Ternopil Region is a picturesque land with heroic history, imprinted on the walls of ancient castles, fortresses and palaces. Exceptional beauty of the land lost in fragrant forests and woods, majestic valleys and placid rivers gave rise to a number of people of a great talent, who left mark in Ukrainian and world culture.
The most appealing feature of the region is the aura of deep-rooted history that emanates from almost every corner of the land. There’s a sense that its towns and villages, castles and cathedrals have grown organically over many centuries, to create calming and comfortable landscapes that the mind settles into like a favourite armchair.
Steep slope of the Dnister River
Mountainous landscape in Kremenets
Waterfall in Dzhuryn
From north to south, the land is girded by the ridge of Podilski Tovtry, shrouded by poetic legends and mysterious stories. Because of its thick forests, sunny hills and abundance of wild grasses the ridge received the name Medobory (from Ukrainian med meaning honey, bir meaning wood). Crystal pure springs running from under the stones, blue sky sinking in the magnificent karstic lakes, stony labyrinth of caves in Kryvche creating a magnificent underground kingdom – all these leave a memorable impression on everyone who visits the land. Dreamy beauty of ancient towns with the remnants of fortresses, picturesque terraces over the rivers and steep hills, as well as breathtaking looks of reed-wreathed lakes command overwhelming awe from observers.
The ridge of Podilski Tovtry
Railway bridge in Terebovlia
Ternopil Region is a land presenting a thriving world of arts and crafts, showing the rich cultural, philosophical and historical heritage.
This region gave to Ukraine such distinguished personalities as the Barvinsky family, V. Hnatiuk, the great spiritual pastor J. Slipyi, who was celebrated by the admirable voice of S. Krushelnytska, depicted in the paintings by M. Boichuk, glorified in the poetry by B. Lepkyi. Many prominent people visited the province, among them M. Shashkevych and Ya. Holovatsky, the founders of the Ruthenian Triad (Ruska Triitsia). T. Shevchenko, a man of universal talent, travelled through the land as a part of archaeological mission. Honore de Balzac, the outstanding French writer, visited Vyshnivets Palace. In 1895, Ivan Franko was nominated for the post of ambassador to The Vienna parliament from Ternopil electoral constituency.
Monument to S. Krushelnytska
Ternopil Region was also visited by such writers and social activists as M. Drahomanov, P. Kulish, M. Hrushevskyi. The land gave the ground for fruitful collaboration between the Metropolitan Archbishop of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church Andrey Sheptytsky and progressive intelligentsia and clergy.
Our land gave many glorious sons and daughters to the mankind. Among them: I. Puluj, the famous Austro-Hungarian physicist and inventor, O. Smakula, a known physicist in the field of solid-state electronics in the USA, J. Slipyi, a Major Archbishop of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church and a Cardinal of the Catholic Church, I. Horbachevskyi, an Austrian and Czech doctor and chemist, M. Chubatyi, a famous historian in the USA, Z. Khraplyvyi, a theoretical physicist in the USA.
Nowadays Ternopil Region is a land of the youth. Each September numerous educational establishments, technical schools and colleges of Ternopil, Berezhany, Kremenets, Chortkiv and other cities and towns open their doors for the newcomers.
Our land has a strong, extensive industrial base. Enterprises of the area are well-known in many European countries. Ukrainian villages also undergo reformation and are governed by caring and competent managers.
Our region always faithfully respects our ancestors, takes care of the past and with hope looks into the future which is full of novelty, enthusiasm and inspiration. Ternopilshchyna gladly meets its friends, hospitably opens the door for cooperation for the benefit of Ukraine. At the same time, if you want to get closely acquainted with the land, you must stay alone with its beauty.
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).
Fountains of Ternopil
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.
The Ternopil Castle
The Ternopil Castle in the XVIIcentury
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).
The Church of the Exaltation of the Cross
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.
The Dominican Church
The arches of the central nave were decorated by a well-known Polish painter-monumentalist, Stanislav Stroyinskyi in 1777. Side-aisles were decorated with frescoes by his disciple Yuzef Hoinytskyi. In the 1908-1910, the dome was restored and the interior paintings were renovated. Unfortunately, the frescoes are not preserved to our times.
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.
The Church of the Nativity
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.
The Philharmonic Hall
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.
I.Ya. Horbachevskyi Ternopil State Medical University
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.
Monument to Ivan Franko
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.
Ternopil Regional Academic Ukrainian Drama Theatre
A picturesque Berezhany town is situated on the banks of the Golden Lime Tree river (the Złota Lipa river). Berezhany district is called Opillya corner. The town belongs to the oldest Ukrainian settlements. Its unwritten history dates back to a period of 1000 years. Archaeological researches found settlements of the late Paleolithic age. The first written record dates to 1375 as one of the ways that ran from Western countries to the Black Sea region passed through the town.
Architectural sightseeing must be the best starting point for the tour around Berezhany. In the Middle Ages the town was actively built, turning into a trade and commercial center. It was given Magdeburg rights.
In 1554 a stone castle was built in Berezhany, which was rebuilt later. It was erected in a deep swampy river valley, on the island formed by two flows of the Golden Lime Tree river (the Złota Lipa river). The entrance gate with flying bridge led to the castle. It was built by Italian craftsmen on the base of new Holland system developed by H.-L. Boplan, and it is the most significant example of defensive architecture of Ukraine, from which only ruins have survived.
Ruins of Berezhany Castle
Among the architectural monuments of XVII century the Church of the Virgin Mary draws visitors’ attention. This eclectic building emerged as Gothic-Renaissance landmark with a square tower in the first half of the XVII century. Only fragments of its ancient walls are left.
The Church of the Virgin Mary
The Bernardiane Monastery including St. Nicholas Church was built in 1683. In 1691 a wooden church was erected. It belongs to the architecture landmarks of Podilya and becomes an example of Galician school of wooden building. The Armenian church in Baroque style became an interesting attraction of the XVII century.
The Bernardiane Monastery
In the late XVIII-early XIX century the central square of Berezhany was architecturally formed. In 1811 the Town Hall with high clock tower was erected in the middle of the square. Rows of buildings are located around the square, which formed the urban matrix of the old town of modern Berezhany.
The Town Hall
Outstanding people of Ukrainian culture such as M. Shashkevych, M. Rudnytskyi, A. Tchaikovskyi, O. Nyzhankivskyi, D.Sichynskyi, O. Kulchytska, Lepkyi brothes originated from Berezhany.
Monument to B. Lepkyi
Picturesque landscapes of Berezhany district attract one’s views. Not far from Berezhany, on the outskirts of the village of Rai, there is an ancient park named Raivskyi which was founded in 1760.
The oak of Bogdan Khmelnitskyi is its decoration. It is more than 600 years old. According to local legend, Bogdan Khmelnitskyi stopped to rest under this oak.
A tour to the ancient town named Buchach that is situated on both banks of the Strypa river will turn out to be a captivating one.
The first written record of the town dates back to 1397. It played an important role in our history. The witness of these events is the old lime tree, which is more than 400 years old. In 1672 Buchach peace was signed between Turkey and Poland under this lime tree like testifies memorial plate. Parts of the defensive walls of the castle belong to that period of time. This castle is a typical defensive architecture of XIV-XVI centuries Podilya. There were many fights near the castle walls. The walls top the mountain as if look like higher. The attention is paid to arrow-loops of the original form, intended for canons and light weapon.
Ruins of Buchach Castle
Buchach is a museum town. Residential units top the hills and the streets are connected by narrow stairs. Talented constractors erected unique buildings, regular in shape, original in design. The greatest spacious times of building took place in the XVIII century. The most marvelous place of interest is the Town Hall in Baroque style. It was built on a project of Lviv architect Bernard Imeretyn in 1751, and it resembles a tower with two ground floors. This building has no analogy in architecture of the XVIII century. This is a pattern of synthesis of architecture and sculpture. Sculptures were performed by a well-known artist Pinzel.
The Town Hall
The Church of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross was also built in the XVII century. Its project in Baroque style for Basilian monastery was suggested by an architect I. Shiltser.
Another masterpiece of architecture, Saint Pokrova Church, was built in the same style. The unique wood carving has survived in this church down to the recent times. The example of Podilya stone architecture can serve the church in mountain area Monastyrok, one of the very rare monuments in Ukraine of the sixteenth century as well as Assumption Cathedral built in the 1761-1763 in late Baroque style.
St. Nicholas Church is one more listed building, erected in 1610. Its interior is a modest and cozy one. An iconostasis of a perfect shape with a bright decorative painting draws attention.
Zalishchyky is a small town on the banks of the Dnister river, which encompasses it around, like on a peninsula, connected with bridge over Dnister also.
Since the inter-war era, it has been a centre for the tourist industry. Before the collapse of the USSR some 10,000 visitors arrived annually. In the interbellum period, the town was an important tourist center of Poland. It is also one of the few wine growing in that part of Ukraine.
Modern town is a climatic health resort. Here you will find children’s rheumatological sanatorium, tourist base “Dnister.” Obizhevskii and Zhekavskii botanical sanctuaries, Kasperivskii landscape sanctuary are unique botanical and geological monuments of nature. Because of the large quantity of melliferous plants the town is called Switzerland of Podillia.
One of the places of interest in Zalishchyky is Roman Catholic church of St. Stanislaus, founded by Stanislaw August Poniatowski, and completed in 1828. The church served as a storage in 1946–1992.
The Roman Catholic Church of St. Stanislaus
The Poniatowski Palace, built in the late XVIII century, and remodelled in 1831. It was property of Duke Jozef Poniatowski, in the XIX century belonged to the Brunicki family. Its last owners was the Turnau family, the Pilsudski Villa, where in 1933 Jozef Pilsudski stayed.
XIX century Roman Catholic cemetery and the manor house of Jan Kasprowicz a Polish poet who lived here in 1896–1899.
First attested in 1211 as a strong Ruthenian fortress, Zbarazh became a seat of the Gediminid princes Zbaraski towards the end of the XIV century. Ruins of the original castle are extant in the vicinity of modern Zbarazh.
The new Zbarazh Castle was designed for Prince Jeremi Wishniowiecki by the Dutch architect van Peyen in 1626-31. The castle was partly rebuilt in the XVIII century.
Zbarazh also preserves several remarkable churches, notably the Saviour Church (1600) and the Bernardine Monastery (1627). The Zbarazh Fortress was twice besieged by the Crimean Tatars (1474, 1589). After the second siege, a new castle was completed in 1626.
The local Roman Catholic church was funded in the mid-XVII century by Janusz Wisniowiecki. Destroyed by the Ottoman Turks in 1675, it was rebuilt in 1755, together with a new monastery.
Kremenets is a beautiful and picturesque town on the border of Volyn and Podillia. Hometown of one of the greatest Polish Romantic poet, one of the National Bards – Słowacki. Crossing the eastern territories, you can not miss this place … over which tower the ruins of the only castle unconquered by the Mongols in Russia, and wanders the streets of energy and spirit of the past Jesuit.
It is one of the oldest cities of Ukraine. It was first mentioned in the Hypatian Chronicle for the year 1226. As many other cities in Ukraine, Kremenets has complicated and complex history.
Kremenets is in the Holohoro-Kremenets chain of high hills. Massifs with steep sides, a network of gullies, and numerous karst formations characterize the hills. The town itself is at an elevation of 230 meters or 754 feet.
Many famous people used to visit Kremenets: the great composer Franz Lizst, genius author Honoré de Balzac, and Ukraine’s legendary Taras Shevchenko. Towering 400 meters above, the town is guarded by the castle of Bona Hill.
On the hill above the town, monumentally massive ruins of the castle tower of the twelfth century Kremenets. It was the only castle in Kiev Rus, which was not conquered by the Mongols, but destroyed by the Cossacks. Being in Kremenets – obligatory you have go to the castle hill and enjoy the city together with the surrounding area from a height. These days the Castle Hill is a tourist site of the Kremenets State-Historic Architectural reserve, and visitors to the castle ruins do not even need tickets. Thousands of people come here to admire the fortress walls and wonderful panorama of the city commanded by the hill. The gothic arc of the entrance gates leads to the castle yard.
Among the other places of interest in Kremenets are: Monuments to T. Shevchenko and the Polish poet J. Slowacki.
Bohoyavlenskii (Epiphany) Monastery, built in the late Baroque style in 1760. The monastery complex includes a Roman Catholic Church, monks’ cells, and a bell tower above the gate (early XX century).
Tourists are attracted by a XIIth century castle that was an important defensive structure. During the XIIIth – XIVth centuries, the wood fortifications were replaced by stone. Only the defensive walls and the gate tower have been preserved.
Among other sites of interest is the Collegium Buildings (1731-43) built by the architect P. Hizhytsky in the late Baroque style. The Collegium once included a Jesuit church and two academic buildings.
Nearby is a park and botanical gardens created in 1809 by D. Miller. Mykolayivsky (St. Nicholas’) cathedral and cells built for the Franciscan monastery in the Gothic-Renaissance style in 1636. In the XVIIIth century the cathedral and gate tower were fashioned in the Baroque style.
Mykolayivskii (St. Nicholas’) Cathedral
Museum-House of J. Slowacki (XVIII century) located in a building in which the Polish poet lived from 1814 to 1828. A marble bust of the poet was erected in the courtyard in 1969.
Museum-House of J. Slowacki
Pyatnytske Cemetery where Ukrainian Kozaks (Cossacks) who died in battles to liberate Kremenets from Polish rule (1648 and 1651) are buried. The Kremenets Mountains nearby include six nature preserves and Kremenets Park.
Carolina Dzembowskiej Palace
Stanislaus of Szczepanow Roman Catholic Church
Mykulyntsi is a small town which is considered to be the oldest in the Ternopil region.
In the town there are ruins of an old castle, which dates back to 1610. The castle was rebuilt in the XVIII century, but by the beginning of the XX century, the fortification served no use and it was left to disrepair.
Ruins of Mykulyntsi Castle
There is also the Baroque Trinity Church in Mykulyntsi, which was designed by Polish architect August Moszyński and built from 1761–1779.
The Baroque Trinity Church
Nearby the church there is an old Polish cemetery with tombs and sculptures. And just 200 meters away in a park is the Potocki Palace, which now hosts a hospital.
Terebovlia is an ancient town that traces its roots to the settlement of Terebovlia which existed in Kievan Rus.
The town has ruins of a castle built by King Kazimierz Wielki in the second half of the XIV century. In 1648, it was captured by the Cossacks.
Among other sites of interest are the complex of a Carmelite church and monastery, funded in 1617 by Piotr Ozga. It had the painting of Our Lady of Trembowla, which after World War Two was moved to St. Catherine church in Gdansk. Communist authorities turned the complex into a factory, and later a house of culture. Currently, it is an Orthodox church.
Three kilometers south of the town there are ruins of a XVIIth-century defensive monastery of the Basilian monks. It was completed in 1716.
Terebovlia also has a Roman Catholic church of Saint Peter and Paul, designed in 1927 by architect Adolf Szyszko-Bohusz.
The Roman Catholic Church of Saint Peter and Paul
The picturesque ancient town Chortkiv lies in a lengthy valley on the river Strypa. The settlement was found long ago. As evidenced by numerous archaeological discoveries, its story dates back to the period of trypillian culture prosperity. Later Chortkiv became a part of Galicia-Volhynia, and then – of Poland.
The first historical mention of Chortkiv dates back to 1522. In the middle of ХVI century Chortkiv as craft center granted Magdeburg rights for self-government.
The Castle was built in 1610 and it belongs to famous architectural buildings. The Castle is situated on the hill and above the river. It was a stone castle with gates and towers at the corners. The external walls served as defensive walls. The defense shaft reached in western direction to small castle and it was destroyed in 1672. There was extensive netting of underground connecting passages. Up to now, only two of three towers of the castle and residential building survived.
At the beginning of XVII century, in 1665 Assumption Church. was built This church is one of the oldest wooden worship constructions in Podillia. This three part church is declared as an architectural monument and it is protected by the state.
Talanted Podillia’s masters (1717) built a wooden Ascension church in Vyhnanytsi which is now under the state protection as a model of Ukrainian wooden architecture.
In the late ХIХ century Chortkiv was intensively built intensively. There were high-rise building, new quarters. Nowadays, these buildinds are located in the old part of the town.
The Town Hall is famous by its originality and it is topped with a triangular tower with a sharp spire. The Town Hall Watch is still counting down the time. In the first half of the twentieth century State gymnasium, Female and Male Teaching seminary, Trade school were held in Chortkiv.
The Town Hall. The Town Hall Watch
The village Zarvanytsia lies in the picturesque countryside, where the river Strypa carries its waters through wide valleys.
One legend tells that one Kyiv monk called the place where he was fallen in dream – Zarvanytsia. Soon there was built a chapel, in which the icon the Mother of God was held. History writings of Zarvanytsia reaches the year 1458 and unwritten is the first millennium of BC. In the middle ages this settlement turned into small town, the main feature of which was a stone castle and its ruins are still standing like a guard.
In 1754 Blessed Trinity Shrine was built. This building is cruciform construction with two adjacent extensions.
Blessed Trinity Shrine
In the ХIХ century Zarvanytsia Mother of God icon was solemnly crowned.
Zarvanytsia Mother of God Icon
In 1894 a chapel was built near the spring with healing water. The cross after the abolition of serfdom (1848) is still alive in the village.
Spring with healing water
In 80s. of the XX century Zarvanytsia reborn as a high spiritual center. The construction of the majestic Zarvanytsia Mother of God Cathedral was a new spiritual takeoff, in which the opportunities of modern architectural forms with habits of ancient Ukrainian architecture were combined.
Zarvanytsia Mother of God Cathedral
Opposite the cathedral, in the center of the square, an architectural arrangements of Zarvanytsia Mother of God icon were created.
The four layer Bell Tower circles our attention. Now it became a symbol of majesty of Zarvanytsia Mother of God complex. Five formidable bells spread around Annunciation of the Lord.
The Annunciation Gate Church emerged near the river Strypa.
The Annunciation Gate Church
Holy Dormition Pochayiv Lavra is Orthodox monastery that is located in small town Pochaiv. It is one of the Ukrainian largest Orthodox shrines and in comparising with Kiev-Pechersk Lavra is the second.
Holy Dormition Pochayiv Lavra
The monastery was founded by monks of Kiev-Pechersk monastery in 1240. In 1771-1783 Assumption Cathedral was built in the late Baroque style.
In 1906-1911 Trinity Church was built in the ancient Russian style.
Pochayiv Lavra is a magnificent architectural ensemble, consisting of 16 churches, archbishop residence, bell towers and monastic cells. All buildings are idealy combined with picturesque landscape, rocky hillside and terraces. Holly Mother’s footprint, spring with healing water, Mother of God miraculous icon, Reverend Job hallows are the sanctuary of Pochayiv Lavra.
Holly Mother’s Footprint
Mother of God Miraculous Icon
Underground world. The karst caves are the unique wonder of our land nature
Ozerna is the most marvelous and interesting cave among Ternopil ones. Theirs length is 104 kilometer. This cave is the unique one in Podillia, because it has the underground lake.
The Crystal (Kryshtaleva) is situated on the outskirts of Nyzhnye Kryvche village and on the high rocky banks of the river Cyganka is Crystal Cave. The length of all corridors and halls of the cave is 20 kilometers.
The Crystal (Kryshtaleva) Cave
It is very interesting and complicated underground labyrinth with high, wide or narrow corridors, small and formidable halls, caverns. The walls and ceilings of cave are covered with various color gypsum crystals.
This cave has all necessary conditions for treatment such as stable microclimate in any season, absolute silence, an increased ionization, almost wholly absence of pathogenic germs. Mineral marsh mud and water were discovered near the cave. That’s why the Crystal Cave has the perspective for the treatment of asthma, chronic bronchitis, hypertension.