On Thursday, December 1, Deputy Chairman of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine Mykola Tomenko acting as a head of Organization Committee  of the campaign "7 Wonders of Ukraine" participated in the ceremony of announcing and awarding the winners of the campaign "7 Wonders of Ukraine: Castles, Fortresses and Palaces", which was held in Sofiya Kyivska reserve, ForUm learned from the parliamentary press office.

This campaign, which has been held since 2007 at the initiative of the Fund of public and political figure Mykola Tomenko "Ridna Krayina", started in march 2010. 138 monuments from all regions of Ukraine aspired to receive the title of one of the seven wonders in the category "Castles, Fortresses and Palaces".  According to the results of regional presentations and polling of 100 experts in the spheres of tourism, architecture, history and culture, 21 finalists were determined at the second stage of the campaign. They included 7 castles, 7 fortresses and 7 palaces that competed for the title of seven wonders of Ukraine on August 22.

An open internet-vote was held on the official web-site of the campaign from August 22 to December 1, 2011. Simultaneously, experts all over Ukraine were asked their opinion. These were members of the Organization Committee, representatives of regional committees, heads of state institutions that patronize the development of culture and tourism, representatives of different tour operators, experts in history, culture and tourism. Following the rules of campaign, the Organization Committee determined the winners on the basis of Internet-voting and experts´ opinion (on a 50/50 basis).

On the basis of total Internet and expert voting the Organization Committee determined the following 7 wonders of Ukraine in the category "Castles, Fortresses and Palaces":

Akkerman (Bilhorod-Dnistrovskyi) fortress (Odessa region)

Alupka (Vorontsov) palace (Crimea)

Kamyanets-Podilskyi fortress (Khmelnytsk region)

Lutsk Upper Castle (Volyn region)

Metropolitan palace (Chernivtsi)

Palace in Kachanivka (Chernihiv region)

Khotyn fortress (Chernivtsi region)

Apart from that, the Organization Committee decided to award special distinctions to such objects:

Bakhchysaray (Khan) palace (Crimea) as a unique object of cultural heritage;

Olesk castle (Lviv region) as an outstanding object of cultural heritage;

Kyrylo Rozumovskyi´s palace in Baturyn (Chernihiv region) as a prominent monument of Ukrainian history;

Chyhyryn fortress Residence of Bohdan Khmelnytskyi (Cherkasy region) as a prominent monument of Ukrainian history.

During the solemn award procedure Mykola Tomenko greeted directors of these historical and cultural objects, wished them success in their work and presented them diplomas and figures of campaign winners. "People who received awards are people who solve different problems ranging from small everyday tasks to strategic issues in order to prolong the life of unique castles, palaces and fortresses", said the initiator of the campaign.

M. Tomenko stated that the date of December 1 was chosen on purpose. "20 years ago Ukraine made its choice. We gathered together to show Ukrainian character, Ukrainian spirit", he stressed. "Apart from that, these figures will be presented in a unique place as Sofia Kyivska which is a recognized wonder of Ukraine", added M. Tomenko. He reminded that the reserve became the winner of "7 Wonders of Ukraine" campaign in 2007.

M. Tomenko called "7 Wonders of Ukraine" campaign successful and expressed hope that both Ukrainians and guests from other countries will visit not only top recreation spots but also "the best we have today: castles, palaces and fortresses of Ukraine".

Summing up, M. Tomenko informed that Organization Committee decided that "the campaign ended but the campaign goes on". "Therefore, next fourth stage of the campaign will be called "7 Wonders of Ukraine: Parks of Ukraine". He hopes that "this will give us a chance to urge local governments and businesses to invest into and revive Ukrainian parks".

Deputy Chairman said that on the basis of the results the Organization Committee will publish a booklet "7 Wonders of Ukraine: Ukraine a Country of Wonders". It will be published in Ukrainian, Russian, English and German. It will present the winners and runners-up of the campaign. This booklet will be distributed free of charge in diplomatic missions and hotels during EURO-2012. In addition, it is planned to release DVDs with programs about 21 finalist object of the "7 Wonders of Ukraine" campaign that have been prepared by the ТВі channel. These discs will be distributed free of charge in schools, museums and libraries of Ukraine.

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