HISTORY & SIGHTS
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or click here for links to historical maps of the region.
- Population 20,000+.
- 32 km from Simferopol.
- Known to have been first settled around 40,000 years ago.
- At one time became the capital of the Crimean Khanate.
- In the 1600's Cossack armies routed the Khan's army here, liberating captive
Ukrainians and Russians.
- Khan's Palace complex still exists including main building, Sokolyna tower,
garden with harem building, khan's mosque, cemetery, rotunda, tombs.
- Uspensky cave monastery hewn out of a cliff dates back to 8th century.
- Mosque of Tokhtala-Dzhama with its sixteen-sided minaret.
- Fortress of Chufut-Kale and the cave city. Built on a precipice these
historical sites have been preserved.
- Population 260,000.
- 650 km from Kyiv.
- Situated on the Prut river which flows down from the Carpathians to the Black
- The city has a complex history that is still reflected in the downtown
architecture with Byzantine, Gothic, Baroque, and Russian influences.
- Like many cities of the time, it may have originated with a fortress built to
protect surrounding Galician-Volynian residents from attacks by migrating tribes.
- Its main university is world-renowned and the central campus complex is one
of Ukraine's best examples of creative architure combined with artistic craftsmanship.
Their English curriculum is excellent and you'll find many students and staff members who
will enjoy the opportunity to converse with you in English. Chernivtsi University is
twinned with the University of Saskatchewan which results in frequent opportunities for
academic staff and student exchanges.
- Population 1,153,000.
- 592 km from Kyiv.
- Founded by Prince H. Potyomkin in 1787 on the site of the village of
Polovytsya. He renamed the new city to honour Empress Catherine II.
- Peter I (1796-1802) later renamed it Novorosiysk.
- Has changed names many times since: before 1918 was known as Sicheslav;
then from 1918 to 1926 was Katerynoslav.
- City began growing in the 1870's when a rail line linked it with Kryvy Rih
and the Donets Basin.
- Churches, a cathedral and the reconstructed Potyomkin Palace still stand.
Four museums, several theatres for opera and ballet, music and drama, puppet shows,
philharmonic orchestra, organ music, circus and planetarium.
- Universities, mining institute, rail transport institute, construction
institute, medical institute, metallurgical institute, chemical technology institute.
- Libraries and archives.
- Parks and gardens, plus a botanical garden and an aquarium.
- Population 246,000.
- Was named Stanyslaviv from 1662 to 1962.
- Flint objects from the Neolithic era and stone axes from the Bronze age have
been unearthed within the city.
- Churches, museums, live theatres, philharmonic orchestra, libraries and a
state archive are located here.
- The city also is home to a university, oil & gas institute, theological
institute, medical institute, and business centre.
- 102 km from Khmelnytsky.
- One of the oldest cities in Ukraine. In 1240-41 the Tatar Hordes of Khan Baty
destroyed the city but its important location along the Kyiv-Balkans trading route was far
too important to abandon and it was rebuilt. In 1362 it fell under the the rule of the
Lithuanian princes until an uprising in 1393 freed its population. In 1430 Poland obtained
control of the city from which it grew once again into a centre of international trade.
- Churches, cathedrals, a monastery, a castle and towers, Turkish minarets and
buildings, plus Baroque architecture. So many treasures preserved that a State
Historical-Cultural Preserve was set up containing almost 100 architectural monuments and
- Parks and a botanical garden provide places to reflect upon all the turbulent
history that this place has survived.
- The R.J.'s Tours Ltd. tour
videotape has some excellent footage of our tour through the
historical-cultural preserve and copies are available upon request at a nominal cost.
- 64 km from Cherkasy.
- Three ancient settlements have been unearthed here.
- Famous for Taras Shevchenko's gravesite and museum as well as the Kaniv
Preserve which has over 5000 different plant species.
- 25 km from Dnipro River mouth.
- Population 360,000.
- Founded in 1778 where previously a fort had existed from 1737.
- Named in honour of Khersones Tavriysky, a city on the southwest bank
- Originally a city-fortress and shipyard. First ship of the Black Sea Fleet
was built here in 1783.
- 100 km from Uzhhorod on the Rika and Tysa rivers.
- Population 35,400.
- Established in the 11th century. Designated a crown city in 1329.
- Destroyed by Tatars and Turks and rebuilt many times.
- In 1938 was the capitol of independent Carpathian Ukraine.
- Castle ruins, 14th century church, monuments, regional museum and Carpathian
- 65 km from Ivano-Frankivsk.
- Population 70,000.
- Named after the Meya creek which feeds into the Prut River.
- Burned and devastated by Tatar and Turkish invasions, the people of this area
have endured, rebelled, survived, and preserved their own unique cultural heritage to
become an important part of a free sovereign nation.
- Famous for its unique Hutsul-style: architecture; ceramic and wood
carving art; music; embroidery; and folk-dances.
- R.J.'s Tours Ltd. tour groups have a unique opportunity to take home
hand-crafted Hutsul souvenir artwork produced by Kolomeya's renowned master artisans.
- Located in Poltava administrative district. The city is situated along the
banks of the mighty Dnipro River.
- Founded in 1571 as a fortress, Kremenchuk acquired city status in 1765.
- The area surrounding Kremenchuk is devoted mainly to fishing.
- Here R.J.'s Tours Ltd. cruise passengers are taken, by boat, to a local
fishing village where they are treated, by local residents, to a feast of food and drink.
This is, indeed, one of the highlites of the cruise.
KYIV - CAPITAL OF UKRAINE
LUHANSK [LUTSK (formerly Voroshylovhrad)]
- Population 2,654,000.
- Traces of settlements date back to stone age 40-10 B.C. but offically
accepted birth of Kyiv is 482. Kyy, a prince of the Slavic tribe of Polians is considered
the city's founder. Legend has it that Kyiv was founded by three brothers, Kyy, Shchek,
Khorev and their sister Lybid.
- A major metropolitan city that rivals any European city for its parks, sights
and commercial offerings.
- One could easily spend a month here and still not discover all the treasures
that this city possesses. But our tour guides will make sure that you do not miss the
When in Kyiv plan to visit these attractions:
- Kyiv Pecherska Lavra Monastery
Picturesquely situated upon a hill overlooking the Dnipro River. Founded in 1051 A.D. by
monks. Its spectacular structures were added to over the years in Classical, Byzantine and
Ukrainian Baroque architectural styles. Spread over the hills that line the right bank of
the Dnipro River the Lavra Monastery is a 'must see' visit. This functioning monastery
consists of numerous churches, towers, and miles of underground tunnels (caves) with
ancient crypts and ecclesiastical objects. The most interesting museums of Ukraine are
also located on the grounds of the Monastery. Among them are:
- The Museum of Historical Treasures and Jewelry;
- The Museum of Ukrainian Decorative and Applied Art;
- The Museum of Miniatures.
- The Museum of Historical Treasures and Jewelry
Unique collection of precious metal and stone articles from: a Pre-Christian epoch;
Kyiv Rus-Ukraine; Byzantium; Middle-Ages Ukraine; and recent times.
- The State Museum of Ukrainian Decorative and Applied Arts
Extensive collection of folk icons, embroideries, pysanky (Easter eggs), pottery, folk
costumes, etc. The most beautiful collection in Ukraine.
- St. Sophia Cathedral
Ukraine's oldest surviving church. Built in 1037 by
Prince Yaroslav the Wise. This majestic 13-domed church became a holy place
of worship for ancient Kyivites, as well as a major cultural and political centre in
Kyivan-Rus. The complex of buildings (2 churches, bell tower, school, monks' cells, the
residence of the Metropolitan) was added onto up until the 19th century mostly in
Renaissance and Ukrainian Baroque styles. It is a national shrine and is currently under
the patronage of UNESCO.
- Mariyinsky Palace
Built in 1750 by Bartolomeo Rastelli, it was the Kyiv residence of the
Tsar family. Currently, the palace is used for presidential official functions. Not
open to the public, except by special appointment.
- Andriyivsky Uzvis
Andrew's Descent - a thousand year old street connecting, in the days of
Kyiv Rus-Ukraine, the upper part of Kyiv with the lower. Today it is the 'Greenwich
Village' or the 'Montmartre' of Kyiv; filled with art shops, exhibits, cafes, beauty and
charm. A tourist favorite.
- National Museum of Fine Arts
Built in 1900 in a Greek Doric style. Houses a huge collection of icons from the
12th to 18th centuries; paintings and sculptures of the Ukrainian masters; and Ukrainian
- Kyiv Mohyla Academy
Founded in 1615 by Metropolitan Petro Mohyla. It was the first institution of
higher learning in Ukraine and of all Eastern Europe.
Edmonton's Grant McEwan Community College was the first Canadian
institute of higher education to establish collaborative ties with Mohyla Academy so
some visitors might be surprised when they find a
Grant McEwan Community College office on the campus.
- Outdoor Museum of Folk Architecture and Habitat in Ukraine
Reconstruction of architecture and life of various regions of Ukraine. Houses, churches,
mills, farm buildings and equipment, tools and clothing of the 16th to 19th centuries.
Spread over 150 hectares of beautiful rolling hills and countryside. During state and
religious holidays various ethnographic groups revive old customs and the churches conduct
- Population 504,000+.
- City and regional centre on the Olkhovka and Luhan rivers.
- In 1795 it was the site of a cannon foundry which supplied the needs of the Black Sea Fleet.
- In 1882 Selyshche, Kamyany Brid and neighbouring settlements, amalgamated to create the city of Luhansk. Its name changed many times: 1935-58 it became Voroshylovhrad; in 1958-70 Luhansk; in 1970-90 Voroshylovhrad; in 1990 it reverted to its original historical name.
- Population 800,000+.
- Founded in the mid-13th century by a Galician-Volynian king who named the
city in honour of his son, Lev.
- A major metropolitan city that is now conveniently serviced by Ukraine's
second major international airport.
- The city and its surrounding areas are rich in history, architecture and art.
With its markets, theatres, churches, towers, colleges, university, monuments, circus,
parks, libraries, archives, department stores, bookstores, museums and notable Lychakiv
and Yanivsky Cemeteries, you'll not want for something to do here! R.J.'s Tours Ltd. tour
guides will bus and escort you to the most significant attractions of this vibrant city.
- Population 90,000
- City and district centre 40 Km from Uzhhorod on the Latorytsya river.
- Founded in the 9th century as a military fortress and settlement for the
White Croatians. In 10th-11th centuries it was part of Kyivan Rus'-Ukraine. Eventually
captured by Hungarians who used it as their fortress. Devastated by Polovtsian tribes in
1086 and again in 1241 by Khan Baty. Under Hungarian rule between 1938-44 after which it
became part of Ukraine SSR.
- 78 km from Kherson.
- Korsun Monstery dates back to 18th century.
- 490 km south of Kyiv.
- Population 1,132,000.
- Third largest city in Ukraine and long a destination for international
travellers because of its climate and resort beaches; often referred to as "Little Paris".
- Boulevards, parks, and the Promorsky stairs.
- Seven theatres, plus the world famous "Odesa Opera and Ballet
Theatre", a philharmonic orchestra, a circus and much more!.
- Hospitable, bright, cheerful, modern and picturesque. The city was developed most during the reign of Catherine The Great.
- Southern gateway to the state and one of the largest seaports on t6he Black Sea.
- Population 16,400.
- City and district centre located 209 Km from Uzhhorod in Zakarpatska region
on the Tysa river.
- Earliest records date from 1447 and describe peasant settlers from Galicia
- Today it's a popular tourist destination.
- The Taras Shevchenko Monument and Regional Museum are located in the city.
- Nearby is the Carpathian Nature Preserve covering the Chornohora range
containing the highest peaks of the Carpathians.
- Population 300,000.
- City and regional administrative centre located 321 Km from Kyiv on the Ustya
- Earliest records mention it in 1282 when a battle was fought there between
Lithuanian and Polish armies.
- Despite frequent Tatar raids, it survived and expanded into an important
- Occupied by Russian troops in 1660, Polish forces in 1667 and Swedish armies
- Churches, museums, theatres, philharmonic, educational institutes, libraries,
archives, parks, sports complexes, banks and department stores.
- Population 300,000+.
- Founded by Greeks in 422 B.C.
From 5-1 B.C. it was a self-governed city-state known as Chersonese Taurica. These
ruins have been preserved.
- From the 1st-4th century A.D. it became an aristocratic republic under
control of Rome.
- During the 5th-6th century the city fell under control of the Byzantine
- The Kyivan prince Volodymyr Svyatoslavovych known as Volodymyr the Great
finally captured Sevastopol in 988, converting it to the Christian religion.
- In 1299 the City of Chersonese Taurica (Taurian Peninsula) was captured and
destroyed by the Tatar-Mongols
- Population 5,000.
- City and rail station situated in Ternopil' region on the Hnyla river.
- Founded sometime prior to 1564.
- Castle dating from 1630 has been partially preserved.
- A small city situated in the Carpathian foothills on the Opir river, 106 Km
- Founded sometime prior to 1397.
- A 17th century wooden church and bell tower are illustrative of the Boyko
school of architecture.
- A village on the Tysa river between the Skalvan and Mahura mountains, 25 Km
from the Tyachiv railway station.
- Offers vistors a unique health facility - the Republican Hospital for
treatment of allergies. These buildings are located in underground salt mines. Treatments
are aimed at asthma and respiratory illnesses.
- Population 170,000.
- In 1349 the area was occupied by Poland.
- The nucleus of the present city was a castle, constructed on the ruins of
Sopilche in 1540. Sopilche was an ancient Ukrainian fortress which was destroyed during
Khan Baty's campaign into the Carpathians.
- The castle was rebuilt as a palace in the 19th century by Count F.
Korytovsky. The fortifications were removed along with the tower and gate. Then an
ordinary wall was built around the new palace.
- Churches, monuments, a castle, plus the central man-made lake make this city
a beautiful stop for sightseers and photographers.
- Population 12,700
- City and rail station 136 Km from Uzhhorod on the right bank of the Tysa
- Founded in mid-13th century.
- Monuments to Taras Shevchenko and one of the leaders of the 1848 revolution
in Hungary, L. Koshutov.
- Population: -
- From this location you are able to take a boat trip to the Danube delta. There you can see the mighty river that connects East with West. This place is also famous as a natural park that is home to roughly two thousand species of birds.
- Population 125,000.
- In its early history, the city changed names several times: Ung; Ongvar;
Hungvar; Unguyvar; and Ungvar.
- In 1080 armies of the Polovtsian Khan Kutesko devastated the entire region
but were unable to penetrate Uzhhorod's well-built fortress. In the Middle ages, the city
was destroyed and rebuilt several times during the wars between the Habsburgs and
Transylvanians. Between the 11th-13th centuries it was under Hungarian rule until Bohdan
Khmelnytsky's Cossack troops freed the population. Today, the Hungarian government
maintains a diplomatic representative in this city.
- A university, churches, castles, museums, monuments, theatres, and
philharmonic orchestra make for some great exploration opportunities.
- Parks and the University of Uzhhorod Botanical Garden offer a quiet refuge
for those who do not want to avail themselves of the shopping, postal and/or banking
- 79 km south of Simferopol.
- Population 150,000.
- Around the 12th century was known as Dzhalita, part of the kingdom of Feodoro
and settled by Polovtsians. Later it came under control of Genoese and on Italian maps in
the 14th century it was called Healita or Etalita.
- In the 15th century it was levelled by an earthquake but Greeks and Armenians
resettled the district only 70 years later. They named the new settlement Yalta.
- Largest international resort in the Crimea. Over 144 therapeutic resort
- 65 km from Ivano-Frankivsk.
- Population 10,000.
- A major tourist centre in the Hutsul region.
- The Hutsulshchyna Tourist Complex is located in the city.
- Excellent examples of wooden buildings in Hutsul folk architectural style.
- Until 1921 was known as Oleksandrivsk.
- Population over 800,000.
- City was founded in 1770 or possibly as early as the late 11th century.
- Territory was settled in the early Paleolithic period. The earliest remains
so far uncovered are located near the village of Fedorivka. Over 100 monuments from the
Bronze age have also been excavated.
- In 7th century B.C., the area was ruled by the Scythians. By the 4th century
A.D. the country was conquered by the Huns. Then in the 6th century it was captured by the
Avars, and in the 8th century by the Khazars.
- The Khazar Khanate was destroyed in 966 by Kyivan Prince Svyatoslav. From
mid-11th century A.D., Polovtsian tribes controlled the area. They were destroyed by
armies of the Ukrainian princes in the early 12th century. Soon after that, Tatars renewed
their attacks on the area and defeated the forces of the Ukrainian princes. The Golden
Horde and the Crimean Khans enslaved the population until the rise of the Cossack movement
in the late 15th century.
- The Zaporizhzhian region is the home of many important historical monuments.
Hundreds of "kurhans" or burial mounds can be found throughout the region and
are considered the most unusual monuments of ancient Ukraine. The most unique sacred place
among the Neolithic monuments is the Stone Barrow located only 30 Km from Melitopol.
Images of sorcerers, bulls, horses, deer, fishing nets, and footprints are carved on stone
walls of the grottos.
- It's believed that this was the region from which many Ukrainians with
surnames such as Fedorak, Fedoriuk, Fedoruk, Fedorick, and Fedoryk may have originated.
- Territory was settled during the Early Paleolithic era. Later, various Slavic
tribes including the Zhytychi lived here.
- City was founded in 884.
- A possible derivation of the name has been attributed to the Slavic words for
"to live in peace".
- Through the centuries the city was burned to the ground several times, then
rebuilt. Khan Baty burned it on his infamous campaign in 1240.
Links to Historical Maps of the Region
As historical maps illustrate, this region was part of several different empires over recorded history.
G&L Publishers Compilation (c.1000-1809) from
U. of Texas Perry Castañeda Online Library Map Collection
For a complete guide on travelling to Ukraine send an e-mail request to firstname.lastname@example.org
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