OK, so when we were in Chernivtsi for about 4 hours, I took nearly 400 pictures. That’s around 2 pictures per minute. It was hard to condense them down because we saw so many wonderful things. But, alas, I have done so and you can see the remaining quarter of them here: http://poland.leonkonieczny.com/Poland%202011/Chernivtsi/index.html.
Chernivtsi (Czerniowce inPolish) is a beautiful city in southwestern Ukraine, near the Carpathian mountains (the Bukovina area). In times gone by, it was sometimes considered the major city of the Carpathians (Bukovina), and for many years it was a city with a majority Romanian population. It is also a city noted for it culture, second only to Lwów in western Ukraine.
It was also an important city militarily, having had at one time a fortress used to fend off the Mongol Invaders. As with so many cities in this area of the world, before World War II it had a thriving and large Jewish population–maybe 33% or more–but nowadays has few if any left. The rest of the population was mainly Romanians and Ukrainians.
So it was fitting that we happened to visit Chernivtsi on Ukrainian Independence Day, celebrating 20 years of Independence–true Independence. You can see the parade and large gathering of folks, some in traditional garb, all celebrating on the day we were there.
There are some other notable buildings in Chernivtsi, primarily the (blue) city hall, the (light green) theater, and the huge red brick University, originally a “gift” of the Hapsburg monarchs. We saw it all and enjoyed it a lot.