Cake, cherry blossoms, and underground passageways
Uzhhorod and Mukachevo constantly compete to see who is better. But both cities deserve attention.
Uzhhorod is close to many European capitals, and it is faster to get to them from here than to Kyiv. Don’t be surprised if you hear five different languages here in one day.
Different eras in the life of Uzhhorod had an influence on the architecture of the city. Nevertheless, this is a city built on a human scale. The proportions, the number of floors of the buildings, and the width of the streets are made with the people who live here in mind. During the war, this did not disappear anywhere — now the townspeople help everyone who was forced to leave their homes. Not only with places or things but also with useful initiatives. For example, they created the first cafe-laundry, a creative headquarters for children, and a humanitarian “closet” with clothes.
Simple pleasures, such as a stroll through the cherry blossom alley, Europe’s longest garden of paradise with over 2,000 trees, help to restore normalcy. Or finally taste the Uzhhorod cake, based on baked meringue with hazelnuts and mousse cream, and decorated on top with the depicted architectural monument. This cake is an invention of the Stefanyo family and a true urban legend.
Or go for a walk to the Uzhhorod castle, which is the oldest and most valuable historical and architectural building in the city. The castle was built on a high mountain of volcanic origin, overhanging the Uzh River. The masonry fortification was built in the 13th century on the site of an ancient Rus settlement.
By the way, the Uzhhorod castle has preserved its regular pentagonal plan configuration: five-pointed bastions with defensive walls. The castle has only two floors, it is not an elegant building but a real fortress that has seen many battles and sieges. The dungeons, of course, have a prison and a torture chamber. But what will be even more interesting is a whole system of secret passages, some of which will never be solved. And one of the passages seems to lead to another castle — Nevytske.