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Svalyava

Svalyava district existed until July 2020, when it was merged into the enlarged Mukachevo district. The former Svalyava district is not very rich in architectural monuments, so for many tourists it is only a transit point on the Kyiv-Chop or Lviv-Mukachevo motorway. But Svalyava district has other advantages. Most of the district’s territory (its area is 680 square kilometres) is covered by mountain ranges. The highest point of the district is Mount Stiy (1677 metres). The Svalyava district also includes the Sinyak, Borliyev Dil and Borzhava ranges.

Almost the entire territory of the district is occupied by the Svalyava health and recreation area: more than a quarter of all mineral waters of Transcarpathia are concentrated in the Svalyava district, which is almost one hundred sources. It is therefore not surprising that there are so many sanatoriums and boarding houses.

Already in documents from 1463, it is recorded that local waters were used not only for drinking, but also for the treatment of stomach diseases.

Вид на Сваляву

Currently, the district has developed boreholes of sodium bicarbonate waters of various mineralisation, such as Narzan, Vishi, Essentuki, Borjomi, and Stara Russa. The most famous sources of Svalyava district are the minewaters from Polyana, Ploske, Golubyne, Pasika, Svalyava.

The district is also rich in minerals (alunites, dolomite, kaolin, zeolite, diorite, marble, various clays, sand, volcanic tuff, etc.)

The population of Svalyava district is almost 55 thousand people. Ukrainians, Hungarians, Romanians, Roma, Germans, and Slovaks live here side by side. Almost 95% of the district’s population are ethnic Ukrainians. There are 29 settlements in the district.

The tourist infrastructure in Svalyava district is developing very actively. Every year, the number of tourists visiting this picturesque corner Transcarpathia, is increasing. Most tourists are attracted by the incredibly beautiful nature and healing mineral waters of the Svalyava district.

Important!

In July 2020, Svalyava district was liquidated by a resolution of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine (administrative and territorial reform). Most of the settlements became part of Mukachevo district, and some of them – of Khust district.

History of Svalyava

The city of Svalyava is located in the picturesque valley of the Latorytsia River. From Uzhgorod It takes 72 kilometres to get here. The population of the city is about 17000 people.

The first written mention of Svalyava dates back to the XII century. Back then, it was a small village that belonged to the feudal lord Bet Betke. Once this town was called Solva, Zoloa – and each of its names comes from the word salt (in Hungarian “solva” means “salt water”). The fact that people have been settling here since ancient times is evidenced by an ancient site found by archaeologists, which is 20-30 thousand years old, and a Neolithic settlement in the Neiva tract. The border between the Kingdom of Hungary and the Principality of Galicia-Volhynia, a “no man’s land”, ran through the Svaliava Basin. There is a hypothesis that fugitive peasants were the first to come to these lands.

During the first centuries of its existence, the owners of Svalyava changed frequently. They included the Grand Duke of Kyiv Mykhailo Vsevolodovych, the Pereni Barons, the Berehovo Zupan Shimon and the Master Aladar. In the 16th century, Svalyava became part of the Principality of Transylvania.

In 1703-1711, Svalyava residents took an active part in the Hungarian national liberation war against Habsburg rule.

Since 1728, Svalyava became the property of the counts of Schönborn. Two lions, the emblem of this noble family, appeared on the city seal and labels of Svalyava mineral water. In 1737-1778 a stone church was built in Svaliava. Since 1790, annual fairs have been held in the city.

In 1887, Svalyava received a railway connection, after which the economic development of the city accelerated significantly.

In October 1914, during the First World War, the city was captured by the Russian troops of General Fesenko for a short period of time. In December 1918, representatives of 30 surrounding villages created the Russian People’s Council in Svalyava, which advocated for accession to Ukraine. A year later, this territory was ceded to Czechoslovakia. To this day, the city school for 700 pupils, built in 1926, is popularly called the Masaryk school (after the name of the Czech president at the time). The Assumption Greek Catholic Church in the city centre, built in 1937 for the needs of the Orthodox community of Svalyava, managed to serve as a warehouse and an art gallery in Soviet times.

Svalyava received the status of a city in 1957. One of the districts of the city has an exotic name “Brazil”. The fact is that at the turn of the XIX-XX centuries, many residents left here for this distant country across the ocean in search of a better life.

In 1972, the actor Rostislav Platt in the role of Pastor Schlag crossed the border on skis near Svalyava. Some episodes of the Soviet blockbuster film Seventeen Moments of Spring were filmed near Svalyava.

During the years of Soviet rule, Svalyava turned from a small provincial town into an industrial centre. In the 1980s, the town was home to a timber and timber chemical plant, the Electron plant, a trade equipment factory, a juice and glassware factory.

Since 1998, a historical museum has been operating in the town (33 Holovna Street), where tourists can learn more about the history of Svalyava.

Temperature in Svalyava now:

13.3o C   |   55.9o F

Map of attractions in Svalyava

Attractions of Svalyava district

Свалявський районний історичний музей

The museum is located in the centre of the city in the building of the district state administration. The exhibition of the Svalyava Historical Museum includes 1300 exhibits. The museum’s collection includes books, periodicals, documents, as well as folk items used by residents of Svalyava and surrounding villages, clothes and shoes typical of the area. The museum’s expositions are divided into two sections: ethnographic and historical.

In the historical section of the museum, you can see archival and illustrative materials, as well as photographic documents. They cover the history of the city and the district and tell about famous local cultural figures.

For schoolchildren, the guide will certainly demonstrate textbooks and notebooks of students who attended school in the early twentieth century.

Ethnographic antiquities attract special attention of visitors. The museum guides, in addition to telling stories about them, demonstrate how they function and involve visitors in this. This adds a certain dynamism and interactivity to the museum.

Михайлівська церква у Сваляві

The main attraction of Svalyava is located a few kilometres from the city centre, in the south-eastern suburb of Bystryi. The road there leads past the memorial to those who died during the Second World War, past the district administration, and then across a bridge over the turbulent Svalyavka River. Behind the Svalyavka River is a small church, and a little further on stands a modern church. The street slowly rises upwards, from time to time taking in the streams of side lanes. Turn into the second lane on the left. This is already Bystryi, named after the rapid stream that rushing from above to Svaliavka. According to legend, the suburb was founded by Mykhailo Ivashkovych, who moved to these places from the village of Bystryi, which is located in the present-day Velykyi Bereznyi district.

The lane rises higher and higher among the elegant houses. The mountains humbly part in front of the road. In a small cemetery stands a wooden miracle – St Michael’s Church (1588). There are only two churches of this type left in the whole of Transcarpathia (the other is the church from the village of Shelestova in Uzhgorod Skansen).

Despite its venerable age, the church has not lost its attractive appearance.

Originally, the church stood on the neighbouring Berdi Mountain and was moved due to the threat of a landslide. The second construction phase in the church’s history began in 1759, when it was overhauled. Then a 15-metre high bell tower was built over the Babynets. The church consists of three volumes of different heights, each with its own roof, which does not prevent the church from being perceived as a harmonious whole. In 1972, the church was restored by the famous architect I. Mohytych.

Unfortunately, the old bell tower of the church was not preserved. The modern stone one was built in 2000. A message to the next generations is embedded in its basement: The ancient custom has adapted to the new conditions after the Soviet era.

Мінеральна вода «Поляна Квасова»

According to legend, as early as the 11th century, Byzantine emperors asked Hungarian kings to sell healing salt water from the Carpathian Mountains. The condition of the “kvass” (mineral) springs was monitored by shepherds who grazed their flocks near the village of Polyana. Here, royal messengers collected useful water in special calfskin sacks, so that caravans could take it to the baths of the Byzantine emperor.

At the end of the XIV century, people in Transcarpathia began to use mineral water for medicinal purposes.

Healing baths were made in a very simple way: mineral water was heated with hot stones in rock hollows or in pits covered with clay. This was the prototype of the first balneological sanatoriums.

In 1558, envoys of the Moscow Tsar Ivan the Terrible, returning to Moscow from Constantinople after negotiations with the Turkish Sultan, transited through the territory of Transcarpathia and tasted the local mineral water for the first time. When they returned home, they said that in the Polonynsky Mountains there are springs of water that taste sweet or like vinegar. There are also hot springs where you can even cook food. Many people are treated in those waters and find healing.

In 1576, the Transylvanian prince Stefan Batory, who was elected by the nobility as the king of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, stopped in the village of Polyana on his way from Semyhrad to Krakow. The prince’s doctor was the founder of Polish medicine, Wojciech Ochko. He recommended taking medicinal baths before the coronation in order to appear vigorous and healthy before his subjects.

It is known that at the beginning of the eighteenth century, the ambassadors of Peter the Great were frequent visitors to Transcarpathia. In special vessels, they carried Transcarpathian mineral water to the Russian emperor, where it was valued no less than the gamekeeper’s water from Karlsbad and Marienbad (now Karlovy Vary and Mariánské Bány in the Czech Republic).

Repeatedly mineral waters Carpathians has been recognised internationally. In particular, the mineral water Polyana Kvasova was awarded 21 times at international mineral water competitions between 1842 and 1911.

Not far from Svalyava, in the small village of Uklyn, the Mineral Springs Day has been celebrated every year since 2007 on Midsummer Day, during which you can taste local healing drinks and traditional cuisine and buy handicrafts.

Церква святих Петра і Павла (Уклин)

Uklyn village

At the foot of the Vedmezha Gora in the Mukachevo district of the Zakarpattia region is a tiny village of Uklyn. The population of this village is just under four hundred people. Nearby is the picturesque Uklyn Pass.

The village has a wooden Church of the Holy Apostles Peter and Paul. It was built in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. According to legend, this church was built from the wood of the previous church. Some researchers believe that this previous church was built in the XIV century. Historical sources mention a wooden church of St Nicholas with one bell only in 1733.

Old-timers claim that before the construction of the church of Peter and Paul, there were two wooden churches in the village that burned down. The Peter and Paul Church is distinguished by its miniature size, which was typical for churches in remote settlements. According to legend, the small size of this church is due to the fact that very few people survived the terrible cholera epidemic in the village.

Only three wooden churches of similar style have survived in Transcarpathia (Rakhiv, Kostrynska Roztoka, Tarasivtsi). A similar church also existed in the village of Domashyn, Uzhhorod district. It was the youngest among these churches. It was built in 1907. In 2007, it was destroyed and a new one was built in its place.

The Uklynska church is the oldest among a group of small wooden churches in Transcarpathia. Originally, it was covered with wood shingles. In 2002, it was restored and the roof was covered with shingles. The bells of this church were moved to the new church, which was built in 1992. Currently, the Peter and Paul Church in the village of Uklyn is closed and not used for its intended purpose.

Tourists who decide to admire the views of the village can stay in the hotel complex “Uklyn” with a restaurant serving Transcarpathian cuisine.

Гірськолижний курорт Голубине

The picturesque village of Holubyne is located four kilometres north of Svalyava in the valley of the Pyni River. It has been known since 1430. The population of the village is 2781 people.

The name of the settlement comes from pigeons. There are several legends about this. According to one of them, there used to be a lot of pigeons in the village’s neighbourhood. The villagers were obliged to give the lord the pigeons they caught as a tribute. According to another version, if enemies were approaching from the other side of the Carpathians, a carrier pigeon was released in Holubyne to warn the garrison of the Mukachevo castle of the danger. Another legend says that the village was founded by the son of a priest from Yasinya, He was a young boy who had been sent away from home by his father for disobedience.

He gave the village its name because there were dense thickets of pigeons nesting there. It is thanks to this founder that many of the village’s indigenous residents have the surname Popovych.

Golubyne attracts tourists with its mineral springs, souvenirs and picturesque nature. In the village, you can buy wonderful baskets woven by folk craftsmen. Between the villages of Holubyne and Solochyn, the Luzhanska mineral water has been used since 1965 Kvitka Polonyny sanatorium. It treats diseases of the stomach, biliary tract and liver, hepatitis, diabetes mellitus, and removes radionuclides. The drilling well is located directly on the territory of the health resort. There is a ski resort with a ski lift six kilometres away. The main object of photography in the sanatorium is a huge dinosaur sculpture.

It was near Holubyne that in 1878 the Schönborn counts began to extract water from the Margit, Luga Erzhebet and Pannonia-Zhofia springs. At that time, this water was used to treat diseases of the upper respiratory tract, intestines, kidneys and gallbladder, as well as diabetes.

Holubyne is also known for the birthplace of Hryhoriy Zhatkovych, who was the first governor of Subcarpathian Rus in the Czechoslovak Republic.

Солочин

The village of Solochyn was first mentioned in 1430. The population of the village is 1250 inhabitants. It is located between the Krekhaya and Tesanyk mountains. The name of the village refers to the salt marsh soil rich in mineral waters. There are more than a dozen springs near the village. For example, there is a hydrogen sulphide spring at the foot of Mount Tesanyk, and in the Bilasovytsia tract there is the Vovkiv Kvas spring, named after the owner of this spring in the Austro-Hungarian period, when local water was traded throughout the empire.

Among the mountains and forests, there is another well-known Transcarpathian sanatorium – «Kryshtaleve Dzherelo». People with diseases of the stomach, liver, kidneys and biliary tract, endocrine system, and chronic nonspecific lung diseases are sent here for treatment.

The village is also home to the Eldorado hotel complex and the Suzirya health complex. Margit bottles water from a local spring.

The village has a legend about how in 1721, the son of Prince Ferenc II Rákóczi, hid from the Austrian authorities in the Petrus family for four days. The young prince, fleeing from his pursuers, shod his horses with inverted horseshoes.

Unfortunately, the local underground mineral water reserves have recently decreased by almost half due to unreasonable development in the protected area.

Чани Свалява
The peculiarity of the location is that Svalyava is considered not only a famous resort, but also a centre of
Чани Поляна
At any time of the year, vats in the village of Polyana are very popular, made with local healing mineral
Кузня-музей «Гамора»
In the village of Lysychovo, Khust district, there is the only functioning water forge-museum in Europe, Hamora, on the Lysychanka
Свалявський історичний музей
The museum is located in the centre of the city in the building of the district state administration. The exhibition
Михайлівська церква у Сваляві
The Church of Archangel Michael (Svalyava) is a Lemki church in the Bystry suburb of the city of Svalyava (Bystryanska
Обавський камінь
The Obava stone is a unique natural monument of the Mukachevo district of the Zakarpattia region. It is the crater
Кирило-Мефодіївський жіночий монастир
Cyril and Methodius Women's Monastery of the UOC of the Moscow Patriarchate is a monastery of the UOC of the
Свято-Миколаївський жіночий монастир
The St Nicholas Women's Monastery of Mukachevo of the UOC-MP is an Orthodox monastery on Chernecha Hill in Mukachevo (
Кафедральний собор Святого Мартіна
On the coat of arms of the second largest city in Transcarpathia, there is an image of St. Martin, who
Замок Паланок
Palanok Castle, the main historical landmark of Mukachevo, can be seen just a few kilometers from the city. An extinct

Where to stay in Svalyava?

Due to the fact that Svalyava district is a popular health resort area, there are many options for accommodation to suit every taste and budget. Among them are well-known sanatoriums all over Ukraine, fashionable hotels, small motels and hostels, and of course a large number of offers private sector.

The most popular sanatoriums in Svalyava district are located in the village of Polyana and its surroundings. These include the Polyana, Sunny Transcarpathia, Kvitka Polonyny and Kryshtaleve Dzherelo sanatoriums. Prices for accommodation in them start from UAH 1014 for the most basic double room.

The most famous hotels in Svalyava are the Carpathian Trout, Koncha Zaspa, Margit Siget, Ruthenia and U Yulia. Prices for accommodation in them start from 500 UAH per room.

The cheapest accommodation options in Svalyava and the surrounding area can be found among the offers of the private sector. Here, prices start from 250 UAH per day for an apartment and from 500 UAH for a manor. Many experienced tourists find themselves accommodation in the private sector, and come to sanatoriums only for medical and preventive procedures. This way, they achieve maximum savings. They do not overpay for accommodation in a sanatorium or hotel. In addition, they have the opportunity to prepare their own meals, as most private sector offers have kitchens equipped with modern appliances. Many owners of cottages, estates and apartments allow tourists to stay with their pets, which is also a significant bonus for many holidaymakers.

Готель «Рутенія» у Сваляві
38 Hrushevskoho St., Svalyava
+380 ....
from 1500 ₴/day
Готель «Карпатська Форель»
91B Verkhovynska St., Svalyava
+380 ....
from 1100 ₴/day
Готель "Еліт" у Сваляві
18 Holovna St., Svalyava
+380 ....
from 200 ₴/day
Санаторій «Сонячна Долина»
with. Polyana, str. Kurortna, 10
+380 ....
from 2070 ₴/day
Санаторій «Кришталеве Джерело»
Solochyn village, 1V
+380 ....
from 1550 ₴/day
Санаторій «Квітка Полонини»
Solochyn village
+380 ....
from 500 ₴/day
Готель «Срібний Водограй»
St. Kurortna, 27, p. Polyana
+380 ....
from 1700 ₴/day
Санаторий «Боржава»
Dovge, str. 15, Sichovyh Streltsiv
+380 ....
from 1240 ₴/day
Садиба «У Юлії» Свалява
35 Slovianska St., Svalyava
+380 ....
from 500 ₴/day
Садиба «У Еріки»
Solochyn village, 266
+380 ....
from 350₴/night

Where to eat in Svalyava?

There are many places to satisfy your hunger in Svalyava and the surrounding area. Among them are restaurants, cafes and pizzerias. Most of the resorts and hotels in Svalyava have their own restaurants, which offer holidaymakers an extremely wide menu of local and European cuisine. However, any tourist wants to change the scenery and visit other establishments quite quickly

The most popular restaurants in Svalyava are Bohemia with Czech and Hungarian cuisine, Milano with Italian and Ukrainian cuisine, Europe with European cuisine masterpieces, Zatyshok with delicious local dishes, as well as Polonyna, Elit and Zolota Niva.

There is a large selection of cafes in Svalyava. If you want to eat sweets and drink delicious coffee, the best options for this are the Veselka, Mirella and Paris cafes.

For pizza lovers in Svalyava, there are wonderful places like Pizza pub Chicago, where delicious wood-fired pizzas are cooked, and Pizza & Salat with a cosy atmosphere inside.

The common feature of all the restaurants in Svalyava is the extremely friendly staff and high quality of dishes prepared from environmentally friendly local products.

Кафе Pizza & Salat у Сваляві
60/20 Holovna St., Svalyava
+380 ....
Піцерія «Pizza-Pub Chicago»
4/1 Dukhnovycha St., Svalyava
+380 ....
Кафе-пекарня «Paris» у Сваляві
4B Kyivska St., Svalyava
+380 ....
Кав'ярня «Mirella»
10A Nevskogo str. 22, Svalyava
+380 ....
Кафе Веселка
4A Dukhnovycha St., Svalyava
+380 ....
Ресторан "Золота Нива"
30 Holovna Street, Svalyava
+380 ....
Кафе «Еліт» у Сваляві
18 Holovna St., Svalyava
+380 ....
Ресторан "Затишок" у Сваляві
7 Zatyshna St., Nelipyno village (745 km of the Kyiv-Chop highway)
+380 ....
Ресторан «Bohemia»
4B Starolyubovnianska St., Svalyava
+380 ....

How to get to Svalyava?

It is quite easy to get to Svalyava. You can get here by any train from Uzhgorod or by bus from Lviv, Mukachevo, Uzhgorod. Svalyava can also be reached by bus from Lviv and Ternopil, Truskavets, Ivano-Frankivsk, travelling through Stryi to Uzhgorod, Mukachevo, Irshava, Vynohradiv. You can also get there by your own car on the Kyiv-Chop highway. The road fascinates with mountain scenery and makes an unforgettable pleasant impression.

A trip to Svalyava district will definitely strengthen your health and give you a positive mood.

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