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Chernivtsi is one of the few Ukrainian cities deserving the title of a true architecture pearl. 602 buildings from the old part of the city are included in the state list of architecture monuments, 25 of which are nationally important. Today Chernivtsi's old town is an integral architectural ensemble of the mid XIX – early XX century. During that time European architecture was strongly influenced by the Art Nouveau style known as Vienna secession in Austro-Hungary. These are prominent secession monuments that make Chernivtsi's architecture famous and these are them to define the city's uniqueness. It’s hard to imagine the historical city center without the Drama Theater, Chamber of Commerce and Crafts, Bukowina Sparkasse building, Bristol hotel, Central Railway Station and lots of other stylish secession buildings designed by Otto Wagner, an outstanding Austrian architect, and his successors. Still, the generally recognized city brand is the Residence of Bukovynian and Dalmatian Metropolitans (todays' Main Building of the Chernivtsi National University), another architecture masterpiece designed by Josef Hlávka, a famous Czech architect, with eclecticism features experiencing the prevalence of the Bysantium and Roman styles.
The unique ensemble now serving as the main building of Yuriy Fedkovych Chernivtsi National University is a masterpiece of Western Ukrainian architecture of the second half of the XIX century. The Residence was built in 1864-1882 based on the design and under the guidance of Josef Hlávka (1831-1908), a famous Czech architect, scientist and academician.
The main building (now the central University building No.5 sheltering the University administration and the Foreign Languages Faculty) served as the Metropolitan's Residence with spacious apartments where the Metropolitan worked and rested and luxurious halls where he arranged audiences with distinguished guests and where eparchial sittings took place. In the corner of the left wing of the building there was the chapel of Ivan Suchavskiy, archbishop’s home church, from which the construction of the whole Residence started.
On April 19, 1843 the first stone was put in the building's foundation. The basis was made of natural stone brought from selected areas on the Prut and Dniester sides. The foundation has a special niche with a message to descendants written on parchment. Four years thereafter its opening ceremony became a great holiday to which guests from whole Europe were invited.
Chernivtsi Ukrainian Olha Kobylyanska Music and Drama Theater (formerly City Theater in Elizabeth Square) was built in 1904-1905 by Fellner & Helmer architect bureau. The firm specialized in theater construction and developed 48 theater buildings in Europe. In particular, they were authors of Vienna and Odessa opera theaters, owing to which the Chernivtsi Theater looks quite similar to them.
The building has Vienna modernist features and is a pure baroque example. Initially the city coat of arms was placed above the pediment. The façade is decorated with sculpture compositions (Apollo statue with a lute in his hands surrounded by antique characters) placed above the entrance and side windows. Above the front windows busts of William Shakespeare and Richard Wagner and placed. Other walls show busts of Shevchenko, Pushkin, Goethe, Schiller, Beethoven, Schubert, Mozart, Haydn.
The House was built in Art Nouveau style for the funds collected by the Jewish community as the local Jewish National House and became the Culture Palace after the World War II. The façade is decorated with atlantes statues.
Today's Main Building of the Bukovynian State Medical University was originally designed for the Bukovynian Chamber of Commerce and Crafts and became a part of the Bukovynian State Medical University (Medical Institute at that time, later Medical Academy) after the World War II. The construction took 2 year, from 1910 to 1912, and was based on the design by F. Gottesmann
This building erected in 1900-1901 was amongst the best architecture works in the whole Austro-Hungarian Empire. Initially built as the Head Office of Bukowiner Sparkasse, the building had the style of Vienna secession. The design was prepared by Hubert Gessner, a pupil of Otto Wagner, the father of secession. The building is especially beautiful for its mosaic picture showing twelve antique gods symbolizing twelve crowned provinces of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. The panel center shows a girl in purple cloths symbolizing, Austria and the guy with the horse (on the right) symbolizes Bukovyna.
The place for the future Palace of Justice structure was found and approved in 1899, the construction itself only started in April 1905 and was finished in just a bit more than a year, formally ended on October 7, 1906. The architect (no surprise) was, once and again, Josef Hlávka.
The building façade is decorated with coloured ceramic bricks made specifically for this palace and ceramic insertions. The main façade is crowned with the statues of Themis, the goddess of justice, and Nemesis, the goddess of retaliation. Two lions "guard” the main entrance against falsehood and trickery. This is one of the most beautiful and impressive buildings in the city surrounded by today's Hrushevsky, Mickiewicz, Kotlyarevsky and Bandera (formerly Vatutin) Streets.
The building in Kobylyanska St was initially Three Crowns hotel (built 1878) to which Habsburg coffee house facing Centralna Sq became attached (1898). First the latter had two floors, the third one was built-up during the Romanian period. At the end XIX century the buildings were a hotel and a coffee house, and in the time period between the two World Wars they were merged and served as the Chernivtsi Branch of the Central Bank of Romania.
In 1872 Chernivtsi residents established the Music Society, and in April 1876 the first stone was laid into the foundation of the future accommodation of the Society in Mehlplatz ("Flour square”, now Filarmonska ("Philharmonic") sq.). In December 1877 the building was finished. Its walls and halls painted by Karl Jobst, a professor of history painting, remember the most distinguished stars of the XIX century, such as Solomiya Krushelnytska, Enrico Caruso, Arthur Rubinstein. After more than a hundred of years this structure given to Chernivtsi Music Hall will give the name to the square where it stands.
The house was built at the end XIX century shaped as a ship washed by two street "rivers”. The ship "snout” is decorated with giant lion head, griffons, dolphins and algae. Initially the lion was a part of fountain with potable water.
The House was built for the funds collected by Verein der christlichen Deutschen in der Bukowina (Union of Christian Germans in Bukovyna) in 1908-1910 by Gustav Fritsch as the architect and Erwin Müller as the engineer. This represented the German community in Bukovyna, which had been expanding as Bukovyna was a part of the Austro-Hungarian empire. It survived both World Wars and the socialist era and now, although mainly exploited as an apartment building, the house provides its ground-floor areas for some businesses and culture organizations, the German National House being among them.
As in 1786-1849 Bukovyna administratively was a part of Galicia, the number of Poles here had been rapidly increasing for over a century finally reaching around 13%. For this reason the Polish community organized its national center the construction of the building for which was formally ended December 2, 1905. The design was developed by Franciszek Skowron, a well-known Polish architect mainly residing and creating in Lviv (Lemberg).
Today's apartment building with business premises in its ground floor, it was historically built as one of city's best and most luxirious hotel. After all transformations it is still remaining an important part of the Centralna Square's ensemble.
The five-floor Golden Lion hotel was erected in 1910 in place of the same-named two-storey hotel. Throughout the history the building purpose change, and now this is the Building No. 11 of the Chernivtsi National University with business areas in its ground floor.
The building was erected in early 1900s and formally put into operation on July 31, 1906. The hotel had the reputation of a luxurious and high-quality hospitality firm offering expensive rooms in upper floors and business offices in its ground floor.