Chernivtsi University

sights / Architecture

Chernivtsi University information

Chernivtsi , Ukraine
vul Kotsyubynskoho
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University buildings are often called 'dreaming spires', but Chernivtsi's is more like a trip on LSD. This fantastic, now Unesco-listed red-brick ensemble, with coloured tiles decorating its pseudo-Byzantine, pseudo-Moorish and pseudo-Hanseatic wings, is the last thing you'd expect to see here. The architect responsible was Czech Josef Hlavka, who was also behind Chernivtsi's Former Armenian Cathedral , as well as large chunks of Vienna. He completed the university in 1882 for the Metropolitans (Orthodox Church leaders) of Bukovyna as their official residence. The Soviets later moved the university here.

The wings surround a landscaped court. To the left as you pass the gatehouse is the Seminarska Church (Семінарська церква), now used for concerts and ceremonies. Straight ahead stands the former main palace residence of the Metropolitans (Палац-резиденція метрополитів), housing two remarkable staircases and a fantastic, 1st-floor Marmurovy Zal (Мармуровий зал; Marble Hall). As a public facility you can wander the buildings at will but the best rooms are usually locked. Ask at the Tourist Information Centre in town about guided tours or look out for guides loitering around the main gates. Security guards may let you take a peek into the main rooms for a small bribe.

The university is about 1.5km northwest of the city centre. Trolleybus 2 will get you there.