History of Ujgorod

Uzhgorod municipal arms Uzhgorod city - is an administrative centre of Zakarpatskaya region. It is located at the foot of Carpathians on twisting coast of the river Uzh.

As the archeological finds testify, the first person in city territory lodged during the epoch of early paleolith - about 100 thousand years BC.

Uzhgorod - is one of the most ancient Slavic cities. Its history goes back for more than 1100 years. The Hungarian annals considers 872 year as the foundation date of Uzhgorod. The East Slavic tribe of white Croats based the first settlements around Uzhgorod until IX century when Uzhgorod (Ungvar) turned in protected early feudal fortress.

In IX century, the strengthened ancient settlement-castle turned to strengthened early feudal city-settlement, which became the centre of a newly made Slavic princedom led by legendary prince Laborts. In the west princedom, Laborts bordered on the Velikomoravsky princedom, and in the south - on the Bulgarian kingdom.

The chronicle of second half of ХІІ century mentions, that in the end of IX century Hungarian tribes, who had come on Zakarpatye, found there a city with the strengthened castle. Headed by Arpad, they passed Carpathians, broke an army of the semi legendary Slavic Prince Uzhgorod named Laborets and then captured the city. There is even a theory that the name "Hungary" generated from the Hungarian name of Uzhgorod - Ungvar.

In XI - XII centuries Uzhgorod was in possession of the Hungarian kings, and in 1290 it carried over rich feudal lord Amodey. In 1241, Batuy's Tatars burned the city.

In 1248 by order of Hungarian king Beyly the New city (Unguyvar) - New Uzhgorod IV was built on a new place, in modern microdistrict Goryany. The new fortress and church were constructed nearby.

In the beginning of XIV century Uzhgorod under the head of Abo Amadey and Petr Petuni showed the long resistance to new Hungarian king Charles Robert from the dynasty of Anzhou.

In 1318 in Uzhgorod the 360-year-old board of Italian aristocrats, Drugerts called by the Hungarian king began. Phillip Druget built the new castle, which is saved up to now. Since 1430, Uzhgorod received number of privileges from the crown and began to be called «Privileged city Uzhgorod». Kin of Drugets held the city in hands during 369 years - up to 1691.

In 1514 during revolt under the guidance of Derd' Dozhi, the city was destroyed. In 1526, after defeat of Hungarians in fight with Turks near Mogach, the Hungarian kingdom was divided into three parts: Transilvansky princedom, the Central Hungary under the power of Turks, the western and Northern Hungary under the power of Austrian Gabsburgs. Uzhgorod for a long time became an arena of intestine wars. In 1538, Uzhgorod shifted away from Transylvania, and in 1540, Austrian armies occupied it. In 1564, Transylvania armies again attacked the city.

In 1631, there were 10 streets in the city; the main Zamkovaya Street was accomplished from two sides, by 206 country courtyards, and 32 manors of noble family. The total of townsmen made 1200 persons.

Counts Drugets strengthened the city role as economic and shopping centre. At that time, there were such events, as castle reorganization, building of new churches and wine vaults. «Seal of Uzhgorod city.1675» was saved on which the city arms were represented: a board with two grapevines, and three leaves and two clusters of grapes that indicated the basic employment of its inhabitants. In 1646 the union was signed in the city, which became beginning of foundation of Uniate Church in Zakarpatye.

In XVI-XVII centuries, Uzhgorod became an utmost east advanced post of Gabsburgsk Austria on the border on Transylvania after the fight at Mokhach. In 1646 Uzhgorod Union, which gave rise to Greek-Catholicism in Zakarpatye, was proclaimed. Uzhgorod became an arena of opposition of Orthodox, Catholicism and Protestantism. During that period, the city was involved in religious struggle between reformative Transylvania and Catholic Austria.
At that time, Uzhgorod quickly developed in the economic field. Throughout XVI - XVII centuries in Uzhgorod there were many craft shops: sewing, potters, joiners, barrel shop, etc.

In 1707, the city became the residence of Ferets II Rakotzi, the leader of national-liberation war of the Hungarian people. In the very Uzhgorod castle, he conducted negotiations with Peter the Great and Louis the Fourteenth.

Uzhgorod of XVIII century was famous for the fairs. There came merchants from Slovakia, Germany, Hungary, Moldova, Poland, Greece, and Russia. At that time variety of wine vaults and warehouses in the area of Zamkovaya and Daybovetskaya mountains were constructed. In the end of XVIII century, the left-bank part of the city where mainly poor men settled started to build up.

The economic scope is characteristic for the beginning of XIX century. Capitalism, though and within the limits of feudalism started to develop on Zakarpatye. There were first factories; the city area increased. Streets in city center (in 1837 there were already 36 streets) were ordered. Uzhgorod acquired the character of typical Central-European cities. All that was under construction on the right coast of Uzh, round mountain Zamkovaya. The left-bank part remained disordered, the German colonists who had their own management lodged there.

Hungarian bourgeois revolution of 1848-1849 was the greatest event from political events of XIX century. On March 27, 1848, it was officially declared about monarchy downfall. Townsmen supported the Hungarian revolution. For the purpose of revolution suppression, Gabsburgsk absolutism called for help the army of imperial Russia. Liberation war suffered defeat. The monarchy was renewed.

At that time the infrastructure also developed: there were factories (first of all, woodworking enterprises), in 1872 the railway "Uzhgorod-Chop" was opened.

The First World War negatively influenced the city economy, that's why in 20-th years there were even initiatives to transfer an administrative centre in Mukachevo.

After disintegration of Austro-Hungary on conditions of Sen-Zhermensky peace treaty, Zakarpatye with Uzhgorod as an administrative centre was passed to Czechoslovak republic (as a part of Czechoslovakia - from 1919 to 1938). The Czechoslovak government conducted the active building which transformed the city in example of modern architecture and encouraged city economic development, which by that time had expanded and reconstructed and had become an administrative centre of Podkarpatskaya Russia.

In 1938, Uzhgorod passed to Hungary, which cancelled liberal and democratic undertakings of Czechoslovakia and during Second World War, entered a rigid mode of wartime. In the end of 1944, as far as Red Army approached to the centers of Slovak national revolt, the task to release Zakarpatye was put before the Fourth Ukrainian front. On October 27 1944 two Soviet tank columns coming from the side of Mukachevo and Uzhotsky pass, released the city from Hungarian and German armies.

Releasing of Zakarpatye brought certain changes in the life of Uzhgorod.

Under the agreement with Czechoslovakia of June, 29, 1945 Zakarpatye was a part of the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic and the USSR. Since January 1946 - it was the centre of neogenic Zakarpatye region. During the Soviet power Uzhgorod became the centre of science, culture and separate industries (instrument making, woodworking, light, food industries). There were reconstructed new and old buildings, in 1945 Uzhgorod state (nowadays - national) university was opened.

Nowadays (since 1991) Uzhgorod is the most sparsely populated and the most western of 24 regional centers of Ukraine.
Architectural monuments: the castle (founded in 11 century); church (1762-67; baroque); an Episcopal palace (nowadays university library; 17 century) are situated there. In the city functions woodworking, machine building (devices, gas-transport turbine plants), light (including shoe), food industry, the factory of household chemical goods, etc. There is a university in the city, two theatres, art museum, museum of national architecture, period-house museum and museum of regional studies.

In connection with revival of orthodox Carpatho-Russian movements in the city, their estimation of modern Uzhgorod is curious: «At all our sympathies we should recognize, that old Uzhgorod with its castle of Drugets, Uniate cathedral and library, coffee houses and low houses entirely belong to the West European civilization. The city was built under Hungarians, Hungarians were misters, although Carpatho-Russian were the subordinate, dependent population of the countryside».

Under the editorship of: V.A. Kovalenin

blog comments powered by Disqus

Read also

Recommended reading

History of Poltava

Poltava - is a city on the left coast of the river Vorskla, the left inflow of Dnepro. In VII-XIII centuries AD in that territory slavic tribes of northern...


History of Cherkassy

Cherkassy - is one of the most picturesque Ukrainian city with the population over 300 thousand people; it is located approximately in 180 kilometers to th...


History of Ternopil

Ternopil - is a city-centre of Ternopil region on the river Seret, on the left inflow of Dniester rever. On this territory the traces of primitive people e...