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Sofiyivka — a beautiful park named after a beautiful woman

Sofiyivsky Park (Ukrainian: Софіївський парк; Polish: Zofiówka) is a arboretum (type of botanical garden) and a scientific-researching institute of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine.

It is one of the world famous garden-park art creations. There are many scenic areas in the park including waterfalls, fountains, ponds and a stone garden. It is one of the most famous examples of late 18th or early 19th century European landscape garden design that has been preserved to the present time.

The park is located in the northern part of the Uman city, Cherkasy Oblast (Central Ukraine), near the river Kamianka. Some areas of the park are reminiscent of an English garden. Today the park is a popular recreational spot, annually visited by 500 000 visitors.

Sofiyivka is a scenic landmark of world gardening design at the beginning of 19th century. The park accounts for over 2,000 types of trees and brush (local and exotic) among which are taxodium (marsh cypress), Weymouth Pine, tulip tree, platanus, ginkgo, and many others.

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The park was founded in 1796 by Count Stanisław Szczęsny Potocki, a Polish noble who rebuilt Uman after the Koliyivschyna. The city of Uman at that time was part of the Russian Empire. The park is named after his Greek wife Sofia (Zofia Potocka) and was built in 1802, it was a gift of Statinslaw Potocki to his wife on her birthday.

The cost of the original park was estimated at roughly 15 million złoty, a fortune by contemporary standards.
The main contractor was Ludwik Metzel, a Polish military engineer who imported many rare plants from all around Europe.

By original idea of the architect, the park illustrates different parts of Homer's poems Odyssey and Iliad.

The park is decorated with a number of sculptures, mostly antique ones, and artificial cliffs, grottoes, and gazebos.

The Sofiyivsky Park was named one of the Seven Wonders of Ukraine on August 21, 2007, based on voting by experts and the internet community.

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