Red Corner: A Slice of the Time-Frozen Carpathians

Lucia Nimcova Here’s a wonderful little photo essay about a tiny, obscure corner of the Ukrainian Carpathians called Dzembronya.

Slovak photographer Lucia Nimcova describes the location of this small farming town as “in the Chornohora range not far from the Romanian border, in the Carpathian National Nature Park, near the town of Verchovyna, under the highest peak in Ukraine, Hoverla.”

Thanks, Lucia, I’m sure we all know exactly where you’re talking about now!

For those of you unfamiliar with the lay of the land in this part of the world, Dzembronya, simply put, sits in the southeast corner of the Ukrainian Carpathians.

The small town is populated by Hutsuls–a unique ethnographic group of highlanders who live in the Carpathian range and speak a slowly dying dialect that combines elements of Ukrainian, Polish and Russian.

After looking at the photographs, I was surprised to learn that the remote, isolated town is actually somewhat accessible and locals will put visitors up in their houses and feed them. There are fears, however, that the Ukrainian government might develop the area, perhaps as a ski resort, and further endanger this unique slice of culture that won’t survive in its originality if busloads of Western tourists arrive toting skis and snowboards.

Thanks go out to Lucia Nimcova for exposing us to this little slice of the world where time has frozen and the 21st century seems decades away.