We offer tours to Vyzhnytsa (Wiznitz, וויזשניץ). You will visit Vyzhnytsa with the best local guide, explore its history and amazing sites.
The first mention of the settlement on the Cheremosh River dates back to 1158. According to another version, the city’s name is mentioned in the Moldovan annals of J. Nekulche in 1501.
Vizhnitsa was part of the Moldavian principality, which was in vassal dependence on the Ottoman Empire. In 1767, Vizhnitsa received the Magdeburg right. Apparently, during this period the first Jews appeared here.
In 1774, Vyzhnytsa with the Bukovina region became part of the Austrian Empire. By that time, 56 Jewish families had already lived in Vyzhnytsia – 191 people. Soon Vizhnitsa received the status of a trading city.
Vyzhytsa – center of Hasidism
In the middle of the 19th century, when the city began to gain fame as a center of Hasidism, the Jewish community of Vyzhnytsia became independent from Chernivtsi.
In the oldest cemetery in Vyzhnytsya, the Soviet authorities built a stadium, but a new one, opened in 1863, is well preserved. It is located near the village of Chornoguzy.
Basically, the Jews from Vyzhnytsa were engaged in the usual business – trade and crafts.
At the end of the 18th century the town became an important point of trade in the forest (European yew). Threes were rafted along the rivers Cheremosh and Prut to Chernivtsi and from there they were transported to Bessarabia and Podillya.
The first wooden synagogue in Vyzhnytsa was built in 1777. In 1826, a Great stone Synagogue was erected. It was badly damaged during the First World War, but restored in a slightly modified form. Today the building of the Great Synagogue of Vyzhnytsa is one of the most notable in the town and is used as the Palace of Culture.
The heyday of the Jewish Vyzhnytsa began in 1854, when Rabbi Menachem Mendel Hager settled here, the grandson and namesake of the founder of the Hasidic court in the town of Kosiv. Soon the young zaddik was rumored to be a miracle-worker, which attracted Jews from all over Bukovina and beyond. Hager establishes his own courtyard in Vyzhnytsa and becomes the ancestor of the Chassidic Vyzhnytsa dynasty, which today is one of the most numerous in the world.
At that time, the most famous Hasidic zaddik in the region was the famous Rabbi Israel Friedman of Ruzhyn, whose yard was located in the town of Sadgor (today,the district of the city of Chernivtsi).
Vyzhytsa and Baal Shem Tov
Generally, Vyzhnytsia can be considered the cradle of Hasidism, Rabbi Menachem Mendel Hager is not to blame. In the vicinity of the town in 1727 – 1734 lived a man, later known as the founder of this mystical teaching- Israel Ben Eliezer Baal Shem Tov or Besht. It was after these 7 years that Baal Shem Tov spent in the mountains, alternating work and meditations, he revealed himself as a miracle worker and a connoisseur of kabbalistic secrets. Somewhere in here, Besht met with Oleksa Dovbush – the leader of “opryshky” (Carpathian rebels). Near Vyzhnitsa, in the village of Vizhenka, on the same name river, he built himself a mikvah. Today the mikvah of the legendary zaddik is the object of the pilgrimage of Hasidim from all over the world.
During the tour you will visit the mikvah of Baal Shem Tov. You can stay there and meditate.
In 1880 there were 3,795 Jews here, which was 91% (!) of the total population, and by 1910 their number had grown to 5,080 people. The Jewish character of the city can be evidenced by the classic settlement of the central streets, though considerably damaged during the wars. In all Vizhnytsa whish, as of 1900, there were 14,002 Jews.
At the beginning of the 20th century there were 8 synagogues in Vyzhnytsa and the Hasidic courtyard represented a whole complex of buildings, including a synagogue, a yeshiva, several study rooms, a bursa, many auxiliary facilities and the residence of the tzaddik himself. The remaining synagogues were classified according to the professional or religious affiliation of their parishioners.
Book a tour to Vyzhnytsa
We can organize your trip to Vyzhnytsa as a seperate tour or with visiting of other places: Chernivtsi, Kosiv, Kuty, Kolomyya, Horodenka, Carpathian mountains, Lviv etc.
How does it work
Our guide will meet you anywhere you want (airport, train station, hotel) and take you to Vyzhnytsa by comfortable car/minivan/bus. It is safe. You can stay in hotel in Vyzhnytsa.
Other options for this tour are possible. We are very flexible.
To book a tour in Vyzhnytsa please contact us and make a request.