FAMOUS CITY BUILDINGS
1. City Hall (building of the Regional Museum of Local Lore), 4-a Halytska St.
The center of city life has always been the central square, and City Hall was its decoration; one could hardly imagine a life without it. Many people have a very broad range of associations with City Hall. However, the main destination of City Hall was to serve as the administrative building. Earlier the magistrate (city council) was located in this building. For ordinary people the main attraction here was the clock that would give the idea of time to everyone. Once, in 1907, it happened so that Stanyslaviv city media alarmed because the City Hall clock was behind by as much as 5-7 minutes. It would cause people to miss the trains and other inconveniences. Since the first written mention of Stanyslaviv (1662) there have been four City Halls (previous — 1666, 1695, 1871). Some researchers consider reconstructed City Halls as new, and therefore we can find different figures in the literature — four, five, seven. Contemporary City Hall is the only City Hall in Ukraine, which was built in 1935 in the style of constructivism (architect — S. Trelia). Its height is 49.5 m. This is the highest building of the city. If the previous City Halls performed their direct function of magistrate’s building, this one made it clear: the market is more important. The City Hall became one of the first covered trade centers of the city. Later, in 1959, a museum that functions till nowadays was opened in the municipal symbol of the city. In general, the city has no original museums like the Chocolate Museum and Cologne Museum, or Water Information Center (Water Museum) in Kiev. The most interesting exhibit of our local ethnographic museum is the sarcophagus of the chief of GaliciaVolyn principality duke Yaroslav Osmomysl. During his rule the capital city Halych was blossoming. In addition to the museum’s exposition, you can climb on the observation deck of the Сity Hall for the extra charge, which offers an unforgettable view of the central part of the city. Here’s a funny story from the Soviet past. The current address of the City Hall sounds a bit clumsy: Halytska Street 4, with an «a» at the end — like some summer kitchen near the house. Classically, less than 100 years ago, the City Hall had a proud address —Market Square, 1.
2. St. Andrii Bastion of Stanyslaviv fortress Fortress Pass
Old history in a new fashion. In 1676 the Turkish invasion troops led by Ibrahim-Pasha were moving along their well-trodden itinerary «Khotyn — further into Poland». They were feeling very confident, and as usual, they passed Ternopil and Tysmenytsia and... Probably, shock took them aback. Literally, in front of them stood a new wall, and not a bad one. The Turks were worried and anxious. But the defenders of the fortress were fighting so hard that the Turks could not reach their destination. However, they managed to come to Zhuravne but not further than that, and therefore, went back to their Khotyn fort. This was the first, but not the last experience of Stanyslaviv fortress. But where is that mighty fortress today? Nowadays only one bastion of Stanyslaviv fortress remains preserved, and even that only partially. Now first things first. Under the influence of the Renaissance epoch, in the 17th century in Western Europe there was a tendency to creation of «ideal city» which would be well protected, would have a considerable capacity for protection of population and would be able to repel enemy attacks in the battle, with comfortable location of residential areas and sacred buildings. There were very few such «ideal cities» in all the Europe, and especially in Ukraine. It was linked to the idea that such a city was supposed to be built from «scratch», that is, on an empty area or a place devastated by the invaders, and required significant funds for its construction. In Ukraine there were three cities like this: Zhovkva, Brody and Stanyslaviv. The city was built in the shape of a star that had symbolic value, though the plan itself could be seen by nobody except by the architect and chosen people: comfortable for people, with walls circled with graff and strong bastions. This is how Stanyslaviv was looking like, built after the project by Francois Corassini. In the first half of the 19th century the fortification lost its military significance and, as a result of the expansion of the city, it was demolished. Bricks were used for construction of buildings and roads. Nowdays, the only surviving bastion of the fortress, St Andrew, has been preserved and restored, where a souvenir-gift gallery with a goods are placed for every taste. It is located in the center, in the Fortress Pass (behind the Cathedral of the Holy Resurrection of Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church).
3. Precarpathian Museum of Arts (formerly the Church of Immaculate Conception of Virgin Mary) 8 Sheptytskyi Square
The church of Immaculate Conception of Virgin Mary was built in 1673-1703 in Renaissance style. Its architect is considered Francois Corassini. The temple was the Potockis’ family tomb. Now the Precarpathian Museum of Art is located here, with a permanent exhibition devoted to sacral theme. If you have no desire to visit the museum, just pop in from the porch through the glass doors and have a look on its interior. Maybe after that you still will visit this church. Pay attention to old pictures in the same porch, and especially to the reliquary of the miraculous relics of St. Vincent that were here before World War II. These relics were brought to the city by Stanislav Potocki — the eldest son of the founder of the city, four years before his death. And his brother Joseph seriously enriched the temple. In 1721-1737 there were made magnificent altars in Lviv workshop of Bavarians Thomas Hudder and Kondrat Kutchenreiter. By the way, do you want me to open a secret? I will not put it in percentage numbers, but the majority of population, busy with day to day affairs, pays no attention to the oldest two memorial boards of our city on the outer side wall of the temple. Maybe you should try to fix the problem. Here we suggest some hints: Joseph Potocki left the first, oldest as of date memorial board of our city — to commemorate the completion of decoration of the temple. The board depicts the emblem «Pyliava» and abbreviation that translates as: «Joseph Potocki, great crown hetman, Kyiv governor (voivode). 1737». On the same wall, there is a second memorial board, installed on September 12, 1883 in honor of the 200th anniversary of death of the eldest son of A. Potocki, Stanislav, in the Battle of Vienna. Regarding the interior, the frescoes recovered in 1990’s are the work of Erasmus Rudolf Fabi (1877).
5. The Potocki Palace, 5 Shpytalna St.
Now we move to the most remote part of the medieval town. It might sound somewhat ridiculous, because it takes at most four minutes to get there from the City Hall. We are moving to the Potocki Palace. An essential attribute of a fortress is, of course, the palace. Till present time, the authentic element of Potocki Palace is its front entrance gate. In the recess one can see a three-storey house, where the owners lived, and other structures almost entirely rebuilt. Is there anything interesting associated with the palace? First of all, the Polish King Jan Sobieski and the Transylvanian Prince Ferenc Rákócsi were guests of the palace at different times. Also, as the country expert Mykhaylo Holovatyi assumes, here lived the wife of the Ukrainian hetmanin-exile and the author emigrated together with her husband after the defeat under Poltava. Here she was under the tutelage ofJoseph Potocki, who has been an ally of her husband since 1732. Information about her ends off in 1756. The place of her burial is unknown. Secondly, the story that went around almost all the editions of Ivano-Frankivsk. Namely, that the funeral of J. Potocki in 1751 was visited by an incredible number of people, and commemorative lunch was especially marked by spending 20 barrels of Hungarian wine and 11 barrels of champagne. In short, the menu was amazing, tables could not be settled in the palace, and «grieving people» stayed here for three months. And to finish with: at the side gate of the palace today you can see the small round metal forms that protrude above the asphalt. At one time we had rumors in the city that these were the buried cannons and even some brave men tried to dig them up. In fact, this is the element of the of the mechanism for opening and closing the gate.
6. The Regional Philharmonic, 3 Kurbasa St. There is a joke: «Who is building those theaters, after all? Only weird people can build a house with balcony towards inside». And our Philharmonic is the only building in Ivano-Frankivsk, which has a concert hall with two balconies. The city theater was opened on November 29, 1891. On this occasion M. Holovatyi tells the following story. Before the construction of the theatre there was announced a tender for the best project and the winner of this tender was some Mr. Milkovsky, unknown to anyone. It was recorded in the memorial note in the bottle immured into the basement of the building. After inauguration the architect declassified his true name. He was Joseph Lapitsky, a local railroad engineer who received the compensation for the project — a gold ring. In the 30’s of the last century the house changed its face, having acquired the simpler features more characteristic of constructivism. As the memorial board confirms, at various times the famous Mariia Zankovetska, Mykola Sadovsky, Solomiia Krushelnytska used to perform in the theater.
7. Central Department of Ivano-Frankivsk National Medical University, 2 Halytska St. Built in 1894, originally on the order of the Railways Directorate, and later on, on the order of city administration. Since 1945 it has been the central more harmonious quadrangle show what Ivano-Frankivsk could be if the 20th century would be quieter. Four houses of the quarter distinguish themselves with their majesty, splendor and irreproachable mutual correspondence of form and essence. Phenomenon of the complex is that from all sides the quadrangle creates a feeling of entirely other buildings. If from the side of Nezalezhnosti Street it imitates palazzo, then from the opposite side a narrow street with elevated facade resembles a fragment of pompous business center of any European capital. Bank premises built in historical style — Raiffeisen is located here now — are unique citations from the Italian Renaissance for Halych province. A particular finding of architect Kudelski was variety of window contours. At first you do not notice this because windows are built in accurate rhythmic rows that add movement to the massive buildings, but having looked more attentively you can count a few types of window orifices, which altogether become similar to a big table of window possibilities. On the ground floor of the main house, in one of not many in the town porticos with expressive pillars, there has always been a bookstore, what corresponde in full to continuation of the Renaissance ideas. Creator of this local masterpiece was Yan Tomasz Kudelski. He is worth being distinguished among other masters who worked in the town. Literate and fanciful historicism in performance of Kudelski can be recognized among the most striking buildings which are adornment of the town now. Fate of this artist is also demonstrative. Extremely skillful and successful Lviv architect came to Stanislaviv to build a house that nobody has ever built in this town — huge directorate of the railways (present Medical University). But it appeared that this town is almost empty, that there is a place to do things in a big way. Kudelski stayed here having become the first in the province but not the second in Lviv.
9. Pasage Gartenberg , 3 Nezalezhnosti St. Pasage Gartenberg was built in 1904 after the project of Viennese architect G. Koschyts, involving the works of local artists Boublik and Yan Kudelsky. The project was realized under the supervision of Lviv engineer Fleishel. By the way, the structure was completely erected in just six months, and of what good quality! It was one of thing about it was that it was intended for trade, but not actually adapted for it. The total height of the passage was 13.5 meters. The style is moderate secession. Passage was rich in decor: allegorical compositions, paintings and sculptures. Over several years this building has become the favorite place of Stanyslaviv people. But, unfortunately, the authenticity was destroyed in World War I. The building suffered severe damage, and further reconstruction simplified it. In general, the building was not very lucky with reconstructions. The last reconstruction of 2011 seems to be more successful than the previous ones. There is a legend about how the Gartenberg brothers were building the passage. They were very wealthy people and decided to make their passage exclusive. Columns, statues and other luxury items of decoration did not satisfy them. And then they came up with something really extraordinary: laying the floor of the passage with silver coins of Austria-Hungary. They came to the governor of the city (now mayor) and presented a proposal for approval. But how something like that could be allowed, the governor thought. The coins contained the portrait of the Emperor, and people would walk on his face? No, he could not let it happen. At the same time he could not refuse. There came help from his wife. She suggested a compromise — to put coins on the floor of the passage is possible, but on their ridge, instead of putting them flat. This answer pleased the governor, and upset Gartenberg brothers as they realized it was impossible to fulfill.
10. Pre-constructivism of Frederic Yanush, 4 and 11 Nezalezhnosti St. Two buildings are separating Vichevyi Square from the rest of the pedestrian zone like a border. This is a creation of Frederic Yanush — a man who, according to the experts, was 20 years ahead of his contemporaries in his views, and introduced constructivism into the architecture of Stanyslaviv. However, when stating something on the style, one should use the prefix «pre». Still, mature constructivism — it’s a different era. As for the buildings, they are the former hotel «Union» (4 Nezalezhnosti St.) — the first fivestorey building of the city in style that became the herald of constructivism, and on the opposite side — a typical constructivist building of Hauswald (11 Nezalezhnosti St.), constructed in 1912-1913. The sculptures on the facades of these buildings are quite interesting. Their author is Marian-Francisek Antoniak — the owner of a sculpture workshop who is remembered by the contemporaries not only for his works but also for his way to travel in the 30’s. Agree, that a man on a «Harley Davidson» in a leather jacket even today would wake up interest among ordinary people of Ivano-Frankivsk. And for Stanyslaviv of the early twentieth century it was almost a challenge. This is what Antoniak was — talented, unpredictable and unique. And so are his creations.
11. The «White House», 21 Hrushevskogo St. This is the name of the city administrative building. Officially this building is called the administrative office. But everyone knows it as «White House» or even «White Hut». It was built in 1978- 1987 (architects L.Popychenko, S.Synko, O.Kozak, engineers Z.Davydiuk and O.Ivasyk). Originally it was intended for housing the Communist Party Directory in the region. On April 15, 1990 for the first time the building hoisted the Ukrainian flag. This is the most remarkable city building of Soviet times.