Chernivtsi is the administrative center of Chernivtsi region (ethnographers refer to it as Bukovyna or, rather, northern Bukovyna). The area of the region 8,100 sq km. The population of the region 944,000 (considerable percentage of Romanians and Moldavians). The population of the city 260,000.
Northern Bukovyna in the 10-12th centuries was a part of Kyiv Rus; in the 1213th of Galicia-Volyn Principality; then it fell under the Tartar control; in 1345 Bukovyna went under the Hungarian reign, but shortly it became a part of the Moldavian state; in 1514 it was conquered by Turkey; in the second half of the 18th century in the course of the war between Russia and Turkey it was annexed to Austria and remained a part of it till 1918, when it was annexed to Romania. Northern Bukovyna united with the rest of Ukraine in 1940.
The first mention of the city of Chernivtsi dates back to the 12th century. It was founded on the river Prut as a fortress to protect the Slavic territories from steppe nomads raids. Lasting periods of foreign domination and the multi-national ethnic structure of the population determined the peculiar architectural image of the city, folk art and cuisine.
Places of Interest
The city tour of Chernivtsi includes: the former residence of the Bukovyn-ian archbishops, now the University of Chernivtsi (erected in 1864-82, designed by famous Czech architect Josef Glavka); Chernivtsi Opera House (1869-75) a masterpiece of the Austrian architects Fehlner and Helmer (the ones who designed Opera House buildings in Vienna and Odesa); Armenian Church (1869-75) designed by Joseph Glavka (due to its excellent acoustics, chamber music concerts often take place there); and the famous Kobylyanska Street most characteristic example of Austro-Ukrainian secession style.
For those interested in the history of Ukrainian literature and theatre the museums of Olga Kobylyanska and Yuriy Fedkovych can be recommended.
There are also the open-air Museum of Traditional Rural Architecture and Every-Day Life of Bukovyna and the Museum of Bukovynian Diaspora.