What to see near Lviv Region Ukraine? Yes, the first place we’d like to show you is Tustan.
Tustan is a rock fortress, which will surprise with a combination of natural beauty and its history. During 11- 16 centuries it was a fortification object, now it is a unique location, and has no analogues in Europe. Just 2 hours drive from Lviv and you will appear near Urych village in Tustan – the historical and cultural reserve.
According to historians, the fortification complex was founded in the 9 century by tribes of white Croats as a defense and customs point and it existed till the middle of 13 century. Then it was burnt out, and later on in the fourteenth century the fortress was captured by Polish King Casimir the Great and rebuilt.
Tustan was once an important strategic point and guarded the western borders of Kievan Rus and later the Galicia-Volyn principality. Historians mentioned it in chronicles and placed it next to such famous cities as Lviv, Halych, Przemyśl and so on. In the 17th century, Tustan fell into decay. And later the ruins of the fortress have attracted the attention of travelers, historians, archaeologists and ethnographers.
The name of this fortified city was suggested by the Polish historian Stanislav Sarnitsky. And Tustan means “here to stand.” Just look at the scale – the wooden fortress was put 80 meters high above the sea level .
The uniqueness of Tustan is in the buildings that existed on the rocks many centuries ago. Archaeologists have found that ancient craftsmen used recesses in stones to secure wooden structures when building this impregnable wooden fortress. The wood is no longer here, and the traces in stones are still preserved. Who knowns, maybe in the future this fortress will be totally rebuilt as a tourist’s attraction?
According to historic records, in some of the centuries the fortress was a custom zone. There was a trade road through this area, on which sellers transported salt. The road was started from Drogobych – one of the oldest towns in Ukraine and since 14 century is known as one of the biggest centers of salt production.
Drogobych is a nice cozy ancient city with classic central market square and many monuments. There are many ancient buildings are preserved here – churches, bell towers, mansions and so on. Really a lot to enjoy and discover here. Besides salt production, there is one unique church in Drogobych that attracts quite many tourists.
There is a church of saint Jura of 15th century in Drohobych, it was bought for salt in 17th century and brought here from the Carpathians. It’s a unique church , built without any nail, and inside there are original paintings are preserved. Now it’s a UNESCO site.
The central part of Drogobych is so cozy and beautiful, just look at these spectacular buildings located right on the market square! The majority of them were built in the end of 19th century, during the oil boom.
But the main symbol of the city is not oil, but salt, or white gold, which has always been depicted on its coat of arms in the form of 9 handfuls.
So let’s get back to the salt production.
It’s hard to believe but not much has changed there in Drohobych since the middle of 13 century. Can you imagine, they still mine salt in a medieval way. The method of extracting “white gold” at the oldest enterprise in Ukraine is proposed to be included in the list of intangible heritage of UNESCO. The factory has been operating continuously since 1250, and that is really impressive. Meanwhile, the workers are fighting for its survival, coz the factory is not in a good condition at all.
We definitely can say that Drogobych is a hidden gem of Lviv region. It is an interesting town and if you are in Lviv and have time, why not to include to your travel plans such a day tour from Lviv?
For sure its a perfect combination of visiting Tustan and Drogobych!