Kinburn spit


Natural treasures of southern Ukraine

Kinburn Spit - is a sandy cape located in Ochakiv district of Mykolaiv region. Covering an area of more than 200 hectares while extending for about 40 kilometers in length and up to 10 kilometers in width, Kinburn Spit occupies the western part of the Kinburn peninsula between the Dnieper-Bug estuary and Yahorlyk Bay of the Black Sea.

Kinburn Spit is a part of the Black Sea Biosphere Reserve. It has its own unique microclimate due to its location - on the one hand it is washed by the salty waters of the Black Sea, on the other - by the fresh waters of the Dnieper.

Kinburn Spit - is a unique place, remote from civilization, with nature preserved in its original form. Here, the land is covered with lush herbaceous vegetation, pine and oak forests. More than 500 species of plants, many of which are medicinal, grow here. That is why Kinburn Spit is sometimes called “an open-air pharmacy”. Another attraction of Kinburn Spit is the wild orchids.

A large number of salt and freshwater lakes on the spit create excellent conditions for nesting and wintering for many bird species. Egrets, cranes, pelicans, swans, gulls, sandpipers and other birds frequently nest here.

Kinburn is also known for salt water lakes with medicinal mud. The healing power of the local white clay and mud has comparable therapeutic effect to the Dead Sea treatment.

"The Lost World" with a rich history

Kinburn Spit has always had great importance due to its geographic location. The peninsula had other names - “Borysphenida” in Greek and “The White Shore” in Ancient Russian.

In the times of the Kyivan Rus' one of the main trade routes "from the Vikings to the Greeks", which connected the Baltic and Scandinavian countries with southern regions of the Kyivan Rus and the Byzantine Empire was coming through this area.

Kinburn Spit was home to Prohnoiv administrative unit that belonged to the Zaporizhian Sich. It served as a Cossack port. It was a military outpost, guarding all messengers, salt manufacturers and merchants who were traveling through southern outskirts of Zaporozhian Volnost to Ochakiv, Prohnoi and Crimea.

There are still remnants of the Turkish fortress, built in the 15th century. During the Crimean War, it was conquered and later demolished. An artificial island at the entrance of the Dnieper-Bug estuary was created out what was left from it.

References to the Kinburn Spit can be found in ancient written sources. Its name Kinburn Spit received from the Turkish words "kil" - hair and "burun" - a cape. In the XV century the Kilburun fortress was built here, from which the name of the current geographic peninsula and the spit originated.