Uzhhorod is a city with a unique atmosphere that can’t be found in any other place in Ukraine. Only here can you enjoy the lush cherry blossoms, drink fragrant coffee for $0.40 and run through the streets in search of symbolic mini sculptures. This is also a place where you can listen to music in a Neo-Moorish synagogue. Here are a few things to see and do in Uzhhorod.
The first mention of the Uzhhorod Castle dates back to the tenth century. Thus, the historical fortress and bastion are the main tourist destinations of the city. Today, the building hosts the Zakarpattya Lore Museum, and the cellars are occupied by a torture room exhibit. The exhibits are recreations based on drawings, medieval sketches, engravings and photographs. The castle guard room was transformed into a restaurant with a beautiful summer terrace and a tasting room featuring Transcarpathian wines.
Kapitul’na Street, 33, Uzhhorod, Ukraine, +380312614609
Uzhhorod is a city with a large number of attractions. This not only includes the classic sights like castles and museums, but also mini sculptures that fill the city. Each art piece is either directly or indirectly connected with Uzhhorod. The first piece appeared in 2010, and now there are 25 placed around the city. For instance, the tiny version of the Statue of Liberty acts as a lighthouse for boats on the Uzh River. The sculpture of Deep Purple keyboard player Jon Lord appeared on the embankment’s handrail because the river is often fogged in. Thus, the band’s “Smoke on the Water” song is symbolic to Uzhhorod.
It is not necessary to go to Japan to enjoy the delightful scenery of cherry blossoms, as one can see them flowering in Uzhhorod. Unfortunately, it lasts only for two weeks, so to spot them, be sure to visit the city at the beginning of May. This event is officially celebrated by the city authorities; therefore, the days of the cherry tree bloom are reserved for the annual Sakura Fest, which features theatrical and musical performances, wine tastings, film screenings and fire shows.
Bishop’s Residence is one of the oldest buildings in Uzhhorod. The entire complex, which hosts a college, a school and a church, was built in the seventeenth century in the late Baroque style. During the centuries, it faced a couple of reconstructions, but the general appearance has remained the same. Visitors have an opportunity to gaze not only at the façade of the Bishop’s Residence, but at the interior design and decor as well. It is open to guests Tuesday through Friday from 10 am to 5 pm.
The splendid Rococo façade of the Cross Exaltation Cathedral is equally as impressive as the Baroque paintings that adorn the inside. Within the construction’s architecture you’ll find eighteenth century traditional decorations, complete with light tones and ornate details. The highlights of the cathedral and the adjoining Bishop’s Residence are the two bells: the left one weighs one tonne and the right is three times bigger. These features together make it one of the most attractive sights in the city.
When in Uzhhorod, you should definitely learn the peculiarities of folk architecture and life in Western Ukraine. You’ll be able to spot the significant influence from the country’s Hungarian past and draw a comparison with Kiev’s architecture. Thus, in the open-air Museum of Folk Architecture and Life, you’ll find yourself in an authentic village with stylized samples of wooden churches and dwellings. You’ll also be able to enter the homes and see the decor, as well as a collection of household items, which number 14,000.
The synagogue in Uzhhorod was established when the city was under the rule of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. It was made in the then-popular Neo-Moorish architecture style. However, in 1944, after the destruction of the Transcarpathian Jews, the fate of the synagogue changed. It became the Transcarpathian Regional Philharmonic. Pink marble, red ceramic tiles, decorative bricks and small towers brightly stand out from the overall architectural style of Uzhhorod. Upon visiting the former synagogue, you will not only enjoy the beautiful architecture, but also see one of the best organs in Ukraine.
Teatral’na Square, 10, Uzhhorod, Ukraine, +380312630544
If you’re looking for an authentic venue in Uzhhorod, don’t miss a chance to drink a 9 UAH ($0.40) cup of great espresso in the café-museum Pid Zamkom. It is located a bit below the castle in the historical part of the city. Its interior is decorated with antique objects collected by the owner and his friends. All the items reflect the Austro-Hungarian and Czechoslovakian periods in Ukraine and are connected with the history of Uzhhorod in different ways.
Ol’brakhta Street, 3, Uzhhorod, Ukraine, +380312616174
Among Uzhhorod’s monuments of landscape architecture, Linden Alley is an impressive piece. It stretches for 1.2 miles (2 km) on two embankments of Uzhhorod: Independence and Studencheskaya. Due to the fact that different linden tree varieties grow here, the alley blooms all spring and summer long. In May hundreds of sakura (cherry) trees flower in the adjacent Pushkin Square, as well as along the streets of Dovzhenko and Rakoci, making the city look like a huge pink and white cloud. For many, Linden Alley is a place of power.
Western Ukraine is the second most fruitful area of wine production in Ukraine (after its southern region). Not surprisingly, it attracts wine lovers from all over Europe. One of the best Ukrainian wineries, Chizay, is situated only 41 miles (66 km) from Uzhhorod. When you visit it, you’ll be pleased by a cordial welcome to the chateaux and will be offered a tour of the tasting room, cellars, vineyards, and picturesque Chizay Valley.
Chizay tract, Berehovo, Ukraine, +3803141 23193