1. The ethno-confessional community of Russian Old Believers nicknamed “Lipovans” lives in Vilkovo, who over the centuries created and preserved their quite closed spiritual and cultural, but economically open world. Lipovans managed to preserve their original identity among the variety of Bessarabia ethnic groups and represent a unique subculture in the Danube delta region.
Lipovans – are Russian Old Believers who fled from Russia to the Danube delta during Nikon church dissent in the XVII century. The followers of “ancient piety” run to faraway places, they run from violation of their faith and came to the Danube lands. Here, in the Danube delta they’ve got everything what they were looking for – the land of promise, or rather haven’t got, but created it by their own hands having paved of sludge thousands cubic meters of soil. Here they managed to keep their identity in environment of other ethnic groups. And here, on the banks of the Danube, the Old Believers were nicknamed “Lipovans.” That means “they pave” in Walachian language. Local old-timers say that a real Lipovan – is someone who was born onshore the Danube delta, “My father is a real Lipovan, he was born on the island, he is a Reed bed Lipovan!”. Religious identity of Old Believers and life in difficult environment formed an interesting kind of subculture attributed only to Vylkove citizens.
2. Vilkovo is the one Ukrainian city built on the man-made islands. Established by Lipovans, Vilkovo is located in the mouth of the Danube; this is the last settlement on the banks of this beautiful river. Lipovans created their own land, raising it from the mud with their own hands. They paved the whole city!
The Lipovans, these Old Believers came to the wild wetlands of the Danube estuary in the seventeenth century. Survival in harsh environmental conditions required tremendous will, self-belief and a titanic toil for territories improving. A land plot designated for housing was cleared of reeds; manually mucked out; the silt was used for paving (raising) the land plot, the shallow channels formed in the place of silt. In such a way the area both for housing and vegetable garden has been paved; therefore, a paving was made one and a half or two meters above the water level. Just imagine: to pave a land plot of six acres, more than one thousand cubic meters of silt should be mucked out and laid! Thus, the channel part of Vilkovo stretched along 72 man-made islands.
«– Would you amuse-bouche with something? We have wonderful Danube herring, red caviar of recent receipt, Korkunov soft-salted cukes…
– What with would I amuse my bouche? – He said, smiling. – By your favour, please just herring with hot potatoes».
Wonderful Danube herring with hot potatoes in Paris! It should be noted that herring is offered on a par with red caviar “of recent receipt”.
8. There are two folk music National Ensembles of Ukraine in Vilkovo. An old saying is “if a person is talented, he is talented in many ways”. The same effect we reveal arriving to Vilkovo, its uniqueness is multifaceted. A small city in the farthest corner of the country, with a population of eight thousand people has two National Ensembles of Ukraine! Namely: the folk music ensemble “Moloditsa” (in Russian it means a young inventive lady plenty of energy) and the folk music ensemble “Retro”. In fact, you have the opportunity to see their performance, having informed in advance the “Tihaya Gavan” administrator office.
10. Vilkovo is the city of kings and presidents. Originality of Vilkovo is known far beyond its borders. Not only tourists come to see this unique city, but also state and public officials. Since ancient times Vilkovo was visited by crowned persons of European countries: kings of Romania and Yugoslavia; two Bulgarian kings visited Vilkovo; in the XIX century the Turkish Khan presented Ochakiv island to his son Kalim Bay, and Vilkovo citizens still call it Kalimbayke.
Vilkovo became a favorite place of rest for USSR cosmonauts, for world chess champion A. Karpov and many other public persons. The list is too large, choose the famous person, and you’ll find his name there.
11. The tastiest fish soup in the world is cooked in Vilkovo and this fact is scientifically grounded. “You can do with me whatever you like, even let me jump in the cauldron, but the best fish soup have Lipovans in the Danube Delta. They cook such a soup that the soul flies out and floats unquiet, until the cauldron becomes empty”. (Alexandr Levintov (Monterey)).
Qualitative and diversified nutrition of fish in the Danube delta is one of the main secrets of unsurpassed tastiness of Lipovans’ fish soup. Therefore, you can try the real Lipovan fish soup exclusively in Vilkovo in the Danube delta, where not only the most delicious fish is caught, but also the precious traditions of its cooking are preserved. In 2013 the book named “Vilkovo. The fish cuisine of Lipovans. History, traditions and modernity”was published. Its foreword is written by a writer, journalist, television presenter Boris Burda. The book contains 64 recipes of the Lipovan fish dishes. You can try any of them in the Villa “Tihaya Gavan”, and not only to try, but also to take a master class in cooking. The book is available at the bookshops of Vilkovo, Ismail, Kiliya.
12. Local history museum of Vilkovo. The reader may object that there are a lot of local history museums and the presence of such museum in the city can not be attributed to the uniqueness. That is right, but we are talking about museum exhibits, about more than 3,500 exhibits. The originality of the collection gathered is amazing. The museum’s exhibits are presented in the seven thematic halls, here you can see the Cossack boat fully-mission capable, and, according to legend, the hand washer of Kilim Bay, and many other exhibits are taking our imagination away for several thousand years back.
13. О Вилково написано семнадцать книг! Семнадцать книг о, казалось бы, провинциальном городке! Одиннадцать книг непосредственно повествуют об этом маленьком необычном городе, в том числе в прозе и стихах. Издано три книги ,в которых, в доступной форме для большого круга читателей, рассказывается о научных исследованиях природы, которая окружает город. Три книги научно-популярного жанра, отдельными главами повествуют о сотворении Вилково и людях его создавших. Первая книга о Вилково датируется 1881 годом, последняя 2013. Для более подробной информации о книгах перейдите в раздел – «книги»
14. European style of Villa Tihaya Gavan More than ten comfortably furnished tourist complexes provide services in Vilkovo. However, Villa Tihaya Gavan is the only estate with home interior and landscape designed in the European style. And this is the uniqueness of our city. European design is primarily determined by technological effectiveness, quality and comfort. The distinguishing feature of the European-style is a large comfortable open space where a person feels openness to the world around.
Villa Tihaya Gavan interior has been designed in the classic European style with soft colors. There is no color contrast. Halftones suggest quietness and tranquility. Landscape design of the Villa harmoniously complements the natural beauty of the surrounding nature. Contemporary European classical design of VillaTihaya Gavan, in conjunction with the wild nature of the Danube Delta, creates a unique atmosphere of light, airy spiritual freedom.
We presented originalities of Vilkovo and the main we’d say that one object having so many unique peculiarities, also represent a unique effect. Let us remind the meaning of word “unique”: One and only.