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Ancient Place

Drohobych, Lviv region

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The City Hall building

The City Hall building

Drohobych is one of the oldest cities in Ukraine. The city has a rich history. In 1991, it celebrated its 900th anniversary. As the story goes, the town was founded by the surviving residents of the town of Bych that had been burnt by the Cumans at the end of the 11th century. They named it "Another Bych", or Drohobych. From the 14th century, the city was one of the largest centers of salt. As for the origin of the name there is no consensus. The most common version explains that there was the town of Bych near the salt springs at the foothills of the Carpathians. The town flourished from salt trade.

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Yuriy Drohobych  monument

Yuriy Drohobych monument


Yuriy Drohobych  monument

Yuriy Drohobych monument


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After the attack of the nomadic Cumans in the late 11th century, the town was razed to the ground. After some time, the residents who had managed to escape from their enemies, returned to their place and rebuilt the town, but in a slightly different place. The new city was named Another Bych (“drohoi” – “another”). Eventually the name turned into Drohobych. The city name is written in different languages like this: English — Drohobych; Polish — Drohobycz; German — Drohobytsch.

The Tower of Drohobych

The Tower of Drohobych


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The Tower of Drohobych memorial plaque

The Tower of Drohobych memorial plaque


We, Matt, Urszula, Sonja and I, had a great VT Meet in Truskavets, Lviv region, in May 2015. During our stay there, we paid a visit to this place thanks to Matt and Urszula who had arrived to Truskavets by car. To enrich our new experiences, Matt and Urszula arranged a trip to Drobobych by their car. Thanks a lot, friends!

City Council square

City Council square


The City Council building

The City Council building

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City Council square

City Council square


Churches and temples were the major attractions that we saw in Drohobych. Almost all the temples are open only during the service. At other times they are closed to the general public, so you can only take pictures of their external facades.

Downtown Drohobych

Downtown Drohobych


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The World War II memorial in Drohobych

I totally disagree that, except for the churches and cathedrals, there is nothing more to see in Drohobych. Alas, there is not enough information about its sights, so you have to be active, walk for hours and discover them for yourself, like we did. Out of more than 30 city architectural landmarks and 14 monuments, we managed to see the main city sights :

  • St.George’s Cathedral (“sobOr sviatOho YurAh” in Ukrainian) that dates back to end of the 15th century - the beginning of the 16th century. It was brought to Drohobych in 1656 from the village of Nadiyeve. The cathedral acquired its final appearance in 1678, when the bell tower was completed. The UNESCO included this church into the World Heritage list as a part of the project "Wooden Churches of the Carpathian region in Poland and Ukraine." ccordingly, there was, albeit small, funding that allowed to restore the roof. In future, it is planned to restore the murals. They date back to the 16th century.

St.George’s Cathedral, Dronogych

St.George’s Cathedral, Dronogych


St.George’s Cathedral

St.George’s Cathedral


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The wooden church of St. George is one of the most striking works of Galician folk architecture. The church was included into the UNESCO World Heritage list in the category "Wooden Churches of the Carpathian region of Ukraine".
The church dates back to the late 15th - early 16th century. St.George’s Church was brought in to Drohobych from a Subcarpathian village named Nadiyeve in 1656 and installed at the site of its burnt predecessor. In 1678, a bell tower was built.
The church interior is painted with magnificent frescoes of Stephen Meditsky. The ancient carved iconostasis has been preserved.
The church was repaired several times, but did not lose its original appearance.
We discovered something very special on the second floor where the choir stands - "another church" - another part of the altar. It was an amazing experience! We were allowed to climb the wooden steps for a nominal fee. From above we could have a closer look at some of the murals: in particular, the hell fire was in full view.

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St.George’s Cathedral

St.George’s Cathedral


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Now, this church is a branch of the Local Lore Museum called Drohobych Land. Another part of the exhibition is located in the neighboring wooden Church of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross that dates back to 1613.
St.George’s Church is a very informative museum church. I have not seen so many murals anywhere else. You will enjoy your visit even more, if you join a guided tour and listen to the history of the Do not bother about the entrance fee, the guided tour fee, the photo fee – simply enjoy your visit to this unique place, that is a must in Drohobych.
The church is open for visitors from 9 a.m. until 6 p.m., from Friday till Sunday: from 9 a.m. till 5 p.m. The entrance fee is UAH 30, a guided tour is UAH 50 and the photo fee is for your donation, you can choose to donate UAH 50 or UAH 100 – the interior is worth it. Directions: 25 Salty Pond; Tel. +38 03244 2 26 39.

  • Church of Exaltation of the Cross was the second sight we saw. This church acquired its final form in 1661. It is considered one of the best buildings in the style of Galician architecture. We approached the church and looked at its details.
  • Stepan Bandera Square with the monument to Yuriy Drohobych (the pseudonym of Yury Kotermak, 1450-1494), who was from Rector of the University of Bologna from 1481 till 1482. In 1488 he became the Professor of Krakow University.
  • St. Bartholomew Cathedral that was founded by King Wladyslaw Jagiello in 1392. The cathedral was built on the site of former castle and a part of it was used for the construction of the temple. In 1511, the cathedral was consecrated as the Church of the Blessed Virgin Mary, St. Bartholomew and the Holy Cross. This church is also known as Ascension Cathedral.

St. Bartholomew's Cathedral

St. Bartholomew's Cathedral


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The massive Gothic building was erected on the basis of a prince’s castle dating back to the time of the Galicia-Volyn Principality. Ancient foundations and wall fragments were used during the construction. A powerful fortification tower, that used to be a part of the former city fortifications on Castle Hill, became the cathedral’s bell tower.
For centuries, the building was reconstructed several times. In Soviet times, it was used as a warehouse. In 1989, the church was returned to the Roman Catholic community of the city. Many things were preserved in the interior : Gothic white stone portals, murals and stained glass windows of the 19th century, made after the drawings of famous artists J. Matejko, S.Wyspianski and J. Megoffer. The walls are reinforced with buttresses. You can see unusual white stone reliefs - three windows, on which there are images of a palm, a foot and a head with the papal tiara. Some sources call these stone reliefs the symbols of the Catholic domination, others believe they are pagan symbols.
The marble door with two swords remind us of the inhabitants of the city who fell in the Battle of Grunwald.
Directions: 12 Daniel of Galicia Street, Castle Mountain Square.

  • The City Hall tower that was built in 1927, when the Drohobych belonged to Poland. The high clock tower of Drohobych City Hall rose above the city in 1927, when the city returned to the Polish state.

City Council square

City Council square


The City Council building

The City Council building


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Drohobych received Magdeburg rights in 1460, and at the same time the first wooden town hall was built. By 1829 this building became very outdated and useless, so the new City Hall in the Austrian style was built - this time in stone. The need for a new building emerged after the First World War. I. Semkovich, M.Nikodimovich were the architects of the project.
The three-story building surrounds a small courtyard as a square.
The marble meeting hall is the main building of the city hall. You can arrange your climbing the City Hall tower to see the clock mechanism and to enjoy the city's best panoramic view.
Directions: 1 Market Square; tel. +38 03244 2 25 69,+38 03244 3 71 77 , +38 03244 2 25 69 ;
Website: City Council website for tourists

  • Market Square with Holy Trinity Cathedral built in 1690-1709 as the Roman Catholic Church. In 1808 it was bought by the Ukrainian community for the Greek Catholic churches and parish school. Now it is the main temple of Sambir-Drohobych Diocese of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church.
  • the Monastery of the Holy Apostles St.Peter and St.Paul, that was built in 1828 on the site of a monastery that had not survived a huge fire - the old wooden Basilian Brothers Monastery that had been built on that site back in 1775. This monastery is still called Basilian Monastery. Basilian Monastery is located at 1 Stryi Street. It is another beautiful sight of Drohobych. Its architectural style is very special and attractive.

Directions: 1 Stryi Street; Tel. +38 03244 3 90 58; +38 03244 2 24 71.

  • The Choral Synagogue of the 19th century lies within a five-minute walk from the monastery. At that time it was the largest synagogue in Eastern Galicia. The neglected building was transferred to the Jewish community. There are plans to restore it.

The old synagogue

The old synagogue


The old synagogue

The old synagogue

We saw the building was surrounded by a high fence – perhaps restoration work will start soon.

  • The Tower of Drohobych located in Castle Mountain Square is the oldest surviving building in the city. It dates back to the early medieval period. Powerful stone and wooden fortifications were built in the 13th century, during the time of the Galicia-Volyn Principality. In the 16th century, St.Bartholomew Cathedral was built on the grounds of the castle. The tower was used as its bell tower. In the 19th century, all other fortifications were dismantled, moats were filled, and the third floor with arched windows was built over the bell tower. You can see the monument to the medieval scholar Yutiy Drohobych, who was the Rector of the University of Bologna and the teacher of Copernicus.

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Downtown Drohobych

Downtown Drohobych


Be careful, if you decide to take a day trip from Drohobych. The roads connecting the city with other cities of the region often leave much to be desired. For example, the road from Drohobych to Sambir was considered the Ukraine's worst road and is often called Meteor Rain Road.

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Posted by Vic_IV 01:54 Archived in Ukraine

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