The Kam'yanska Sich is a landmark, which reminds us of Ukrainian Cossacks times. The land has become a part of Khortytsia National Reserve in 2009. There are remains of 150 burial mounds, kurins (huts of Ukrainian Cossacks), and ruins here.
The land’s most sacred shrine is the burial place of Kost Hordiyenko, the Kish otaman (chief government officer). Do you admire the history of Ukrainian Sich? Then, the land will show you a complete picture of how the Cossacks lived.
The history of the Kam'yanska Sich
The history of the Kam'yanska Sich began in 1709. The Cossacks discovered new lands to live in freedom, as they had been defeated at the battle of Poltava. Some troops retreated to Bender (nowadays, it’s the city of Transnistria), and others settled in the territory of the former Chortomlyk Sich. They were led by Kost Hordiyenko. The Kam'yanska Sich has become a buffer zone between the Russian Empire and the Crimean Khanate.
The Kam'yanska Sich was a small area, sheltered by ramparts and moats. At the very center of the Sich was a square, where the Cossacks held the Sich Rada. Dugouts, barns, housekeeping areas were built around the square. The Cossacks were engaged in various crafts, such as doing pottery and fishing. The Kish was eligible to collect the tribute from those who carried goods by the Dnipro or the Bug Rivers.
In the 1990s, archaeologists have found burial places at the distance of one mile from the Sich. There were hard stones on the corpses’ eyes, and chests were cracked by stakes. Probably, a witch doctor was buried here.
In 1711, the Sich was destroyed by troops of Peter The Great. Survivors resettled in Oleshky. They were under the patronage of the Crimean Khan.
However, in 1728, the Kish decided to get back to the Kam'yanska Sich. In 1733, Kost Hordiyenko, the Kish ataman, died and was buried at the Sich. The land remained in existence until 1734.
Archeologists began excavating in the early 20th century. Nowadays, the Kam'yanska Sich is one of the few places to show you the story of the Cossacks’ life. But the Kakhovka Reservoir has been destroying the Kam'yanska Sich, so the time to explore the land is running out.
The Constitution of Pylyp Orlyk
The Kam'yanska Sich is associated with the first constitution in Europe. When Ivan Mazepa, the Hetman of the Zaporizhian Host, had died, Pylyp Orlyk became a new war chief. It was dictated by old traditions. The new Hetman has collected the Cossacks’ conventions, rules. That is how the “Pacts and Constitutions of Rights and Freedoms of the Zaporizhian Host” was made. The first pages of the Constitution were written in the Kam'yanska Sich.
In 1710, rights and duties, relations between the Hetmanate and the Cossacks were regularized. The Constitution of Pylyp Orlyk declared the independence of the Zaporizhian Host. According to the document, the hetman’s authority was limited by the General Council. The Council was composed of duly elected Cossacks. Also, The Large Sejm was held three times a year. It was a meeting for church and city representatives. The First Constitution of Ukraine guaranteed citizens’ rights and freedoms. It was planned to implement land reform.
The fact of the Constitution’s existence shows us that the Cossacks were consolidated and highly educated. Moreover, the document has established democracy in Europe. There was no such legislation until 1710.
Things to do in the Kam'yanska Sich
You can touch the history of Ukrainian Cossacks here. While walking among the ruins, feel the spirit of freedom and invincibility. If you're lucky, you’ll get to festivals and special events.
The tourist season is traditionally opened with the Kvarta festival. The event is dedicated to the Cossacks. At the festival, you can feel the history of the Cossacks, taste delicious dishes of Ukrainian cuisine, and buy traditional jewelry and souvenirs. The main parts of the agenda are rock music, bikes, regatta, and friendly competitions.
Also, the ethnic festival Bombardery is held in the Kam'yanska Sich annually. Historical reenactors recreate aspects of the Cossacks’ life and military traditions here. You can discover the Cossacks’ weapons, take up an original saber, and fire a gun.
Where is the Kam'yanska Sich
The historic spot is located in Respublikanets’village of the Kherson region, just on the right bank of the Dnipro, at the mouth of the Kamianka River. We recommend you to visit the land in late spring or early summer. In the winter, the great white outdoors and the blue expanse of the Dnipro River will await you.
How to get to the Kam'yanska Sich
There are two ways to reach the Kam'yanska Sich:
- By bus. Public transport departs from the bus station in Kherson (Budʹonoho Street, 1). When you’ll get to Ploshcha Pryvokzalʹna, you should go on another bus. Public transport will take you to Beryslav, and from there - to Respublikanets’village. Just ask a driver where to get out.
- By car. You should follow the Е97 / Р47 / М17 routes. When you reach the roundabout, turn to the Т0403 route. Then, go 20 miles to Novokairy. Turn just before the village and go about 700 yards. Then, turn to the right and go 3 miles to Respublikanets’village. Local citizens can tell you how to get to the Cossacks’ Cape.
The road to the village is in poor condition. Be careful on the dirt roads. It’s better to choose a car with high clearance.
There are no hotels or hostels in Respublikanets’village. But you can bring a tent or ask local citizens to stay overnight. Also, you can book the nearest accommodations in Beryslav or Nova Kakhovka.