to the Lord to give them rain but everything was in vain. Then she saw a dream as if she was standing at the river. Suddenly she heard a voice: ‘If your fellows drive out enemies from Ukrainian lands, I will give you more healing water for people, but not for their blood-suckers.’


Student 6: The girl told Zaremba about her dream. ‘Right was the voice from your dream saying that we must drive the gentry out,’ he replied.


Student 1: And the storm rose again. Ukrainian people rose against their enemies… There were Zaremba and Halshka among the insurgents.


Students (together): Thank you for your attention!

Subgroup 6. Sofiyivka park

Student 1. And now it’s high time to speak a bit about the most outstanding site in Uman - the Dendrological Park “Sofiyivka”.

The general overview. Sofiyivsky Park is an arboretum and a scientific-researching institute of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine. The park is located in the northern part of the Uman city near the river Kamianka. Some areas of the park are reminiscent of an English garden. Today the park is a popular recreational spot, annually visited by 500 000 visitors.

Sofiyivka is a scenic landmark of world gardening design at the beginning of 19th century. The park accounts for over 2,000 types of both local and exotic trees and bushes among which are taxodium (marsh cypress), Weymouth Pine, tulip tree, platanus, ginkgo, and many others.

Since 1980 director of the park is the member-correspondent of the Academy of Sciences, doctor of biological sciences Ivan Kosenko. In 1985 small planet #2259 was named "Sofiyivka" after this park.

Student 2. Some glimpses of history. It was founded in 1796 by Count Stanisław Szczęsny Potocki, a Polish noble who rebuilt Uman after the Koliyivschyna. He created it and named after his beloved wife Sophie.

The cost of the original park was estimated at roughly 15 million złoty, a fortune by contemporary standards. The main contractor was Ludwik Metzel, a Polish military engineer who imported many rare plants from all around Europe. He employed the local serfs as his main labor force. The land for the park was highly undeveloped with numerous ravines and divided by the Kamianka river.

The entrance to the park until 1836 was from the side of a greenhouse. In 1833 Sadova Street was cut through and it connected the park and the city; and in 1838 the Main alley was widened and paved. At the same time water was piped from the center of the park to the Main Entrance. Today everyone can enter the park from Sadova Street.

A complete reconstruction of the zone near the Main Entrance was done from Sadova Street with the bridge across the Kamianka River and a tourist complex built on the basis of a former restaurant "Druzhba"; the latter was included into the budget of the park according to the resolution of the session of the city council of people's deputies in 1995. Along the thalweg of Grekova gully, in accordance with the original map of "Sofiyivka" of 1855, three ponds were restored. There a road-alley system was developed, it connects the Main Entrance with a tourist complex; a tourist zone was created in 1995-1996 and it includes two similar houses with cash-offices, a florist's, an exhibition of fish, a room for tour-guides, a cafŭ. From the architectural point of view they exhibit some elements, which are typical for Thetis' Grotto.

The main composition of the park is located by the very same river with series of artificial basins and ponds, waterfalls, locks, subterranean river Akhenront, fountains etc.

Till 1820 there was no hut (little house) on the spot where Flora Pavilion is situated now. The whole sight of Lower pond was opened in front of the visitors.

Also, there was no Snake on Great fountain. The water just came out of a hole in a stone. It was supplied through temporary (perhaps wooden) pipes, as cast-iron pipes made at Tula plant were installed only in 1808.

A tourist route from Kyivska Street to the Main Entrance lies along a new part of the park created during these years in accordance to the conditions of Florence charter; its aim is to save and maintain a historic part of the park. Here ideal conditions for doing research work with introduced wooden and shrub species were created; not much could be done in a historic and exposition area of the park.

Student 3. Sofiyivka Park and Poetry

The opening ceremony was honoured by Stanisław Trembecki, who wrote a poem praising the park and its namesake.

The translation of S.Trembetski's poem "Sofiivka" was done by de Leggard on Sofia's request. In 1815 it was published in Paris in French and Polish, which helped promote Uman park all over Europe.

Being translated into English, it sounds like that:

The stream, flow as a quick spring,

Hurry up to a wild stone

To say good-bye to shady banks,

Leave blooming places.

A happy day is coming to an end,

We have very few of them.

No sooner has the day started,

When it runs away from us again.

Student 4. Sofiyivka Park and Legends.

Probably, there is no other places in Cherkasy region full of various legends and stories as Sofiivka in Uman. Almost each corner, each part of the famous park has its legend.

Similar to some other famous parks of the time — Versailles, the Belvedere Park in Vienna, the Vatican Gardens in Rome, Hellbrun in Salzburg, Blenheim in England, Drottningsholm in Sweden and Peterhof (Petrodvorets) in Russia — Sofiyivka was largely planned in the Italian Baroque tradition with themes from the myths of the Greco-Roman antiquity in full display. Sofiyivka has its own Elysian Fields, its own River Styx; statues and busts of Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, Apollo, Mercury and Venus grace the alleys and groves. The new, “English style” ideas in landscaping were also used with “wild sections” added in good measure.

Certainly, the moment when the beautiful Sofia, the wife of Stanislav Pototskyi, wished the fairy-tale park as a present is associated with stories as well.

They say that once in spring the countess was walking with her husband in the Pototskyi’s Uman Estate. Having reached the river of Kamianka through a small forest, while having a rest at the bank of the river, the beauty told her husband with a smile: “I would like to walk in a magic hand-made place – such as meadows of Versailles, where I used to stay when at the court of Luis XVI”. ”And I also want this place to remind me of the ancient Hellas, my motherland!”

Was it so or not, but Stanislav Pototskyi put his shoulder to the wheel. For the sake of satisfaction of his wife’s whim, he did not begrudge 15 million zloty and enormous labor of his serfs.

Another story, not that romantic, says that the flat stone block near the Lower Park lake is called the Stone of Death because during the construction of Sofiivka it broke away and buried a whole crowd of serfs under its weight. They say that their bones still lie under it…

As for the beautiful countess, she enjoyed reckless interest on the part of men until her old age. According to stories, even the favorite of the Russian empress Count Potiomkin fell a prey of the woman’s charms. The infuriated Catherine II called both of them to Petersburg, reproached Potiomkin, and as to Sofia… Having become acquainted with her, the empress was enchanted by her beauty and intelligence. She even presented her with her own diamond earrings!

Student 1. Conclusion.

It is one of the world famous garden-park art creations. There are many scenic areas in the park including waterfalls, fountains, ponds and a stone garden. It is one of the most famous examples of late 18th or early 19th century European landscape garden design that has been preserved to the present time.

In 1995 "Sofiyivka" was awarded with a medal, a diploma and bas-relief board by the international organization Europa-Nostra for a tremendous work done for improving and maintaining the park in a very good shape. 160 applicants took part in the contest to be recognized as the best institution in preservation, reconstruction and restoration of historical, cultural, architectural heritage and natural landscapes; 30 were chosen distinguished, includingб which were given medals, diplomas and bas-relief boards.

On 28th of February, 2004 by the Order of President of Ukraine № 249/2004 the park have been named the National dendrological park "Sofiyivka".

The Sofiyivsky Park was named one of the Seven Wonders of Ukraine on August 21, 2007, based on voting by experts and the internet community.

Class teacher: Thank you very much for your work! It’s great! Now you have some 5-7 minutes to discuss and evaluate your classmates’ reports. But at first let’s review the rules you should follow during your discussion:

Student 1. During discussion use only English.

Student 2. Do not criticise but come up with critical review.

Student 3. Give constructive feedback (provide details, examples, suggestions for improvement).

Student 4. Do not interrupt. Let others finish their speech.

Student 5. Make your report short (3 min.) but meaningful.

Class Teacher: Wonderful! One more reminder: choose a spokesman of each group who will present your discussion outcomes to the whole class. Time limit is three minutes. Mind the evaluation criteria (gives handouts).

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