Uzhhorod

Uzhhorod

Uzhhorod, an ancient Ukrainian city with more than eleven centuries history, is a regional centre of Zakarpattia (Transcarpathia). This area, located in the geographical centre of Europe with its beautiful mountains, waterfalls and Alpine valleys can be truly named one of the most picturesque regions of Ukraine. The name of the city derives from the name of the river Uzh ("grass-snake") that separates the old and the new city districts. To-day the population of the city is 130000.

The tourists will certainly enjoy its quite parks, embankments, the central part of the town, the historical and architectural monuments. These include: the Medieval castle of the 10th-16th cc. (its original appearance was restored in the 12thc., to-day it houses the Local Lore Museum and Art Gallery); the neo-Baroque Cathedral ensemble (1646, originally it was a Jesuit Monastery and later in 1773 it became a Greek-Catholic Cathedral, during the Soviet era the cathedral was transferred to the Russian Orthodox Church and now it is once again a Greek-Catholic Cathedral); Goryany Rotunda (12th c., built in the shape of a hexahedron with walls 2-2,5 m thick, ornamentation dating to 1360-70 has been preserved).

Guests of Uzhgorod can enjoy visits to the following sights: The Lore Museum, the Museum of Folk Architecture and Rural Life, Transcarpathian Art Museum, the Memorial F.Manilo Museum, etc.

The woods with diverse wildlife are the main wealth of this region. Here you can find the famous Narcissus Valley - the only preserve in Europe where narcissi grow in their natural condition and surroundings (on 256 hectares). The real pearl of this land is the mountain lake Synevyr ("The Sea Eye").

The Transcarpathia is one of the most popular Alpine skiing areas in Ukraine.
There are over 360 curative water springs in the vicinity of Uzhhorod. Best Ukrainian spas, cardiological and gastroentorological health resorts are located here.

Uzhgorodsky Castle

This stone fortress in Uzhgorod was erected in the llth-12th centuries. Then in the 14th century the castle was handed over to the ownership of the counts of the Druhets, an Italian family of French origin, who owned all the way through the 17th century. From that time on the castle was repeatedly rebuilt for various military purposes. In 1775 the castle was turned into a theological seminary, which operated till 1944. Now you can find here the collections of the Zakarpatsky Museum of Regional Studies and Art Gallery.

The museum of local lore of Zakarpattia

The Museum is situated in the historical part of the town, in the Uzhhorod castle. The museum itself is an architectural monument dating to the 12th-17th centuries. Its collection consists of more than 80,000 original historical objects. The present-day display acquaints the visitors with different periods in the history of the Transcarpathia. It includes natural, historical, religious, cultural and folk arts departments, permanent exhibitions: " National Costumes of Zakarpattia ", "Folk Musical Instruments", "The Casting". The Fine Arts Museum of Zakarpattia is its branch. Its substantial collection includes works by the artists from Ukraine, Hungary, Czech Republic, and Russia.

Full Day Excursion To Mukachevo

While staying in Uzhhorod it is worth to visit another historical place - Mukachevo (to the South-East 40 km, population 90 000). The town was built like a military settlement of the Slavs in the 9thc. It became the place of the fierce battles and during its history it was under the rule of different princes and kings. For a long time like the rest of Transcarpathia it was under the Hungarian and Austrian rule .

One of the most interesting monuments of the past is the Castle that was originally founded as a monastery in 1393. It is located on the rocky mountain (68 m high) and towers over the town and neighbouring valleys. During the Liberation War of the Ukrainian people (17thc), the castle was visited by Bogdan Khmelnytsky's messengers who negotiated with its Hungarian owners about the joint activities against Poland.

In the early 18th c. the castle was purchased by Transilvanian prince Gyorgy I Rakoczi and became the stronghold of the national liberation war of the Hungarians and other local peoples against the Austrian oppression.

Today it houses the historical museum . Another place of interest - a functioning Orthodox Convent for the virgins dating back to the 11th c. It was built at the same time as Kyiv Pechersk (Cave) monastery, its main buildings - the cells (1786) and the St.Nickolas church (1804) - make a beautiful complex on the green slopes of a mountain over the Latorytsia river.


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