Ternopil and surroundings

     Ternopil Region is a picturesque land with storied history imprinted upon its ancient landmarks. Exceptional beauty of the land is evident in its diverse forests and woods, majestic valleys and placid rivers, a homeland to the people of great talent and achievements.

     The most appealing feature of the region is the aura of deep-rooted history that permeates almost every corner of the land. There’s a sense that its towns and villages, castles and cathedrals have grown organically over many centuries, creating calming and comfortable landscapes that the mind settles into like a favourite armchair.


     Ternopil, an ancient Ukrainian city, administrative and cultural centre of Ternopil region, is spread out in a beauty spot over the banks of the pacific river Seret. Being one of the most picturesque cities in Western Ukraine, Ternopil boasts a rich and intriguing history which can be uncovered as you explore the city.

     In VI-VIII centyries A.D., the modern territory of Ternopil Region was inhabited by some of the Eastearn-Slavic tribes, which in the 2nd half of the XII century became a part of the ancient state, Kievan Rus. In the XIIth century, the Principality of Galicia–Volhynia was formed.

     In 1340, Poland captured Galicia. In 1540, King Sigismund granted land ownership and rights for erecting the castle to dubded Polish Crown Hetman, Jan Tarnowski. The construction of the castle over the Seret River lasted eight years. So the city grew over thorn fields, which, probably, gave name to the city (Ukrainian teren meaning thorn, pole meaning field).

     Ternopil is known for its architectural and cultural monuments. The oldest one is the Ternopil Castle dating back to 1540-1548. Initially, it was rectangular-shaped. Minatory towers housing embrasures stood tall on the two outer fringes. Western and southern parts of the castle were protected by the Seret River and artificial pond, while a deep dry ditch separated it from the city. The entrance to the fortress was permitted only from the east via stone gatehouse secured with a chain hoist drawbridge.

     Another attraction of the XVI century, the Church of the Exaltation of the Cross, is preserved to our times. The church is coeval with the city. It was part of its fortification system. Attention is drawn to the tower with a sharp descending roof-dome, which also served as a bell tower (the tower was build up to the church in 1627).

    One more valuable monument of architecture is a masterpiece of the late European Baroque, the Dominican Church with its monasterial buildings, designed by architect Ian de Vitte and built in 1749-1779. The composition of the Cathedral is characterized by the precision and harmonic proportions. The main facade is decorated with two intricate square towers jetting into the sky. Stylized pilasters on the model of the Ionic order enliven the walls, which are divided with cornice into two tiers. Massive oval dome with lantern and towers with multipurpose sapphire tops and dormers intensify the impression of the whole building.

     As evidenced by the documents, the Church of the Nativity was erected betwen June 15, 1602 to August 4, 1608 under the supervision of the mason Leontii. Initially, the building was small and single-tier. It was subsequently completed by the second tier and two semicircular towers. In the early XXth century, working premises were built up to the southern part of the church. During the Second World War, the temple was destroyed, but it was renovated in 1954. As a result of the restoration, the form of a dome was changed. Rectangular-shaped triapsidal church with high loopholes and two meters thick walls make it possible to consider a church to be that of defence type. Features of the building are traditional for Eastern architecture. The main shrine of the church is the icon of the Mother of God, donated in 1730 by a bourgeois V. Markovych.

     Another prominent building in Ternopil is a former Brotherhood house (now the Philharmonic hall). Although it is not a prominent monument of architecture, it is worth attention for the events, which took place there and have great historical and cultural importance.

     The house was built in 1904 “on voluntary donations of Ukrainian urban population”. It was the place of fascinating performances of famous Ukrainian scene elders M. Sadowskyi, L. Kurbas, S. Krushelnytska.

     New modern microdistricts emerged along with the old architectural buildings. The city became a developed industrial center. The illuminating and radio engineering plants, the machine building industry, which produced electric armatures and farm machinery, the porcelain factory began to work. Light industry, including one of the largest cotton-cloth manufacturing complexes and a synthetic leather and sewing factory, confectionery industry began to gain downstream market far beyond the region.

     Ternopil has become a scientific center. Highly qualified specialists are trained by Medical Academy, Academy of National Economy, Technical and Pedagogical Universities, Technical Schools.

     Theatre Square and T. Shevchenko Boulevard are the city attractions. The monuments to Taras Shevchenko and Ivan Franko are organically combined with the town architecture.

     There are Ternopil Regional Academic Ukrainian Drama Theatre, the Philharmonic Hall, the puppet theater, the Regional Studies Museum and the Art Museum, cultural centers, the Singer’s corner (Spivoche pole) in the city.


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