A city located in western Ukraine, situated on the upper course of the River Trut in the northern part of the historical Moldavian region of Bukovina. First mentioned in 1408, the city was once part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, and this is reflected in its architecture. Nicknamed “Little Vienna”.
Sunday, 1st June 2014 (afternoon)
The Taras Shevchenko monument in Central Square (Main Square). Taras Hryhorovich Shevchenko (1814-1861) was a poet, writer and artist. He is regarded as Ukraine’s cultural godfather with his work forming the foundation of modern Ukrainian literature and, to a large extent, the modern Ukrainian language. This monument was unveiled in May 1999. The large poster in the background – displaying the dates 1408-2013 – commemorates the 605th anniversary of the first written mention of the city as Chernivtsi.
Looking across Theatre Square (Teatralna Square). Flower beds planted with roses in the centre. The Olga Kobylianska Theatre of Music and Drama stands grandly at the far end. The theatre was built in 1904-5 by the famous Vienna architectural workshop of Fellner and Helmer. It was officially opened on 3rd October 1905 replacing a earlier wooden structure.
Tony in Theatre Square. On the right side – and almost entirely obscured by trees – stands the magnificent four-storey building of the former Trade and Crafts Chamber. Constructed in 1912 and now used by the Medical University.
Tony in front of a bronze statue of Olha Kobylianska in Theatre Square with the theatre immediately behind. Olha Kobylianska (1863-1942) was a modernist writer and feminist. The theatre was named after her in 1954, while the statue was placed in front in 1980.
Tony next to an historic carriage on Olha Kobylianska Street. The horse-drawn carriage is made mostly of iron. Olha Kobylianska Street is a wide pedestrian street paved with cobblestones, which runs south from Central Square. It contains many historic buildings.
The side of the Holy Spirit Orthodox Cathedral. This is the main orthodox church of Bukovina region. Construction began in 1844 and it was consecrated in 1864. There are three domes on the roof, plus two smaller cupolas on towers at the front. The walls are painted bright pink.
Looking from cobbled Ivan Franko Street into Tsentralna Square. The building in front is Chernivtsi Art Museum, which was established in 1988. The building dates from 1901 and was designed by Hubert Gessner as the head office of Bukowiner Sparkasse bank. It is regarded as an outstanding example of Vienna Secession architecture. The front façade features a large mosaic depicting twelve ancient gods symbolising the twelve crowned provinces of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. A pair of stone statues stand on the roof.
A historical city in Chernivtsi Oblast, western Ukraine. It is located south-west of Kamianets-Podilsky on the west bank of the Dniester River. First chronicled on 22nd September 1002 and gained city rights in the 14th century.
Monday, 2nd June 2014
Khotyn Fortress is located on the west bank of the Dniester River on the north-east side of Khotyn city. Its history goes back to the 10th century. A stone fortress was constructed in 1325 and reinforced during the 1380s and 1460s. Two further structures were built in the 15th century by Moldova’s ruler, Stephen the Great. The inner courtyard seen today with its three defensive towers is from Stephen’s design. The fortress has changed hands many times throughout the centuries, including Poles, Ottoman Turks and Romanians before finally falling into the hands of the Russian empire in the 19th century. In 1856 the government ended the use of Khotyn fortress as a military installation. Today it is a tourist attraction.
On a wooden balcony looking into the inner courtyard. Behind Tony is the rectangular entrance tower with the tall crenellated outer wall running on either side. A large round tower stands in one corner.
Back in Chernivtsi
Outside Saint Nikolay Orthodox Church, sometimes known as the “Drunken Church” due to its four unusual twisted turrets. The front two twisted turrets and the larger central dome can be seen in the photo. Constructed between 1927 and 1939, based on a medieval church in the Romanian city of Curtea de Arges.
Wall and railings outside Chernivtsi National University (Yuriy Fedkovych Chernivtsi National University). The dome of the Church of Three Saints, part of the Seminary Building, can be seen behind. Established on 4th October 1875, the university is today a UNESCO World Heritage Site in recognition of its outstanding architecture. Many of the buildings were designed by the Czech architect Josef Hlávka. Guided tours of the university are available in the afternoon.
Tuesday, 3rd June 2014
Overnight trip to Kamianets-Podilskyi (Kamyanets-Podilsky) located in Khmelnytskyi Oblast (Khmelnytski Province). Founded circa 1062 and gained city rights in 1795. Located on the Smotrich River in western Ukraine to the north-east of Chernivtsi. The winding Smotrich River sits in a canyon that almost surrounds the old town providing a natural defence that is almost impregnable to attack.
In a cobbled street outside the Roman Catholic Cathedral of Saints Peter and Paul. Unusually there is a minaret attached to the front. This dates from the 17th century when the Ottomans controlled the city and turned the church into a mosque.
Tony outside the main doorway into the Dominican Church of St Nicholas Church (also known as Monastery Church). Originally built of wood in 1381 as part of a Dominican Monastery. It burned down in 1420 and was reconstructed in stone.
The bell tower of St Stefan Orthodox Church. This is the oldest Armenian Orthodox church in Ukraine. Most of the church is in ruins. Some columns and parts of the five-feet-wide outer walls survive in addition to the bell tower.
Outside the entrance to the Ukrainian Orthodox St Nicholas church. In front a doorway leading through the base of a bell tower and into a courtyard. This church was built of wood in 1398 and reconstructed of stone in 1495. Following the 1672 Turkish invasion it was destroyed and subsequently rebuilt again around 1767.
Wednesday, 4th June 2014
View along a road leading to Kamianets-Podilskyi Castle. In front are the castle’s substantial stone outer walls with several round towers with pointed roofs. Archaeological evidence suggests the castle dates back to the late 12th or 13th century. It was rebuilt and expanded by Polish kings in the 14th century to defend Poland from the south-west against Ottoman and Tatar invasions. The castle guarded the entrance to the old town, which is protected on all other sides by the winding Smotrych River. Some of the walls still have iron cannon balls embedded in them from various attacks.
View of Pope’s Tower, which was built sometime in the 15th or 16th centuries. An artillery arsenal, powder warehouse, treasury and mill were housed here. Ustym Karmeliuk, a prominent peasant rebel leader of the early 19th century, was imprisoned here. He apparently managed to escape from the tower three times!
Still up on the walls with two more towers in view. The one on the left is Tenchynska Tower, which dates from the 14th to 16th centuries. Covered wooden walkways run along the walls in both directions from the tower. On the right is the White Tower (also known as Laska Tower) constructed in the 15th century. This large white-painted tower housed an artillery arsenal.