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.
There are many places which attract citizens of Chernivtsi and the visitors: Drama Theatre, Regional Philharmonic Society, Organ and Chamber Music Hall, puppet-theatre, Museum of Local Lore, History and Economy, Museum of Fine Arts, Bukovynian Diaspora Museum, Museum of Folk Architecture and Way of Life, memorial museums of writers, the Central Palace of Culture.
The city of Chernivtsi has a lot of architecturally important buildings. Many historic buildings have been preserved, especially within the city’s center. However, after years of disrepair and neglect, the buildings are in need of major restoration.
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.
The main architectural attractions of the city include: the Chernivtsi Drama Theater (1905); the Chernivtsi University—UNESCO World Heritage Site (1882); the Regional Museum of Fine Arts—the former savings bank (1900); the Regional Council—former Palace of Justice (1906); and the Chernivtsi Palace of Culture—former Jewish National House (1908); among many others. The magnificent Moorish Revival Czernowitz Synagogue was heavily damaged by fire in 1941, the walls were used to create the “Chernivtsi” movie theater.
The Czech architect Josef Hlávka designed, in 1864–1882, the buildings that currently house the Chernivtsi State University. They were originally the residence of the Bukovinian and Dalmatian Metropolitans. The Romanesque and Byzantine architecture is embellished with motifs of Ukrainian folk art; for example, the tile roof patterns duplicate the geometric designs of traditional Ukrainian embroidery.
Chernivtsi is situated conviniently to get some more interesting places of western Ukraine: Khotyn fortress, beautiful town of Kamyanet-Podilskyi, ski resorts Myhovo and Bukovel, Trancarpathia etc.
How to get there
– Nearest airport