Translating as “White Church”, Bila Tserkva lies in the heart of Ukraine along the banks of the Ros River. It’s home to beautiful churches and one of the largest parks in the country, as well as impressive architectural landmarks that range from a synagogue to a summer palace built for the noble Branicki family.
Things to do
Stroll through the streets of Bila Tserkva to admire the whitewashed St. Nicholas Church and the Orthodox Transfiguration Cathedral, which was designed in a Classicist style in the 1830s. Also of note is the Roman Catholic Church of St. John the Baptist, which is fronted by soaring columns topped by a pediment. The church regularly hosts concerts featuring its impressive organ.
In the heart of Bila Tserkva is the Great Synagogue, an impressive Art Nouveau building constructed in the mid-19th century that is now used as a college. It’s a short walk from the Branicki Winter Palace and the Monument to Bogdan Khmelnitsky, which overlooks the rides and attractions of Taras Shevchenko Park.
If you want to escape the hustle and bustle of Bila Tserkva, head to Oleksandriya Park, an arboretum that sprawls in the city’s north-west. Founded in the late 18th century, it’s one of the largest parks in Ukraine and encompasses the floodplain of the Ros River. Admire the Echo Colonnade and the Chinese Bridge, together with the monument dedicated to Catherine the Great’s lady-in-waiting, Alexandra Branitskaya.
Bila Tserkva is around 1.5 hours’ drive from Kyiv and Kyiv Boryspil International Airport, with regular trains connecting from Kyiv to the Bila Tserkva railway station. Buses are the main means of getting around the city, with the centre of Bila Tserkva compact enough to explore on foot.