One of the oldest cities in Ukraine – Mukacheve is located in the centre of Transcarpathian region (Zakarpats’ka oblast’) on the picturesque banks of the blue river Latorytsia. Pioneer settlements in this area existed in the 7th-9th centuries. Over the years the city belonged to different states that influenced its architecture. The main dominating structure – Palanok Castle is well seen from all parts of the city. Medieval castle towers adorn the top of the lonely volcanogenic mountain, on which it is situated.
The heart of any city is a city hall in the city centre. On the corner of Myru and Pushkin Streets you’ll see a beautiful sea-green palace – so light, as if created from the air – the City Hall. Although this building is a formal institution, it radiates positive energy creating a cosy warm atmosphere. On the first floor you might notice the bronze Monument Konstytutsiya, which is particularly beautiful in yellow rays of light that pass through the stained-glass windows. You can see modern sculptures in the courtyard as well. Ringing of two bells located on the tower built about one century ago can be heard every 15 minutes and every hour, respectively. At the other end of the square you will see St Martin Cathedral of the 14th century. Its mighty walls, Gothic windows, gabled roof remain the real Middle Ages. St Martin is considered to be the patron of Mukacheve. According to one legend, Martin gave his cloak to a pauper, who, as it has turned out, was Jesus Christ.
Nearby you will notice St Joseph Chapel of the 14th century in Gothic style. Visit the chapel and you will see beautiful medieval paintings. The Monument to Saints Cyril and Methodius can be noted by you on Myru Square as well. They were two brothers, preachers of Christianity, creators of the Slavic alphabet and the first translators of books into Slavonic. This square is a stage of the annual striking festival Chervene Vyno, which attracts thousands of tourists from all over the country and from abroad to sample the most delicious varieties of wine.
An architectural monuments of the 17th century – White House (in Ukrainian Bilyi Dim), also known as Rákóczi Palace, can be found by you on 26-28, Myru Street. Prince George Rákóczi was an owner of the castle and its surroundings. Due to the fact this construction was built during transition from Renaissance to Baroque, on the main façade you may notice Baroque elements of its portal. Windows and interior of the building are decorated with elegant stucco decoration in the Baroque style. Today the palace hosts Children's Art School named after Mihai Munkach.
Those who are interested not only in architecture, but also in art, are advised to visit the Transcarpathian State Russian Drama Theatre of more than one hundred years old, which is located on 1, Myru Square.
If you prefer to stay close to nature in tranquillity and harmony, you should visit Chernecha Mount, where St Mukholai Nunnery is buried in verdure on the bank of the Latorytsia. According to the legend, the nunnery was built in the 11th century by monks who came there with Anastasia, a daughter of Yaroslav the Wise. Another legend goes back to the 14th century –when Prince Fedir Koriatovych was hunting, he was attacked by a beast. Despairingly the prince started to pray for rescue and a miracle happened – the beast suddenly fled. To express his gratitude Koriatovych has built the nunnery, which today is a centre of spiritual culture of the region. Many pilgrims come there to see its miraculous icons – the Mother of God Icon, the Iveron Theotokos Icon, which has been brought from Holy Mount Athos, and some relics of St Moses the Hungarian. In the 17th century a library was built in the monastery, where presently rare scripts, including the Transcarpathian Gospel of 1401 and the Bible of Ivan Fedorov of 1581 are kept.
Not only the monastery, but also health resorts and sanatoriums are located near the Latorytsia. Clean air filled with aromas of forest plants has a positive effect on people and builds up one’s health.
The city is well known thanks to its old paving blocks and cosy cafes, where you can sample real Carpathian coffee – a national drink. The Turks caused passion and love for this drink in the early 16th century, when the Transylvanian principality with the capital of Mukacheve was under Turkish protectorate. Coffee was made on a brazier with sand and was drunk with Tokay wine. Today, people enjoy drinking Mukacheve coffee with its famous local brandy.
In Mukacheve you can expect a great rest and unforgettable impressions! Local colour including various wine festivals and tasty national dishes leave warm memories. Interesting walks along old paths and halls of the mysterious castle, spectacular contemplation of mountain scenery – are worth to feel and to see in Mukacheve!