From 1-14 May follow the Soloveiko Songbird trail to discover the songs and stories of Ukraine as part of EuroFestival.
The Soloveiko Songbird - nightingale in English - is the national bird of Ukraine and a symbol of song and happiness.
12 Soloveiko from different Ukrainian regions have travelled to Liverpool, bringing their songs and stories to the city. Find below a full list of where each Soloveiko will be alongside information on each region’s unique beauty and mythology.
You can also plan your route around each one by following this handy map.
1. Mann Island - Crimea
This Soloveiko came to Liverpool from sunny Crimea, the peninsula in the southernmost part of Ukraine. Nestled on the northern coast of the Black Sea, Crimea is a place of enchanting beauty and deep historical significance. It’s famous for its rugged cliffs, crystal-clear waters, picturesque landscapes and wineries. Crimea is a historical land of Crimean Tatars with their own culture, traditions and architecture.
Crimea was a favourite place for Ukrainians to go on holidays before Russia occupied it in 2014.
From the haunting melodies of traditional Crimean Tatar music to the lively beats of modern pop, there's a song here for every taste.
2. Liverpool Parish Church Gardens - Northwest of Ukraine
This Soloveiko came from northwest Ukraine, a region that is rich in history, culture, and folklore.
The region is known for its unique mythological creatures. You’ll probably meet Mavka in the forest, a stunning young lady-spirit, that would try to kill you (only if you are a young and attractive male), but no worries, one of the forest spirits Chugaister will save you from her and sing a song that will take you into a crazy dance.
This region is also known for its vibrant folk culture, with many traditional songs and dances still practised today.
3. Liverpool ONE - Chavasse Park - Odesa
This Soloveiko brings a sea breeze from Odesa, the Pearl of the Black Sea. Odesa is a city like no other - a unique blend of history, culture, and seaside charm. With its grand architecture, bustling markets, and vibrant nightlife you can feel the infectious energy and humour of its people. From the street performers to the cafe owners, everyone here seems to have a zest for life that's impossible to ignore. Odesa is famous for its beaches and for the warm hospitality - in Odesa, you're guaranteed an experience you'll never forget.
Odesa is a place where the music never stops and the spirit of celebration is always in the air.
4. Liverpool Pier Head St Nicholas Place - Kharkiv
This Sloveiko came from Kharkiv, the second-largest city of Ukraine. It boasts a stunning array of architectural marvels in Freedom Square, the 8th largest city-centre square in Europe. Kharkiv is a city with a rich architectural heritage, where different styles blend together. One of the most prominent styles is the Constructivist style, which is characterised by functional forms and geometric shapes. This style can be seen in many of the city's public buildings, such as the State Academic Opera and Ballet Theater and the Derzhprom complex.
The city is also home to many talented musicians, with a thriving indie and rock music scene with many underground clubs
5. Hartley Quay Royal Albert Dock - Kyiv
This Soloveiko came from Kyiv, the capital of Ukraine, a cradle of Kyivan Rus.
Kyiv is one of the oldest cities in Europe, founded more than 1,500 years ago. Over the centuries it has been the centre of trade, religion, and politics playing a pivotal role in shaping the culture and history of Ukraine.
Today Kyiv is a modern and vibrant city that's known for its stunning landmarks, such as the golden-domed St. Sophia Cathedral built in the 11th century, the majestic Kyiv Pechersk Lavra, and the iconic Independence Square - Maidan. It's also a city that's famous for its rich cultural scene, with an array of theatres, museums, and galleries that showcase the best of Ukrainian art and culture.
Kyiv is a place where all the melodies of Ukraine merge together.
6. Liverpool ONE Thomas Steer’s Way - The Ukrainian Carpathians
This Soloveiko came from the Ukrainian Carpathians, a magnificent and awe-inspiring mountain range that stretches across the western region of Ukraine. This natural wonderland boasts stunning landscapes, rugged terrain, and a vibrant culture that is rich in history and tradition. You can find charming villages, crystal-clear streams, and vast expanses of untouched wilderness. The Carpathian Mountains have a rich musical tradition with various folk songs and dances that have been passed down through generations.
The music of the Carpathians is known for its lively rhythms and unique melodies, often played on traditional instruments such as the trembita, a long wooden horn, and the tsymbaly a type of hammered dulcimer.
Whether you're enjoying the breathtaking mountain views or dancing to the lively tunes, the music of the Ukrainian Carpathians is sure to leave a lasting impression.
7. Bluecoat - East of Ukraine
This Soloveiko came from the East of Ukraine, home to some of the most beautiful natural landscapes. One of its gems is the Luhansk region, which is known for its vast fields that are perfect for feeding horses. It’s home to a number of stud farms where thoroughbred horses are raised with great care and attention to detail. They go to their new owners in all corners of the planet.
East regions kept the traditions of folk songs. In ancient times, the manner of singing was influenced by natural conditions: the wide steppe, the wind, and the scorching sun, creating a unique singing technique of projecting one syllable for a very long time.
8. Royal Albert Dock Gower Street - Central Ukraine
This Soloveiko came from central Ukraine. Here modern innovation meets ancient tradition. In the Dnipropetrovsk region, you'll discover Petrykivka painting which is a traditional Ukrainian decorative painting style. Here you will find Kryvyi Rih city, the pride of Ukraine's mining industry. Landscapes reddened by oxidized iron ore are referred to as Mars. Not only the lands are crimson but also the lakes. Descendants of the ancient Trypil culture live in the Vinnytsia region.
But these are just a few of the many regions that make up central Ukraine, each with its own unique character and charm. The music of central Ukraine is as diverse and dynamic as the people who call it home. So let the melodies of the Soloveiko birds lead the way, and immerse yourself in the enchanting rhythms and harmonies.
9. St George’s Hall - Donetsk Region
This Soloveiko came from the Donetsk region in eastern Ukraine, a land of contrasts - from the bustling industrial city of Donetsk to the charming historical and architectural reserve in Slovyanogirsk. Mariupol, a Ukrainian port city on the coast of the Sea of Azov, boasts a collection of stunning mosaics created in the 1960s that are a must-see for art lovers.
Donetsk region has made significant contributions to Ukraine's diverse and vibrant music culture. One of the most prominent styles is Donbas folk music is characterised by its melancholic melodies and distinct vocal style.
This region is under the occupation of russia. It ruined a lot of cultural heritage, especially in Mariupol, a city that is almost completely destroyed.
10. Liverpool Parish Church Gardens - Chernihiv
This Soloveiko came from the North of Ukraine, Chernihiv, a city that has stood the test of time. Founded at the end of the 7th century, it is one of the oldest and most historic cities in the country. With its cobblestone streets, majestic cathedrals, and stunning parks and gardens, Chernihiv is a place of timeless beauty and charm. Semargl, half-dog half-bird is a mythical creature that guards this ancient city.
Chernihiv's musical heritage is diverse and rich, reflecting the city's long and storied history.
11. Mann Island Atrium - Lviv
This Soloveiko came from Lviv city, the cultural heart of Ukraine that can be called an open-air museum. This beautiful city is known for its charming old town and colourful architecture. It's a city that's steeped in history, and its beautiful landmarks, such as the magnificent Lviv Opera House and the stunning Lviv City Hall are testaments to its rich heritage.
Lviv is a place for gastro tourism. Visiting a restaurant in Lviv in terms of impressions can be compared to going to an exhibition or a museum.
Lviv is also known for its rich music scene and has produced some of Ukraine's most iconic musicians and bands. From folk music to jazz, Lviv has it all, and the streets are often filled with the sounds of live music.
12. Liverpool Lime Street Station - South of Ukraine
This Soloveiko came from the South of Ukraine, a region of natural beauty and rich history. From the scenic beaches of Kherson to the majestic Dnipro River in Zaporizhzhia, this region offers a diverse array of experiences. Zaporizhzhia city is a hub of Ukrainian Cossack history. Cossacks were a military class of people who were known for their bravery and combat skills. They formed self-governing communities and they're a symbol of the free spirit of Ukrainians.
Kherson city is known for its agriculture, with fertile soil that produces a variety of crops including grapes, famous watermelons, and tomatoes.
The South of Ukraine has a rich musical heritage, with a variety of traditional folk songs and dance styles.
Find out all about the 24 commissions transforming the city as part of EuroFestival here.