Travel to Uzhgorod, where to go, where there is, what to bring
The offer was tempting. “Skate,” the editor-in-chief said, “to Uzhgorod.
The local guys offer to show Transcarpathian cuisine and local beauty. ”
I did not know anything about all this, so I immediately called the photographer and we went.
As soon as this small city was called! Unguyvar, Gungvar, Ungvar … At various times, white Croats, Dacians, Magyars, Slovaks, Poles, Austrians, Romanians, Russians (Soviet) finally owned this tasty land at the very foot of the Carpathian Mountains.
The result of the centuries-old leapfrog with the authorities was an amazing architectural liberty of Transcarpathia, amazing cuisine and fluency in several languages at once.
Looking ahead: in a Uzhgorod restaurant, the waiter is a young guy of about eighteen, elegant, slim, dark-eyed … When I asked about a dish, he began to tell the story of his Hungarian origin. Hungarian words are so famously woven into the explanation, which is understandable — the young man’s Magyar language is not a stranger. “Well, yes,” he says a little lazily, “I have a Hungarian mother tongue. And Transcarpathian.
And Ukrainian. And Czech.
And Russian. And German. But I don’t know English very well — I taught him at school … ”.
The rest of the languages he taught (or rather, did not teach) at home, because each of the listed nationalities is one of his close relatives.
And this is an absolutely ordinary case in Uzhgorod.
The restaurant, which employs a polyglot waiter, is located in the hotel. Ungvarskiy. The first Ungvarskiy was built in the seventies of the XIX century.
The city made the work of Austrian engineers.
Not far from the Uzhgorod castle, they discovered a mineral spring, and the enterprising couple of Artoga built a hotel-clinic at this place.
After the war, during the Soviet era, the hospital was leveled and a factory was built in its place.
After 130 years in Uzhgorod there were people who had enough interest in their native history and money to buy the factory, demolish it, excavate it, find everything that was left of the hospital, and build the hotel again.
A huge cast-iron tub for mineral baths was found under the ground and split in two — the new owners restored it and put it back to the hospital. Hot mineral water is poured into the tub of the Ungvara font, and a special master serves the priest with him and with clients.
Himself he calls Chanodey.
He will immerse you in the font according to all the rules, tell the whole story of Ungvar, all the world medical theories and all about the future of mankind — but only if you want.
Not far from the font, there are magic people — massage therapists. One of the hundred and fifty types of massage it controls is a massage with herbal bags, traditional in Transcarpathia.
And there are also bathhouses, a specialist from Bakhchisarai was brought in to build the stoves, but there was no closer master of this class.
In the restaurant they feed Transcarpathian dishes — dishes in Transcarpathian style are called unexpected for the Russian ear by the word «strava». So, there are such strains: soup in the cauldron on an open fire, piglet on a spit, lecho with a picnic, goulash and, of course, bacon with fat (or different liqueurs-liqueurs). And 6 more menu pages.
Like everything is delicious — it is impossible to stop. In the tasting room await vintage wines — the stars of Transcarpathia: “Riesling Rhine”, “Riesling Italian”, “Leanka”, “Traminer”, “Muller Thurgau”.
Red wines (cabernet sauvignon and merlot) are much less common here.
Tastings are a national Transcarpathian fun, in Uzhgorod there is a mass of wine cellars.
Recently even opened Transcarpathian tourist wine road — a three-day tour with tastings of Transcarpathian wines in Uzhgorod, Mukachevo and Beregovo districts, in ancient fortresses, thermal pools, wine cellars and old cellars.
On the system all inclusive, which is especially nice.
Grandma Sommelier Ungvarskogo, Karolina Mihailovna, who exchanged ninth dozen — clean, bright, beautiful — cooks specially for Deli.
The tokan (corn porridge with cracklings and cheese) interferes on the stove on one hotplate, on the other soup from pasuli and says: “We always ate tasty and natural, so we lived for a hundred years. And at all the strength enough. I myself am the eleventh in the family, after me there are two more.
Mom made us coffee every day — either from barley, or from oats with chicory, and we drank it. Or once bought one herring — for all thirteen souls.
Without thinking twice, she “anointed” her hominy, and everyone is happy! And you see, I survived everything: Hungarians, Czechs, Russians … How can I know, maybe I will survive the Ukrainians too? ”
My love affair with Transcarpathian coffee began on the road.
The driver who met us at the Lviv airport called me to him. The road from Lviv to Uzhgorod is beautiful, through a magnificent pass it lasts about four hours.
And although all this time you look out the window and smile with happiness that storks nest near the houses; that in schools on the roofs lies neat European tiles; that the slopes of the hills seemed to be overgrown with velvet beech groves; that next to these groves old houses grow from the ground, neat, like in the pictures; that nowhere are broken glass and plastic bottles lying around … But after the plane, the inner world is still tired and wants to cheer up.
We stopped about forty kilometers from Lviv in a small village near a typical “doshirak-and-coffee-three-in-one” stall — and the driver went for coffee. At first I was surprised when he walked back, holding in his hands plastic cups filled by a third (it was clear). Surely, I think, it’s a pity for them to boil the instant Nescafe?
She drank from the glass and was dumbfounded — top-notch espresso. “What do you mean,” said the driver in surprise, “no one drinks here soluble!” It’s not even a move in Transcarpathia.
Just do not use.
The traditions of coffee drinking came to Transcarpathia — and first of all to Uzhgorod — from Vienna itself, during the rule of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Then, at the beginning of the twentieth century, espresso machines appeared in Uzhgorod — just a year after they entered circulation in Italy. By the thirties, coffee machines were in all wealthy families.
In Soviet times, the honor of every Uzhgorod citizen was to come to the center, to the store. Golden Key, and drink a cup of hot drink there at the stand-up table. Key alive to this day, but they still drink coffee in coffee shops.
They are in Uzhgorod just Nemer. “It’s pretty cool for Kawi (“ let’s go and have some coffee ”),” the people of Uzhgorod are saying with respect to the product.
You can not just eat, drink and steam baths. It is necessary to examine everything, the benefit of the story at every turn.
Uzhgorod Castle, as previously written in the newspaper News, «It stands menacingly above the peaceful houses of the villagers.» As any medieval self-respecting castle should be, it stands on a high hill, and you need to climb it either along a narrow, very steep staircase, or along a stone-paved road (take care of your heels!).
All your efforts will come true a thousandfold, you just have to get into the courtyard, planted with long-aged trees, and go to the wall.
From the walls of the castle you can see far, far away, and — wherever you look — crazy beauty is everywhere.
I do not think that I should tell the story of this remarkable historical monument — outside of its walls, like any other story, it will be read with a slight yawn. Well, you will find out that in 1312, after the Italian Druget brothers helped King Carl Robert of the Anjou dynasty suppress the rebellion of Najupan Peter Peter, Peter Robert gave the Uzhgorod castle and land to the brothers.
And then they were owned by another 10 different noble families … Better go there, write out one of the most colorful local guides — they will tell you a very dramatic history of the castle in colors and faces.
The most amazing place in Uzhgorod is not museums, not theaters, not squares or even coffee shops. This is a lime alley along the Uzh embankment, which was planted with trees by gymnasium students in the twenties of the last century. It is considered the longest in Europe (stretches for more than two kilometers), and about the fact that it is the most beautiful, it is not written anywhere.
But Uzhgorod residents and tourists know this themselves. This alley with huge, almost century-old lindens and tender sakura (yes, sakura blooms in Uzhgorod at the end of April, and magnolias bloom in May) is a classic promenade, where during good weather it takes half of the city to stroll.
The remaining half of the city walk along another promenade — the old Korzo street.
You can just walk, and you can sit under the awning on the embankment itself — and in five minutes the waitress will bring cheap and tasty local beer. You smack him, you look at the people.
Men on the boardwalk are personable, well-dressed ladies, heels, babies in wheelchairs are washed and for some reason they do not cry at all.
Children and girls in Uzhgorod is a separate topic. And those and others are so cute and dressed with such taste that I want to consider them as pictures in fashion magazines. And do not drink beer in the streets from the bottle (girls, not babies).
There is a rational explanation for this.
First, the European origins, which have already been mentioned. Secondly — the university. There are already five faculties per 130 thousand inhabitants of Uzhgorod!
And they are not concentrated in one place, as on a reservation, but scattered throughout the city, as in respectable England.
In the new residential area there is a mathematical area, opposite the Uzhgorod castle is a legal one, near the city administration there is a medical … Paradise place.
Riding around Uzhgorod is a pleasure. 12 kilometers from the city, ruins are preserved Nevitsky Gothic Castle, where life was in full swing for five hundred years — from the 12th to the 17th century. There, the ruins themselves look … well, gothic, what can I say.
And the park under the castle is very impressive.
In general, the parks around Uzhgorod have always been hunting grounds, most often royal. There they were beaten, and then they ate boars, roes, hares, partridges, pheasants … The most amazing thing is that all this living creatures are still found here!
Although you just don’t want to hunt for it — there is someone to follow the order.
And the buildings in the parks are in excellent condition.
For example, the hunting residence of the counts of Schönborn (now a sanatorium) is a neo-renaissance castle, but not an easy one.
It has 12 entrances, 52 main rooms and 365 windows — it is not known just whether the members of the family were obliged, and now the vacationers have to look at the new window every day of the year?
The most important attraction on a scale not only in Uzhgorod and Transcarpathia, but also in Ukraine is Goryanskaya rotunda. You come to the village of Goryany and find a squat hexagonal building with a hexagonal dome, a small turret and narrow Gothic windows.
Outside, frankly, the view is not at all impressive. Apparently, thanks to the asymmetry (kosovato building) and the thick layer of plaster covering the walls, Ukrainian workers are now very fond of decorating cottages.
But the stronger the contrast: getting inside, in the blink of an eye, you find yourself in a genuine Middle Ages.
In the twelfth century, the Goryansky rotunda was built not by the Galician-Volyn princes, or by the Hungarian kings, and it was a chapel. And in the chapels frescoes are laid — oh, what murals are there!
Even the painting of the thirteenth century was partially preserved, but not much of it, mainly the fifteenth century. The rotunda was painted by masters brought from Northern Italy, and they knew their work. The plots are classic, written in chronological order, that is, turning your head, you seem to be reading the Gospel: «Annunciation», «Gifts of the Magi», «Flight into Egypt» … I have never seen the Magi with such human and agitated faces and such a cheerful Mother of God.
The frescoes are conserved, but not restored.
And this is good — the remake did not have time to spoil anything, and the walls breathe like living.
I’ll travel around Transcarpathia, I will write a book, no less.
If I do not stop there from gluttony.
In the orthodox synagogue of 1904, nowadays turned into a philharmonic with amazing acoustics.
In the night club Eila or in a disco Viper, where everything is as before — dancing until the morning and beautiful girls.
In the oldest coffee house in Uzhgorod Svit kavi that tea, where coffee is served from time immemorial.
In a relatively new coffee shop network Medellin.
Especially cute tiny coffee shop not far from the embankment, on Koryatovich Square — with standing tables on the street in the warm season and delicious coffee almost three hundred varieties.
Especially good there is Viennese coffee.
In a restaurant Detsa notary — a mixture of humorous ethnographic museum with funny signs, signs and nice food.
On a salt lake Kunigunda, quite far from Uzhgorod, in the village of Solotvino — to bathe and undergo treatment in the analogue of the Israeli Dead Sea and descend into salt mines.
If you find yourself in Transcarpathia in April — early May, go to Narcissus Valley near the city Hust — 256 hectares of wild daffodils are far from Uzhgorod.
Embroidered linen tablecloths, towels, shirts, scarves and handmade sundresses for some really funny money.
Sold in tourist shops on the central streets of Uzhgorod.
Local homemade sausage, smoked on sawdust cherries, plums and grapes. It is of several kinds — some are eaten just like that, others are fried and boiled.
A lot of sausages in the Central market.
Sweet ground paprika, which is brought to Transcarpathia from Hungary, is also on the market.
Three types of fantastic cheese — Selis, Hust and Narcissus Carpathians, which the former philologist Petr Prigara brews in the Khustovsky district under a Swiss license for Swiss equipment made from Transcarpathian cows’ milk is in stores.
And the fourth type of cheese, home Transcarpathian cheese, without which a token would fail, both in stores and on the market.
And, of course, the local «market» fat — the most delicious in Uzhgorod — smoked.
It should be cut into thick strips, cut perpendicularly, fry in a frying pan until crisp — and then eat hot or cold.
And I almost forgot about the local vintage wine!
This is entirely to your taste.