SOPHIEVKA DENDRO PARK, UMAN, UKRAINE
Uman dendro park Sophievka is the world’s landscape architecture masterpiece of the end of 15th and the beginning of19th centuries. The park is spread over the territory of 154,7 h. and is situated at the outskirts of the ancient town Cherkassy, Uman region. It is considered to be the standard of the landscape composition of water, land, architectural works and sculptures. This masterpiece, which was created in the shortest period of time, still astounds the imagination of visitors. Unique sceneries, exotic plants and rare trees, sky-blue ponds, fountains and cascades, grottoes and antique sculptures as all this you can see visiting the park.
The park was established in 1796 by a rich polish magnate, Stanislav Schensny Pototsky, in honour of his beautiful greek wife Sophia and was presented to her at the day of her birthday in may 1802. The idea of park creating in romantic style using roman and greek mythology belonged to Sophia. A very talented polish military engineer Ludwig Metsel was the first architect of Sophievka. The peasants of Pototsky did the hardest work in this park. And about 800 people worked in park every day. After the death of Pototsky the park became the property of his wife Sophia, and after her death her son Alexander inherited it.
In 1832 after the polish uprising that was supported by Pototsky all his properties were seized and given to Kiev state chamber. From 1836 to 1859 the park was the property of the military settlements managing organization and was called (not officially) Tsaritsa garden. The architecture academician A. I. Shtackenshneider was invited here for creating new architectural works. That was the period of prosperity. A lot of houses are creating: the main gates, the main alley, and the first paved road named Sadovaya, that connects now the park with the town. In 1859 the park has become the property of the main gardening college, transferred from Odessa to Uman. The park is going to be the educational basis of the college, its flora is enriching; the English park is made of the rare plant species by the scientist W. Pashkevich. Nowadays this English park covers the territory about 2 hectares in its northern part of Sophievka and borders with the stalls amphitheatre in west, and with the French fields in south. In the English park there are about 100 kinds and forms of trees and bushes that are growing for 15-100 years.
After the revolution and the Civil war Sophievka is renamed and is called the III-international park, then it exists as the part of the gardening college, that later became the higher educational institution and now it is Uman agricultural Academy. In 1929 Sophievka was declared as the state reserve and till 1955 it was put under different departments and ministries supervision.During the Great Patriotic war a lot of architectural monuments were destroyed.
After Uman deliberation in May, 10, 1944 the park has renewed its work. In 1955 Sophievka was given under the jurisdiction of national Science Academy of Ukraine. Nowadays there is the biggest introduction and acclimatization center of the right bank forest-steppe Ukraine on the territory of this park. There are more than 2 thousand plant taxons. 4 scientific departments conduct their activity there; the only Research Scientific Institute in Ukraine is building there too.
In 1995 Sophievka participated the international competition Europe Nostra and got all the prices: medal, diploma and bas-relief board for the park restoration after the act of God in 1980 and also for the historical and cultural monuments preservation. A new entrance park zone was organized with all infra-structures, meant for visitors servicing.