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Sambir – history and architectural monuments

The square with the best Town Hall in Ukraine, the church of the Nativity of the Virgin Mary, St. Stanislaus Roman Catholic church, the organ music hall these all are in the small town with lots of attractions

Lviv oblast, Sambir
Sambor can get to by Lviv, Drohobych and then take regular buses to Sambir.




St. Valentine, the hall of organ music, Vienna’s coffee or Ukrainian coffee?

>Sambir has an ancient history. St. Valentine’s Day is one of the most famous festivals in the world. Young people in Ukraine celebrate it as well. Catholics believe that St. Valentine is the patron of lovers, and the Germans that he is the protector of people who suffering from mental illness. Obviously they are right; because it is proven that infatuation has all signs of mental illness. Few people know that St. Valentine’s relics are preserved in the church of the Nativity of the Virgin Mary in the small town Sambir.
Many famous people were born and worked in Sambir and in the neighborhood of this town:
Les Kurbas – organizer of the theatre, director, actor, theatre personality;
Petro Konashevych-Sahaidachny – the famous Hetman of Registered Cossacks, he defeated 100 thousand Turkish forces in Khotyn;
Yurii Kulchutsky – considered a hero by the people of Vienna for his actions at the Battle of Vienna; according to a popular legend he opened the first café in the town, using coffee beans;
Omelian and Teophila Bachynski – Ukrainian actors.
Sambir still remembers Ivan Franko’s performances during the elections to the Austro-Hungarian Sejm. There is also a monument to Bohdan Khmelnytsky and his Cossacks attacked Sambir. It was Sambir where False Dmitryi decided to conquer Moscow.
Sambir (Russian version is Sambor) is located in the top of the Dniester River, it is 75 km from Lviv.  This is a clean cozy town with inexpensive coffee cafés, streets are almost crowded with tourists, and architecture of the old town reminds one of the typical Austro-Hungarian towns of the late of 19th century. Small colorful houses of the beginning of the century enrich this town. There are town hall and the square in the center which give the atmosphere of medieval Europe to this town. It is difficult to find buildings of the Soviet period; it is much easier to see buildings of Austro-Hungarian period. Just walk down the streets of Mazepa, Khmelnytsky, Vuzka, Stebelskogo and you may assure of this. Clean narrow streets, Roman Catholic churches and churches that survived more than one generation, the hall of organ music and the history of ancient Sambir attract the attention of many tourists and visitors.
History of Sambir
According to the archeological research, settlement in this area existed since prehistoric times.
The first written mention of the town dates from 1241. In that period this area was a part of Kievan Rus, and eventually was a part of Galicia and Galicia-Volhynia Kingdom. There was a settlement Stary Sambir which was completely destroyed by Mongols invasion. Then this town was rebuilt in another place and got the name Sambir. Destroyed settlement got the name Stary Sambir. For those who travel in this area should take into account that there are two settlements – Sambir and Stary Sambir. In fact, all touristic monuments are found in Sambir.
A new town was built in a typical Western European style: narrow streets paved with stones, colorful houses close to each other, the square with the town hall in the center and streets of the town diverge from this point, Roman Catholic churches and monasteries. Basically the population of the town consisted of the Ukrainians (or as it was called Rusyns), the Poles and the Germans. The town a long period was under Polish rule. Kyiv Prince Volodymyr the Great joined lands of Prycarpattia to Kievan Rus as back as 993. Since then up to 1349 this territory belonged to the Ukrainian (Rusyns) princes, in fact to the moment when Galicia Prince Yurii II was poisoned.
Since 1349 this territory belonged to Polish kings and magnates. For more than 400 years the Poles tried to assimilate completely captured Ukrainian lands. Lands free distributed to the poor Polish gentry, Roman Catholic churches and monasteries, while the Ukrainians were not allowed to make settlements within the town boarders and built houses, they were imposed on overtaxes. Other nationalities were allowed to settle: the Poles, the Germans and the Jews. Roman Catholic churches and monasteries were allowed to build everywhere; however, the Ukrainians were prohibited to construct churches. Only in 1553, Queen Bona who was the owner of these lands allowed the Ukrainians to built churches in the town.
Interesting tourists’ sights in the town
  • Town Hall 1606 – a monument of the Renaissance, one of the most beautiful in Ukraine;
  • Monastery church of St. Stanislaus of 18 century in baroque and organ hall;
  • Bernardine monastery 1751;
  • Jesuit collegium of 18 century which graduated many famous people, now this is the culture school;
  • Church of the Nativity of the Virgin Mary - Greek Catholic Church is a local curiosity of Sambir thanks to the miraculous icon of Virgin Mary of Sambir and relics of St. Valentine;
  • Defensive Roman Catholic church of John the Baptist of 1530;
  • Villas and small houses on the Shopen, Mazepa, Khmelnytsky, Vuzka, Stebelskogo streets;
  • Military hospital - a part of Brygidki’s monastery built in XVII century;
  • Monuments to Bohdan Khmelnytsky, Les Kurbas, Ivan Franko, Andriy Tchaikovsky, victims of Stalinist repressions and totalitarianism;
  • Interesting places and tourists’ sights near Sambir;
  • Kulchytsi – 7 km, according to a popular legend Yurii Kulchutsky opened the first café in Vienna, using coffee beans; there is a coffee house and the ethnographic museum;
  • Lavriv – the oldest defensive Lavriv Vasylian monastery complex in Galicia, church of St.Onuphrius of 17 century, burial of Prince Lev who founded Lviv, the frescoes of 15 century;
  • Naguyevychi – birthplace of Ivan Franko, interesting path in the forest with carved figures of characters of his writings, the museum and Franko’s estate;
  • Stara Sil – wooden church of 1440, Roman Catholic Church with interesting architecture;
  • Rosokhy – defensive church of the Nativity of the Virgin Mary;
  • Skelivka – route of the good soldier Schweik;
  • Dobromyl –castle of the Herburts family on the top of mountain;
  • Festivals and important events in Sambir;
  • Town Day is in September, 10 (celebrated in 2011), August, 28 (according to Wikipedia).
The hall of organ music is opened every Saturday, beginning at 11.00.
Excursions to Sambir
There are excursions to Sambir from Skhidnytsa, Truskavets, Morshyn, Bukovel, Slavske, and Lviv.
Tour operators
  • “The Carpathians pearl” - Skhidnytsa;
  • “Europe Tour” – Skhidnytsa;
  • How to get to Sambir;
  • You may get to Lviv, Drohobych and then take regular buses to Sambir.
Nearest ski resorts
Rozluch, Lviv oblast - 47 km;
Nearest spa resorts
Nearest settlements
  • Stary Sambir – 17,8 km;
  • Kulchytsi – 8,4 km;
  • Lavriv – 32 km;
  • Naguyevychi - 24,3 km;
  • Dobromyl – 35 km;
  • Stara Sil – 22 km.
  • Lviv oblast
  • Sambir region
  • Sambir
  • 49° 31′ 20″ N, 23° 11′ 49″ E

2011. Sambir.Rest in the Carpathians
Hotel Villa Grand in Truskavets
Transfer Dragobrat
Bukovel, hotel Lis i Gory
Н. Студенный, комплекс отдыха "Озеро Вита"