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Uzhgorod
Bokszay, Erdeli and Blacky :)
Bokszay, Erdeli and Blacky :)

The centre of Transcarpathian region, Uzhgorod, is the smallest regional centre in the whole Ukraine. 129 000 inhabitants (1998). Almost next to nothing. But being the smallest is not being bad or dull. Uzhgorod is one of the oldest cities of the country - and one of the cosiest too. And in the end of April, when its streets are covered with sakura and magnolia blossom, so sweet-pink as Barbie's dream, every city's visitor realises - he's in love with Uzhgorod. So let it be. :o)

 

History Lesson

Uzhgorod is at least 1000. Great age, indeed. The city spreads out on both sides of the winding river Uzh (which means "grass-snake"). It is clear: the river starts high up in the Carpathian mountainns and winds like grass-snake all the way down the narrow valley. Yes, it's likely that the town was named after the river. But its modern name city got only in the middle of 19th c. Years before that it was known as Ungvar.

Uzhgorod lies almost on Slovakia's border. The city always was and is multinational. It brings up its inhabitants to love their culture and to understand others cultures.

The oldest part of Uzhgorod - its castle. The deep moats and high defence walls of this fortress witness to the fact that the city is really ancient.

Archeologists say the first signs of human life on the territory of the present Uzhgorod belong to the early paleolith epoch (about 100 thousand years B.C.). There are also relics of early-Slavonic times (the middle and second half of the first thousand years A.D.). Some Slavonic settlements have been found on Castle Hill and in the district of Radvanka.

Medival Times

In the VIII and IX centuries Uzhgorod was already known as a centre of the tribes of White Croats. And there are evidences of existence of fortifications as far back as 872 A.D. In the beginning of X c. Uzhgorod was the capital of the great principality of the Slavonic Prince Laborets, who perished in 903 during the defence of the city fortress (Hungvar or Hung) against nomad Hungarian tribes invading the Danube lowlands.

In the middle of the XI c. Hungarian feudal lords began to seize the territory of Transcarpathia and up to the XII c. the whole area came under the rule of the Hungarian king. The Uzhgorod castle became one of the strong points of Hungary. When the Polovtsi hordes under the ledership of Kutesk Khan came tj the Uzhgorod walls, they could not capture the stronghold in 1086.

In 1290 the town came into the hands of Amodey, a wealthy feudal lord. In 1315 Uzhgorod saw the rising against Hungarian dominion. Its leader was Petr Petenko (Petunya). The rising was suppressed in 1317 with great cruelty. In 1332 the town became the property of the magnate Drugeth and was owned by this family for 369 years - up to 1691.

At the beginnning of the 16 century the region came under Austrian rule. Uzhgorod remembers the national-emancipatory war of the Hungarian people (kurutzs) against the Hapsburgs (1703-1711)/ In the summer of 1704 the insurgent forced the Austrian garrison, sheltered behing the walls of the Uzhgorod castle, to capitulate.

 

And What Was Next?

The castle was for some time the residence of Ferenc Rakoczi II, leader of the movement. Here he received envoys from Poland, France, Russia...

The castle was also a theological seminary in the 19th century. There are some legends about White Lady who roams about castle vaults and Witches' Pit in the castle yard. Now some museums dwell in the old fortress.

Among other places of interest in Uzhgorod there is the Cathedral, the residence of the Greek-Catholic bishop, the building of the former county hall ("zhupanat"), old cemetary Calvaria and others.



Uzhgorod castle
Uzhgorod castle
Uzhgorod castle one more time
Uzhgorod castle one more time
The former synagogue is now a philharmonic society
The former synagogue is now a philharmonic society
Roman-Catholic church
Roman-Catholic church
The wooden architecture museum - Pic. by Pettifogger
The wooden architecture museum - Pic. by Pettifogger
Korzo - the heart of old town
Korzo
Faces of old Uzhgorod
Faces of old Uzhgorod
Cathedral (1646)
Cathedral (1646)
Lutheran church
Lutheran church
Old ads
Old ads

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