Tunnel of Love & Other Top 10 Surprising Facts You Should Know About Ukraine, The Navel Of Europe

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Saint Sophia Cathedral in Kyiv, Ukraine.

Peace for Ukraine, let’s pray for Ukraine. Yes, the world clamors for a non-violent solution to the crisis in this underrated and beautiful Eastern European land as it faces the threat of war today. Ukraine, for the longest time in the centuries of Tsars was a part of the vast Russian empire before becoming a Soviet republic on December 30, 1922 won its independence when the USSR collapsed in 1991.

The second largest country in Europe next to Russia, Ukraine is basically the geographical navel of the continent, being surrounded by Moldova and Romania to the southwest, Hungary and Slovakia on the west, to the northwest is Poland, Belarus at the north and Russia to the northeast. A country teeming with well-preserved culture and traditions, where you can find the world’s most beautiful people (birthplace of Hollywood actress Mila Kunis) and sadly with a terrible nuclear disaster (Chernobyl), there are many things about this nation which everyone doesn’t know yet so let’s check out on the top surprising facts you should know about Ukraine.

1. Where you can find the Tunnel of Love.

Tunnel of Love

The tunnel of love, a top surprising fact you should know about Ukraine and one of the most instagramable places in the country is a railway that winds through a forest in the small town of Klevan. Used to secretly move supplies during the Cold War, the locals called it “tunnel of love” for its ethereal beauty and became the symbol of love.

2. It’s home to the deepest train station in the world.

Arsenalna is the deepest metro station in the world and it’s found in Kyiv, the country’s capital, a top surprising fact you should know about Ukraine. Buried deep to 346 feet below ground level with an escalator ride that will take you 5 minutes to go down, the station’s entrance lies below the banks of Dnieper River which runs meanders through the city and all of Ukraine then into the Black Sea.

3. A country of ghost towns.

It is home to a lot of ghost towns as the biggest nuclear disaster in the world, the Chernobyl Disaster occurred in the country in 1986, a top surprising fact you should know about Ukraine. The nuclear power plant is near Pripyat, home to 5 million Ukrainians and was immediately vacated after the meltdown that even to this day it is still contaminated but recently tours were organized for tourists to see the town’s remains which is frozen in time.

4. It has 7 UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

Rich in history and culture, this nation boasts 7 UNESCO World Heritage Sites including impressive castles, fortresses and beech forests in the Carpathians, a top surprising fact you should know about Ukraine. Saint Sophia Cathedral (pictured above) in Kiev (or Kyiv) is an outstanding architectural monument as well as St. Andrew’s Church which is a masterpiece of rococo style.

5. In Lviv, it’s coffee culture is magnificent.

The city of Lviv which is the cultural capital takes pride of the highest number of coffee shops per capita in the world with up to 1,500 establishments, a top surprising facts you should know about Ukraine. This ancient town is another UNESCO World Heritage Site where you can find cobbled streets, stunning museums and Gasova Lampa, a cafe acclaimed for having created the first gas lamp in the world.

6. McDonald’s Kiev is the 3rd busiest outlet in the world.

The McDonald’s outlet in Kyiv is the 3rd busiest in the world, a top surprising fact you should know about Ukraine. Built near the main railroad station, this American burger chain handles over 2 million orders a year.

7. It has the shortest street as well.

Independence Square at Khreshchatyk Street.

Still in Kyiv you can also find the shortest main street in the world, a top surprising fact you should know about Ukraine. Khreshchatyk Street which is just 1.2 km in length is not only the shortest street but the widest and most beautiful road in Kyiv where Independence Square is located.

8. A nation of beautiful women.

Mila Kunis

As per survey of Traveler’s Digest, the most beautiful women in the world can be found in this land, specifically in Kyiv, a top surprising facts you should know about Ukraine. Because of their diverse ancestry like Caucasus, Tatar, Cossack, and Russian, Ukrainians stand out for their beauty.

9. Ukraine’s national costume became the world’s fashion statement in 2016.

One of the in vogue trends during the summer of 2016 was the bohemian embroidered blouse Vyshyvanka which actually originated in this nation, a top surprising fact you should know about Ukraine. This is the country’s national costume and is considered a protective amulet as well symbolizing goodness, love and loyalty.

10. “Ring Christmas Bells” is in truth a folk song in Ukraine.

“Carol of the Bells” or more popularly known as “Ring Christmas Bells” is actually a folk song in this country and has nothing to do with Christmas, a top surprising fact you should know about Ukraine. It is based on “Schednyk” by Mykola Leontovich which is a Ukrainian pagan magical chant.

While travel restrictions are starting to soften, yet Ukraine might not seem like the country of choice to visit in Europe at this time. But you know, despite the fact of Russian troop build up on its borders, it is an interesting country where east and west meet. Let’s pray that a peaceful resolution be achieved for this nation.

References: www.worldatlas.com; www.britannica.com