The Ukrainian customs are strongly influenced by Christianity, the religion with the highest number of practitioners in the country, and the Ukrainian culture was influenced by the Western and Eastern neighbours, fact that reflects itself in the fine arts, architecture and music. The capital city, Kiev, is one of the most important tourist attractions of the country and the biggest city. It has many historical buildings and it is an important cultural, industrial and scientific centre in Eastern Europe. Kiev hosts one of the oldest churches in the ex-Soviet Union, some of which date back from the 11th century. Another important tourist attraction is Yalta, in Crimeea, on the Northern coast of Black Sea. This city is crossed by a gulf and surrounded by mountains. Cernauti, or Chernivtsi is situated in the North of Bucovina, on the river Prut, at the feet of the Carpathians and it is considered the cultural centre of occidental Ukraine.
In Chernivtsi you must visit the Residence of Bukovinian and Dalmatian Metropolitans built between the years 1864 – 1882 to the designs of the Czech architect, Josef Hlávka. The Residence, whose buildings are now part of Chernivtsi University, was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2011.
There are also other places with a lot of history like Cetatea Albă Fortress, at the confluence of Dniester and Black Sea,Tighina Fortress and Khotin Fortress.The Hotin Fortress is a fortification complex located on the right bank of the Dniester River in Khotyn, Chernivtsi Oblast (province) of western Ukraine. It is situated on a territory of the historical northern Bessarabia region which was split in 1940 between Ukraine and Moldova. The fortress is also located in a close proximity to another famous the Old Kam’yanets Castle of Kamianets-Podilskyi.Construction on the current Khotyn fortress was started in 1325, while major improvements were made in the 1380s and in the 1460s.The fortress is a large tourist attraction for the area and Ukraine. In 2007, the fortress was named one of the Seven Wonders of Ukraine.It is also a National Ukrainian Architectural Preserve as of 2000.
You should not miss Odessa, a city on the North-West of Black Sea, the biggest port in the country with a developed touristic infrastructure. The natural port Sevastopol in the South-West on the peninsula is another sight not to be missed. The most visited place in Ukraine and the most frightening one is Chernobyl, in the north of the country, close to the Belarus border. Many houses there are not loved in and there are many trips organized in this area. Starting with the 19th century tourism is growing continually. Pecherska Lavra is a complex of churches built almost nine centuries ago, also named the Monastery of Caves, with catacombs hiding saints’ relics. The Golden Gate was a fortress surrounding the city, built in 1037 by Prince Yaroslav the Wise. Presently, there is the Museum of the Golden Gate. Andriyivsky Uzviz is the oldest street in Ukraine where many fairs, concerts and festivals take place every year. On this street there are also lots of shops, art galleries and studios.
Lvov is another important city in Ukraine. Built in 1256, it was for a long time a big commercial centre . The first high school here was built in 1661 and nowadays the city has also a state university.
Ukraine is on the 8th place in the world in what concerns the number of tourists. Over 15 million tourists visit Ukraine every year. In 2006 there were 18, 9 million tourists, most of them from Eastern and Western Europe and the U.S.A.
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