CHERNIVTSI, Ukraine (AP) – Tucked in the southwest corner of Ukraine, Chernivtsi is a cheerful city that graciously marries the glories and sorrows of centuries past with vibrant Eastern European urban life today. It’s at the heart of a geographical and historical region with a name that almost sounds whimsical: Bukovina. Fiercely proud Bukovina, whose name means beechwood in Romanian, spans Romania and Ukraine and straddles the Carpathian Mountains. Bukovina has witnessed a long succession of rulers and influences, including Huns, Ottomans sultans and Austro-Hungarian emperors. A flourishing Jewish population in Bukovina was uprooted and largely exterminated during World War II, but there are traces of it if you look. Early this summer, joined by my daughter, I spent 10 days in Chernivtsi. Every day I grew more charmed by the city. One of the oldest towns in Ukraine, Chernivtsi brims with young people, drawn by a renowned university with such impressive, 19th-century architecture that it figures on UNESCO’s World Heritage List. Along many of Chernivtsi’s blocks, elegant apartment buildings left over from Bukovina’s glory days as part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire and mosaic-decorated Orthodox churches invite admiration. The university’s historic buildings, which include a domed church, were initially the… Read full this story
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