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Vilkovo and the Danube Biosphere Reserve


From seu.ru

Vilkovo City and the Danube Biosphere Reserve
(Дунайский Биосферный Заповедник)

"The Venice of Ukraine"

A wonderful way to see what rural village life is like is to visit the picturesque town of Vilkovo. A considerable part of Vilkovo has picturesque water canals along which scuttle narrow and sharp-bowled boats--the main means of transportation in Vilkovo. The city has many recently built Greek orthodox churches. The Vilkovo villagers are incredible warm and friendly.

The town was founded in 1746. The settlers were not so much attracted to the location because of its beautiful scenery but rather by the fact that the location could easily be made into an impregnable fortress. Many natural canals bug and small, crisscrossing the area, enhanced the scenic beauty and the natural defenses. Today, a considerable part of the town is taken by picturesque water canals along which scuttle narrow and sharp-bowed boats (in shape they resemble much larger "chaykas" "seagulls" --Cossack boats used in the 17th and 18th centuries for naval operations against the Turks with devastating success).

From seu.ru

There is a popular joke told in Vilkovo, a Vilkovite who had to much of novak (young red wine, very popular with the locals) sways when he walks, but only backwards and forwards, but never to the sides. This is because the walkways that pass for "sidewalks" are so narrow that one- half step to the side and you find yourself in the waters of the Danube.

In the eighteenth century the town sat on the border between the Russian and Ottoman Empires. Later Vilkovo was incorporated into the Russian empire (one of the Romanian kings was said to like the place and go there to fish and have talks with the local wise men). After the Second World War, the town was returned to Ukraine.

There is a frontier post in Vilkovo because the border with Romania passes almost through the town, but there is not much for a handful of border guards to do there. In summer time, the provincial quiet is somewhat disturbed by droves of painters who come from all over Ukraine to paint in the open air.
---Adapted from the article Vylkovo, from the Welcome to Ukraine article

From seu.ru

The Danube Biosphere Reserve is one of four biosphere reserves in Ukraine and the only one in Odessa Oblast. Its area is 46,403 hectares. It was formed by presidential decree on August 10, 1998.
Vilcovo company
Pridunaiskaya street, 44-a
Vilkovo, Ukraine
Tel: (04843) 2-38-74
(04843) 3-15-82
Tel/Fax: (04843) 3-25-88

Eco-tourism tours are available. In 1999, the reserve equipped a building with some guestrooms (maximum 8 people). There are boat and bird watching tours (spotting 25-20 different species is guaranteed) and all meals. For a five-day package the price is $60. Since there is really not much to do in Vilkovo a five-day tour is not Recommended unless a person is an avid environmentalist and/or nature lover.

Tours are also available with many tour operators in Odessa, or check at the bus station Privoz bus station:

Bus station Number 5
Panteleimonovskaya 61 (Пантелеймоновская)
At Privoz bazaar
Tel: 22-21-56

Excellent photos of the reserve can be found at this site:

A Russian site on the reserve is at:

From panda.org

Conservation organizaiton trying to stop development in the reserve
Text of the panda site is mirrored on this site

From panda.org

Large Map of the muti-country reserve from Panda.org can be found here:

The map is also mirrored on this site.