MUNDARE MAP EDMONTON
Directions: Exit Edmonton on Hwy 16 east and turn left at Hwy 15.
Distance: 84.1 km, or about 57 minutes, from Edmonton.
An especially fertile farming region, Mundare was settled primarily by former pioneers originating from Halychyna (or Galicia), an area in Ukraine with similar soil and climatic conditions. Murals in the town depict Mundare’s Ukrainian cultural and agricultural history, while the Basilian Fathers Museum preserves Ukrainian customs and religious heritage.
For a rest stop, consider Ukraina Park, which has a covered area with picnic tables. You will also find picnic tables at the tourist information rest area (Sawchuk Street and 50th Avenue) under the giant kubassa known as the world’s largest Ukrainian sausage. This 12.8-metre statue honours Stawnichy’s Meat Processing (5212-50th Street), a family sausage business that started in 1959 in a small grocery store. Today the company smokes sausages in a meat-processing plant that goes through about 9,072 kilograms of pork each week throughout the year, and about 27,215 kilograms a week in the lead-up to Christmas.
Basilian Fathers Museum,
Location: 5335 Sawchuk Street, Mundare.
Info: Open weekdays year-round, 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., and weekends in July and August, 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. Photography in galleries is allowed with prior permission only. Donations are welcome. Wheelchair accessible, with two wheelchairs available at no charge. Call ahead to reserve. 780-764-3887; www.basilianmuseum.org.
The Ukrainian Catholic Church in Canada established its first missionary centre in Mundare. In 1953, they set out to preserve the history and culture of both the early Basilians who served the Beaver Lake settlement and the early pioneers of the area. They achieved this by opening the Basilian Fathers Museum in 1957. The Fathers demonstrated their ongoing commitment by building a new facility in 1991 to mark the centenary of Ukrainian settlement in Canada.
The museum shares the intriguing history of the Basilian order, which takes its name from St. Basil the fourth-century bishop who launched the first monastic rules in what is now Turkey. Exhibits take visitors back to the 10th century, when Ukrainians adopted Christianity, and portray the history of the Basilian Fathers’ mission in east-central Alberta. The museum traces the Ukrainian Catholic Church’s development in Canada from 1902 to the present. It includes Ukrainian settlement history and presents folk relics and Ukrainian Catholic religious artifacts including chalices, vestments, candle holders, and a collection of 16th- and 17th-century liturgical books from Ukraine. Some date from as far back as the 15th century. Be sure to note the original 18th- and 19th-century icons painted on wood panels. The museum also has a gift shop.
Walk across the road from the museum to view the outside of the Basilian Fathers Monastery
Canada’s oldest Basilian Monasterybuilt in 1922. The 1933 grotto-shrine and garden are still used to celebrate Divine Liturgies. In its busiest period, the monastery was home to more than 50 members. On the last Sunday in June, the Feasts of Saints Peter and Paul are celebrated with a liturgy at the grotto.
Grotto at Basilian Fathers Monastery in Mundare