Brief History of Salt Lake Sister City
and Chernivtsi, Ukraine Sister City
Salt Lake City residents, Lowell and Jane Turner visited Chernivtsi in the late 1980’s. They fell in love with Chernivtsi and observed several striking similarities between the two cities. Chernivtsi is situated at the base of the Carpathian Mountains; Salt Lake City, at the base of the Wasatch Mountains. The population of the two cities was similar and remains so—presently close to 200,000 residents. In 1989, the Turners approached then Salt Lake City Mayor, Palmer DePaulis, about establishing a Sister City Relationship between the two cities. Mayor DePaulis agreed. In June, 1989, Chernivtsi, Ukraine was chosen as a Salt Lake City sister city. Seven delegations from Chernivtsi, including three mayors, have visited Salt Lake City. Seventeen delegations from Salt Lake City, two including Mayor DePaulis, have visited Chernivtsi. Clearly, Salt Lake City and Chernivtsi remain close partners today, 23 years later.[nggallery id=5]
Chernivtsi, Ukraine, is situated in southwestern Ukraine, and stretches for seven miles along the upper Prut River in the Carpathian foothills. First documentary reference to Chernivtsi dates from 1408, when it was a town in Moldavia and the chief center of the area known as Bukovina. Over the centuries, Chernivtsi was governed by several different countries: first, the Turks and then in 1774, Austria; after World War I, Romania, and in 1940, the U.S.S.R. In 1991, after the break-up of the former Soviet Union, Chernivtsi was recognized as a city in independent Ukraine and remains so today. Always a major focus of trade, Chernivtsi grew in the early 20th century as an industrial center and an important railway junction, with lines to Lviv, Ternopil, Moldova, and Romania. Today, an international airport is located in Chernivtsi. Industries have included agriculture, woolen and cotton textile processing, light engineering, food processing (especially meat and sugar), and timber working and in recent years clothing manufacture and technology. Chernivtsi is well-known as a cultural and educational center of western Ukraine. It has a university, the State University of Chernivtsi, founded in 1875, and a medical institute, the Bukovian Medical Academy. Chernivtsi has enjoyed the growth of new suburbs along the low left bank of the Prut. Historically the City’s population has been a mixture of Ukrainians, Romanians, Jews, Germans, and Armenians; and today at 242,250 people, the City is inhabited mainly by Ukrainians with a significant Romanian and Russian minority population.