As far as I am concerned, Chertorya is a rather unusual name, especially since the accents should be correctly placed on the last syllable. It is one of those villages in Ukraine and Chernivtsi region that seems unremarkable and has a lot to tell and show.
We started our journey through Chertorya with Swan Lake. This is a unique natural object. Swans from all over Ukraine come here every fall for wintering.
The lake is heated year-round by an underground spring, and therefore comfortable conditions are created here for wintering and breeding of these beautiful and proud birds.
On Swan Lake from November to April you can see hundreds of swans, make videos and take photos. Sometimes swans lack food, so they can be very friendly to people. Moreover, they do not yet have offspring to protect.
Lakes are cleaned to prevent them from clogging. Money is allocated for this either from the local or regional budget. This is how people take care of the swans.
Swan lakes do not freeze even in winter. And only in 2017 there was such a cold winter that some swans froze into the ice. They were rescued by employees of the State Emergency Situations Service, after which the birds were distributed to locals to get the animals out.
To see a lot of swans on the Swan Lakes, it is better to come from November to March. Otherwise you risk either not catching them at all or not in the right numbers.
The Manescu House
There is an architectural monument of Ukraine in Chertoria – Manescu House. It is a mysterious and very old monument in Bukovina. This house was named after the last owner – an industrialist of Romanian origin Manescu. He allegedly bought the mansion and lived here in the early XX century.
No one knows the exact date of construction of the Manescu House. Perhaps it is either XVIII or XIX century. According to legend, it was built by another rich man named Giurgiuvan, and then he lost it to Manescu in a gambling game. Giurgiuvan’s grave is located in the village near the church.
The mansion itself is an eclectic palace, with neo-Gothic windows and a tower with Romanian touches.
Manescu took care of his home, planted a garden and a chestnut avenue (it still exists today), and planted a tulip tree in the garden.
Manescu moved out in the 1920s, after which his house became an orphanage. During the Soviet era, a psycho-neurological dispensary was established here, before making a stable and painting beautiful pictures of angels on the walls inside. The clinic is still here today.
It is because of this that it is difficult to enter the territory – the gates are closed everywhere. I had to go back without seeing Manescu Palace at close range.
Eighteenth century church in Chertoria
In the village there is a wooden church of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary. It is more than 2 centuries old. Once there was another church here, but it burned down. After that patrons bought the church from Carpathian masters. It was brought to the place and assembled here piece by piece.
Ivan Mikolaychuk Manor Museum
Ivan Mykolaychuk, legendary Ukrainian actor and director, was just born in Chertoria. Here is his museum-estate. But this is not the original house where this man lived, but a reconstruction. The house was rebuilt in 1991 and now it is cared for by the actor’s elder sister.
The Legend of Swan Lakes
There is a legend that after Mikolaychuk’s death swans began to nest on the lakes for the first time – it was his soul that returned to his native places in the form of these birds.
If you’re in Chertoria, be sure to stop by and see the museum, because who knows when you’ll stop by here again.
A walk through Chertoria
In general, Chertorya is a clean and quiet village. Hardworking and friendly people live here. We came here just on the eve of Orthodox Easter. People greeted us with the traditional greeting for this holiday – “Christ is Risen!“.
How to get to Certoria
If you go from Chernivtsi by bus, take a ticket for Vizhnitsa, only the bus must go through Vashkivtsi.
It is easy to get there by car along the highway T2601 – only 36 km from the regional center. It is better to drive through Dubovtsy on the right bank of the Prut River, and then turn to Glinitsa and Chertoria already on the right bank of the Prut River.