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Uzhhorod – introduction

Uzhhorod – introduction

Ukrainian “Dobriy den’”, Hungarian «Szia», Slovak «Ahoj», Russian “Zdravstvujte” – it is a way of welcoming each other in Uzhhorod.

If we travel around Ukraine and look closely at the map, we notice many names of villages, towns and cities. There are a lot of them! Each of them has its own history, many of them have left a memory and are places of increased interest for tourists. Such a sight is the city of Uzhhorod! Because Uzhhorod is known to whole civilized world since the XII century!

For the first time Uzhhorod has been mentioned in the chronicle “Gesta hungarorum” about the Hungarian origin, written on the verge of XII-XIII centuries A.D. by anonymous notary of Baila the III the Hungarian king.  It attributes the founding of the Uzhgorod fortress to IX century – precisely to year 895, when the ancient Magyars, led by their leaders – Almosh and his son Arpad, destroyed one of the last Slavic settlements with military fortifications – hillfort of the legendary Knyaz Laborets. After  foundation of the Hungarian state in the late X – early XI centuries, the Castle was built at this place as an administrative and trading center of Ung County (center of Uzhanska zhupa).

Al Idrisi’s message from 1154 is the oldest written source, which mentions Uzhgorod. According to historical documents, the city since its first mentioning until the end of the First World War had only one name: Ungvar (modifications Hunkbar, Hungvar, Ongvar). The word consists of two parts: “Ung” and “var”. As for the second of them, scientists are unanimous, as the word “Var” in Hungarian means “fortification, fortress, castle”.

Nowadays Uzhhorod – city on the river Uzh, is the administrative center of Zakarpatska oblast and Uzhhorod district. The city is situated on the border between the Carpathian mountains and Middle Danube lowlands, almost in the heart of Europe on the border with Slovakia, in a distance of 785 km from Kyiv, 330 km from Budapest and 500 km from Bratislava.

The geographical coordinates are: 48° 40′ north latitude, 22° 15′ east longitude. The total area of  Uzhhorod is almost 40 km2, the length of the city from North to South is 7 km and from East to West – 5 km. Most of the territory is the lowland, and the highest point of the city is Big Daybovetska Mountain that has 244 m altitude above sea level. A significant part of Uzhhorod is located on the right-bank (Old Town), which is 15-20% bigger than the left-bank part. The longest street of Uzhhorod is Sobranetska street.

The geometric center of the city is in the area of Sandor Petofi Square.

While looking from the top of the highest mountain, you can make sure that Uzhhorod deserves to be called the “Green City in the Centre of Europe” because the green area exceeds 770 hectares. Besides, the city from almost all sides is surrounded by the forest. Along with local species of various plants the city is adorned with significant collection of 300 species of exotic plants.

And now we will get back from the legendary era to the historical, real era, and will walk through the streets to get acquainted with the city.

Our 3-hour tour starting from Petofi Square, which is convenient to drive up from Mukachevo and Chop direction,  marked in your guide as Number 1.