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Ancient foundations of the modern cities

All travels around the region start from the regional centers: Ivano-Frankivsk, Lviv, Ternopil, Uzhhorod, Chernivtsi which are called gates to the Carpathians. They charm by the beauty of historical ensembles and richness of historical monuments, calm and silent medieval streets. Along the way to the Carpathians you should stop for a day in one of the regional centers and you for sure come back here again and again to realize the charm of the hoary antiquity in combination with the present.

Ivano-Frankivsk (Stanislaviv or Stanislav before 1962) is a royal free city that stretches between the Bystrytska Nadvirnianska and Bystrytska Solotvynska rivers in the foothills of the colorful Carpathians not far from the ancient Halych, the capital of the Halych-Volyn principality.

In 1662 the city acquired the Magdeburg Law. It was established in the place of the village of Zabolottia as a fortress for protection from the raids of Crimean Tatars and as a base station of Polish magnates Potostky in the Halych land. Stanislaviv started from Market square and city hall, which have preserved for the present days but slightly modified. Design of the town outskirts, its streets, temples reflected the ideas of the Renaissance about the "ideal city".

Lviv is an ancient Ukrainian city, one of the biggest cultural, economical and transport centers of Ukraine. The first mention about it dates back to 1256. The city is situated in the valley of the Poltva River, the tributary of the Bug. Lviv was founded by the Prince of Halych Danylo Romanovych who named the town in honour of his son Lev. In 1356 according to the norms of the Magdeburg Law Lviv was given the autonomy. The city of Lviv played a special role in the Ukrainian nation's history. It was a spiritual center for Ukrainians, their center of the social and political, economical, cultural and educational life. At the same time Lviv became the bright page in the history of Polish, Jewish, German, Armenian people. The city takes the first place in Ukraine by the number of historical and architectural monuments. It is distinguished for its unique beauty, monuments, and variety of architectural styles. The central part of Lviv is included in the UNESCO world heritage.

Ternopil is an ancient Halych city called "blooming capital of Podillia" is situated on the Seret River (the left tributary of the Dniestr river). It's attractive tourist destination.

From the beginning Ternopil was a fortress for Podillia protection from Tatars attacks. The first mention about Ternopil as a property of crown Hetman Yan Tarnavskyi dates back to 1540. In the center of the city the ancient temple of the original architecture, the Christmas Church or as so-called Serednia, feast our eyes. It belongs to the most ancient building of Ternopil and is situated nearby the former city banks not far from the Kamianetska gate. Ivan Franko, Solomia Krushelnytska, Les Kurbas and other famous Ukrainian authors added a vivid page to the city chronicle.

Uzhgorod is one of the ancient cities of Ukraine celebrating its 1100 anniversary. There are different versions regarding the origin of the city name. One of the them is connected with a city location above the Uzh River. The Uzhgorod has a very attractive and diversified architectural face. Despite the fact that castle, temples, administrative and dwelling buildings belong to the different epochs and architectural styles the city always looks like unique ensemble uniting the hoary antiquity and the presence.

Today Uzhgorod is not only a city with considerable economical potential and abundant natural resources but a land that has endowed Ukraine with lots of famous scientists, gifted painters, writers, masters of stage, competent specialists on different spheres of national economy.

Chernivtsi is an ancient city situated in the colorful foothills of the Caprathians, on the bank of the Prut River. Bukovyna is called the Carpathian beauty, land of beech forests, "eastern Switzerland". The unique wooden architecture, colorful mountain landscapes, combination of different cultures create the original image of the beautiful Bukovyna land.

The first mention about Chernivtsi dates back to 1408. The city is famous for its sons: Volodymyr Ivasiuk, Pavlo Tseliana, Sydor Vorobkevych, Khaim Melamud. In 1905 the Nobel Prize laureate Ervin Chargaf was born.


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The opinions expressed herein are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of USAID, Freedom House or PAUCI.

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