Archive for the ‘Western and Lviv’ Category

Pochaev, Pochaiv


Pochaev, Pochaiv is the small town known as the second  Ordtodox Monastery of Ukraine. According to some accounts, monastery is formed by monks who fled from the Kyivan Cave Monastery during the Tatar invasion of 1240. In the ending of the 16th century nobleman Anna Goiskaya donated assets, lands and preasure The Virgin icon. In 1675 during the Turks and Tatars attacked monastery was saved by an apparition of the Mother of God. In 18th century, monastery developed it into culture and publishing centre.In the late 19th century an icon painting workshop and a historical museum were established. Many buildings were rebuilt and expanded.

Monastery is situated on the hill of about 50 meters over Pochaev city, set on the cliffside. Complex consists of main Dormition Cathedral in Rococo style,  the monks cells, The Trinity Church,Bell tower (on of the tallest in Ukraine), Assumption Cathedral and the bishop’s residence or The cave churches of St Job and of Sts Anthony and Theodosius.Old legend says that there is underground tunnel connecting Pochaiv and Kiev Pechersk Lavra.



Khotyn, small town with the impressive fortress over the Dniester river. In Ukraine is known as one of the “Ukraine’s seven wonders”. The fortress was the place the most important battle in 1621, which was decided of the fate of Europe. Poland was attacked by Sultan Osman II, Turkish commander. Polish and Cossacks army was thrice smaller than Turks. Everything pointed at fast Osman II victory. But the battle lasted five weeks until ended the peace treaty and the fortress was still impregnable. For the celebration of glory in 370 anniversary of victory monument was erected in honor of Ukrainian Hetman, Petro Sahaidachnyi. In 1718 French military engineers built the New Castle (1200 x 250 m), consisting of a ditch, billow, seven bastions and three gates. In 1856 is became a tourist object and lost the military statue.

The Khotyn fortress was the popular place to filming the movie like The Three Musketeers, Black arrow or Arrows of Robin Hood. Every each year in Khotyn castle is organising reconstruction battle and in spring festival and recostruction “Battle of the nations”.



Ternopil, the city lies along the upper Seret River. Ternopil was formed in 16th century. In spite of destroying wars which the town faced several times, many monuments of architecture, history and culture are survived. In the city centre is located the lake surrounded by a park (only two cities in Europe), which it makes really special place. Like another cities in western part of Ukraine Ternopil has the castle, the pearl of the city. Built in 1540 by the hetman Jan Tarnowsky. Several times castle had destroyed, and finally renoveted in 1951. Nowaday, bulding is the house the exhibition halls and sport centre.
Among the monuments, there is Dominican Church from the 18th century in the European Baroque style. Unfortunately was heavily damaged and later rebuilt in 1953. For several years he was part of the local history museum. In 1992 the church was returned to Ternopil community of Greek Catholics. Others monuments are Vozdvizhenski church from 1570, Church of the Nativity and Shevchenko Drama Theater, which looks really impressive. Among many museums unusual place to visiting is the Museum of Political Prisoners (the largest in Ukraine), which is located in a former KGB jail. The exhibition contains life in the camps in Gulag, repressive methods of the Soviet secret police or look the life under the nationalist regime. Interesting point of the city is three humours monuments in the city centre opened in 2010.

Kamianets-Podilskyi, Kamianets-Podolskyi


Kamianets-Podilskyi, Kamianets-Podolskyi, historical town, where you can feel it in every corner. Kamianets-Podilskyi is situated on the river Smotrych. There are over 200 munemnts in the city. The main attraction is an old fortress built in 11-12th century. Thanks of the location surrounded by a canyon with the river Smotrich, capture the fortification was almost impossible. In 1915 after the october revolution archive it Austria-Hungary army. The fortification with fortres and fortress bridge is considered the best fortification in Eastern Europe. In 1996 National Natural Park „Podolskiye Tovtry” was established and it was beggining to restoration the old town and  growth the tourism.

Walking around the city is great opportunity to admire charming streets and old churchs. Examples of the religion monuments are St. Apostles Peter and Paul Polish cathedral, Turkish minaret, Francisco Polish church or Armenian Nickolas church. Interesting and also tragis fact is that in 1941 was the mass murders of Holocaust (about 23 500 victims). There are organizing excibitions in museums or various festivals. One of the interesting is the festivals of historical reconstruction groups.

Chernovtsy, Chernivtsi


Chernovtsy, Chernivtsi the region where is located in the Bukovina. From 1359 to 1772 the city was the part of the territory of Moldavia. In 1772 the territory of Moldavia was annexed by Austria Empire during the first partition of Poland. Together with Lviv is considered the cultural center of Western Ukraine. In historical part of the city are about 602 monuments of architecture on the list of state registration, 25 of them are of national importance. Old town is great example historical constructions almost untouched ensemble from 19th-20th centuries.

Because of the characteristic architectual Vienna Secession style city, currently is known as the Little Vienna. There is one of the most magnificent monument in all Ukraine The Residence of Bukovinian and Dalmatian Metropolitans, which was inscribed on the Unesco World Heritage Site in 2011. This is the architectual complex built in the 1864-1882 by Czech architect Josef Hlavka. A brilliant examples of 19th century historicist architecture with influence by Byzantine culture. The complex possess a seminary and monastery, cruciform Seminary Church with a garden and park. Currently, residence is the education place, belongs to Chernivtsi Yuriy Fedkovych National University. In old town tourists can find Church of Saint Nicholas, Church of Ascension or Spiridonievskaya Church or chernovtsy city railway station. The city has also a lot of parks and museums. The most extraordinary collection is located in Art Museum: unique icon of glass, carpets and paintings from 19th and 20th century

Kolomyya, Kolomiya


Kolomyya, Kolomiya, city situated in the Ivano-Frankivsk oblast, is the centre of Hutsul cultur. This is special ethno-cultural group inhabited Carpathian mountains between 14th and 18th centuries and preserved the traditional way of life. First mention about Kolomyya was in 1241, when belonged to Prince Danylo Halyytsky. Located in crossroads of important trade ways. From 1349 to 1569 the town was part of the Poland, and in 1589 almost all destroyed. During the first partition of Poland Kolomyya joined to Gabsburgs until the First World War. During the World War II Kolomiya was a place of Jewish ghetto (about 18,000) and in 1943 people were moved to concentration camp in Belzhets.

The biggest attraction of the city is one in the world Museum of Pysanka (Easter egg). There is unique miniature collection of traditional paintings eastern eggs. The exhibition consists of eggs came from almost all regions of the country, but exhibits are also made by the european artists. Another exceptional museum is The Museum of Folk Art about Hutsul and Pokuttia region. The collection is connecting with hutsuls life, their things, clothes etc. Historical monuments in the city worth to see are Annunciation (The Savior) Church, Catholic Church of Virgin Mary, Archangel Michael Church.

Zakarpattia oblast, Carpathian mountains


Zakarpattia oblast with Carpathian mountains the unique geographical area in the southwestern part of Ukraine. Area is also located in Poland, Slovakia, Hungary and Romania. Together with the German forests create unique nature attraction known as Primeval Beech Forests of the Carpathians and the Ancient Beech Forests of German which is inscribed on the Unesco nature list heritage in 2005. Zakrapattia oblast is situated in the Carpathian Mountains, which contributes to the development of active tourism. There are many spa resorts and ski resorts or numerous mineral water springs. One of the most popular and beautiful place in Zakarpattia oblast is mountain lake Synevir, belongs to National Park “Synevir”. Transparent blue water is surrounded by century-old trees.

Besides to active spends time, worth to visit are historical towns: Uzhgorod (one of the most ancient town in Ukraine) and Mukachevo. In Uzhgorod is situated castle from 11th century, which is guard and spiritual defenders of the town. Different attractions are: Bishop’s palace, Catholic church in baroque style, city hall or Museum in Vedmina Yama called“Witch’s Pit”. This is first museum in the open air in Ukraine. The unusual place is Lime-tree alley (the longest in Europe). In Mukachevo is organising home made vine festival-contest “Chervene vino” in January. Similar like in Uzhgorod there is castle called Palanok. In the center of the city is a St.Nickolas statue.



Lviv is the capitol of historical region of Galicia, located in western Ukraine. For many years Lviv belonged to Kievan Rus, for 1340 to 1772 was part of the Crown of the Kingdom of Poland (only for 17 years Hungarian „stole” it). In 1772 during the first partition of Poland Lviv joined to the Habsburg Austrian Empire. until the collapse of the Austro-Hungarian Empire in 1918. Lviv returned to Polish rule until the Red Army took control in 1939. Almost all Jewish inhabitants died under the Germany regime between 1941 and 1944. After wars in 1945 Lviv belonged to The Union of Soviet Socialist Republics until 1991, when Ukraine became independent country.
Poets, artists fell in love with Lviv. Combination of different styles make it unique and special. Old town founded in the Middle Ages which is heart of the city. Perfect connection between old tenement houses and artistic influence from various group culture. In 1998 old town was inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List. Walking through the streets can admire Lviv Opera Theater, baroque-rococo style St. George’s Cathedral which is considered beginning of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church. In Lviv is situated others monuments like Potocki Palace, which curentlly is residence of the president of Ukraine, built in Renaissance Revival architecture style,  Dominican Church of Corpus Christi or Korniakt Palace (used to be king Jan Sobieski resdience, currently this is part of the Lviv History Museum.
Except to attraction in city centrum very important place is Lychakiv Cemetery, where are buried famous people and inhabitants of lviv. One piece of cementary named Cemetery of the Defenders of Lviv is dedicated to Poles and their allies whose died in Lviv during the battles from 1918 to1920. The most tragic, that many young people took part in battles, among the defenders the youngest child was only 9 years old.