Posted by: João Leitão | July 19, 2009

UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Ukraine

Ukraine has 3 Cultural World Heritage Sites and 1 Natural World Heritage Site. Almost all the information on this page, i gathered from the UNESCO World Heritage Official website.

I now list all the UNESCO sites in Ukraine, but also all the sites submitted on the Tentative List, waiting to be approved by the UNESCO World Heritage Committee. So this means, that apart from these main 4 sites, other 14 exist and are of great interest to visit while traveling in the country and are probably on the list of the best destinations to travel in Ukraine.

« A UNESCO World Heritage Site is a site like a forest, mountain, lake, desert, monument, building, complex, or city, that is on a list that is maintained by the international World Heritage Programme administered by the UNESCO World Heritage Committee. (…) Each World Heritage Site is the property of the state on whose territory the site is located, but it is considered in the interest of the international community to preserve each site. » in World Heritage Site

With time, and as I visit all these sites (yes i hope i can visit all of them of course, I’ll add photos to this post. 🙂

Ukraine World Heritage List – Cultural Sites

  • Kiev: Saint-Sophia Cathedral and Related Monastic Buildings, Kiev-Pechersk Lavra (1990)

Designed to rival Hagia Sophia in Constantinople, Kiev’s Saint-Sophia Cathedral symbolizes the ‘new Constantinople’, capital of the Christian principality of Kiev, which was created in the 11th century in a region evangelized after the baptism of St Vladimir in 988.

  • L’viv: the Ensemble of the Historic Centre (1998)

The city of L”viv, founded in the late Middle Ages, was a flourishing administrative, religious and commercial centre for several centuries.

Lviv UNESCO World Heritage Site
View of some monuments in Lviv, a city in southwest Ukraine.

  • Struve Geodetic Arc (2005)

The Struve Arc is a chain of survey triangulations stretching from Hammerfest in Norway to the Black Sea, through 10 countries and over 2,820 km. These are points of a survey, carried out between 1816 and 1855 by the astronomer Friedrich Georg Wilhelm Struve, which represented the first accurate measuring of a long segment of a meridian. This helped to establish the exact size and shape of the planet and marked an important step in the development of earth sciences and topographic mapping.

Ukraine World Heritage List – Natural Sites

  • Primeval Beech Forests of the Carpathians (2007)

The Primeval Beech Forests of the Carpathian, an outstanding example of undisturbed, complex temperate forests, constitute a transnational serial property of ten separate components along a 185 km axis from the Rakhiv Mountains and the Chornohirskyi Range in Ukraine, west along the Polonynian Ridge, to the Bukovské Vrchy and Vihorlat Mountains in Slovakia.

Ukraine World Heritage Tentative List Sites

  • Historic Centre of Tchernigov, 9th -13th centuries (1989)

Historic Centre of Tchernigov , 9th -13th centuries (Borissoglebsky Cathedral, 12th century, Preobazhensky Cathedral, 11th century).

  • Cultural Landscape of Canyon in Kamenets-Podilsk (1989)

Castle and Historic centre of Kamenets -Podolsk 11th -18th centuries.

  • Ruins of Ancient City of Khersoness, 4th B.C. – 12th century (1989)

Ruins of Ancient City of Khersoness,4th B.C. -12th century.

  • Tarass Shevtchenko Tomb and State Historical and Natural Museum – Reserve (1989)

Tarass Shevtchenko Tomb and State Historical and Natural Museum – Reserve.

  • National Steppe Biosphere Reserve “Askaniya Nowa” (1989)

National Steppe Biosphere Reserve “Askaniya Nowa”.

  • Dendrological Park “Sofijivka” (2000)

The dendrological park “Sofiyivka” of Ukraine’s National Academy of Sciences is a research establishment of National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine; the park is of all-state significance. The construction of the park was started in 1796, the opening ceremony took place in May, 1802.

  • Bagçesaray Palace of the Crimean Khans (2003)

The Bagçesaray Palace of the Crimean Khans is a compact architectural ensemble consisting of 17 buildings and 9 inner closed courtyards. The Bagçesaray Palace of the Crimean Khans was built in the third-fourth decades of the 16 century. The oldest dated construction of the initial ensemble bears the date of 1532, while the written records mention the Palace under 1539. The Palace built as the main residence of the Crimean Khans (the monarchs of the Crimean Khanate – the state of the Crimean Tatar people) kept this meaning during about 250 years – from the 1530s till the collapse of the Crimean Tatar statehood in 1783.

  • Archaeological Site “Stone Tomb” (2006)

The central part of this property presents a mound like hill of 12 m in height and 2,5 ha in area. It is known under the name of “Stone Tomb”. This mound is made up of individual somatic sandstone clods or blocks, with a great number of caves and grottoes between them. On the grottoes’ stone walls; there are over 1000 petro — glyphs with symbolic, anthropomorphic and zoomorphic images. The oldest of them – a mammoth – without any doubt could be referred to the Late Stone Age.

  • Mykolayiv Astronomical Observatory (2007)

The Mykolayiv Astronomical Observatory is a cultural property of national level, the oldest naval observatory in south-eastern Europe. It was founded in 1821 by the Commander-in-chief of the Black Sea Fleet Admiral O.S. Greyg. The Observatory was built to the design of the Chief Architect of the Black Sea Admiralty F.I.Wunsch. Its ensemble consists of the Main Observatory Building built in the style of Classicism in 182 1-1 829, astronomic pavilions of the early 20-th c. where historic astronomic instruments and other museum exhibits are kept.

  • Complex of the Sudak Fortress Monuments of the 6th – 16th c. (2007)

The Sudak Fortress is a unique complex of the monuments of medieval archaeology and architecture of the 6th – 16th centuries. The total area of the fortress is 27,9 ha. The overwhelming majority of the architectural monuments located on this territory are included into the State Cultural Heritage List. Towers, walls, complex of city gate and other defensive constructions, compose a unique, well-preserved fortification system, which skillfully harmonizes with a natural relief.

  • The Residence of Bukovynian Metropolitans (2007)

The Residence of Bukovynian Metropolitans is a monument of national importance. The property presents an ensemble of buildings situated on Dominic hill. It was built to the design of Czech architect Josef Hlavka. The ensemble was being built in 1864-1 882. It consists of the Mytropolychy, Seminary and Monastyrsky buildings, Seminary Church and a park with park architecture.

  • Astronomical Observatories of Ukraine (2008)

he history of these observatories is connected with two outstanding achievements in astronomy of the 19th-20th centuries. The first important achievement was a creation of the fundamental celestial coordinate system, which allows us to improve astronomical constants, to answer fundamental cosmological questions related with the origin and evolution of universe. Five fundamental catalogues of stars were created during 200 years as the result of combined efforts of many observatories all over the world.

  • Historic Center of the Port City of Odessa (2009)

Odessa is the only city in Ukraine that has entirely preserved the urban structure of a multinational southern port town typical for the late 18th – 19th centuries. The port function of the town played a dominant role in determining urban system of Odessa, and plans for development of the port town were achieved in extremely short terms – just one hundred years, from 1794 to the late 19th century.

  • Kyiv: Saint Sophia Cathedral with Related Monastic Buildings, St. Cyril’s and St. Andrew’s Churches, Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra (2009)

St. Cyril’s Church in Kyiv is an outstanding monument of world culture. It has preserved the 12th century architecture and 12th, 17th and 19th centuries monumental painting. It’s a unique East-Christian construction of Kyivan Rus with typical for the epoch of feudal wars peculiarities. The unassertive, firm, fundamental architecture reveals the second after sacral function of this structure – the function of the fortress.


  1. Good day,

    If you are interested in Primeval Beech Forests of the Carpathians – a UNESCO World Heritage Site, you have the possibility to admire enchanting beauty and changes of these wild places throghout every month of the year.

    Here is the link:

    Best regards

    Lukas Zemanek
    Czech Republic

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