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.
Steep slope of the Dnister River canyon
Mountainous landscape in Kremenets district
Waterfall in Dzhuryn
From north to south, the land is girded by the ridge of Podilski Tovtry, a mountainous region shrouded by poetic legends and mysterious stories. Because of its thick forests, sunny hills and abundance of wild grasses the ridge has received the name Medobory (from Ukrainian med meaning honey, bir meaning wood). Crystal springs running from under the rocks, blue skies reflected in the bottomless karst lakes, stony labyrinth of Kryvche caves creating a magnificent underground kingdom – all these leave a memorable impression on everyone who visits the land. Dreamy beauty of ancient towns surrounded by ruined fortress walls, picturesque terraces over the rivers and steep hills, as well as breathtaking views of reed-wreathed lakes are truly breathtaking.
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.
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.” Obizheva, Zhezhava Botanical Reserves, Kasperivtsi Landscape Reserve are unique geological and botanical nature shrines. For the fertility of honey plants, the town is called Switzerland of Podillia. Chervonohrad Waterfall – one more miracle, is situated there. It is an eternal, unceasing movement of water, falling from a height of 15 meters, breaking into the myriad of the smallest drops.
The city was first mentioned in chronicles in 1211. It is famous for its numerous architectural monuments, including the castle, the architectural ensemble of the Bernadine Monastery, built in the 17th century.
In ancient times, the city was situated at the crossing of Kuchman and Black roads, so it was a classic battleground and was destroyed over and over again. A stone fortress was built on a high mountain for protection against enemies, which, unfortunately, was destroyed in 1578.
In 1626-1631 a fortified castle was built. The Savior Church was built in 1600 and was also defensive.
In the narrow valley, surrounded by the picturesque Kremenets mountains, there is the Podillia town of Kremenets. There is no exact information about the establishment of Kremenets, but scientists believe that its history goes back to the times of Trypillia culture. The first written mention is dated 1226. It is probable that the name of the city comes from the flint mineral. The city tour starts from the most ancient shrines.
Coming closer to Kremenets one can see from afar a high steep slope of Castle Hill with the remains of walls and towers of the once mighty fortress. The construction of the fortress began in the XIV century and lasted for almost 200 years. The Cossacks conquered this impregnable fortress in 1648. The Friday cemetery of the seventeenth century is the witness of the Cossack torture. According to legend, the Cossacks, who died during the storming of the fortress, are buried there. Up to now, several dozen plate crosses are preserved on the cemetery. One of them resembles a kobza. It may be lying on the grave of a glorious Cossack-bandura player.
After the Lublin Union in 1596 and becoming a part of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, Kremenets was built up intensively. The premises of the former fraternal Epiphany monastery with a hospital and a higher school is one of the most ancient. Later, this building goes to the Jesuits, who create a monumental complex with a church and educational buildings. It was built by Paul Gizycki, a late Baroque architect. A beautiful park and a botanical garden were created nearby. In 1819, a well-known Kremenets Lyceum was opened there. The College combined the style of Polish Baroque and the Dnieper architecture. A monastery of Franciscans standed majestically at the foot of the Castle Hill. The beautiful Gothic style lifted this building up. In the eighteenth century the cathedral and the gate tower were rebuilt in a baroque style famous at that times and became the Mykolaiv Cathedral. The Mykolaiv church combines the styles of the three-tiered Ukrainian church and the Polish churches of Renaissance.
The Kremenets Mountains are a witness of antiquity and uniqueness. The diversity of flora is caused by their location on the border of two geographical zones – Podillia and Polissia. Thousands of hectares of the Kremenets Mountains are protected as a national natural monument. Among the protected sites are the mountains Hostra, Strakhova, Bozha (the God’s Mountain), Checha, Zamkova (the Castle Mountain) that are surrounded by the legend of Divichi Skeli (the Virgin Rocks).
The city is situated in a picturesque area. This settlement was first mentioned in 1096 in Volodymyr Monomakh’s “Teachings”. The town was a part of the Terebovlia Principality of the 11th century, and from 1199 to Kingdom of Galicia–Volhynia.
A mighty, impregnable castle was situated on the hill at the river in the 16-17th centuries. It defended its citizens. From those ancient times, only the ruins of the castle are preserved: the defensive tower, and the walls. In 1761-1779 Trinity Church was built in the Baroque style by a famous architect A. Moshinsky. It is very unique for architecture and decoration.
In the middle of the nineteenth century, a Classicist style palace was built on the site of the old Potocki Palace. Now it is used as a hospital.
Mykulyntsi is a health-improving region of a well-known Medobory Health Resort facilitated by the nature. A picturesque landscape, fresh air, healing muds invigorate the visitors and guests.
It is one of the oldest cities in Ukraine and the oldest city of Podillia first mentioned in the Ipatiev chronicle in 1097. This territory was inhabited by Slavic tribes. The emergence of human settlements in this region dates back to the new Stone Age (7-2 century BC, touches of the famous Chernyakhov culture were discovered).
The name of the city comes from the ancient Slavic word “terebyty (to tear)” (to grub, to cut down a forest). In the Ukrainian language, the word “terebivlia”, which means the place cleared of thickets, is still used. Despite its small area, Terebovlia was a real medieval town, a large artisan and trading center.
In 1631, a castle with strong walls was built on a hard-to-reach mountain at the river. It stopped the Tatar and Turkish conquerors over and over again, but in 1686 it was destroyed. Only the ruins remained.
Along its history, various strangers have repeatedly attacked the city. This is witnessed by ancient architectural buildings. The 16th-century Basilian monastery, known as the Pidhiria monastery, was built in the late Renaissance style. Only the ruins stay: two towers with loopholes, and the walls. The Carmelites Monastery (1635-1639) is a building of Renaissance-Baroque architecture. Both were defensive.
The Mykolaiv Church, which was rebuilt in 1734, is also a defense building.
An ancient picturesque town of Chortkiv is situated in the valley on the Stripa river. The settlement was established long ago. Its history goes back to the heyday of Trypillia culture, as evidenced by numerous archeological findings. Later Chortkiv became part of the Kingdom of Galicia–Volhynia, and then Poland.
Written history of Chortkiv dates back to 1522. In the middle of the 16th century Chortkiv received the Magdeburg right to self-government as a craft center.
The castle, built in 1610, is the most remarkable architectural assembly. It is located on a mountain at the river. It was a stone castle with towers on the corners and a gate. The outer walls served as defensive walls at the same time. In the west, the defensive earthworks reached the small castle, which was destroyed in 1672. There was a network of underground passages. Two of the three towers of the castle and the residential building remained until date.
In 1717 the talented Podillia crafters built a wooden Ascension Temple in Vyhnanytsia, which is now under state protection as an sample of Ukrainian wooden architecture.
In the late nineteenth century, Chortkiv was intensively built up: several multi-stored buildings and new residential quarters. These buildings today are the old city. The town hall is a very unusual building, topped by a square tower with a sharp spire. The clock on it still take account of time. The indoor market is a gradual integrity with the town hall. In the first half of the twentieth century, the state high school, women and men teacher’s seminary, trade school worked in Chortkiv.
The village of Zarvanytsya is situated in a picturesque area, where the Strypa River carries its waters through the wide valleys.
According to a legend the Kyiv monk saw the Mother of God in his dreams and he called the place where it happened, Zarvanytsia. Soon a chapel was established here with the icon of the Mother of God.
The written history of Zarvanytsia dates back to 1458, and the unwritten one dates back to the 1st century AD. In the Middle Ages, this settlement became a town. Its main attribute was a stone castle, and its ruins still defend the town’s peace.
In 1754, the fourth temple of the Holy Trinity was built. It is an X-shaped building with two adjacent supplementary constructions.
In the 19th century, the icon of the Mother of God of Zarvanytsia was solemnly crowned of grant absolution. In 1894 a chapel was built near the spring. A cross in honor of the abolition of the husbandry service in 1848 still stays in the village.
In the 80’s of the 20th century, Zarvanytsia was reborn as a great spiritual center. The building of the majestic cathedral of the Mother of God of Zarvanytsia was a new spiritual take-off. Modern architectural forms were combined with the traditions of ancient Ukrainian architecture in it.
In front of the cathedral, an architectural composition of the icon of the Mother of God of Zarvanytsia was established in the center of the square.
The silhouette of a four-tiered bell tower is remarkable. It is a symbol of the grandeur of the Zarvanytsia Mother of God Spiritual Centre. Five big bells carry the gospel of God all around.
Near the Strypa River there is a gateway church of the Annunciation, which complements the whole ensemble.
Holy Dormition Pochayiv Lavra is an Orthodox monastery located in the town of Pochaiv. It is one of the largest Orthodox shrines in Ukraine, the second largest after the Kiev-Pechersk Lavra.
The monastery was founded by the monks of the Kiev-Pechersk monastery in 1240. In 1771-1783 the Late Baroque Assumption Cathedral was built.
In 1906-1911 the Trinity Church was built in the Old Russian style.
The Pochaiv Lavra is a magnificent architectural ensemble consisting of 16 churches, the residence of an archbishop, a bell tower, cells. All buildings are ideally combined with scenic landscapes, rocky mountain slopes and terraces. The sanctuaries of Pochaiv Lavra are the footprint of the Mother of God, the spring of healing water, the miraculous icon of the Mother of God, the power of the relics of Preconsecrated Job.
Karst caves are natural wonder of our region.
The most picturesque and interesting of all the Ternopil caves is the Ozerna Cave. The length of its investigated cavities is 104 kilometers. This cave is the only one in Podillya having underground lakes.
The Crystal Cave is located on the outskirts of the village of Nyzhnie Kryvche, on the high rocky bank of the Gypsy River. The length of all its corridors and halls of the cave is 20 kilometers. It is a very interesting and complex underground labyrinth of high, wide or narrow corridors, small and large halls, grates, walls and ceilings covered with crystals of gypsum of different color.
This cave has all the necessary conditions for treatment: a stable microclimate at any time of the year, absolute silence, elevated ionization, almost completely no pathogenic germs. Mineral swamp sludge and water were found near the cave. All this makes the Crystal Cave promising for the treatment of bronchial asthma, chronic bronchitis, hypertension.