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Ivano Frankivsk

“Come to Pre-Carpathians, nice people welcome you...”. These are words from the popular Ukrainian song “Come to Pre-Carpathians”. As well as the centuries-old intriguing history and scenery of majestic beauty that will welcome you.

Land of the Carpathians is a truly mystical, mysterious land obviously touched by God. It is the place where the history of the Ancient Ukrainian State ends and a new history sprang at the beginning of the last century, from an outburst of national energy to build a new country.

You will see the original face of people living in the region that is kaleidoscopically represented by different characters of the Ukrainian Nation: Hutsuls, Boykos, Lemkies, Pokutyanies, as well as Oppillya people. It would be interesting for you to get know that our land is a part of the historic area – Halychyna. This name is inherited from the ancient capital Halych. Another well-known name of the region is Pre-Carpathians because of the Carpathian Mountains that stretch to the west.

It is splendid, truly a paradise of nature with mountains, foothills, flat scenery, forests, groves, steppe expanses, green pasture that delights the eyes of visitors. Such a unique natural growth, that is worth wonder and admiration. In the forests, we can see wild elk, moose, deer, boar, bear, wolf, fox and hare, as well as, amazing and scarce birds including the majestic golden eagle.

Veins of water – Prut, Dnister, Cheremosh, Limnytsya and two Bystritsas rivers patterned the living flesh of Carpathian land.

A lot of energy, effort, blood and sweat were expended on the age-old history of this land. Celt people left their secrets here that are still to be found by archaeologists. Archaeological finds of the ancient Roman times were revealed in this area. The first records about the Region came to us from the 9th century when Slavonic tribes of White Croats, Dulibies, and Tivertsis lived here. Some historical sources contend that the first record of Halych dates back to 246 A.D. in the Jordan’s chronicle. But officially several years ago we celebrated 1100 anniversary of ancient Halych. A few kilometres from Halych in the village of Krylos the ancient capital of Halych princedom and later Halych and Volyn princedom were located. Now the historical and architectural park „Ancient Halych” is located there. This is a place where the origins of the Old Russ’ spring from. We see the famous figures of the Old Russ’, Prince Volodymyr, his son Yaroslav Osmomysl, and his daughter Yaroslavna (that was crying in Putivel on the town wall) glorified in an historic chronicle of that time, “A word about Ihor’s regiment”. Yaroslav Osmomysl built in Halych the Saint Panteleymon Church and Assumption of the Virgin Mary Cathedral. The church and foundation of the cathedral can be observed on Krylos Hill. Recently a monument to Danylo Halytskiy was put in Halych. Danylo was the first Ukrainian King crowned by the Supreme Pontiff.

Coming from Lviv to Ivano-Frankivsk you cross the ancient town of Rohatyn (12th c.) associated with a name of famous Roxolana that lived here in 16th century and later became the wife of a Turkish sultan Suleyman the Splendid. She had a significant influence over the Turkish State policy of that time. Appreciative town’s people erected a monument to her in the centre of Rohatyn. Several kilometres from the town there is a village named Cherche that has a unique health resort with high-mineralization hydrogen wells and mud’s. Many well-known public and cultural figures were connected with the Land of Rohatyn: I. Ohonskiy, A. Krushelnytskiy, D. Lukyanovych, a historian I. Krypyakevych, artist Y. Pankovych and others. The winner of Eurovision, Ruslana Lyzhychko ancestors are from Rohatyn.

Passing Rohatyn and Halych you come to the Regional center – the city of Ivano-Frankivsk founded in 1662 by Polish magnate Andriy Pototskyy. Since that time every May 7 we celebrate the City Day. At the beginning of the 19th century a wife of Ukrainian Hetman Pylyp Orlyk lived in Ivano-Frankivsk. Their son Marshal of France Hryhoryy Orlyk (Paris airport Orly bears his name) often visited the city.

In Ivano-Frankivsk, many travelling guests can enjoy seeing the remains of fortress wall (17th c.), buildings of former City hall, Collegium, Family Palace and Cathedral of Pototskis, Armenian Church, Greek-Catholic Cathedral and many other distinguished sights. In front of the biggest hotel “Nadiya” stands the bronzed City Patron Ivan Franko, the famous Ukrainian poet and writer that visited Stanislaviv many times. In 1962, the city got the new name of Ivano-Frankivsk.

The second largest city of our Region is Kolomiya. The first record of the city dates back to 1240. Kolomiya is located on Prut River that flows into Danube River.

Kolomiya is rich with nice and unique museums. Here you find a museum of Pysanka – the world unique museum of Easter egg painting that demonstrates the traditions of this art preserved from pre-Christian times. The museum of Hutsul and Pokuttya Folk Art presents more than 20 thousands works of art – like woollen blankets (lizhnyky), wood engravings, carvings, embroidery, metal and leather ornaments, pottery works, pieces of sacred art and ethnography. The city of Kolomiya has a very renowned gymnasium (school for gifted children). Among the former students of the gymnasium there were many well-known writers and poets: V. Stefanyk, M Cheremshyna, L. Martovich, M. Irchan, P. Kozlanyuk, D. Pavlychko and R. Ivanchuk. Not far from Kolomiya in Pechenizhyn village the famous vatazhok (ringleader) of opryshki Oleksa Dovbush – Ukrainian Robin Hood was born (18th c.). A monument to the famous hero was erected at the approach to the village. From Kolomiyay roads lead to the Carpathian Mountains. You will be captured from afar by the amazing beauty of the Mountains – dreamy with a slight blue haze summits and ridges and green valleys among them. The closer you are to Kosiv the more beautiful the Carpathians become, evergreen mountain heights, meadows and pastures (polonyna) attract travellers from all over the world. What a great pleasure it is to take breath the pure mountain air that is full of pine needle aroma.

Kosiv is a center of hutsul folk art. They make beautiful souvenirs - real pieces of art created by local craftsman families of Shkriblyaks, Korpanyuks and many others. Their exciting products were exhibited as early as at the beginning of the last century in many capitals of Europe. In the picturesque mountain village of Kosmach the National Hero of Hutsul Land Oleksa Dovbush was killed. Now there is a Museum of Dovbush in the village organized in a wood hutsul house of his time. The famous Ukrainian poet (prisoner of Soviet concentration camps) Taras Melnychuk was born and a few years ago buried in Utoropy village of Kosiv district.

Meanwhile the road goes higher and higher to the pass. From here you can admire the scenery of Verkhovyna – the heart of Hutsul Land. The Chyvchyn Pass makes a borderline between Ukraine and Romania. A few kilometres before Verkhovina town there is Kryvorivnya village named the Ukrainian Athens because many famous writers, poets and politicians lived here: Lesya Ukrainka, V. Stefanyk, M. Kotsyubynskyy (he wrote here his prominent novel “Shades of the forefathers”), M. Hrushevskiy and others. You can know more visiting the museums of Ivan Franko and M. Hrushevskiy, old wooden church of 18th century, Khata-hrazhda (hutsul wooden house-fortress) and other attractions in the village. In Krasnoillya village Hnat Khotkevych (author of “Kamyana Dusha” (a stone sole) organized the Popular Hutsul Theatre. The medicinal and curative local mineral waters “Burkut” and “Verkhovynska” have always been popular not only in Ukraine but throughout Europe.

On the way back to Ivano-Frankivsk you go through the picturesque mountain sceneries full of divine inspiration and come to Vorokta – the center of skiing. At the Vorokhta ski jumps many national and international competitions were organized. Vorokhta is an all season resort. It is really difficult to find such a scenic landscape as on your way from Vorokhta to Yaremche – on the one side the mountain walls cascading over the road and the effervescent Prut River is running at the bottom of the ravine on the other side of the road. Yaremche is a pearl of Carpathian Mountains. The Yremche Area is sometimes called Carpathian Switzerland. Mountains like a baby in a cradle surround this resort town. It is very popular with Ukrainians and many people living far from our borders. Here you can see the Cave and Stone of Dovbush, the Partisan Museum, Rudnyev Monument and other attractions. During the last year many modern hotels and tourists centers have appeared in this area. Near the stunning blustery waterfall in Yaremche there is the largest craft bazaar in the region. Going back towards Ivano-Frankivsk you pass through Nadvirna. Not far from Nadvirna there is Pniv Vortress of 17th c. It is one of very uncommon fortresses that can be found in Prikarpattya. Coming to Ivano-Frankivsk you cross Bohorodchany district (part of this district together with Dolyna and Rozhnyativ districts) form Boykivschyna (Land of Boyky). Short of Bohorodchany you make a turn to the Exaltation of the Cross Monastery (Manyavskiy Skyt) built in the 17th century in Manyava village by Yov Knyahynytskiy and Ivan Vyshenskiy. Near the Skyt there is the Blessed Stone with healing water and a little farther you can enjoy 18 meters high Manyava Fall. It is a heavenly piece of the primeval untouched nature. One more paradise of a virgin nature and pure air you can find near Huta, the village that also belongs to Bohorodchany district. In the center of Bohorodchany town there is architectural heritage - Dominican Catholic Church built in 1762 and the beautiful Greek-Catholic Church that more than 40 years in the Soviet times was used as a grocery store. Near Starunya Village there is a world unique mud volcano. Not far from this place in 1907 a mammoth and woolly rhinoceros were found. Now they are exhibited in Krakiv and Lviv museums.

Dolyna town is a heart of Boyky Land. The Museum of Boyky was recently opened in the town. Dolyna and Rozhnyativ districts are another mountainous area in Ivano-Frankivsk Region that is being developed for tourism. Several kilometres from Bolekhiv there is an unequalled work of nature the well-known “Dovbush’s Rocks”. In Lolyn the first love of Ivan Franko, Olha Rozhkevych lived and he often visited her in the mountain village.

Nebyliv village of Rozhnyativ district is famous for the fact that citizen of this village Ivan Pylypiv in 1891 left for Canada to look for a better fortune and started the emigration of thousands from Halychyna. This area is the motherland of Ivan Vahylevych – member of “Ruska Triytsya” (Russian Trio).

Not far from Kalush in Staryy Uhryniv –the little motherland of Stepan Bandera there is a historical and memorial complex. Visiting this place you learn a historical truth about the national liberation movement in our Region and well-known personality, Stepan Bandera (symbol of this struggle).

Step by step we have come to Pokuttya, the land that gave three prominent Ukrainian writers Vasyl Stefanyk (Rusiv Village), Les’ Martovych (Torhovytsya village) and Marko Cheremshyna (Kobaky village). Pokkuttya - the Land of Prut River and Dnister River offers catamaran and raft tours where you can fish and admire the scenery of Dnister canyon. This area is an excellent place for hang-gliding and many competitions are organized there. In Horodenka there is a unique cathedral of the 18th century (architect - Bernard Merytiny that projected the Saint Yuriy Cathedral in Lviv). In Serafintsi village there is one of the best Shevchenko monuments in Ukraine. Lev Bachynskiy, that was the Vice-President of the West Ukrainian People Republic, was born in this village.

We have not mentioned until now the highest Ukrainian Mountain Hoverla (2061 m). Climb Hoverla and you will see the majestic panorama of Prikarpattya all its beauty and dramatic majesty. Come to us and you fall in love with our beautiful land and hospitable people. We are always glad to see you here.

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