Розмовна тема: Describing home city – Chernivtsi

Розмовна тема: Describing home city – Chernivtsi

Chernivtsi, a beautiful city with inimitable architecture, museums, shady alleys in its parks and public gardens, summer cafes that can be found literally round every corner, attracts tourists from across the country and abroad. They come to admire the past and the present, which blend so harmoniously together. Besides, this year our city is going to celebrate its 600th anniversary. The name “Chernivtsi” was mentioned for the first time in a feudal charter signed by the ruler of Moldovian State, Alexander Dobriy (the Good) on October 8, 1408. However, the town itself appeared much earlier, during the times of Kievan Rus, when Prince Yaroslav Osmomysl ordered a fortress to be built on the left bank of the Prut River in the second half of the 12th century. Over the centuries, the town witnessed times of flourishing and decay. It was plundered and burnt many times by Tatar invaders or Polish armies. All those misfortunes hampered the development of the town, and Chernivtsi in the early 18th century differed little from an ordinary village.

The architectural image of contemporary Chernivtsi began its formation in the 19th century, when the wide-scale construction of brick buildings began. A number of apartment houses, civic edifices which lend beauty to the city, the residence of Bukovinian metropolitans, the cathedral, the railway station and the theater were built. As time passed, Chernivtsi gradually changed into a well-planned city. Chernivtsi is one of the most beautiful cities of Ukraine, attracting many tourists. Arrow-straight avenues fanning from the city’s center crisscross the old narrow winding streets, which run down to the Prut River. Different architectural styles characteristic of past centuries blend well with one another. Along the river banks there are more small houses, while closer to the center the number of high-rise buildings increases. Many buildings are complete with bay windows, loggias, weather vane towers, sculptural relieves and baroque stucco moulding. These architectural devices, so characteristic of the second half of the 19lh century, add inimitability to the city.

Near the central park, there is a unique residential district where specious cottages, surrounded by luxuriant orchards, stand in the agreeable quite streets. Here you will not find two houses alike. Chernivtsi is often called a city-museum, a city-orchard, a city-labourer. Chernivtsi is a city of students. The university, which has a 125-year-old history, trains researchers, teachers, engineers and technicians. The 60-year-old Chernivtsi Medical University has trained 10,000 internists, surgeons, and pediatricians.

As for historical events in Ukraine, I’d like to stress the fact that our civilization is one of the most ancient in the world.East Slavs established a vast domain, centered in Kyiv and called Kievan Rus. It became one of the largest, richest, and most powerful lands in medieval Europe. In 988 Saint Volodymyr, grand prince of Kyiv, accepted Orthodox Christianity, and in this way brought Kievan Rus under the cultural influence of the Byzantine Empire. Inter-princely feuds, shifting trade routes, and recurrent nomadic attacks weakened Kievan Rus, however, and in 1240, it fell to the invading Mongols. The colonization of the vast steppes gave rise to the Cossacks, frontier settlers who. in time, became defenders of Ukrainian interests against Polish overlords. In 1648 Bohdan Khmel’nytsky. the Cossack hetman, or leader, led a massive uprising against the Poles. Seeking foreign support, he accepted the overlordship of the Russian tsar in 1654 in the Treaty of Pereyaslav. This initiated steady Russian expansion into Ukraine. Anyway, to some extent, it was beneficial for the Ukrainians.

As for modern times, the most important event in Ukrainian history was the proclamation of Ukraine’s independence. Confused and demoralized by the failure of the abortive coup of August1991, in which Communist hard-liners tried to take over the government, the Communists of Ukraine gave in and joined the nationalists in proclaiming Ukraine’s independence on August 24. The legislature’s declaration was confirmed by more than 90 percent of the electorate in a nationwide referendum in December. At the same time, Leonid Kravchuk was elected as the country’s first president.