Svaliava is a city located on the Latorytsia River in Zakarpattya Region in western Ukraine. It is the administrative center of Svaliava District. The part of the town lies on a tiny Martha-Margarita Island on the Latorytsia River. These days this is a small town with a population of about 17 thousand people nestled in a picturesque valley surrounded by mountains.
The village was first mentioned in a historical document of 1263. In the 13th century it belonged to the Principality of Galicia-Volhynia. Then for many centuries it was under Hungarian rule. In the 16th to 18th centuries it was part of the Mukachevo-Chynadiieve dominion. By the end of the 18th century Svaliava was an important economic center with a distillery, a fair, a lumber mill, and a potash and brick factories. On 8 December 1918 the Ruthenian People's Council met in Svaliava and voted to join Transcarpathia with Ukraine. The town was annexed by Czechoslovakia in 1919, recaptured by Hungary in 1939, and incorporated into the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic in 1945.
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Under all regimes Svalyava was an exceptionally treasured town due to the mineral water springs located on its territory. In 1709 Hungarian king Francis II Rákóczi has visited local mineral water springs and has seen for himself that they have truly magical influence on human body. During his rule local mineral waters were exported directly to the Peter I court in St Petersburg, Russia and other noble households in Europe. In 1842 Svaliava mineral waters were presented during International Trade Fair in Budapest and won several awards there. In 1855 mineral waters were awarded with golden certificate of quality and started to sell tin Viena and Paris under «Solyvai» brand. In 1884 «Solyvai» mineral water break a record selling over million bottles a year throughout Europe.
These days there are many resort complexes, B&Bs, hotels and apartments for rent in Svaliava and neighboring regions. People come here to drink mineral water, which cures from many gastrointestinal tract diseases.
There are many interesting travel destinations located in Svaliava town. One of the main attractions of the town is St. Michael Church (1759), situated on the southern outskirts. This is one of the most perfect churches of Transcarpathia and a beautiful example of Lemko folk architecture. It takes about half an hour to walk from the town center to St. Michael Church.
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The tourism industry in Svalyava and vicinity is thriving. So, one is simply left to choose an affordable hotel or B&B and enjoy the beauty of nature in Zakarpattya (Transcarpathia) Region.
The best way to get to Svalyava from Kyiv is through the town of Starokostyantyniv. Pass through and turn off the Zhytomyr Highway and drive along and ordinary two-lane road, the shortest and picturesque route to our destination point passing through the county center Chudniv.
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