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09 Mar. 2024


What is the oldest city in modern Ukraine? Spoiler alert: it appeared long before Rus'



What is the oldest city in modern Ukraine? Spoiler alert: it appeared long before Rus'

Ukrainian cities with a long history hide many secrets. And some of them keep a story about the times when no one had even heard of the Slavs. Find out which city was founded in the VI century BC and is considered the oldest in modern Ukraine

Tours to unbreakable Ukraine. Find out more on the website
Tours to unbreakable Ukraine. Find out more on the website

Ukraine is a country with a long history that has gone through a difficult path of formation and independence. And some modern Ukrainian cities not only saw the birth of Ukrainian statehood, but are also considered to be among the oldest cities in the world.

Ukrainian historian Oleksandr Alfiorov talked about one of these cities on his YouTube channel.

The oldest city in Ukraine: history and name changes

According to the historian, modern Bilhorod-Dnistrovskyi, located in the Odesa region, is considered one of the oldest cities in the world and the oldest city in Ukraine. The history of this city dates back more than 2,500 years, founded by the ancient Greeks in 498 BC during the colonization of the Black Sea region. Interestingly, in different periods it belonged to the Phoenicians, Greeks, and even the Antes.

Photo: nik_piekhotnyi

During its existence, the city has changed its name several times. Almost every new owner of the settlement named it in his own way. The last time it was renamed was in 1944. Dniester was added to the historical name of Bilhorod, in particular to distinguish the city's name from the Russian Belgorod.

"This city was founded in the sixth century BC. At that time it was called Ophiussa, then it changed its name and became known as Tira, and in the times of Rus it was called Bilhrad, then it changed its name to Asprokastro, and then there were many more changes. Finally, we know it under the name Akkerman, under which it was part of the Ukrainian state in 1918. Now it is called Bilhorod-Dnistrovskyi," the historian says.

It should be noted that the status of one of the world's oldest cities was also approved by UNESCO. Thus, in 1991, Bilhorod-Dnistrovskyi celebrated an important anniversary - 2500 years since its foundation.

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Attractions in Bilhorod-Dnistrovskyi

Today, there are many historical sites in the city, including the archaeological complex of the ancient city of Tira. 

Photo: Wikipedia

The so-called Akkerman Fortress, a stone citadel, is also well preserved here. Its construction is believed to have begun in the 13th century under the Genoese, but it acquired its modern appearance during the Ottoman rule of the city.

Photo: jekaloc

In addition, within the city there are: a Greek church (XIII-XIIV centuries), the Armenian Church of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary (XIV-XV centuries), (a synagogue of the XIX century), the Ascension Cathedral and St. Nicholas Church of the XIX century and many other monuments.

If you want to learn more about the history and culture of Ukraine, as well as see the incredible Ukrainian landscapes and sights with your own eyes, we suggest you do not hesitate to book a trip with Visit Ukraine for the dates convenient for you. Our portal offers more than 800 different tours to suit every taste and budget. Together with our professional guides, you can see the whole of Ukraine.

Follow the link and choose your dream trip from the largest online tour database in Ukraine. And we will take care of your comfort and safety!

If you have any additional questions, please contact the Visit Ukraine hotline.

We remind you! Ukraine is a fascinating country with exceptional architecture, nature, unique culture and hospitable people. Discover the 5 most interesting destinations for an unforgettable trip with picturesque landscapes that you should see at least once in your life.

Main photo: miishynin

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