Guided tour to the town of Krasnokutsk began with a visit to Art Museum located in Parkhomivka settlement. The museum collection boasts about 6,000 pieces of art, among which there are original paintings by Roerich, Wrubel, Picasso, Van Dyck, Benoit, Kiprensky and Levitan.
Our next place of sightseeing was Krasnokutsky arboretum, one of the oldest in Ukraine.
Krasnokutsky arboretum was laid by Ivan Nazarovich Karazin in 1807-1809. The Karazins were the first acclimatizators of Ukraine. They brought up to 600 species of rare plants from different countries, 50 of which had never grown in Ukraine before. Among them there are maple, acacia, sycamore, sophora. During the Great Patriotic War arboretum suffered the greatest damage: a great variety of exotic plants were cut down, the park was overgrown with low-value species.
There are so-called 'singing terraces' not far away from Krasnokutsk. Because their shape resembles the Greek amphitheater, the terraces have a unique effect - retarded echo. Rare acoustic of the terraces became an excellent condition for holding various concerts and festivals. Even the great Fyodor Shaliapin sang in that amphitheater.
Further on our route we arrived at an absolutely magical place - Sharovka.
The foreside of the palace, built by the landowner Olkhovsky, faces two ponds. The palace is of a true Gothic style - it looks like a medieval castle. One of the owners, Baron Koening, spent a fortunate and a lot of his effort on the estate to please his beloved.
A huge park with entwined walkways and exotic flora are the remains of the former splendor ... An old tale says that the stone of love in the park alley was put there by grief-struck Koening after his wife's infidelity. But, alas, in 1923 all this splendor was turned into a tuberculosis sanatorium.
The estate following Sharovka was built in the late 21st century by Ivan Kharitonenko. A peasant's son who made a fortune in sugar manufacturing called the estate Nataliyevka in honor of his granddaughter. Huge trees surround the homestead and dazzle by their magnificence. Amazing pine forest, greenhouses and clean air are bewitching. In the middle of the park there is Holy Transfiguration Church, the exact replica of which is located on the Cote d'coast of France.
Mansions of past centuries aristocrats are true masterpieces of architecture surrounded by luxuriant parks. And though time had no mercy on them, it was helpless to diminish either their historical value or beauty.
Our trip came to its end, leaving a slight tint of sadness evoked by neglect and unkempt estates. Let us hope that in due time castles will be restored so that we can enjoy all their splendor and pristine beauty ...