This is what you feel like doing when you look around standing in the village center.
There are many hills that can be seen from the cathedral entrance.
It's nice to see the huge pieces of stratified stone at the brink of the hill located in Peace Street (“ulitsa meera” in Russian) near the old village cemetery.
It is very easy to climb the hill.
The wonderful views of the village are your reward.
Also, you can visit the higher hill that is located about five miles away.
They call it the Big Canyon.
You can also find an ancient site located about five miles away – the Bronze Age pyramids.
Sovietskaya Street is the main street of the village. It is asphalted, but not to the end of the street.
The building of the Village Council is located in Sovetskaya Street.
It is one of the oldest houses in the village dating back to the second half of the 19th century.
It used to belong to the landlord.
The council itself occupies the second floor of the building.
You can see two flags at the entrance – the Ukrainian flag and the village flag that is blue-yellow-white.
This is the only village flag I have seen in Luhansk region.
My friend Nick, the village mayor, made the flag proposal and it was approved by the county administration.
He also had one more flag pole erected. It is used for displaying the flags of people from abroad coming to Illyria. Flags of different countries have already been flown on that flagpole: the United States, Greece, Serbia.
Nick the mayor would be glad to receive you, fellow travelers. Please bring your country's flag with you and let him know beforehand you are arriving.
Delegations or groups coming to Illyria (which happens very rarely) are usually invited to school for a welcoming meeting.
The school building is on the picture. It is a nine-year secondary school. All in all, there are 55 school students here. They have self-governance at school and their school community is called Periwinkle Country. The Periwinkle Country has several "counties": Daisies, Little Bells, Snowball Tree Kids, Sunflowers. You can see their pictures and posters in the school lobby.
They also have a village museum on the second floor. The museum was created by school students and their teachers. You can leave your entry into their guestbook at the museum.
The visitors lay flowers to the monument on the common grave of the fallen soldiers that is to the right of the school.
The school in this village, unlike many other villages I have visited, is located next to the village cathedral.
Also, the visitors can pay a visit the cathedral and if they are lucky and willing, they can attend a service there.
Then the visitors can go to the village council and walk to the nearest hills to have a bird’s eye view of the village and to take pictures.
The village cathedral is called
St.Alexander of the Neva Cathedral
It was called after the great warrior and diplomat Prince St. Alexander of the Neva, Prince of Novgorod, who had routed the Swedish knights on the banks of the Neva in 1240 and afterwards had been canonized as a saint of the Russian Orthodox Church.
The cathedral was built in 1885 and survived Stalin's dictatorship.
Father Alexander is the cathedral dean now.
He lives in a small house in the cathedral courtyard.
The parish celebrates St.Alexander of the Neva Feast Day on September 12 every year.
Take a stroll along the Village Promenade.
It was paved five years old thanks to the efforts of the village mayor Nickolay who is my friend.
The Promenade looks very special and even unique. Not every village has something like that.
It starts from the store in Sovietskaya Street and leads you to the village park and the cathedral.
On the way to the cathedral you can turn right to see the park and the war memorial.
There are a lot of wild plants out in the steppe:
- wild carnation;
- feather grass (Stipa);
- houseleeks, or liveforever that is also called “hens and chickens” (Sempervivum).
The hills are covered with lots of feather grass and other rare plants.
This hill can be seen from the cathedral area.
This is the place where stratified stones come to the surface.
We climbed the hill several times and enjoyed the views of the village from its top.
Those are breathtaking views that cannot be seen in every village.
This hill makes Illyria unique too.