Uzhgorod (also spelled Uzhhorod, Uzhorod, Uzgorod) is an administrative center of Zakarpattia oblast, western Ukraine. It is standing along the Uzh River and south of the Uzhok Pass across the Carpathians. Uzhgorod has railway station and an airport. The city is an important highway junction of the region.
Uzhgorod population is about 117,000 (2012).
The phone code is +380 312; the postal codes are 88000-88499.
Uzhgorod is one of the most ancient cities in Ukraine. An East Slavic tribe of white Croatians founded their first settlements in the area before the 9th century when Uzhgorod (Ungvar) turned into a fortified fortress.
In 903, Hungarians crossed the Carpathians and occupied the town defeating the army of Uzhgorod prince Laborets on the territory of current Slovakia. There is an opinion that the name “Hungary” itself derives from the Hungarian name of Uzhgorod – Ungvar.
The town continued widening its boundaries being ruled by the Hungarian kingdom. In 1241, Batyi Mongols burnt the town. In 1318, Hungarian feudal lords Drugets started ruling Uzhgorod and it lasted 360 years. Philip Druget constructed a new castle which is preserved till nowadays.
In the 16th-17th centuries, Uzhgorod grew economically but at the same time it turned into an arena of fight between the Orthodox, Catholic and Protestant religions. In 1707, the town became a residence of Ferets II Rakotsy, the leader of national liberation war of the Hungarian people.
On Septemebr 10th, 1919, Zakarpattia area with Uzhgorod as the capital was passed to Czechoslovakian republic. In 1938, Uzhgorod was passed to Hungary. On October 27th, 1944, the town was set free of Hungarian and German armies by Soviet troops. In 1945, Uzhgorod State (now National) University was opened.
In 1945, Zakarpattia Ukraine became a part of the Ukrainian SSR and the USSR. From January 1946, Uzhgorod was a center of newly formed Zakarpattia oblast.
Since 1991, Uzhgorod is the least populated and western regional center among 24 of those in Ukraine.
Uzhgorod is one of the biggest industrial centers of Across-the-Carpathians area. The industries include the manufacture of machine tools, furniture, veneer as well as food-processing industries.
The city is located on the height of about 120 km at the foot of the Carpathians, on the river Uzh. The river crosses Uzhgorod, dividing it into a right-bank part where historical center is located and a left-bank part. The city is located on the boundary with Slovakia, there are 2 checking points.
The climate is of moderate continental type, with hot summers and mild winters. In the north, Uzhgorod is protected from cold winds by the Carpathians so the climate in the city is influenced by this fact. Average temperature is 9,7 degrees C above zero, it is the lowest in January (2,8 degrees C below zero) and the highest in July (19,9 degrees C above zero).
Uzhgorod administration building
There are a lot of architectural monuments in Uzhgorod – Uzhgorodsky castle (it is known from the 11th century), a bishop’s palace (1646), a Catholic church in baroque style (1762-1767), a city hall (1810). In 1930s, Czech architects created an architectural ensemble of Uzhgorod center in the form close to constructionism.
In the city there is Uzhgorod University, institutes and professional schools, a museum of local study, an art museum, Zakarpattia museum of folk architecture, a botanic garden, a Ukrainian theater of drama and music, a puppet theater, a regional philharmonic society (former synagogue), over 20 schools, a gymnasium, a lyceum, a number of churches.
Main reasons to visit Uzhgorod
Legends and ghosts of Uzhgorodsky castle. The castle is a trustful guard of the town and its spiritual defender, one of the most ancient in Ukraine.
A pedestrian bridge which fulfills wishes. One of the most ancient and famous bridges in Uzhgorod stone bridge links 2 absolutely different halves of Uzhgorod - the Old town and the New town.
Lime-tree alley - the longest in Europe. It is 2 km 200 m long and stretches along the Uzh and its 2 embankments - of Independence and the Students’. The alley is in blossom all summer long due to lime-trees of different sorts.
Blossom of sakura. At late April - early May Uzhgorod absolutely changes: hundreds of sakura trees are in blossom - there are pink-white flowers everywhere. Thousands of tourists come to Uzhgorod to enjoy this really beautiful and thrilling view.
A Museum in Vedmina Yama (“Witch’s Pit”). It is one of the first museums in the open air in Ukraine, Zakarpattia museum of folk architecture which is located on the place of former famous Vedmina Yama (“Witch’s Pit”). In medieval time, Zakarpattia witches who were linked with the devil were burnt there. Nowadays the museum is a unique ensemble of the Ukrainian national heritage.
Korzo. Korzo consists of shops, cafes and banks. This is the trade heart of Uzhgorod. The name is translated from the Italian as “a street to walk”. This is how former owners of the town called it – they were earls Drugetti from Napoli. This is the street which preserved the old design of Uzhgorod best of all in the whole city. This is the most beautiful part of Uzhgorod.