As we stayed 4 days in Chernivtsi, we also went on a half-day sidetrip to the historic district Sadhora.
In the 19th and early 20th century it was the Jewish centre of the Bukovina and an important place of Jewish Chassidism.
In the middle of the 18th century a mint was established here as well. Beside an old Jewish cemetery, a Christian cemetery, a Lenin statue and some churches, we also had a look at the ruin of an Hasidic synagogue.
The red-brick building was a bit difficult to find, although it is located at on of the main steets (vul. Morisa Toresa) just about 500 m south of the centre. We asked a few people about it and they directly drove us there.
Also the ruins of the Court of Sadhora, which was established by the Rabbi Yisroel Friedman in the late 19th century and destroyed by the Russian Army in 1914 is situated in Sadhora. Unfortunately, we didn't find it.
Sadhora is situated on the left bank of the river Prut, about 6 km north of Chernivtsi's city centre. The best way to get there is a by marshrutka (minibus). For example numbers 1, 15, 16, 33 and many more serve the route from Chernivtsi to Sadhora.
Another very interesting cemetery is the Christian Cemetery, which is even larger than the Jewish Cemetery.
Besides Ukrainian and Russian tombstones, there are also many Polish and German inscriptions.
The grave of the famous Ukrainian writer Olga Kobylianska is said to be located here as well, but we didn't find it.
The Chistian Cemetery is also situated east of the city centre in the Zelena street, just opposite to the Jewish Cemetery.
The Jewish Cemetery of Chernivtsi is one of the largest of its kind in Europe.
Most of the place is more or less overgrown by vegetation, but it looks like some people look after it.
The tombstones date back to the 18th century and many have German, Hebrew, Ukrainian or Russian inscriptions.
At the entrance stands a Ceremony Hall, which was built in 1905.
It is very much in decay and has probably been victim of vandalism in the last years.
Although it was locked by chains, we took the chance to get in. Inside a huge dedication tablet in German language as well as many tiles remain in good condition.
Chernivtsi's Jewish Cemetery is located about 20 minutes on foot east of the city centre. Follow Ruska street and turn left after the railway line into Zelena street. The cemetery is located on top of the street, just opposite to the Christian Cemetery.
.... under construction
Saint Anna Women’s Monastery is built on the site where the popular local saint was martyred in the 13th century. The story goes that as the Tartars were rampaging through the area they spotted her. She ran up the hill in an attempt to escape. There is a lot of construction going on currently there, A large building is being erected which appears to be dorm areas for the nuns. There is also a smaller chapel that seems to be very new. There is a café there but it seems to be open only rarely. About half way down the hill is a small graveyard which appears to be in use. An elderly nun walked down there and I didn’t have enough guts to intrude. I had nuns for teachers as a kid and still have a fear of them :)
It wasn’t too many years ago that the majority of the people would not have access to the many small lakes that surround Chernovtsi. Transportation back then was by bus or train and to even if a bus went near these lakes it would be an all day process just to get there. Now with greatly improved transportation and the great number of taxi’s and personal automobiles, these lakes are now drawing crowds.
In the case of this lake, some entrepreneur brought in some sand, built some cabins and dining areas, and setup a restaurant to take care of the visitors. Unfortunately they didn’t seem to give this place a name. At least I couldn’t find anyone who actually had a name for the place. In fact trying to give directions to the place as it stands would be a real chore. We drove down E583 heading to Kiev and suddenly we turned left into some old dirt road into some farmlands. We were in the midst of cornfields and marshes with other dirt roads crossing up from time to time. Not a sign to be found. Luckily our driver had been there a number of times and new the maze well.
At first the place wasn’t that impressive, just a smallish lake in the midst of some marsh area. As we parked we saw a row of small cabins that were available for rent. They were not very large but serviceable for short stays. Walking on a bit farther we went by some grass area with sunbathers and still further a small beach area with the imported sand. Continuing the walk, we went past the restaurants kitchen to a doc area where they had a covered outdoor dining area.
While this is not the French Riviera, it is a nice place to just spend some time, just a little money, purchase some decent food, and relax a bit. No large crowds, no blaring music, just some peace and quiet. The food, while basic was tasty. In the morning they do some net fishing and gather up enough fish for the day. I have no clue what type of fish we were eating, but once you deep fry it, I’m happy.
Sonyashna Doliyna, at the village of Boyani, is about 15 miles outside of town. The friend that took us there arranged with the manager to show us around. The man was rightly proud of his establishment. Our first stop was the barn. Located there along with a number of horses were camels. We were offered to go out on a ride, and off my wife and daughter went on horses. I stayed at the barn guarding the camels. Thirty minutes later they returned and we continued the tour, past the barn past the tennis courts. After the tennis courts he pointed out an area that staged paint ball fights and RV rides. A little farther down were a number of apartments that could be rented. Around the lake are areas to swim, sun bathe, barbeque or rent boats. A first class restaurant sits on the lake side and while we were there hosted a wedding reception.. All in all a very enjoyable place to visit. My only complaint was that the water was very green with algae.
About 12 miles outside of the city is a small lake that is one of the places that the people with means head out to have some fun in the sun. Some entrepreneur bought a blowup slide and charges for the privilege. There is also a little Warf area that one can rent boats. Right next to the Warf is a dining area with a pretty good kitchen. Across the street is a very nice motel that rates very high on my scale.
While buses run there periodically, a taxi ride is the best bet and reasonably priced.
On the outskirts of the city lies a re-creation of a traditional Ukrainian village of the past. Complete with church, windmills, farms and shops. Most days it’s a pretty quiet adventure, but it does host a number of festivals throughout the year. If you are lucky enough to be around during one, it adds dramatically to the experience.
One of the days we visited the site, it played host to the annual Ukrainian festival. Live actors recreated a village scene and traditional dancers and musicians played throughout the day. Traditional food was sold and vendors sold their hand made wares.
while in Chernivtsi, consider taking a day trip to a nearby Kamyanets-Podilsky (80 km east), a city well-know for its well-preserved medieval castle, towers and bastions around Smotrych river, Polish and Armenian markets squares, the Polish cathedral with a minaret, and many other places. for more details, check my Kamyanets-Podilsky page.
North of the town, near the banks of the river Prut you find the Kalina Market, one of the biggest 'Black Markets' in Ukraine. It gives you some impressions of the real Ukrainian economy, the one outside the official one which is covered by the statistics etc. The market is most active in the morning and closed on Mondays.
The old town and the fortress with the museum. Its opened from 9.00 am to 17.00 pm.
More information and Pictures are in my traveologue:
One day trip to the Karpatians mountains, and you will have the chance to view the great views, green big forests, rivers, and small old-look villages. You can hire a driver for 20$ a day, (I reccmoend you about Sasha and his Lada car - ask in Cheremosh hotel) and translator for more 20$ a day.
More information and pictures are in my travelogue: