Bakota: the Atlantis of Ukraine

Bakota: the Atlantis of Ukraine

2 minutes to read

There are a lot of hidden gems in Ukraine. Some of them can be a big surprise even for Ukrainians. In this story, I want to show you one of such gems – the Atlantis of Ukraine, a beautiful place that arose from a big tragedy. Bakota is a place with an impressive history, and it has an amazing spirit, which touches every visitor. You will never find this place on your map. It is hidden by the Dniester waters for a long time. The second and unofficial name of Bakota is the Atlantis of Ukraine.

Nowadays, you have the opportunity to enjoy the incredible views of the Bakota Bay, that was formed on the place of flooded villages, surrounded by the rocky mountains. The Atlantis of Ukraine is situated in the Kamianets-Podilskyi district of the Khmelnitsky region and belongs to the Podilski Tovtry National Nature Park. Your way from Kamianets-Podilskyi to Bakota Bay takes more than one hour of driving off-road. When you finally reach the place, you will be amazed by the view of this miracle bay, and you would never imagine that this beautiful place has arisen from a big tragedy. 

Bakota Bay, Khmelnitsky region
Bakota Bay, Khmelnitsky region
Хмельницька область, Україна

What is the tragedy of Bakota?

In the 13 th century, Bakota was a fortified castle and a cave male monastery. It was the capital of the Dniester Podillya region. At that time, Bakota was a very developed and progressive administrative center. The biggest paradox of the history of this place is that Bakota was attacked by different enemies during the many centuries and survived, but in 1981, it disappeared forever because of one false Soviet Union decision. It was the construction of the Dniester Hydro Power Station.

Specially formed squads cut down and burned the trees in the valleys, while others carried the cemeteries to designated places. Every resident was obliged to destroy his own house and cut down trees in the garden by himself. It was an indispensable condition. At that time, besides Bakota, 63 small settlements were also relocated. Creation of a reservoir on the territory of Bakota became a tragedy not only for people but for nature as well. The thoughtless and irresponsible actions of humans gave rise to a number of ecological problems like landslides and erosion processes.

Photo © credits: photographer Roman Zhuk
Photo © credits: photographer Roman Zhuk

A hidden gem with incredible landscapes and relaxing atmosphere

Today, the tragedy that destroyed homes of thousands of people has turned into an incredibly beautiful place that reminds of the beauty of the sea or the unforgettable views of Scottish fjords. The observation deck, which is located above the rocks of the Atlantis of Ukraine, opens incredible landscapes to the visitors. Today, everyone can visit small caves of the former monastery for free. This place is considered to be holy, and it is very popular among Orthodox Christians from all over the country.

Bakota Cave Monastery
Bakota Cave Monastery
Хмельницкая область, Украина

A boat trip is very interesting entertainment too. It is an amazing feeling when you realize that under you, on a depth of 30 meters, lies the unknown world of ancient settlements. Bakota is the beautiful place that arose from a big tragedy. Today, the Atlantis of Ukraine keeps on attracting more and more tourists and photographers who are looking for unreal beauty and relaxing atmosphere

 Cover photo © credits: photographer Roman Zhuk

The author

Marusia Bilous

Marusia Bilous

Hi, I’m Marusia from Lviv, Ukraine. My life is a permanent movement in a search for unforgettable impressions and interesting people. I promise that your virtual trip to my country will be interesting, and you will definitely plan one of your travels to Ukraine.

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