Chernivtsi city tour, trips to Kamianets-Podilskyi and Khotyn Fortress

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Chernivtsi old city walking tour

Sightseeing tour along historic part of Chernivtsi. It will take you 3 hours and 3.5 km of walking. Tour begins in the oldest part of the city – the Turkish square situated nearby the former Holy Cross square. Then you will visit the main squares of Chernivtsi – Philharmonic, Central, Cathedral, Theater and walk along the ancient streets that have preserved historic buildings – Golovna, Kobylianska, Universytetska and others. The tour ends at the former Residence of Bukovynian Metropolitans.

During the tour you will get acquainted with the history and the urban environment of a bygone era of Chernivtsi, see the best examples of European architecture of the XIX-XXth cent., including:
– former Residence of Bukovynian Metropolitans, built in 1864-1882 – gem of Chernivtsi, the World Cultural Heritage UNESCO;
– The Olga Kobylianska Theater of Music and Drama that adorns the Theater square since 1905 – creation of Viennese architects Fellner and Helmer;
– the City Hall, which since 1847 remains the seat of municipal government;
– the building of Arts Museum – one of the most exquisite monuments of modernism, former Directorate office of the Savings Bank;
– Cathedral of the Holy Spirit – the main Orthodox church of Bukovina, consecrated by Metropolitan Eugene Hakman in 1864;
– Regional administration building, built in 1906 as the Palace of Justice with two lions on both sides of the entrance. It's also known as "house with lions";
– Catholic Church of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross – the first stone temple in Chernivtsi downtown that was built in 1814;
– "Ship-house", which from the end of the XIX century, as if floating among the streets of Chernivtsi.


Residence of Bukovynian Metropolitans

The excursion includes visiting the UNESCO World Heritage monument – former Residence of Bukovynian and Dalmatian Metropolitans that was built by the famous Czech architect Josef Hlavka in 1864-1882. The Chernivtsi University is located here now.

In the main building of this palace there was situated the apartment of Metropolitan, where he worked and rested, luxurious halls, where he had an audience with distinguished guests. The Synodal Hall impress with its beauty and greatness. Unfortunately, it was damaged by fire in 1944. The current view of the Synodal Hall is only a copy, which was created by restorers. The fire did not destroy the Red Hall – meeting room of the Holy Synod. Its interior is preserved in its original form. The walls of the Red Hall are decorated with Chinese silk, the wooden ceiling is decorated with ornaments and the floor is covered with parquet made of red beech, oak and green linden. There are huge Venetian mirrors on one of the walls.

The guests will have an opportunity to visit the Church of the Three Prelates, surrounded by the seminary building, which was constructed like a horseshoe. The seminary was on the second floor of the building and on the first floor was the Theological Faculty of Chernivtsi University, which also works today.


Day trip to Kamyanets-Podilsky and Khotyn fortress

As one of the oldest cities in Ukraine, Kamyanets-Podilsky has more than one hundred historical and architectural monuments that reflect the cultures of the seven ethnic groups residing in the town. With its unique heritage and landscape of canyon of the river Smotrych "The Old Town" was proclaimed the state historical-architectural reserve. It hasn't any architectural additions from 20th century.

Kamyanets-Podilsky was founded as a stronghold of the Podillya that had an important geopolitical position on the border between the Christian and Muslim cultures, crossing land and water routes. Therefore the town's main monument is an ancient fortress, which first buildings back to the 11th century, with the Medieval Castle (16th-18th centuries). The defensive fortifications of the city are considered an excellent example of the best fortifications in the Eastern Europe. Other surviving architectural masterpieces in Kamyanets-Podilsky are:
– City Hall (17-18th century) – Which houses the Polish right for centuries;
– St. Peter and Paul's Church – Famous for its frescoes by Giovanni Sampini, Turkish minarets with golden figurines of the Virgin Mary, the monument to Laura Przezdziecki and a massive 972-pipe organ;
– The Dominican Monastery (15th-18th centuries);
– The Armenian Quarter and The Nicholas Cathedral (15th-18th centuries), etc.

The Khotyn fortress itself is more than just old – its age is about a thousand years! This place saw first fortifications back in the times of Kievan Rus, in the 11th century. The stone-built stronghold we can see now was constructed in the 14th century, when Khotyn belonged to the Moldavian Princedom that for many years was a vassal to the Ottoman Empire. In the fortress, there lived a Turkish borsholder who brought here his own harem and installed a Turkish bath. Inside the fortress is divided into two courts – court for soldiers surrounded by barracks and with a well in the center, the commandant court between the Commandant's palace and the Northern Tower. This tower is the largest and defenders could keep in it even when enemy managed to set inside the fortress court.

As a bonus, you can visit the Bakota – the best place on the Dniester River's reservoir, situated 55 km from Kamyanets-Podilsky, with a picturesque landscapes and rock-cave monastery.


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