THE SPRINGS OF VOLYN REGION IN THE STRUCTURE OF THE SACRED LANDSCAPE
Lesya Ukrainka Eastern European National University, Lutsk, Ukraine
The sacred landscape is a natural anthropogenic system which is associated with certain life symbols, myths, important dates, and religious feelings. It is of extreme importance to a person or a group of people and is paid special attention.
Water has been one of the main sacred symbols in society both in the past and present. In the religious rituals around the world, water has always been given the key role. In Ukraine, among all water sources, springs are often considered sacred. This is due to the legends about the healing power of spring water and the miracles observed in it (connected with religious objects or saints). Sacred springs constitute a special type of water sources. They are used in different rituals, for example, when asking for rain or in the rituals to end a drought.
The studies of the hydrogeological situation in Volyn region show that in the process of springs’ formation, the aquifers of the Neopleistocene, Holocene and Cretaceous deposits play an important role. The groundwater in the given area belongs to the hydrocarbonic class (with the calcium group mainly of the first or second type). The springs of Volyn region are often formed in the valleys of rivers, and ravines. They are supplied by groundwater. This is due to the physical and geographical characteristics of the region.
The peculiarities of the springs in the structure of the sacred landscape are described. The water in these springs is usually transparent, of good quality, and is safe to drink.
The sacred landscape is regarded as a complex system, where not only natural and anthropogenic but also spiritual components interact with each other. Their function is to convey historical information to future generations.
The study describes the spatial, temporal, and morphological structure within the sacred landscape. The spatial structure of the sacred landscape contains the following components:
– landscape structure. It consists of the integral system formations, which are the result of the development of area unities;
– spring. It is the nucleus or the centre of the sacred landscape. It has a spiritual, cultural, healing, aesthetic value for a certain group of people;
– abiotic components include hydrogeological, geomorphological, microclimatic characteristics of the sacred landscape;
– flora and fauna;
– anthropogenic and technological component. It includes a certain infrastructure within the sacred landscape (for example, a paved road leading to the spring, a well, a chapel, a church);
Due to the fact that the springs’ aquifer is usually close to the surface and the water is not pumped, springs require environmental and sanitary care due to the possibility of siltation, drying up, and pollution. That is why this subsystem also plays an important role in landscape functioning.
The most famous water sources in Volyn region, which are also used as pilgrimage and worship destinations, are the following: the spring between the Bug river and its right tributary Luha (not far from Budiatychi in Ivanychivsk raion), the spring in Stara Lishnia village (Ivanychivsk raion), the spring in Laskiv village in Volodymyr-Volynsk raion, the spring in Kivertsi raion (7 km away from Sylne village).
In order to preserve the water springs within the sacred landscape in Volyn region, it is necessary to monitor the ecological situation, to take measures that will ensure not only their conservation but also will improve their aesthetic, ecological, sanitary condition.
spring, sacred landscape, structure, Volyn region.
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Mischenko O. (2018) The springs of Volyn region in the structure of the sacred landscape. Visnyk Kyivskogo nacionalnogo universytetu imeni Tarasa Shevchenka, Geografiya [Bulletin of Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv, Geography], 3 (72), 88-93 (in Ukranian, abstr. in English).