Chernivtsi, a capital of the Ukrainian province Bukovyna, is a city in western Ukraine, situated on the upper course of the River Prut. Bukovyna is the place of residence mostly of Ukrainian, Romanian and Moldovian nationalities. Nevertheless Chernivtsi was created by another two ethno cultural elements: Austrian and Jewish.
Together with the city of Lviv, Chernivtsi is viewed at present to be a cultural center of western Ukraine. The city is also considered one of modern Ukraine’s greatest cultural, educational and architectural centers. Historically a cosmopolitan cultural center, Chernivtsi was even dubbed “Little Vienna” and “Jerusalem upon the Prut”. Chernivtsi is currently twinned with seven other cities around the world. The city is a major regional rail and road transportation hub, also housing an international airport.
As Chernivsti was part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, it was closely related to the empire’s culture, including architecture. Main architectural styles present within the city include Vienna Secession and Neoclassicism, Baroque, late Gothic architecture, and fragments of traditional Moldavian and Hungarian architecture, Byzantine architecture as well as Cubism. The city is sometimes dubbed Little Vienna, because its architecture is reminiscent of the Austro-Hungarian capital Vienna.
Chernivtsi is situated conveniently to get some more interesting places of western Ukraine: Khotyn fortress, beautiful town of Kamianets-Podilskyi, ski resorts Myhovo and Bukovel, Trancarpathia etc.
Built according to the project of the Czech architect Joseph Hlavka, the Chernivtsi National University is truly a masterpiece of architecture and one of the main attractions in Chernivtsi. This fantastic red-brick ensemble, with colored tiles decorating its pseudo-Byzantine, pseudo-Moorish and pseudo-Hanseatic wings, is the last thing you’d expect to see here. he architectural ensemble of the main campus of the university, the Residence of Bukovinian and Dalmatian Metropolitans is included on the list of UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The city hall is one of the most distinguished buildings in Chernivtsi crowning the main square of the city. It was built in the 40s of the XIX century and became a decoration of the market square. Thanks to the building of the city hall the market square took the name of the Central square of Chernivtsi. The 50-meter clock tower has an observation deck, which offers excellent views of Chernivtsi. On 12 November 2004 in the city on the Prut River a new tradition was born: at 12 o’clock sharp a trumpeter in the national costume has played “Marichka” on all four sides of the world under the clock tower of the City Hall. A huge crowd of citizens and guests could listen to the magnificent melody of a composer from Chernivtsi – Stepan Sabadash.
Turks left this square as a trace of their short domination in Chernivtsi. This square got its name from the well with the same name. It is known as the Turkish well or the Turkish bridge. The Turkish bridge offers a great view of the Carpathian mountains and nearby villages. Turkish square is small but very cozy and romantic. In addition to the well, notable objects are the floral clock and a huge bike – a gift to the town for the 600th anniversary from the smiths. There is Jewish market near the where you can find Ukrainian embroideries, household items and just all sorts of things.
Theatre square is one of the favorite places for rest in Chernivtsi for both the local and city guests. The most beautiful and significant building here is theater in honor of Olga Kobilyanska, designed by Fellner and Helmer – the authors of the legendary theater in Vienna and Odessa. This theater was built in 1905-1909 years in the Art Nouveau style. But in details other styles such as Baroque, Classical and Renaissance are seen to. Besides the main thing, the theater, there are many other notable buildings. For example, the former Jewish national house, the former Romanian folk house, the house of commercial and industrial chamber. Most of the buildings are mainly of XIX century. Architectural styles vary – pseudo-baroque, constructivism, modern.
Olha Kobylianska Street is a pedestrian street in the city of Chernivtsi. It’s a favorite place among the locals because here, they can enjoy, what else, but walking. If you’re in the mood for a nice stroll, then make your way down to this part of the city. This street is actually named after a famous Ukrainian writer and feminist who resided in this city. Aside from enjoying a nice stroll, there also other things that you can take pleasure in here if you pass by this street. You can find museums, bookstores, a cinema, even bars with a terrace where you can spend a pleasant afternoon or evening in the company of your favorite people. While walking down the street it is normal to find several artists – a painter who does portraits of people passing by, a musician playing the guitar, a kid practicing the saxophone or some young people playing Frisbee. Given the feel, sights and sounds that one can experience here, ask any local to describe Olha Kobylianska and surely they’ll say that it is a prime example of a European street.
Philharmonic square is one of the brightest in the city because its real ornaments are the buildings-pearls of Chernivtsi: it is, first of all, the Philharmonic Hall, the building of the former hotel “Bristol”, where there is a posh restaurant in the basement, and the building of regional Post Office in neo-classical forms with the figures of Greek mythology. Philharmonic square is an embodiment of musical and cultural life of the city. Here hundreds of famous artists played their concerts.
The city’s most unusual church is St Nicholas Cathedral. It’s called the ‘drunken church’, because of the four twisted turrets surrounding its cupola. Painted blue with golden stars, these turrets create an optical illusion, much like an Escher sketch. The cathedral is a 1930s copy of a 14th-century royal church in Curtea de Arges (Romania).
The church was built in 1869-1875. Designed the building architect I. Glavka, by an ensemble of Chernivtsi University. In creating the external appearance of the techniques used and details of Gothic architecture – the lancet windows, facing brick, carved stone and ceramics, especially in the decoration of the dome. The Armenian Church is a sample pseudo-style, popular in the eclectic architecture of the second half of XIX – early XX centuries. Nowadays the building of the Armenian Church serves as an organ hall, as Chernivtsi doesn’t have an Armenian congregation anymore.
This magnificent building was built in the late XIX century. Local inhabitants and tourists know it as a house-ship because of the incredible similarity of its complete image of the ship.Imagination at once completes it with river-streets, running on both sides. The original appearance of the building doesn’t neglect any tourist passing by.
House of the Chernivtsi Art Museum is a unique architectural monument, built in the tradition of the Vienna Secession, Art Nouveau for Bukovyna Savings Bank “Bukovyner Sparkass” (1900) by architects Hubert Gessner and Prokop Šupich. Exterior and interior of the building, made during its construction in general not changed significantly over time, and now is a part of sightseeing.