Kolochava is a village in the valley of the Tereblya River between the Strymba, Darvaika, Barvinok, Ruzha mountains. More than 5 thousand people live here. In length (15 km) Kolochava is the second village in the Transcarpathian region after Nizhny Studeny (18 kilometers).
The first written mention of Kolochava dates back to 1463. The Czech writer Ivan Olbrakht in his novel Nikolai Shugai, the robber described the local residents as follows: “These are the descendants of shepherds who fled to these inaccessible mountains before the Tatar khans arrived on the Ukrainian plain, the great-great-grandchildren of the rebellious slaves who fled from the whip and gallows of the old-timers and atamies. Pototsky, the great-grandchildren of the rebels against the extortion of the Romanian boyars, Turkish pashas and Hungarian magnates, parents, brothers and sons of the Austrian emperors killed in hostilities, and they themselves are victims of Jewish usurers and the new Czech nobility, and all together, if you looked deep into their souls Are robbers, because that is the only defense they know. Defense that helps – for a week, for a month, for a year, for two years, like in N. Shugai, for seven years, like in Oleksa Dovbush. Never mind that it is very expensive and costs no less than life! But is life everlasting! Only once your mother gave birth to you: once you have to die. In their every nerve lives a frantic impulse to freedom. This is Dovbush’s impulse. This is Sugai’s impulse. That is why they are loved. “
Kolochava is historically divided into five parts – Lazy (center), Gorb, Bradolets, Sukhar, Mereshor, which are crossed by the Tereblya and its tributary Kolochavka. Most likely, the name of the village originated from the fact that the coasts of these rivers were swampy in ancient times. The bast shoes (shoes) of the first settlers got wet and “chomped”. Therefore, the river was named Chavka, and when asked where they live, they answered: “Kolo (near) Chavka.” Over time, it became Kolochavka, and the village became Kolochava. Another legend connects the origin of the name of the village from the Kolochavka River, which flows through the village. The name of the river comes from its turbulent character. The water in the stormy river is muddy (chipped). According to another legend, once upon a time in the village of Ust-Chernaya, a young peasant, Chavka, who came from a poor family, was sent to serve in the army. Chavka fled from the service and settled in the forest, even married a girl from Ust-Chernaya. When her mother was asked where her daughter had gone from the village, she answered “Kolo (near) Chavka”. This is how the village of Kolochava appeared.
Now in Kolochava there are 6 operating churches: 2 Greek Catholic, 4 Orthodox, as well as an Orthodox monastery of the icon of the Mother of God “Unexpected Joy”. There are 10 museums and over 20 sculptures. Kolochava has its own monument to Taras Shevchenko, a national genius, established on the Independence Day of Ukraine in 2010. In the courtyard of the secondary school number 1.
At the entrance to Kolochava, on a hill, there is a wooden church of the Holy Spirit. On the crossbar is carved “This temple was built in 1795 (year) under the priest John Popovich during the reign of FRANCISK II by the master Ferenc Tekke. Then there was a great famine. “.
Built without a single nail in the Baroque style. It contains a unique icon of the 18th century. “Jesus Christ is the grower.” The Soviet government turned the church into a museum of atheism. In January 1953 it was removed from registration, the icons were placed in the iconostasis of the Shelestovskaya church in the skansen in Uzhgorod. By a decree of the government of Ukraine in May 2018, the church was again included in the list of cultural heritage sites of national importance in the State Register of Immovable Monuments of Ukraine.
The Czech gendarmes, the Hungarian postman, and the local patron Szekeres are buried near the temple. Nearby is the monument “Perlo Dorogotsinnoe”, dedicated to the manuscript of the Kolochavsky clerk Ivan Lugosh in 1747. Lugosi was copied with a quill pen and walnut ink, which retains its stability and clarity to this day. This Gospel was read for the common people. The Church Slavonic text includes local words and expressions. The book has no beginning or end, it has 418 pages.
The sculptural composition reflects the scribe’s workplace: a solid bronze book is uncovered on a table-like stone, it has an inkwell and a quill. Nearby is a stone chair. There are copies of individual pages of the manuscript in the church, because the original is in the local history museum in Uzhgorod.
In 1982, a museum was opened in Kolochava of Ivan Olbrakht (1882-1952), the author of the novel “Nikolai Shugai, the robber” (1933). The work has been translated into almost all European languages, including Ukrainian in 1934. The prototype of the literary hero is Nikolai Syugay (1898-1921). In 1917 he was mobilized into the Austro-Hungarian army, from where he fled and until the end of the First World War hid in the forests near Kolochava. He married Erzhik Drach, but did not abandon the robbery. On August 16, 1921, in the Sukhar tract, he and his younger brother Yuri were killed by three comrades. Erzhika married a neighbor. The graves of Nikolai and Erzhika in the old village cemetery nearby.
I. Olbrakht, V. Vanchura and K. Novy 1933 filmed in the village the famous “Mariyka the infidel” with the subtitle “From the life of N. Shugai’s fellow countrymen.” Not a single professional actor was filmed in the film, the locals played themselves and spoke their native language. In 1947, the Czech director I. Krnyansky made a film of the same name based on the plot of the novel “Nikolai Shugai, the Robber.” In the 1970s, on the basis of this novel, the musical “The Ballad of Bandits” was created, which conquered the Czech public.
1928 Ivan Dolgosh’s novel “Kolochava” is published, which reflects I. Olbrakht’s stay in Kolochava in 1931-1936. At the same time, a granite slab was laid with the inscription “A memorial sign to Ivan Olbrakht will be installed here.” Now the school yard in the center of the village is decorated with a bust of Olbracht by sculptor Mikhail Belen in 2000.
Thanks to the creative heritage of Ivan Olbracht, many tourists from the Czech Republic visit Kolochava every year.
In 2010, not far from the bust of Olbracht, a monument to the victims of the First World War, natives of Kolochava, was unveiled. About a hundred of them died, and about thirty returned home disabled. Nearby stands the oldest monument of the village – the shepherd, in memory of the exhibition in Prague in 1937. Kolochava was then adequately represented by sheep breeders Dmitry Maleta and Ivan Ivanish with a dozen sheep. They received awards – a small sculpture of a shepherd by I. Vetka and a diploma from the Ministry of Agriculture of Czechoslovakia for the first place. The gift served as a prototype for the monument in the early 1950s.
In the center of the village attention is also drawn to the monument “Zarobitschany” 2011 by Peter Shtaer. This is a kind of symbol of Transcarpathia – the farewell of a husband to his family. The owner with a bag goes to distant lands, his daughter hugs him. Nearby is a sad pregnant wife with a baby in her arms. On the side are carved about a hundred names of the Kolochavites who died in earnings over the past half century.
Nearby is the “Reconciliation” monument, which was reconstructed in 2009. The Soviet-era monument to the soldiers of the Red Army and the Czechoslovak Corps was supplemented with a memorial plaque with the names of 39 fellow villagers who died in the Hungarian army.
Further, next to the central road is the “Checkpoint” memorial. Erected in honor of the internationalist warriors in 2011. The natives of Kolochava took part in two world wars, nine interstate military conflicts. 24 Kolochavites fought in Afghanistan, the same number in other armed conflicts of the USSR. In memory of them, this museum was opened. A combat reconnaissance vehicle rises above it, as if examining a wide valley. Tourists can ride on the same one. Nearby is the figure of an Afghan warrior, who bowed his head over his dead brothers.
The exposition includes a “checkpoint” a machine gun, a grenade launcher, assault rifles of various modifications, a periscope, binoculars, several anti-tank mines, a field telephone, soldiers’ flasks and cups, medical instruments and other equipment from the period of the Afghan war. Above this museum there is an old rural cemetery, where the ordered grave of the robber N. Shugai is located.
Another famous Kolochava museum is the “Soviet School”. The Museum of the Soviet School was opened in 2006, conveys the atmosphere of the 1950-1980s. Includes a large classroom, a pioneer room, a physics and chemistry classroom, a teacher’s room, and the principal’s office. The museum displays all school paraphernalia from desks, inkwells, pens to propaganda visual aids and a film projector.
Portraits of teachers of a rural school in the 1950s serve as decoration. In the schoolyard, almost the only monument in Ukraine “to the Teacher from the Ukraine” in 2009 is an honor to the teachers sent to Transcarpathia after 1945. 15 names of teachers have been engraved, who remained to work in Kolochava forever.
The museum “Czech School” recreates the conditions of education in the Czechoslovak period of the history of the region (1919-1939). The museum consists of two premises: a student class and a teacher’s room. The exhibition includes a centenary photopiano, desks, blackboard, textbooks, illustration cards for lessons in history, geography, botany, mathematics, music, and the like. On the wall is the expression of the first president of the Czechoslovak Republic, Tomáš Masaryk: “Tell me what you are reading, and I will tell you who you are”. On school shelves there are works of Czech writers, original class magazines with assessments of Kolochava students.
The third educational museum “Parish School” is located in the “Old Village Kolochava” skansen. There is an extract from the inspection report of Kolochava schools in March 1881 The Kolochava Laz wooden school was then in good condition, covered with shingles. The teacher had two rooms and a kitchen, a cattle shed, one servant. Of the 71 enrolled students on the day of the test, there were only eight: equally boys and girls.
One of the most famous museums in Kolochava is the Old Village of Kolochava. This is the first private rural museum of architecture and life in the Transcarpathian region. Its creator Stanislav Arzhevitin, a public and statesman from Kolochava. At the entrance from 2011, there is a monument to Nikolai Shugai.
Here are collected three dozen authentic Kolochava wooden buildings – a poor man’s house with cattle sheds, a shepherd’s house, a weaver’s, a shoemaker’s (shoemaker’s), a Sabov’s (sewing master’s), a carpenter’s, a kolib’s, a steam room (bathhouse), a birov’s house (a village head), a Soviet time. The exhibits characterize the cycles of activity of a shepherd, lumberjack, farmer, needlewomen. So, the shepherd’s house has everything you need to process milk and make cheeses: geleta, buckets, cauldron, Putin.
The ancient village is also represented by the buildings of the gendarmerie with a prison, parish and Jewish schools, a mill, a smithy, an inn, a buzhnya (synagogue), a coffee shop, and the like. The skansen realistically reflects the life of local residents for three centuries. In total, there are almost 60 excursion objects and 20 sights in the Scansen.
In 2009, the skansen won first place among public museums at the All-Ukrainian competition. In 2010 – won the competition “10 Tourist Transcarpathian Values”.
In the museum complex “Old village Kolochava”, the thematically integral components “Kolochavskaya narrow-gauge railway”, “Kolochavskiy bokorash”, “Carpathian Ukraine”, “Kolochava art”, “Shtaer’s bunker” are distinguished. “Kolochavskaya narrow-gauge railway” was opened in 2009. There is a rare operating steam locomotive and 10 carriages filled with exhibits: three Czech passenger cars, a Soviet freight one, and a Hungarian one for cattle and timber. The oldest, made in 1851 in Germany. Those who wish can ride the trolley of the winner of the 1967 World Logging Competition in Montreal, Ivan Chusa.
On the hill, under the forest, there is a museum-bus “Carpathian Ukraine”, “Shtaer’s bunker”, a monument to fugitives to the Soviet Union, and below the alley of Kolochava monuments.
“Stayer’s bunker” is disguised and can only be found with a guide. Far in the mountains, such a cache was dug 2.5 m long and 1.5 m wide. A spruce served as a chimney, through the hollow of which smoke was dispersed. The bunker itself was reproduced in a skansen in the house where the leader of the anti-Soviet rebels, Shtaer, was born. His group of six people hid in the surrounding forests for about eight years. The museum displays weapons of Soviet and German production, military clothing, photos of the rebels.
In the center of the Jewish sector of the “Old Village of Kolochavy” in August 2010, a sculptural composition “Shabbat Geese” appeared. Not far from the tavern “U Wolf”, an elegant park sculpture “Kolochavka” (“Borkotanya”) is striking; it was previously 2 km from the center of the village near the spring “Burkut”. She symbolizes cheerfulness, health, beauty.
The reconstructed part of the Hungarian defense system of the Second World War “Arpad Line” of 1943-1944 is an independent museum. Its length near Kolochava is about 2 km. These are separate support units, in particular more than three dozen bunkers, four of which have been restored. The “Command” bunker is filled with a variety of weapons and military equipment: machine gun, machine guns, rifles, grenades, bandolier, observation devices, helmets, flamethrower, fire extinguisher, cartridges.
Nearby are the “Defense bunker” and the “Medical center”, inside of which there are three-tiered metal beds, sets of equipment and preparations. A few hundred meters away there are “kotlopunktas”, where the camp kitchen occupies the central place, and in the middle there is a long table with aluminum spoons and forks, and copper cups. There are long benches on both sides of the table. The food was stored in bags, which indicated the year – 1942. In total, there are more than a thousand exhibits in the bunkers.
During the war, the Tereblya river near Kolochava was blocked in three places with rows of anti-tank reinforced concrete pyramids, which have survived.
Near Kolochava on the Strymba valley (1719 m) there is a “Shepherd’s School”. Tourists can graze sheep, milk, make cheeses (vurdu, feta cheese) and tokan, learn to play the trembita, flute, drymba. There is in Kolochava its own mineral water “Borkut”, the newspaper “New Kolochava”. The collection of Vasily Makar – about 2 thousand parrots and pigeons, which the locals call “Schwegan’s Bird Park”, evokes admiration.
Every year, on the third Sunday of June, the gastronomic Riplyanka Festival is held. Kolochavskaya Riplyanka – mashed potatoes with corn flour, seasoned for every taste – mushrooms, sour cream, cracklings, feta cheese, vurda, etc. For two days, the guests of the festival are entertained with theatrical performances.
Kolochava is the only village in Ukraine, in which there are 20 monuments, in particular, T. Shevchenko, I. Olbrakht, I. Franko, O. Dukhnovich, N. Shugai, R. Shukhevych and others. The author of most of them is the artist Peter Shtaer. A dozen films have been filmed about Kolochava, dozens of books have been published.
At the end of the trip to Kolochava, you should taste the dishes of Kolochava, Ukrainian and Hungarian cuisines in the museum-kolyba “Fauna of Transcarpathia”. An amazing atmosphere is created in it not only by the exhibits, but also by triple musicians playing traditional melodies of the Carpathian Mountains, in particular, kolomyyka.
Fine restaurants of local cuisine operate at the hotel complexes “Agio” and “Kolochava”. A very popular restaurant in Kolochava is the “Сetnicka stanice” inn.
In all these establishments, prices are about the same, and the quality of food and service is at the highest level.
It is worth staying in Kolochava in the best and most comfortable hotel in the village – the recreation complex “AGIO”. The complex is located in the village of Kolochava at st. Shevchek, 81A (phone +38067 217 0985 and +380502170985, email: [email protected] and [email protected]). Here you can taste delicious Kolochava dishes or order the preparation of your favorite dish.
Accommodation is complemented by vibrant landscapes that captivate the soul with their beauty. All the conditions necessary for recreation at any time of the year have been created here. The hotel can accommodate 50 people in 14 rooms of various comfort categories, which are equipped with TV, Wi-Fi, good furniture and amenities inside.
Comfortable rooms, friendly staff and colorful local cuisine will help you immerse yourself in the atmosphere of an ancient mountain village and make your stay unforgettable.
At the disposal of tourists there is a gazebo, a Finnish sauna, the opportunity to book excursions, transfers, organization of conferences, holidays and corporate events, bicycle rental, a playground, an electric car charging station, a conference room, souvenirs, etc. Room prices range from 450 UAH. for a double room of economy class up to 900 UAH. for a double suite.
Another well-known hotel complex is called Kolochava. It is located in the village of Kolochava at st. Shevchenko, 76 (tel. +38 096 04 08 400 and +38 099 04 08 400, email [email protected]). The hotel offers comfortable rooms for both families and large groups. The four-storey hotel has 17 comfortable rooms: junior suites, triple, family and five-bed rooms, which can accommodate up to 50 guests. Prices for accommodation in the Kolochava complex range from 650 to 1250 UAH. per room.
When planning a trip to Kolochava, you should take into account that the room should be booked in advance, since the village is very popular among tourists. And during the Christmas and New Year holidays, prices for accommodation almost double.
Kolochava is a unique mountain village located at an altitude of 631 meters above sea level, in the enlarged Khust district (before the enlargement Mizhhirsky district) of the Transcarpathian region, in the West of Ukraine.
Even ten years ago, it was a very difficult task to come to Kolochava. However, in recent years, local roads have been overhauled, especially in the direction of the city of Khust. Although it is still far from ideal, positive changes are noticeable and bring Kolochava closer to even more tourists.
For people who value comfort, freedom of movement and independence, the most successful way to come to Kolochava is to have their own car. This method is the most convenient if you are traveling in Ukraine and decided to stop by Kolochava for a day or two. Also, if you decide to visit Kolochava in winter for a week or two and go for a drive at the nearby ski resorts, then you will simply need a car.
Kolochava is located 27 km from the village. Mizhgirya and 58 km from the town of Khust (regional center).
The Kolochava – Ust-Chernaya – Bedevlya road (T0728) is marked on the maps of Ukraine, but in reality there is no road on the Kolochava – Ust-Chernaya section and even an all-terrain vehicle will not pass there. Be vigilant and don’t get into an awkward situation when you need to return.
It is better to go from almost any corner of Ukraine to Kolochava through Mizhhirya.
Traveling from the North (Kiev) or the East (Kharkov) of Ukraine, we would recommend going through Lviv. This can be done in two ways. In time, both paths are approximately the same.
The first option is Lviv – Stryi – Dolina – Mizhgirya – Kolochava – 220 kilometers. This path is shorter, but the coverage of the Dolyna – Mizhhirya road section is not in its best form. However, the condition is not critical and you can drive. Moreover, this route is much more beautiful. Traveling for the Christmas holidays, you will pass through the town of Bolekhiv, which is usually incredibly decorated. You will also pass through the Torun Pass (930 meters at sea level), which is very beautiful in summer and even more beautiful in winter. On the other hand, the pass is rather treacherous, and if a lot of snow falls, then you can not drive through it and wait a long time until they clear the way or return.
Therefore, if during the trip you got into heavy snowfalls, or you know that you were yesterday or the day before yesterday, then it is better to go along the second route: Lviv – Stryi – Volovets – Mizhgirya – Kolochava – 249 kilometers. This path is 29 km longer, but this distance compensates for the better condition of the road surface. Also on this route, you will pass a beautiful stretch of a very modern road, reminiscent of the European Autobahn. In addition, the path passes through the Volovetsky Pass.
From Uzhgorod it is best to go along the route Uzhgorod – Mukachevo – Svalyava – Volovets – Mizhgirya – Kolochava – 159 kilometers.
It is better to go from Kiev to Kolochava via Lviv. On the highway Kiev – Zhytomyr – Rivne – Lviv, the road is really European level. The car “floats” along the road like a ship in calm weather: not a single hole, new markings and signs, partial lighting and noise-absorbing fences create the impression that you are abroad. After driving 500 km, you almost never feel tired. You can get from Lviv to Kolochava using one of the two routes already described. The route Kiev – Kolochava through Lviv has a length of 761 km.
Also, from Kiev to Kolochava you can get through Zhitomir – Ternopil – Valley – Mizhhirya. This path is 53 km shorter, the total length is 708 km. However, the poor condition of roads and holes will negatively affect the chassis of the car and tire the driver very much. And you are unlikely to come sooner.
It is better to travel from Kharkov to Kolochava via Kiev and Lvov. The length is 1237 km.
From Odessa to Kolochava you can get on the route Odessa – Uman – Vinnitsa – Khmelnitsky – Ternopil – Dolina – Mizhgirya – Kolochava, 938 km long. Good news – to Uman along the modern road, bad news – from Uman along the “Ukrainian” road.
For people who want to calmly rest among the pure nature for a week or two and do not plan to travel somewhere every day, the most successful one would be to come to Kolochava by train. In Kolochava itself, if you are planning to visit tourist sites nearby, you can always order an inexpensive transfer. But it is easier to go to one of the existing various tourist routes, which may include the whole range of services: transfer, excursion, meals and anything on your order.
Arriving by train is much cheaper. In addition, it is not so tiring: there is more space on the train, you can walk, sleep and you don’t need to sit in one place like in a car. No car or driver required. It is also much safer to travel this way.
However, in Kolochava itself, the train and tracks remained only in the Kolochavskaya Narrow-Gauge Railway Museum. The nearest station is Volovets. You can get to it from any other railway station, including from Kiev, Lvov, Uzhgorod, Kharkov, Odessa.
The schedule changes periodically. You can buy tickets on-line and get more detailed information on the official service of Ukrzaliznytsia – http://booking.uz.gov.ua or directly on the website http://www.uz.gov.ua.
From Volovets to Kolochava (60 km) can be reached by car. Taxi drivers are always on duty at the railway station. But usually tourists order a transfer from the only tour operator in Kolochava “Agio-Tour”. This makes it cheaper and more comfortable. The tourist is sure that he will be met and taken to his destination. Fans of extreme sports and thrills can try to get from Volovets to Kolochava by public transport. Minibuses do not turn to the railway station, so you will need to go to the intersection and stand on the road of Mizhgirya direction (about 150 m from the station).
The public transport schedule is constantly changing, so it is better to check by calling the information desk or find the relevant information on the Internet, for example, on the website http://bus.com.ua.
After analyzing the timetable of regular buses and minibuses, we can conclude that it is extremely inconvenient to travel from Volovets to Kolochava by public transport, especially with suitcases on hand. Besides the fact that such a trip is very tiring and annoying, it will take a very long time. Therefore, we recommend ordering a transfer in advance and without unnecessary worries, you can comfortably get to Kolochava in an hour. Pamper yourself, you are still on vacation …
It is interesting to visit Kolochava at any time of the year. It is worth stopping by in winter to feel the atmosphere of traditional Christmas. In spring, in Kolochava, you can admire the real purple sea – here is the saffron valley. In summer, you should visit the Riplyanka Festival and try your hand at the Shepherd’s School. Autumn is the best time to explore the museums of Kolochava.
In any case, visiting Kolochava will remain an unforgettable adventure for you.