Ternopil or Ternopol (former Tarnopol), is a city and administrative center of Ternopil region located in western Ukraine. Map: IV-6.
The city lies along the Upper Seret River, 70 miles (about 115 km) east of Lviv. It is an important highway and railway hub.
The climate is of moderate continental type, with warm humid summers and mild winters.
In 1540 the Polish magnate Jan Tarnowski built a fortress there against Tatar attacks, and in 1548 the town was granted the rights of Magdeburg law. In 1570 it became the property of Prince Konstantyn Vasyl Ostrozky, who set up a hospital foundation and an Orthodox church brotherhood. Subsequently it was owned by other magnates. In spite of frequent Tatar attacks (1544, 1575, 1589, 1618, 1672, 1694) Ternopil developed as a manufacturing and trading center. During the Cossack-Polish War, in 1648 and 1655 it was captured by Bohdan Kmelnytsky’s army. In 1675 the Turks dismantled its fortifications. By 1672 Ternopil had a population of 2,400, composed of Ukranians, Jews, and Poles (mostly soldiers of the garrison). The Jews increased in number steadily and gained control of the trade; they pushed the Ukrainian burghers into the suburbs and outside the town. In the 17th century there were three Orthodox churches, a Catholic church, and several synagogues in Ternopil. In the 18th century, although the Tatar and Turkish attacks had ceased and there was relative calm, the town’s, and Podilia’s, economy declined. The Confederetion of Bar inflicted widespread suffering, and a cholera epidemic in 1770 took a heavy toll (40 percent of the population).
In 1772 Ternopil was annexed by Austria and was chosen as an administrative center of a circle. In 1809–15 it was held by Russia. By the mid-19th century it had become the largest city of Galician (ie, western) Podilia, mainly because of its trade in farm products and the transit trade between the RussianEmpire and Europe. The construction of a railway line to Pidvolochysk in 1870 strengthened Ternopil’s position as a commercial center. Its population grew steadily, from 10,200 in 1817 to 20,100 in 1869, 30,415 in 1900, and 35,200 in 1914. It was one of the wealthier and cleaner cities in Galicia.
At the beginning of the 20th century there were five secondary schools in Ternopil, including a state gymnasium (est 1898) in which Ukrainian was the language of instruction (principals, Omelian Kalytovsky and Omelian Savytsky). It was the only major Galician city in which Ukranians outnumbered the Poles and Ukrainian burgers had attained substantial wealth and influence. In 1900, 28.3 percent of Ternopil’s residents were Ukrainian, 27.1 percent were Polish, and 44.3 percent were Jewish. In the 1860s the Ukrainian national movement began there under the leadership of Oleksander Barvinsky and Volodymyr Luchakovsky. The newspapers Podilske slovo (1909–12) and Podil’s’kyi holos(1904–8) were published there. Under the Russian occupation of Ternopil (August 1914 to July 1917) all Ukrainian public life was suspended. Only in 1916 did the Russian authorities permit the Ternopilski Teatrelni Vechory theater to open. Then they allowed the Ukranian launguage to be introduced in the schools. After the February Revolution of 1917 Ukrainian cultural and political life in Ternopil revived quickly. Association with Galician Ukranians resulted in a national awakening among the Ukrainian officers of the Russian army stationed in the area.
From 1 November 1918 until July 1919 Ternopil was part of the Western Ukranian National Republic, and from 21 November 1918 to 2 January 1919 it served as the republic’s provisional capital. In June 1919 the Ukrainian and Polish armies fought for control of the city. Except for an interval (26 July to 20 September 1920) when it was held by Soviet forces and served as the base of the Galician Revolutionary Committee, Ternopil remained under Polish control until September 1939. The sealing of the eastern border reduced trade and hurt the city’s economy, although Ternopil became the administrative center of a voivodeship. Its population grew slowly, from 30,900 in 1921 to 34,000 in 1931. As a Polish administrative center the city served as the base of a concerted Polonization campaign, which included measures such as the introduction of Polish colonies in Podillia, inducements to religious conversion, the closing of Ukrainian schools (Ternopil gymnasium in 1930), and organized violence. The campaign resulted in greater changes in Ternopil’s national profile than in that of other Galician towns: by 1939, 39.7 percent of the city’s 37,500 residents were Poles, 39.3 percent were Jews, and only 19.2 percent were Ukranians. Nevertheless, Ternopil remained the largest Ukrainian center in Podilia. It had a Ukrainian Catholic parish, four churches, a Redemptorist monastery, two Ukrainian gymnasiums, and a branch (est 1925) of the Lysenko Music Society of Lviv. Its main Ukrainian cultural organizations were the Burgher Brotherhood, the Boian music society, a branch of the Prosvita society, and the Ostrozky Foundation. It was the base of a number of Ukrainian economic institutions and co-operatives, such as the Podilia Union of Co-operatives and the Kalyna guild. Several local factories were owned by Ukrainians. The newspaper Podil’s’kyi holos (1928–30) resumed publication.
In the interwar period the leading political and civic activists in Ternopil were Stepan Baran, I. and S. Brykovych, S. Chumak, Nykyfor Hirniak, Ya. Mykolaievych, Roman Tsehelsky, V. Vitoshynsky, and Yakym Yarema.
During the Second War Ternopil was occupied by the Soviets (September 1939 to July 1941) and the Germans (to May 1944). The Soviet authorities arrested and deported many Ukrainian activists and murdered 640 prisoners just before abandoning the city in 1941. In March and April 1944 over half of the city was destroyed before it was recaptured by the Soviet Army. By 1946 there were only 12,000 inhabitants. The city was rebuilt according to a general plan adopted by the government in August 1945. As industrial development progressed, the population increased, from 26,000 in 1950 to 52,000 in 1959, 85,000 in 1970, and 139,000 in 1978. In Western Ukraine Sovietization meant a profound change in all areas of life-economic, cultural, civic, and private. There was also a marked shift in Ternopil’s ethnic composition. In 1959, 78 percent of the population was Ukrainian, 15 percent Russian, and 5 percent Polish; in 1989, 91.2 percent of the population was Ukrainian, 7.2 was Russian, and 0.6 percent was Polish.
At the end of the 1980s the city became one of the leading centers of the national revival in Ukraine. Democrats were voted into power in the municipal and oblast councils, and a strong branch of the Popular Movement of Ukraine was set up.
Ternopil is one of the major industrial centers of Western Ukraine. The major branches of industry are food processing, including a sugar-refining complex, a meat-packing plant, a dairy, and a brewery; light industry, including one of the largest cotton-cloth manufacturing complexes in Ukraine and a synthetic leather and sewing factory; the building-materials industry, including a reinforced-concrete plant and the Budindustriia complex; and the machine building industry, which produces electric armatures and farm machinery. There are several vocational schools and five specialized secondary schools in the city. Higher education is provided by the city’s medical, technical, pedagogical, and financial-economic universities.
The chief cultural institutions are the Ternopil Academic Drama Theater, the puppet theater, the philharmonic orchestra, museums.
The chief architectural monuments of the city are the castle (built in 1540–8, destroyed in 1675 and restored in the Renaissance style, renovated in the 19th century, and rebuilt after both world wars, the Church of Christ’s Nativity, with a defense tower (1596–8), the Church of Elevation of Cross (1540), the Saints Pter and Paul Church of the Dominican monks, built in the baroque style (1749), and the Dormition Church (1632, destroyed by the Soviet authorities in 1962).
The city’s layout was completely changed during postwar reconstruction. Some of the streets were designed differently and widened. The buildings were enlarged to three or four stories. A series of new public buildings and squares was designed. Whole new residential districts were put up in the eastern section and west of the Seret River . The Zahrebellia suburb was expanded. The central core of the city lies outside the old quarter, as it did before the Second War.
The lake is the main attraction and decoration of Ternopil. The large pond in the center of the city was created at the initiative of Crown Hetman J. Tarnovsky, during the construction of Ternopil Castle. The area of the pond is about 300 hectares.
It should be noted that lakes can be found in the center of only two European cities.
The pond is surrounded by a park. It is a favorite walking place of locals and visitors. Ruska Street.
Ternopil Castle was founded in 1540 by great crown hetman J. Tarnowski on the site of ancient Russian settlement Sopilche (Topilche) to defend the Polish borders against the Tatars. In the 17th century great crown chancellor T. Zamoyski expanded the fortifications, but in subsequent years they were repeatedly destroyed.
In particular, the castle was almost completely demolished by the Turks after the capture of the city in 1672. In the beginning of the 19th century the count F. Koritovsky built a palace in its place after demolishing the remaining fortifications, towers and gates. Several parts of the castle were preserved. During the World War I, the palace was burnt down. It was renovated in 1951 to house the exhibition halls and sports training center. If you look at the palace from the lake side it is clearly visible that is was a fortification in the past. Address: Ternopil, Zamkova Street, 12.
The Monument to Stepan Bandera
The monument to the leader of Ukrainian nationalists Stepan Bandera was erected in honor of the centenary of his birth in 2008.
The monument is located in the park of T. Shevchenko, in front of the Ternopil Region State Administration.
The Monument to Danylo Halytskyi
The monument to prince Danylo Halytskyi, the unifier of western Ukraine lands, was placed in the center of the city in 2002. In the middle of the 13th century, Danylo Halytskyi was able to unite Galicia-Volyn state.
Address: Volya Square.
The Monument to Solomiia Krushelnytska
The world’s first monument to the outstanding opera singer Solomiia Krushelnytska was erected in 2010.
Before it, the memory of the Ukrainian singer, born in Ternopil region, was perpetuated only in busts placed in Lviv and Milan, where she performed at La Scala
Theater. Address: Shevchenko Boulevard.
The Monument to Ivan Franko
The monument to the Ukrainian writer and public figure Ivan Franko appeared in Ternopil in 1995. It is located in the park behind the Dominican Church in the place of the former gymnasium #1, where the writer met with local schoolboys in 1902.
Address: Hetman Sahaidachnyi Street.
The Monument to Taras Shevchenko
The monument to Taras Shevchenko was erected near the regional drama theater named after the poet in 1982. It is located in the public garden to the right of the theater.
Address: Hrushevskyi Street.
The Monuments to Plumber,
Invisible Man, and Chair.
This humorous monument was opened in the center, near the shopping center “Atrium”, in 2010. Two sculptures are devoted to literary works, and the third one – to the community services workers. The monument to the 12th chair was inspired by the satirical book by Ilf and Petrov “12 chairs”. The monument to the Invisible Man refers to the novel by H. Wells. The monument to a plumber is dedicated to Ternopil water utility workers.
Address: Cardinal Slipyi Street, 7.
The Museum of Political Prisoners. The Historical and Memorial Museum of Political Prisoners is located in the basement of the former temporary jail detention center of Ternopil NKVD and KGB. The exhibition is devoted to the struggle of Ukrainian nationalists with the communist regime, repressive methods of the Soviet secret police and life of prisoners in Gulag camps. You can see cells, torture tools, household items of prisoners. Also, there is a layout of the Siberian prison camp. Address: Copernicus Street, 1. Opening hours: 10:00-17:00, days off – Saturday, Sunday, Monday.
The Local History Museum. The museum was founded in 1913. Originally, there were four main exhibitions: ethnographic, historical and numismatic, natural history and archaeological.
Today, the exhibition includes more than 150 thousand exhibits and reflects the history of Ternopil region from the 10th century.
In particular, there is a collection of pottery, found during excavations in the region. Address: Iskusstv Square, 3. Opening hours: 10:00-17:45, days off – Monday, Wednesday.
The Museum of Art. The collection of paintings of lesser-known artists of the 18th-20th centuries is presented in the museum.
Also, there is a collection of sacred art: icons, crucifixes, statues, and church bells. Address: Krushelnytska Street, 1. Opening hours: 9:30-17:30, day off – Saturday.
The Restaurant-Museum “Staryi Mlyn” (Old Mill) known for its national cuisine and rich collection of various objects of traditional Ukrainian life. Address: Brodivska Street, 1
Shevchenko Drama Theater. Ternopil Regional Academic Ukrainian Drama Theater named after T. Shevchenko was founded in 1915 on the initiative of famous Ukrainian actor and theater director L. Kurbas as the first professional theater in Ternopil. The current building of the theater was constructed in 1957. In a park next to the theater there is a monument to Taras Shevchenko. Address: Ternopil, Shevchenko Blvd., 22.
Volia Square (Freedom square)
On this square, one of building of Ternopil National Medical University (in green colour) is located.
Ternopil region is a picturesque land of heroic past, imprinted by unique history and old castles. Rare beauty landscapes, wonderful sceneries, green forests and mountains, mirror water of rivers and lakes, became the cradle of talents, patriotic songs, and stars of world culture.
Podilsk mountains ridge spreads from north to south, shrouded in legend and poetic songs. For deep green forests, sun-filled solar rays and various flora it is called Medobory. Clean streams come out from under the stones, absorb blueness of the sky, and fill the lakes with healthy water. The true kingdom of underground beauty are stone labyrynths of Kryvche caves. Beauty attracts tourists for its dream-filled appereance of old towns with remains of the ancient castles, picturesque shores of the lakes and terraced slopes, steel-looking mirrors of the lakes in the reed.
Ternopil region – is the land of folklore and craft masters, the region where publishing bussiness, arts, and painting are highly developed . This region gave Ukraine the Barvinskyy family, Volodymyr Hnatiuk, a great spiritual christian shepherd Joseph Slipyy, it is described by the voice and songs of Solomiya Krushelnytska, it is painted in the paintings of M. Boychuk, and depicted in the poems of Lepkyy. Many prominent people visited our province, including M. Shashkevych and J. Holovatsky – founders of the Russian Trinity, Taras Shevchenko visited Ternopil region while on arheological mission, French writer Honore de Balzac stayed in Vyshnivetskyi palace and castle. Ivan Franko was nominated for the post of ambassador to The Vienna parliament in 1895.
Civil leaders and writers such as M. Drahomanov, P. Kulish, and M. Hrushevsky visited Ternopil as well. Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church Metropolitan Andrey Sheptytskyy worked with Ternopil clergy and progressive young people of the city.
Our land has given to the mankind many famous scientists, among them are Ivan Pului- Austrian physics scholar, O. Smakula – the known physics scientist who worked on the problems of the electric properties of solid materials in the USA, Ivan Horbachevsky – doctor and chemist who worked in Austria and the Czech Republic, M. Chubatyi- US scientist and historian, S. Khraplyvyi – physicist-theorist from the USA.