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hutsul monument rakhiv  13.01.2020 Rakhiv: mountains, brynza and a trip to the center of Europe

During your vacation in Yaremche, you should also visit the neighboring areas, which have their own flavor and tourist attractions. For example, it may be interesting to visit Rakhiv, the Transcarpathian town, which is also one of the centers of what is commonly called Hutsulschyna (Hutsul land). By the way, Rakhiv is the place where the center of Europe is located. And the surrounding scenery is worth the 80 km drive that separates the two Hutsul capitals (Yaremche and Rakhiv).

mountains view rakhiv sheepRakhiv is located in the eastern part of the Transcarpathian region, near the Romanian border. Like all Transcarpathian towns, Rakhiv has a rather turbulent history. The name of the city came from the word “count”. This version is the most popular among scientists. But who and what counted we don’t know. It may have been the merchants from Transylvania who listed the profits here. And maybe the Tatars here counted prisoners captured during the raids. And yet, Oleksa Dovbush’s opryshki worked quite successfully here. In any case, here is a city that has become one of the economic centers of eastern Transcarpathia. Hungarians once settled here, and today there are many of them in Rakhiv (11% among the total population of the city). So the Hungarians call the city in their way – Rahó.

It should be noted that Rakhiv is a city, with the highest elevation in Ukraine within one city. The lowest street of Rakhiv is at an altitude of 400 meters at sea level. While the highest – at an altitude of 1200 meters above sea level. Thus, the elevation difference within Rakhiv is 800 meters.  In general, Rakhiv gives the impression of a very picturesque green town where no one hurries anywhere. Moreover, from almost any street, there are views of the surrounding mountains. And this is not surprising. After all, the city lies in the cross between the picturesque Carpathian ridges.

Today Rakhiv is known for its ethno festivals, which are visited by more and more tourists every year. By the way, Rakhiv is one of the main centers of the Hutsul region. That is why the Hutsul monument is erected here.

brynza cheese festival rakhivThe most popular is the Brynza Festival – the famous Carpathian cheese. The locals actually pronounce this word a little differently, a little softer – “brindzia”. How many are actually varieties of brynza is not known. Perhaps as many as its manufacturers. At the Brynza Festival, which takes place every year in Rakhiv, there are many options for this dish.

hutsul festival rakhiv trembita playersUsually, the Festival takes place in early September. The performance called the Hutsul Brynza Festival begins with the kindling of polonynska vatra – special fire. After that, several days are held for various activities related to the Hutsul traditions. In particular, trembita players competitions are always of great interest. You will not see this often.

It is worth noting that Rakhiv is also known for being the center of Europe. In fact, there are quite a number of such centers in Europe. It all depends on what Europe is to be considered. And do we need to consider the remote islands, in this calculation. At present, at least 6 settlements, from Poland, Belarus, Lithuania, Slovakia, etc., claim the title of Geographical Center of Europe. However, the Transcarpathian center is considered to be one of the most correct ones. It is located near Rakhiv, in the village of Dilove. It is here that tourists are brought here so that they can be photographed near a sign built at the time of the Austrian grandmother, as they say in Western Ukraine. Although, right here in Dilove, at those days there was a grandmother Hungary.

center of europe dilove rakhiv carpathiansThe sign has the inscription in Latin:

“Locus Perennis Delicentissime cum libella librationes quae est in Austria et Hungaria confectacum mensura gradum meridionalum et paralleloumierum Europeum. MD CCC LXXXVII”

Which means:

“It is a permanent, accurate, eternal place, designated by a special tool manufactured in Austria and Hungary in the European System of Latitude and Longitude in 1887.”

It is worth noting that the exact geographical coordinates of this place is 47 ° 57 ′ north latitude and 24 ° 11 ′ east longitude. But, as you can see from the inscription of a hundred years ago, at that time no one called this place the center of Europe. It was not until 1977, in Soviet times, that the stele was installed next to the Austro-Hungarian sign, and this statement appeared.

nature museum rakhivReturning to Rakhiv, it makes sense to visit the Museum of Ecology of the Ukrainian Carpathian Mountains. It is here that you can see the current model of the mountain stream and understand how the mountain rivers are arranged. In addition, there are several dioramas and panoramas that illustrate the life of the Hutsuls of Rakhiv region too distant past.

Therefore, visiting Rakhiv can be a great opportunity to see another side of the picturesque Hutsul region.