Cover photo © credits: iStock/MykolaIvashchenko
Cover photo © credits: iStock/MykolaIvashchenko

Legends of the Sea Eye: Lake Synevyr in the Carpathians

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Ukraine is a wonderful country that combines greatest mountains, wide steppes, lush forests and endless seas. Such a diversity of nature generates more than 50 national parks. The total area of national parks of Ukraine is about 10.000 sq.km. In this article, I want to tell you about an incredible place - Lake Synevyr in the Carpathians, which belongs to the Synevyr National Park. Reading this story, you will learn amazing legends of the Sea Eye and discover the hidden secrets of this place. 

The largest and deepest mountain lake in Ukraine

Lake Synevyr is located between the mountain tops, on the height of 989 meters above the sea level. It is a business card of the Ukrainian Carpathian Mountains.  In fact, the Lake Synevyr was formed in the post-glacial period, about 10 thousand years ago, as a result of the overflow of the river valley with the earth shifts. The average square of water lobe is about 50 000 sq.m, while the average depth is 8-10 m. However, in some places, Lake Synevyr is about 19-22 meters deep. The landscapes around Synevyr are magnificent and picturesque. The lake is surrounded by steep slopes with beautiful fir trees, some of them being up to 160 years old. In the middle of the lake is situated a small island (about 10 sq. meters). If you look from above, this piece of the earth reminds of the pupil of a huge blue eye. Hence, the folk name of Synevyr is "the Sea Eye". Today, this place is popular among tourists, it attracts people not only with unearthly beauty of nature but also interesting legends

Photo © credits: iStock/Dymov
Photo © credits: iStock/Dymov

Two legends about Lake Synevyr

There are two legends about the creation of the Sea Eye, and both of them are quite dramatic. The first legend is the story of forbidden love between a poor shepherd named Vyr and the daughter of a wealthy duke named Syn. The duke could not accept the choice of his daughter and ordered his people to kill a poor shepherd, so a huge stone was thrown on him. The death of the beloved became a huge tragedy for a girl, and the flow of her tears did not know the end. The legend has it that the water of the lake were tears of the unfortunate girl, and in honor of the lovers, it is called Synevyr. Today, at the lake, there is a monument to the lovers (13 meters high).   

Photo © credits: iStock/vzmaze
Photo © credits: iStock/vzmaze

Another legend tells about the Mochar swamp. Some time ago, in the vicinity of Lake Synevyr lived the heroes who were hunted in the forests of the Carpathians. Once, some dark force sent a curse on them. Only one of them survived, and his name was Synevyr. The only happiness for him was his daughter. Once, returning from hunting, he did not get her home - the cause of the girl's death was the swamp Mochar, which dragged the girl to the bottom. In despair, the hero began to destroy the rocks and throw bogs into the swamp. Suddenly, a stream of water broke under one of them. Gradually, this stream was transformed into a large lake, named after a disfigured father. 

When you plan your trip to the Ukrainian Carpathians, do not forget to visit the legendary Sea Eye – Lake Synevyr. The landscapes and unique atmosphere of this place will surely surprise you. 

Lake Synevyr, Zakarpattia Oblast, Ukraine
Lake Synevyr, Zakarpattia Oblast, Ukraine
Synevyr, Transcarpathian region, Ukraine

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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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