Chernovtsy is a city in the western part of Ukraine, located on the river Prut. It is the centre of green Bukovina. The Chernovtsy area borders on Moldova and Romania. The city is nice for the palaces and temples. Chernovtsy has collected the symbiosis of monuments of architecture which is today an architectural ornament of Vienna, Prague and Paris.
The population of the city is about 248 thousand people. Chernovtsy has been inhabited by different nationalities for a long time, such as Ukrainians, Jews, Romanians, Austrians, Armenians. Local people are called chernovchane. They suppose that the city name has originated from the name of a populous fortified city on southern boundaries of Galitskaya power which was called “Chern'” (Common people) or “Chernyi gorod” (the Black city). Probably, this name has appeared from the look of black oak walls of a fortress overlaid with chernozem (black soil).
The first written mentions about the city have been found in manuscripts of 1408. At that time the city was located at the cross of the roads from northwest Europe to the Balkans and to Turkey, therefore it became the centre of fairs and an administrative centre of the whole region.During its existence the city has been destroyed several times, it was under the oppression of Ottoman Empire, a part of Austro-Hungarian Empire, and after that it passed to Romania.
In 1940 Bukovina was divided into Northern (belonging to the USSR) and Southern (remaining as a part of Romania) parts. Chernovtsy was occupied by Red Army and became a part of USSR.After joining to the USSR the machine-building and chemical enterprises have been created. The chain of large instrument-making factories was created, basically of a defensive maening.The growth of industry demanded special tranning of appropriately skilled workers, the science also developed actively. The city population considerably increased, and geographical borders extended accordingly. The city was a large railway junction; the airport started functioning. Architectural constructions of old Chernovtsy are the main value of the city. A work of art of known Czech architect Joseph Glavka is the former residence of Bukovina metropolitans, nowadays it is the building of Chernovtsy University.
The climate of the Chernovtsy area is moderate, with soft winter and in warm summer. Mid-annual temperature - 7,9 °C. The absolute minimum of temperature was fixed on January, 11th, 1940-31,5 °С. The absolute maximum of temperature was fixed on August, 20th, 1946 - 37,7 °С.
Average wind speed is - from 3,3 km/s in July to 4,0 km/s in January. Mid-annual humidity of air is 77 %.
Getting to Chernivtsi:
Chernivtsi has its own small airport among others serving flights to Kiev, Athens, Istanbul and Naples. Other nearby airports are Ivano-Frankivsk, Ternopil, Lviv and Suceava (Romania). Carpatair flies directly to Chernivtsi for reasonable prices from Timisoara, where you can have connection flights to destinations around Southern Europe.
You can get to Chernivtsi by train either from Romania or from the Ukraine. The train from Kiev or Lvov is probably the best option as they are comfortable and cheap.
There is a daily bus to Chernivtsi from Suceava. The bus from Chernivtsi to Suceava leaves at 07:00 every day and it takes 2 hours or so to reach Suceava in Romania. The central bus station is NOT close to the train station, but cabs are very cheap in Chernivtsi.
Places to visit:
Numerous monuments of architecture, culture and nature can be of great interest for visitors. Wooden churches are the oldest sacral buildings survived: St. Mykola Church (1607, Sagaydachnyy Street), Church of Ascension (the 17th century, Boryspilska Street) and Church of Assumption (1783). Their features are typical for the Bukovinian constructions (very similar to those used in folk houses construction) and they have high steep roofs. The Church of the Nativity of the Holy Mother (1767) in baroque style with seven domes, hard walls and defence gallery can be found in the western suburbs of Chernivtsi (in Gorech). Its interior is interesting for fresco paintings. St.Cross Erection Cathedral (1814, arc. Genikoris, 20 Holovna St.) and the City Hall with its high graceful tower were built in a classic style and rise in the centre of the city. The City Hall has a form of trapezium with a garden inside. Doric pilasters and pediments dominate in the central part of the facade.
Strict classic forms together with Byzantine and old-Ukrainian traditions point out Greek-Catholic Church of Assumption of Holy Mother in Ruska Street (1821), Orthodox Church of St. Praxedia (1843-1863, arc. Pavlovskyy, icons by E. Maximowicz) and Cathedral of The Holy Spirit (1844-1864, arc. A. Roell, 85 Holovna St.). The Interior of this monumental Orthodox Cathedrals is decorated with wall paintings of the 19th century by a group of artists, headed by K. Jobst. A monumental dome of the church over the main nave and transept dominates in the architectural complex.
Sadgora the “Jewish Vatican” of the 19th - the first half of the 20th century was an important centre of religious life of the Jewish community of Chernovtsy. Synagogues and Palace of Chassid Tsadyk (Rabbi) stayed there. Unfortunately, only the ruins of that place have remained. Sadgora is often visited by Chassid-Jews from the USA, Israel and other countries.
The Central Square was completed in the early 20th century. A monument "Pieta" was erected at the square in 1827. Its construction was financed by Lazar Mychailovych, a Chernivtsi citizen. The theme borrowed from Michelangelo's artwork, represented the sorrowful Virgin with her dead Son on her lap and angels on both sides paying homage. Made of sandstone, the monument had been standing until 1924 when Romanian authorities replaced it with the monument "Reunion". After the World War II a monument to Vladimir Lenin was installed there, which was dismantled in October, 1991.
One of the oldest buildings in the square is the former Hotel Paris, now a shop at the corner of Holovna and Ruska Streets. Farther on, building No. D10 at the corner of Ruska Street and Central Square used to be the mansion of Anton Kohanovsky, a long term Chernivtsi mayor. At the turn of the 20th century the building hosted Pardini's bookshop. The former Hotel Belle View ("Nice View") between Kobylyanska Street and Holovna street still attracts attention. The present Chernivtsi Institute of Trade and Economics used to be an Under Blacl Eagle Hotel more than one hundred years ago.
Another building in Art Nouveau style is the former Directorate of Bukovinian Saving Bank, now the Art Museum. The building was built at the spot of the old one-storey Hotel Russia. It is one of the best examples of Art Nouveau style in Chernivtsi. The combination of monumental art and architecture, the application of ceramics, sculpture, decorative wrought iron and stained-glass windows -- all these are characteristic of Art Nouveau style, as the harmonious combination of exterior and interior is.
Theatre Square, known as Elizabeth Square and earlier as Fish Square, is a favourite recreation place of many Chernivtsi residents.It took 40 years to complete the architectural complex around the square. In the early 19th century it was a city suburb. From time to time city authorities arranged wolf battees there. Later on, a small brickyard was built, and in the middle of the 19th century military stores were constructed. Active reconstruction of this area began in the 1990’s.
The theatre was a dominant building in construction of the square. There had been an old wooden theatre built in 1877. Because of the risk of fire, the decision to build a new theatre was made. The Fellner and Helmers firm of Vienna was chosen to plan and construct the building. This firm had already constructed 43 theatres all over Europe. The curator of the project in Chernivtsi was Ferdinand Fellner. The main work was done under his guidance. Certain elements of Renaissance style are predominant in the exterior design. As for the interior, its decor is Baroque, with a perfect combination of white and golden colours. The facade of the building is decorated with a sculptural grouping having a Greek mythology motif. Marble busts of outstanding people were placed in tympana. Its inaugural event took place on October 4,1905.
The construction of yet another place of interest, the Palace of Justice, began in Theatre Square on March 2, 1904. In October, 1906, the work was completed.
In 1908 the Jewish House (now the Palace of Culture) was built in Art Nouveau style. It was constructed due to the efforts of Henrich and Josephina Wagner. It should be noted that each large national community of Chernivtsi had its national house.The Trade and Crafts Chamber, also in Art Nouveau style, was built in 1908-1910. Now it is the site of the Bukovinian Academy of Medicine. The project was prepared on com¬petitive grounds by architect Fridrich Gottesman. The building consists of four stories and an attic. There is a frieze on the façade with sculptures of the ancient Roman gods Mercury and Gala, patrons of trade and travels. They hold cornucopias in their hands. One can see enamel shields with the crafts symbols on them all along the facade.
The ensemble of Theatre Square was completed in 1937 with the present Officers House, built in Constructivism style. The author of the project was M. Kriange.It took many years to arrange the square. The issue was first discussed at a Magistrate hearing in 1908. The plans of Pauschek and Valle appeared then. They presupposed the presence of green plantations, rose bushes in particular, a fountain in the centre of the square and a small waterfall at the theatre side.
Green arbours, decorative vases, and bench¬es were also elements of the project. Obviously, the war interfered with this plan. Arrangements for construction took place only in 1936. The square was made two metres deeper, and a newly formed hollow was filled with green grassy slopes and bushes all along. The general look of the square has been preserved with some minor changes to our day.
The best samples of architecture in Chernivtsi were created by the consummate genius of masters. The residence of Bukovinian metropolitans stands out among them. It was built in 1864-1882. Planning and constructing were done by Joseph Hlavka (1831-1908), a famous Czech scientist, architect, cofounder of the Prague Academy of Arts and Sciences, and a person responsible for many buildings in his motherland and abroad. The residence was built at the place of episcopate. It attracts with its unusual look, reminiscent of a medieval castle. High brick walls are decorated with ceramic and fretted stone. Straight towers, butt-ends and pointed ledges with high merlons. The steep slopes of the roof are decorated with white, blue, green and brown glazed tiles. All this gives the impression of eternity, sublimity and festivity.
The composition of the complex is extremely plain and efficient. The courtyard is encircled with buildings on three sides. At the centre one can see the metropolitan palace with the main entrance and the domed St. Ivan of Sucheava's Chapel at the left. The huge vestibule with heavy columns and a 2-meter high Marble Hall with an adjoining gallery over it are the most imposing premises. On the right wing of the palace is a building with clock tower, which used to be a chorister school and visitors' premise. On the left is a seminary building with a church.
The residence of Bukovina metropolitans was highlighted at the world industrial exhibition in Paris. There is also a dendrology park in the complex. It is encircled with a 3-metre high stone wall and covers an area of 5 hectares. Most of the rare specimens of trees are mingled with the native ones: maples, lime trees, oaks and hornbeams. They make up a solid defensive line all around the park. This line is supposed to provide the park with total isolation thus creating the idea of absolute serenity.
The park entrance completes the regular part of the complex with its buildings and the garden. There is a monument to J. Hlavka built in 1937 by sculptor A. Seveiyn. A fir tree, as old as the park, grows near the monument. Next to it there are two pools with fountains.Behind this façade the park unfolds. A path leads to a small pool with weeping willows, Soulange magnolia, and katalpa. It is one of the most picturesque nooks. From there the paths dis¬perse. The park, with asymmetric tree planting and meadows, has preserved some elements of ornamental design: artificial hills, garden benches, a large stone grotto, and sculptures. One of the park wonders is a "three-legged" apple-tree. Its crown was an understock for two grafts from neighbouring trees that formed to¬gether this botanical wonder.
Now the residence has become one of the oldest universities in Ukraine, Chernivtsi National University, named after Juri Fedkovitch. The University opened on October 4, 1875, due to the efforts of Konstantin Tomashchuk, a well-known Bukovinian politician, who managed to persuade the Austrian Govern¬ment to choose in favour of Chernivtsi. The city community awarded him with the title of honorary citizen in1876). The University has stimulated the development of culture and education in Bukovina and given rise to a generation of intellectuals.
It falls as a ray from the Central Plaza, passing the merry musicians at the Civil Registry Office to linger a little next to the Cathedral, and then rushes on to the German House. Just like the majority of such streets, it is not too long (600 m) and it's a pedestrian area. And of course, a visitor cannot only take a walk, but also have to have a meal or buy a souvenir.There still live those citizens of Chernivtsi who remember Panska Street being washed with soap several times a day, and the merchants bringing goods from the suburban districts of Rosha or Monastyrska who had to wipe their feet before stepping on the cobblestones of the street. Dirty carts that came into the city from the country were not allowed to enter the Chernivtsi VIP block.
Down the street on the left, a building with a graceful tower comes into the view. This used to be the coffee house of "Gabsburg", and now it's a department of the National Bank of Ukraine.All the buildings here are unique in their architecture. Among them No. 36 – the Polish National House with its modernized Renaissance attic (architect, F. Skovron, 1905), as well as No. 53, the German National House (architect, Gustav Frich, 1908) are, where Medieval motifs are re-interpreted in the manner of neo-romanticism and "yugenstyle", the style of traditional national architecture. Wall-paintings in the interior were made by Alfred Offner. Now the corresponding Polish and Austrian-German cultural communities are located in these buildings.
The area of Philharmonic Square is cozy and charming. It is not surprising, that this square (by the way, one of the oldest in city) has so often changed its name: there were such names as Rudolfplatz or Dachia, then the Square of Victory. Old residents gave this place a familiar name, Flour Square. This referred to the flour you were able to buy here in first half of the 19th century when this scrap of ground had a powder warehouse, a grocery warehouse (in 1777), a brick-works, and even a military barracks (in 1787) and prison (in 1787). Gloomy surroundings, of course.
The active reconstruction of Philharmonic Square began in the middle of the 19th century. It became the centre of city musical life. The Bukovinian Music Society building was built there in 1876-1877. Famous musicians, composers and singers, such as Lysenko, Rubinstein, Karusi, Rusnak, and Tal, presented concerts in this building. At the beginning of the 20th century the Ukrainian anthem "Shche ne vmerla Ukraina", rang out while a multinational audience, including representatives of the Austrian government were standing in Philharmonic Hall. In this hall many famous artists began their musical careers.
Another adornment of the square is the five storey hotel "Bristol," a wonderful example of late Art Nouveau style. Its "rooms" now house students of Buckovinian Medical University. Near to this "skyscraper" there is an especially decorative old pig-iron water-column -- greetings from those times when functionality of a subject went side by side with aesthetics. But good! Even the fence near the "Bristol" is modeled on the sample of its predecessor of 30's years of XX century. The square also retains ancient storm gutters.
Philharmonic Square is filled with details; they are hidden from an inattentive eye, but are easily noticed if one looks. A beautiful two-storey stone house at the corner of Beethoven and Zankovetska Streets is decorated with a dome. there is a weather-vane with a symbol of a so-called dog eye above the dome.
Walking along Holovna Street you will see the so-called “Passage” house. This is an apartment house of the early 20th century with unusual wooden balconies, plasterwork and insertions of glazed bricks. Nearby there is an ensemble of secession buildings: hotel “Kyiv” (former “Palace”) and buildings 48 and 50. There is a number of interesting dwelling houses of different architectural styles in L. Ukrainka Street and hotels of the early 20th century – “Bristol” (11, Zankovetska Str.) and “Golden Lion” (1904, 1, Khudiakov Str.)
There is a number of large hotels in the city, where you can book a room in advance or upon your arrival in the city. Payment in such hotels can be in cash or by a cashless settlement. The hotels have restaurants with a rich variety of Ukrainian and European dishes.
Over 300 modern restaurants, bars, pizza shops and coffee shops are in operation, to satisfy the tastes of both Chernovtsi citizens and guests of the city. There you will be offered traditional dishes of Ukrainian and Hutsul cuisine: borshch, potato pancakes, dumplings, pancakes, mushroom broth and salted mushrooms, mushrooms stewed in sour-cream, baked fish, home-made smoked foods, cabbage rolls, hominy and banosh, brynza (sheep cheese), many other delicious national dishes and specialties, and also a broad variety of European dishes. At food establishments you will also be offered a broad variety of beer, alcoholic and soft drinks made in Ukraine and abroad.
Approximate cost of breakfast is 10 UAH, lunch - 10-25 UAH, dinner - 20-50 UAH. Most restaurants offer table service. Payment: cash, cashless settlement.
Cuisines: Ukrainian, Hutsul, Georgian, Chinese, Korean, European. Work schedule of hotel restaurants: from 8 a.m to 11 p.m. Work schedule of most restaurants, bars, coffee shops: from 12 noon - to 11 p.m.
photo. Ukraine. Chernovtsy
photo. Ukraine. Chernovtsy
photo. Ukraine. Chernovtsy
photo. Ukraine. Chernovtsy
photo. Ukraine. Chernovtsy