Ivano-Frankivsk is often considered only as a gateway to the Carpathian Mountains by many tourists. However, this pearl of Western Ukraine has to offer many interesting sights to have a look at before you head to the western peaks of Carpathians.
The main gems of the city's sacral architecture are concentrated near the Market Square.
The Church of Virgin Mary is the oldest building of Ivano-Frankivsk. It was built in the 17th century as a burial vault for the Potocki family. Having absorbed baroque and renaissance architectural styles, the building of the Church of Virgin Mary is among the most beautiful and most valuable architectural monuments of the city.
Since 1980, the Church of Virgin Mary's building has been occupied by Ivano-Frankivsk Art Museum. Museum's collection consists of unique Galician icon painting and baroque sculptures. Works by prominent Ukrainian sculptor Johann Pinzel, canvases by West Ukrainian classical painters Ivan Trush, Oleksa Novakivsky, Elena Kulchitska, as well as the masterpieces of famous Italian, Polish, German and Austrian painters of the 18th - 20th centuries are of special value.
Read: The Most Beautiful Ukrainian Small Towns
Cathedral of the Holy Resurrection is a fine example of baroque sacral architecture crafted in the mid-18th century. Huge bronze statues of St. Volodymyr and Princess Olga stand by the entrance, if as inviting the parishioners into the beautiful, dimly lit and mustily aromatic interior.
Built in the 18th century in the Late Baroque style, the building of the former Armenian Church holds a special place in city’s skyline. In Soviet times, the Museum of Religion and Atheism was housed inside this beautiful temple. These days it is a functional Orthodox cathedral called the Svyato-Pokrovska Church.
Regional Ivano-Frankivsk Museum is located at the very heart of the city, at the Rynok Square at the centre of which rises the 1930s star-shaped town hall, the only one in Ukraine built in the Art Deco style. The Soviet-era Regional Museum has displays on various archaeological digs in the region, a worthwhile room of folk art from the Carpathians, exhibitions relating to the history of Ivano-Frankivsk region and a whole wing of zoological taxidermy exponates.
Read: Zalishchyky, the Rural Beauty of Ukraine
In addition to fascinating historic and architectural riches, Ivano-Frankivsk is known for its leisurely and harmonious life. In recent years Ivano Frankivsk’s gastro scene started flourishing as well, so you can choose from numerous places to grab a delicious bite or a cup of aromatic coffee.
Photo source: shutterstock.com