Ostap Vyshnia is a famous Ukrainian writer and humorist. He ridiculed human weakness and vices in a simple and direct way. Ostap Vyshnia was a guy next door, a man of the people. Therefore, his works were so loved throughout the USSR and especially in Krynky village of the Oleshky district, the Kherson region.
The humorist writer’s first acquaintance with Krynky village happened in 1955. In those years, he had already regained his popularity after the repressions and was actively published in the Perets satirical magazine. They say, he went down to the backwater along the path and just fell in love with that place. This is where the famous phrase “One may go to Crimea but I go to Krynky” came from. This phrase starts one of the stories of “Myslyvski Usmishky” [Hunters’ Jokes] collection.
Here, Ostap Vyshnia made a lot of acquaintances among his fellow villagers. He loved long conversations with local fishermen, hunters, and old people. Many of them became prototypes of his characters in “Myslyvski Usmishky” stories. Nature, fresh air, open, simple people inspired the humorist for fruitful work. In Krynky, he was visited by outstanding Ukrainian writers – Oleksandr Korniichuk with Vanda Vasylevska, Mykola Bazhan, Andrii Malyshko, Volodymyr Sosiura, Maksym Rylskyi.
In the early fall of 1956, Ostap Vyshnia and his wife Varvara arrived here for a vacation again. Fishing was his favorite activity. He wrote a lot, met with those with whom he managed to make friends and get acquainted. On 20 September 1956, he returned to Kyiv and a week later died of a heart attack.
After his death, local residents created a museum to honor Ostap Vyshnia. Due to a lack of funds, the building fell into disrepair, and all the exhibits were taken to other museums.
The House Museum of Ostap Vyshnia was restored in 2020 at the initiative of the Kyiv philanthropist Serhii Odarych. The building was moved to a new location near the writer's house. The museum was built according to the drawings of the former estate. The builders used the same technologies and materials – shell rock, reeds, and natural wood. Frames and doors were taken from the old building. A wooden bust was moved as well.
The House Museum was opened in October 2020. The former manor was a closed facility since it was located in the territory controlled by the Ministry of Defense. Now, everyone may become acquainted with the life of their favorite writer.
The house of Ostap Vyshnia looks exactly like it did during his stay in Krynky. Here, you can learn more about his creative work. The legendary stories were born in these places, and their characters lived in this village.
For local residents, the Museum is very important. Their families still have stories about meetings with Ostap Vyshnia. Ask the villagers about the life of the writer. They have a lot to tell.
Cherry and apple trees are planted around the museum. Here, you can walk, go down to the backwater and enjoy the beauty that once delighted Ostap Vyshnia. Touch the true spirit of the Ukrainian village with all its originality and uniqueness.
The main exhibits, which are now displayed in the museum, used to lie just under our feet after the destruction of the estate. The caring residents have kept things related to Ostap Vyshnia. The authentic exhibits include tackles that the humorist used to fish, a steelyard, letters, photographs. The main exposition is a workplace near the window with the writer’s typewriter. Among other furniture, Ostap Vyshnia's bed has been preserved.
The collection of the museum is only growing. The locals bring everything that they managed to save. There is talk of returning exhibits that have been passed to other museums. However, now the House Museum is waiting for visitors from all over Ukraine.
Ways to get there
From Kherson, take the E97 highway. Keep to the left before the road to Radensk and continue to move along T2206. At the crossroads towards Proletarka, turn left. Upon arrival in Kozachi Laheri, move along the Shkilna/Michurina street to the museum in Krynky.
By public transport, you may move from Kherson from the suburban bus station at 1 Artema Str. to Kazachi Lageri village by ‘Kherson-Nova Kakhovka’ and ‘Kherson-Krynky’ buses.