Welcome to Zbarazh

Welcome to ZbarazhZbarazh is a small ancient town in Western Ukraine situated 17 km away from Ternopil. It is the administrative center of the Zbarazh district, and is located in the historic region of Galicia. At present the town is home to over 14,000 people. There are you can find old remarkable churches, several monuments to famous people, parks, the river Hnizna, a lake, green streets and many beautiful buildings. Zbarazh is one of the nicest small towns in Ukraine, with  an ancient history.

Zbarazh was first mentioned in the chronicles in 1211 but far before then the town upon the Hnizna River was one of the most fortified centres of Galicia- Volyhnia. In the 13th century, the town was owned by the Polish king Leszek the White. According to the legend, the castle was built here but the Tatars burnt the town down with its citizens in 1474 including the castle. А new castle was completed in 1626. Throughout the centuries, Zbarazh was the capital of the properties of the Zbaraski family. After the line had ended, the town was transferred to the Wiśniowiecki family. It also belonged to the Potocki family. In summer 1649, during the Khmelnytsky Uprising, the castle was besieged by the Cossacks and their Tatar allies. Defended for 43 days by Polish troops under Jeremi Wiśniowiecki (10 July–22 August), it was not captured.

The castle was partly rebuilt in the 18th century. In the 20th century, after two World Wars, only fragments of the defence walls and the frame of the palace have survived. Having Ukrainian Independence been announced, the castle was included into a registry of national historical architectural heritage in the year of 1994. Today Zbarazh Castle is a major attraction in the area and well worth exploring expeccialy during the period of tourism. The castle is situated in the park, on the Castle Hill. The castle has been restored – it has become a museum with an interesting exhibition which includes archaeological findings  an original room for weaving carpets, pottery equipment, everyday items, and many more. A curious visitor will find plenty of replicas of old portraits, including those of the castle’s numerous owners and their relatives – the Zbaraskis, the Wisniowieckis, the Pototskis, etc. People who work there are very friendly. Moreover, the museum changes the exhibitions so if you’ve been there, do not hesitate to go there again with your friends. Guided tours take place here everyday until 6 p.m. On the premises of the castle, there is the Hetman Hotel where travellers can stay.


Zbarazh also preserves several remarkable churches, notably the Saviour Church (1600). According to the legend here on the mountain Chernecha in 13 th century the monastery was founded. But it was destroyed in 1473 by a horde of Khan Aydora whose troops also destroyed and Old Zbarazh . The slab with the inscription above the entrance to the church tells us that the church was founded by Janusz Zbarazkii  in 1600 at the place of the old monastery.  Under Soviet rule, the church was closed and gradually fell into disrepair. In 1989  the temple was returned to believers. In 2013 the Via Dolorosa was built here near the Saviour church. It refers to a series of 14 images depicting Jesus Christ on the day of His death.

The local Roman Catholic church was fоunded by Yurii Zbarazkii in 1627 than it was rebuilt  in the mid-17th century by Janusz Wisniowiecki. Destroyed by the Ottoman Turks in 1675, it was rebuilt again in 1755 together with a new monastery by  Pototski family . In the interbellum period, Bernardine monks from Zbaraz operated a middle school here.

Both the church and monastery were not destroyed during World War II, after which local Poles were ordered to move to the Recovered Territories, and Soviet authorities began a process of devastation. In the monastery a hospital was located, while the church was turned into a warehouse. Тhe church was handed back to the monks. Bernardins returned to the town in 1990. Now the church slowly obtains a normal shape.

There are some monuments in town: to Ivan Franko, Bohdan Khmelnytskii, Dmytro Kliachkivskii, Adam Mitskevych and the memorials to the heroes of this land.

Town is very beautiful with its nature, where you can admire picturesque places. Among them are mountains Medobory, forests, parks and a lake.

Zbarazh is special because it is one of the seven beauties of Ukraine. It is a wonderful place to live. Welcome to Zbarazh!

Sofiia Drahan

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