Photo © iStock/Roksana Bashyrova
Photo © iStock/Roksana Bashyrova

Chernivtsi National University - Ukrainian Harvard

2 minutes to read

Did you ever want to visit Harvard University? What if I tell you that, there is no great necessity to go to the USA to accomplish that? What if there is a place in Central Europe so picturesque that you can shot there a new movie of Harry Potter? This place is located in Ukraine - I am talking about Yurii Fedkovych Chernivtsi National University, one of the leading Ukrainian institutions for higher education. Ukrainian Harvard is situated in the Residence of Bukovinian and Dalmatian Metropolitans building complex, a remarkable UNESCO World Heritage Site.  

Chernivtsi National University, Ukraine
Chernivtsi National University, Ukraine
вулиця Коцюбинського, 2, Чернівці, Чернівецька область, Украина, 58012
© iStock/komyvgory
© iStock/komyvgory

The history of the architectural masterpiece

On the occasion of 100 years after the affiliation of Bukovina to the Austrian Monarchy in 1875, Emperor Francis Joseph I signed a decree establishing the new university on the foundations of Czernowitz Higher Theological School. Decades passed, and kings and emperors changed. Expectedly, the fields of study and languages turned too. After the falling of the Austrian Empire, in 1918,  the university changed its name from the Franz-Josephs-Universität to Universitatea Regele Carol I din Cernăuţi (ref. Romanian). From that time to 1940, Bukovina was under the rule of the Kingdom of Romania. In 1940, the Soviet Union took over the territory of Bukovina, and this region was attached to the Ukrainian Soviet Republic. Accordingly, the university was renamed to Chernivtsi State University. Since 2000, it has operated under its current name, Yurii Fedkovych Chernivtsi National University, and got awarded the "National" title.

© iStock/alexabelov
© iStock/alexabelov

Greatness and beauty of the Ukrainian Harvard

From the aerial perspective, the main building of the university is similar to the Latin letter "i". Building the residence took 18 years - from 1864 to 1882. One tile and two brick factories were specially opened for this purpose. The whole complex, recognised as an architectural masterpiece, became the property of Chernivtsi State University in 1956. The Palace for the Metropolitan was designed by the famous Czech architect Josef Glavka, author of the Vienna Opera. Before the construction work began, the architect travelled to Bukovyna, to look closely at a local chapel, Bukovynian Orthodoxy, and use similar elements while building the future residence. There are many Byzantine motifs used on the facade of the Metropolitan Residence. The classic moments are combined with contemporary touches. There is a lot of authentic decor inside the university, like its vintage floors, natural coolness, and luxurious decorations. Inside, the main building of Ukrainian Harvard is like a theatre or a royal palace. The decor is dominated by red, terracotta, and blue colours, evoking the feeling of royalty and prestige.

The Pear of tourism

Chernivtsi National University is a Ukranian hidden gem for tourists. There, you can find beautiful architecture and landscapes everywhere you look. You can stroll through the 200-year-old forged gate on the old pavers or walk the grand halls, corridors, and rooms that once homed kings and emperors. Greatness and beauty of the Chernivtsi National University will surprise you, as it can compete with the world-renowned Harvard University


The author

Marusia Bilous

Marusia Bilous

Hi, I’m Marusia from Lviv, Ukraine. My life is a permanent movement in a search for unforgettable impressions and interesting people. I promise that your virtual trip to my country will be interesting, and you will definitely plan one of your travels to Ukraine.

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