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Pride of the Zaporizhia Cossacks of the lake Hortitsa of

History of the island is so rich that it with interest would be enough for the whole state of the average sizes. According to archaeological researches, this island is manned already since paleolith era. In particular, there are also early Slavic monuments: remains of settlements, burial grounds of tribes of Chernyakhovsk culture and ant. In 1223 Hortitsa was the place of gathering of the Russian princes before fight with Tatar - Mongols on the Kalka River. And at the end of XV - the beginning of the 16th centuries this island - the reliable shelter running from feudal and national oppression - became one of the centers of formation of the Zaporizhia Cossacks, and then and the base of sechevik at protection of the southern borders from Turkish - the Tatar aggression. In 1648 the Cossack army on liberating war ukrainskoto the people acted from here. To time russko - the Turkish war (1735 - 1739) to Hortitsa there arrived the famous naval commander vice-the admiral N. A. Senyavin. Under its management the shipyard on which Cossacks and the Russian masters constructed the whole rowing flotilla which played in military operations on the Black Sea not the last role was put here. Somewhere on the island there is also a tomb of the admiral Senyavin which is not found still who died of plague here in 1738. After defeat of Sechi by imperial troops on June 5, 1775 the prince Potemkin got Hortitsa as Catherine II`s gift. In 1789 Potemkin gave the island to treasury, and in a year possession Hortitsey was entered by new owners - Germans - Mennonites.

Colonizing sechevy places, the queen expected to eradicate freedom-loving spirit of Zaporizhia. Its calculations came true: colonists barbarous destroyed century oak groves, lime groves, thickets of wild pears. Trade in the wood was one of the most profitable income items. In December, 1916 the Germans living on Hortitsa sold the island to Aleksandrovsky town council for 772 thousand 350 rubles. Hortitsa was often visited by outstanding people. On its slopes there is a track of the great Kobza player who visited here in August, 1843. In 1878 there came the composer N. V. Lysenko, here in 1880 - m - I. E. Repin with young Valentin Serov. In 1891 Hortitsa was visited by Maxim Gorky, a bit later - Ivan Bunin

Colonizing sechevy places, the queen expected to eradicate freedom-loving spirit of Zaporizhia. Its calculations came true: colonists barbarous destroyed century oak groves, lime groves, thickets of wild pears. Trade in the wood was one of the most profitable income items. In December, 1916 the Germans living on Hortitsa sold the island to Aleksandrovsky town council for 772 thousand 350 rubles. Hortitsa was often visited by outstanding people. On its slopes there is a track of the great Kobza player who visited here in August, 1843. In 1878 there came the composer N. V. Lysenko, here in 1880 - m - I. E. Repin with young Valentin Serov. In 1891 Hortitsa was visited by Maxim Gorky, a bit later - Ivan Bunin

But never ancient Hortitsa knew such pilgrimage what began in 1927. From every quarter of the country people gathered here to become witnesses and participants of a great historical event: directly opposite to northern rocks of the island Dneproges`s construction began The modern history of Hortitsa began All these and subsequent events will find the reflection in expositions of the museum complex which is under construction on Hortitsa.

We will address the unique nature of the island in which rather small territory (only two thousand five hundred sixty hectares) samples practically of all types of a landscape characteristic of the South of Ukraine went in. Formation of the island is connected with tectonic (that is the caused crust fluctuations) processes of the Quaternary Period from which split of the Ukrainian crystal board resulted. Dnieper flowing with North - the West on Hugo - the East, directed on split directly to the South, making the way through heaps of granites. However the river could not overcome a rocky site on the place of Hortitsa and bypassed it from two parties. Certain rocks and islands of the old riverbed of Dnieper, undoubtedly, are torn away from the main massif - Hortitsa.

Hortitsa - the biggest island on Dnieper: its length - twelve kilometers, width - on average two and a half. The basis of Hortitsa is made by granites which age is defined by two billion years. These granites especially act in the highest (to thirty five meters) northern part of the island. A granite breast the island dissects waters of Dnieper. Severo - the western region of the island is dressed in granite too. Now on these rocks the Zaporizhia climbers train. To Hugo - the East the island gradually decreases, passing into plavnevy part up to one and a half meters high. Between rocks and plavnyam - the steppe which is cut up by picturesque beams.

From memoirs of the old residents who are written down by local historians last century we can present the primitive image of the island. Oaks in which shadow the whole herds of horses hid in the summer, a feather grass in human height, the diverse fauna - wolves, foxes, wild horses and a steppe antelope - a saiga, goats, boars, beavers, otters. In the sky over Hortitsey - ogar, swans, cranes, wild geese, ducks, cormorants, bustards, partridges, strepeta Fishes in canals and lakes was so many that women took is line also zapask and nalavlivat so much how many not to catch now and a seine . All on Hortitsa about 960 species of plants, 560 of them - representatives of wild-growing flora grow. A feather grass and a thyme biologists call endemam. It means - plants with the limited area of distribution. So to tear them is a crime, otherwise you will not call. And all on Hortitsa twenty endem are found. Among them - a Dnieper groundsel, onions of savranskiya, a dream - a grass, irises, a cornflower Dnieper Krom of endem, there are also relicts, that is the plants inhabiting our planet for millions of years before appearance of the person on it here. On plavnevy lakes it is possible to see plumose leaflets of the water fern floating without wheel and without sails with a bunch to anything not attached backs. From all inhabitants of Hortitsa only chily (a water nut) can try sort antiquity with a fern. In July on stalks of a chilim it is possible to find fruits in water - very firm, brownish, size about a walnut (from where and the name). These fruits are edible, last century ate them, from - for what chily now - very rare plant. However, unless all value of plants - in their rarity or antiquity? How many beauty in a penetrating glance of a flower of the adonis (adonis)! As it is pervozdanno fresh chistyak - its leaves and petals always shine as if fresh-washed. Small florets of goose onions are touching But the yarrow is proud and inaccessible: it its leaves, is told, wounds to the friends the hero of Trojan war Akhill treated!

of Virgin sites where herbs grow, on Hortitsa remained very little. These are slopes of beams of Shantseva, Shoes, Lime, Gromushina, Naumova, Wide, Kostiny, Kornetovsky, Muzychiny, Sovutiny, Molodnyagi and others. The remains of the wood (bayraka) where the Tatar maple, an oak, an elm, a black and silvery poplar, a pear prevail grow in beams. The most part of the island is covered with the young artificial wood from a pine and a maple - it is fruits of labor of the Hortitsky forest area. Here and in bayraka, but mainly - over 30 types of animals, 120 bird species, ten species of reptiles, five species of Amphibia live in the plavnevy wood in the south of the island. The most numerous among birds - natatorial (kryzhn, teals, lysk). Many ducks even winter on plavnevy lakes and on Old Dnieper which is not freezing and in hard frosts. It is a lot of on the island of seagulls, especially silvery, and also herons. In 1979 the yellow heron - the guest from the South is registered here. After a long break black kryachka returned to hortitsky plavn: motor boats (not everything, unfortunately) began to bypass these places, at last. And one of plavnevy islands - mostly anonymous - it is possible to call with good reason Owl`s. The island is small, about hundred meters in length and no more than fifteen in width - and, it seems, differ in nothing from next, but owls chose it. In the winter they are flown here on day`s rest. From day predators the pustelga most often meets. Black kites local historians contain only several couples. Till 1977 on the island also couple of sea eagles - belokhvost nested. But the tree on which sea eagles nested fell, and the family moved below on the Dnieper Current though still arrives in plavn to hunt. In a secluded corner if carries, you will see the timid handsome - a pheasant. They were delivered in 50 here - e years. There is on the island also a handsome - the native - the golden shchurka reminding the coloring of feathery inhabitants of tropics. Her relatives really live there, and the shchurka nests in breaks of abrupt Dnieper coast. On sandy shallows, on fenny coast of lakes an observation eye will note traces of a roe and wild boar. Found a shelter on the island of a muskrat, fox, hares. There are martens - belodushka, elks sometimes swim away. And the nice small animal the sleepyhead - the small rodent who is brushing away slightly - slightly on a mouse, slightly - slightly on a squirrel, but generally not losing and the identity is absolutely rare on the island, as well as in general in our corner of the world.

And now we will follow in the southern part of the island, in plavn. It is absolutely special world, and even a little mysterious in the hidden, wildish beauty. To get there it is difficult, and it is better not to disturb this precious rest once again. But we were lucky: the grandfather, radical hortichanin, willingly agreed to give us the kayuk. From these lakes of century Dnieper there is no exit. So ride . We make a start oars from a viscous bottom and we come to a reach of the Golovkivsky lake. Some time silently we look round - not so much to orient and absolutely to distract from wordly efforts. It there was a wish to be given on will of a current and to quietly behold everything okrest, but in the lake of a current is not present, and we undertook oars again.