Chernivtsi - a splinter the Danube Empire

The destiny of Chernivtsi (Czernowitz), as a city and the capital of the duchy of Bukovina is inseparably linked with the history of the Austrian empire.


That Chernivtsi (Czernowitz) whose wonderful buildings we can still admire nowadays, was built during the Austrian period, a splendid epoch for the city.

This site is my attempt to acquaint the reader with our city, the city of multicultural Babylon, which mixed different cultures and nationalities in its melting forges.

Chernivtsi (Czernowitz) has a surprising ability to share experiences and energy with its guests. It is the energy which has been accumulated in the city architecture, some kind of representation of economic and cultural power of the national groups that live here.

One can feel some especial atmosphere over the city.


The Bukovina is the place of residence mostly of Ukrainian, Romanian and Moldovian nationalities.  Nevertheless Chernivtsi was created by another two ethno cultural elements: Austrian and Jewish.

Austrian element should be interpreted in wide sense of the word as it included not only Austrians or Germans, but also the German-speaking society. Those people moved here from the whole Austrian Empire: Bohemia, Moravia (Czech Republic), Trieste or Hungary. This turned a provincial town of Bukovyna into the farthest eastern outpost of the Austrian Empire.

It was an outpost with all the necessary civilized elements – stone blocks, water carriage, working authorities, roads, architecture, European education and, to top it all, Chernivtsi University.


At the same time, Jewish population, dominating during a certain period of time, brought the spirit of commercialism and Hasidic religious exaltation.

Chernivtsi (Czernowitz) no doubt belongs to one of those rare cities of Ukraine which have their unique atmosphere.

Perhaps due to this very atmosphere Chernivtsi (Czernowitz) gave the world such a wonderful literature school and showed an example of a rare mixture of such excellent and at the same time interesting cultures.

No one knows about the future destiny of the city. The city is changing. Its citizens´ destinies are unpredictable. As splinters of the former Danube Empire, its generations are scattered on different continents of the world.


But nowadays Chernivtsi (Czernowitz) is still keeping its authenticity and I invite you to visit our small cosy town, “Little Vienna”, to walk through its squares and areas, to meet the cultural heritage with its architectural pearls of Habsburgs´ epoch, to get acquainted with the national property of ethnic groups that live here.

It would be nice to do it on Saturday or Sunday morning when the city is still free (clean) from every day hustle and bustle. At that time nothing will distract you from staying alone with the spirit of the city, with its poetry in stone.

Walking through Chernivtsi (Czernowitz) in the evening will help you to discover new sides of the city that are finely underlined by buildings´ and the areas´ illumination and by the pleasant atmosphere of coffee houses and restaurants.

You will discover the history of the European city which is situated on the spot where the roads from Europe and Asia cross each other. It’s a tiny capital of Europe, where Sunday began with Shubert to end with a duel, where pavement was swept with bouquets of roses and one could find more bookstalls than taverns.


You will learn the preconditions for transformation of a provincial town in Bukovyna to the eastern outpost of the Austrian Empire, the history of squares’ and streets’ foundation, familiarize yourself with architectural masterpieces, which absorbed the beauty of different cultural styles of several epochs.

You will step aboard the deck of a ship on which people of different nationalities and religions sail in the waves of everyday life. They always sail in piece and harmony.

Chernivtsi (Czernowitz) is like mini-Europe. It is a dream of Europe. Our peaceful city-ship has hospitable gates on its coat of arms wide open. It always heads on between the East and the West, as an example of community and tolerance.

I hope this site materials will help you to prepare to meet our Chernivtsi.

Our city’s visitors must not forget that when you leave Chernivtsi, less than in an hour you will be surrounded by mysterious Carpathians Mountains, the Dnystrovsky canyon or medieval fortresses of Hotin and Kamyanets-Podilsk.