Tysmenytsia, a small town in the west of Ukraine with a history of a thousand of years, have not been discovered by the mass tourist yet but no doubt has a few things to offer and will be of a particular interest for fur shoppers.
Tysmenytsia is a small town in Ivano-Frankivsk region being the administrative centre of Tysmenytsia district. River Vorona which means ‘raven’ in Ukrainian flows through the town. The population of Tysmenytsia is above 9,000 people, and situated only 10 km away from a much larger town of Ivano-Frankivsk, it has been a sustainable town for a couple of centuries, and is much older than its neighbour.
The first record of Tysmenytsia goes back to 1143 when it was mentioned in the Ipatiyivskyi Chronicle. In 1449 the town was granted the Magdeburg right, and then had already been quite a big craft and trading centre. The Armenians who came to the town in the 15th century had brought furriery, and since then Tysmenytsia has become an important centre for it. In the 19th century Tysmenytsia was struggling to compete with its closest neighbour – Stanislaviv (now Ivano-Frankivsk) – until the first skinnery in Ukraine was established here in 1891. The skinnery has boosted the development of the town, and in 1982 Tysmenytsia has become the administrative centre of Tysmenytsia district. Though the furriery is quite controversial as the industry in terms of animal rights, it is traditional in Tysmenytsia and gives jobs to thousands of people.
Tysmenytsia is an old town so the first thing to do here is simply walk around. Since the town itself is quite small it is easy to get around it on foot. Stroll along the streets in the centre of Tysmenytsia, have a coffee in a local café, talk to the locals, and you’ll get what this town is about. There is a good place to help you – the Museum of Tysmenytsia town history and culture named after Stepan Havryliuk, who was its founder. It has three showrooms – the first one will tell you about the ten centuries of history of Tysmenytsia, the second one about the furriery when the third one features changing exhibitions.
The furriery has always been a very important part of the town life so consider visiting the skinnery itself – Tykafurlux is open to tourists. There you can take a tour around the skinnery to get an insight into the industry. Tykafurlux is a well-known and trusted brand as well as fashionable so if you are thinking of getting some furs you are in the right place, you will be spoilt of choice.
Getting back to the town itself – when walking around, don’t miss out the numerous churches and monuments. Look around for the wooden church built in the 18th century – it’s definitely worth a visit. Also, Tysmenytsia has been the home for many outstanding people so there is plenty to discover. Among those is Yov Kniahynytsyi – the member of clergy who lived in the 16th-17th centuries, Kost Levytskyi – an outstanding politician of the western Ukraine of the 20th century, Jacob Freud – the farther of the well-known Sigmund Freud. A famous Ukrainian poet, Oleh Lysheha comes from Tysmenytsia and lives here so be assured Tysmenytsia is quite an inspiring place.
Just outside the town you will find picturesque lakes that are great for fishing or just getting closer to nature. Also, in the village of Pohonia, which is only 10 km away from Tysmenytsia, there is a monastery where pilgrimages take place. The atmosphere, lovely landscapes and no hustle and bustle... it is worth paying a visit no matter whether you are religious or not.
Tysmenytsia is only 10 km away from Ivano-Frankivsk, which is 20 times bigger than Tysmenytsia but also above six centuries younger. Whichever of these two towns you are staying in it is definitely worth visiting the other. If you are staying in Ivano-Frankivsk go to Tysmenytsia to get to know Ivano-Frankivsk region from the inside, and if you are staying in Tysmenytsia don’t miss out one of the most beautiful and charming cities of Ukraine. Slightly further but accessible are the old towns of Halych and Kolomyia which are both very popular with tourists. The wonder of nature, a real treasure – the Carpathian Mountains – is only 40 km away.
The old and charming Tysmenytsia awaits to be discovered!