Ukrainian Places Where Wishes Come True
One of the most popular tourist amusements is looking for sites and objects, to which legends and believes attribute supernatural qualities, such as ability to fulfill wishes, in different cities. Today, you can hardly find a tourist who has never polished certain part of a magical statue or has never walked round magical monument three times in the hope that his wish would come true without fail. We have selected Ukraine’s most popular places that attract tourists who strive to lay their dearest claims to the higher forces.
Sculpture of Painter, Lviv
Standing in the cozy public garden near the Dominican Church in the very heart of the Old Town, the bronze statue of the Ukrainian naïve artist Nikifor Drowniak is believed to have supernatural abilities since its very origin. Locals tell Lviv’s guests that if they rub painter’s index finger pointing in the sky and make a wish, it will definitely come true. Those who can’t reach bronze Nikifor’s hand usually polish his nose. Some tourists rub both parts in the hope of doubling their chances.
Monument to Prince Fedir Koriatovych, Mukachevo
The monument to Podillia Prince Fedir Koriatovych, the founder of the well-known Palanok Castle, is believed to have magical properties as well. It stands in the yard of the mentioned castle, in Mukachevo. There is a superstition that the innermost wish of the one who rubs prince’s index finger always comes true. It is said that the monument doesn’t fulfill all wishes, though. It chooses the dearest one and realizes only it at midnight. Being aware of Koriatovych’s selectivity, many tourists leave coins near the monument; they are apparently trying to bribe the prince.
Signal Bell, Chersonesus
The big bell that is installed on the seashore not far from the St. Vladimir Cathedral is one of the most famous sights of Chersonesus. It was cast from captured Turkish cannons in 1778 for the St. Nicholas Church and then it was moved to France. Upon its return to the motherland, the bell was installed over a steep and turned into a signal bell, which served as a reference for sailors during the foul weather.
Today, the huge bell has other functions, magical ones: it is said to fulfill wishes. For it to happen, think about your desire and hit the bell with all your might. If you can’t reach it, try to throw a stone at it at least.
Chair of Wishes, Berdyansk
A special magical object – chair of wishes – was installed on the Prymorska Square in the resort city of Berdyansk for those who want their wishes come true. It is a massive forged metal structure with a seat of black marble. To use its magical qualities, you must sit in it, close your eyes and concentrate on your dearest dreams. Experts claim that a wish comes true exactly in 80 days. Consider that the chair takes only one request per day.
Monument to Duke de Richelieu that rises atop the legendary Potemkin Stairs is one of Odesa’s most famous symbols. Among other things it is famous for its supernatural abilities. Local pupils and students always come to duke before exams – he is considered to bring luck. It is also said that if you touch a sack of coins, which the God Hermes, depicted on monument’s bas-relief, holds, you will become successful and rich.
Calypso Grotto, Uman
Sofiyivsky Park features numerous objects that are believed to fulfill wishes. The most popular one is the large Calypso Grotto, which is made in the massive granite monolith. Formerly it was called Grotto of Lev or Grotto of Potocki. It was the Count Potocki who wrote here in Polish: “Let unhappy people come in and become happy, and the happy ones become happier.” The entrance column is believed to fulfill wishes, if you circle it three times repeating your request.
Golden Gate, Crimea
Golden Gate is a rock standing not far from the seashore and cut through by an archway. It is one of Crimean Kara Dag’s most amazing treasures. Previously it was called Devil’s Gate, because the arch was believed to lead to the underworld. Today the gate is said to have other magical qualities: passing under the Golden Gate’s arch on a small cutter makes your wishes come true. In addition, many tourists throw coins into the sea to make certain that the ritual works.
Monument to the Cat Panteleimon, Kyiv
The bronze monument to a cat stands to the left from the exit of the subway station Zoloti Vorota. The story goes that once upon a time, Persian cat Panteleimon lived at the restaurant opposite the station; he was a pet of facility’s visitors and owners. But then, a fire happened in the restaurant and the cat choked with smoke. After a while, a bronze statute to commemorate the animal was installed in front of the restaurant.
The statue of the huge imposing cat is always surrounded by a crowd of people willing to make a wish. Some rub it behind the ear and some hold its tail. And some very superstitious Kyiv residents are sure that if you hold Panteleimon’s ears and tail at the same time, your wish will for sure come true.
Arch of Triumph, Kamianets-Podilskyi
Arch of Triumph was built in honor of Polish King Stanislav August's coming to Kamianets-Podilskyi, in 1781. Locals call it the Arch of Wishes. Elegant baroque gate, adorned with sculptural composition of four angels, leads to the Cathedral of the Saint Apostles Peter and Pavel. It is said that if you make a wish, when passing under the arch and touching its walls, it'll inevitably come true.