Discover the past and present of Chernivtsi

Chernivtsi (Chernovtsi) is a city which is situated in Northern Bukovina, Ukraine. It is the capital of the Chernivtsi Oblast and is a city with a long and interesting history. According to archealogical remains, the area has been populated since Neolithic times. Some of the most interesting artifacts found here are those that relate to the Trypillian and Corded Ware cultures. Bronze and Iron Age relics are numerous and evidence of Slavic tribes and Tiverians is also present.

However the real history of Chernivtsi starts with a fortified settlement on the left shore of the Prut River which was built sometime in the mid 1100s. The fortress-city soon became the subject of legend as the blackened appearance of oak, covered with chernozem, which was used for the city walls, resulted in the nickname ‘the Black City’. However, despite its daunting appearance, the fortress-city was destroyed by Mongol hordes in 1259. What was left continued to be used for defense but most people moved to the higher, right shore of the river. From there the city began to grow. It became part of the Principality of Moldavia in 1359.

Control of the city shifted continually – from Moldavia to Austria, then from to Austria-Hungary to Romania. In 1940 it was occupied by the Red Army and was attached to the USSR. It swapped hands numerous times during the First and Second World Wars and it eventually became a part of Ukraine in 1991. Most visitors today will be able to find a few places of historical interest such as the bastion, which was augmented, to the remains of the original fortress walls of the Black City. Chernivsti is also considered by many Romanians to be on of Romania’s greatest cultural and educational centers, so you will find many sites of cultural interest in the city.

Most travelers only plan to spend a small portion of their holiday in the city of Chernivsti, as there is not as many attractions and activities, as found in the larger cities. It is, however, a pretty city to visit, live and work in.

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