Zakarpattya is one of the most original corners of Ukraine. This is a region with the unique geopolitical and geographical location (covering the south-west part of the Ukrainian Carpathians and Dunabe lowland). Due to its geographical features Zakarpattya has been for long a convenient junction between the countries of Northern and Southern, Eastern and Western Europe.
The territory of Zakarpattya Region is 12.8 thousand square km. By administrative-territorial division this is 13 districts, 10 cities including three cities of regional submission. There are 608 settlements in the region on the whole. The number of population of Zakarpattya is 1.2 million people.
By the geopolitical location and natural-climatic features Zakarpattya has its specific. This is a sole region of Ukraine, which borders with four countries such as Hungary, Poland, Romania and Slovakia. 70% of its territory is covered by mountain and pre-mountain zones that conditions the uniqueness of natural landscape, rich and variety of resource potential of the land. The nature of this land is very picturesque and various: lowland is occupied with fields, lawns, orchards and vineyards; the gentle Carpathians' slopes are covered with forest, mainly beech trees.
Zakarpattya has the bowels rich in various minerals, including specific ones, typical only for Zakarpattya geological province. The mineral base of the region is represented by almost 150 deposits and more than 30 minerals.
The woods occupying more than a half of its territory are invaluable treasure of the region. The hard leaf (62.2%) and the coniferous (29.9 %) species of trees predominate in the natural structure of Zakarpattya woods.
The region is multinational. Ukrainians (78.4%) are the main and native population. Also Hungarians, Russians, Romanians, Slovaks and gypsies or representatives of more than 30 nationalities live in the wonderful land.
Zakarpattya Region has a complex historical background. Its territory has been populated for ages. The first mention about human life on the region’s territory dates at the early Palaeolithic (about 500 thousand BC).
Among the archaeological sights of the first half of 1st millennium AD there are in Zakarpattya well-known Carpathians' mounds. The scientists established that these were made by the ancestors of Slavic tribes of White Croatians. The wonderful natural pearl had known many lords. In ІХ-Х centuries the territory of Zakarpattya was comprised in Kyiv Russia. In ХІ-ХІІІ centuries and until ХХ century the present Zakarpattya Region territory belonged to Hungary or Austro-Hungary, in 1918-1919 to Hungary, in 1919-1939 was merged to Czechoslovakia and named "Transcarpathian Russia", in 1939-1944 returned to Hungary.
It is the youngest region of Ukraine. The liberation of Zakarpattya in October, 1944 and joining to the Soviet Ukraine opened the bright page in the history of this land. No doubt, all these events left deep traces in history and culture of Zakarpattya. There are 137 natural lakes on the territory of this land, 9429 brooks and rivers are flowing through it. Almost one fourth part of hydroenergetic potential of Ukraine is concentrated on the rivers, which provides the opportunity for development of small hydropower engineering.
These features determine originality of social-economic development of the region and colour of its traditions, way of life of people, its past and present. In the conditions of reformation of economic relations the accent is done on development of priority industries of economy such as timber and woodworking industry, light and food industries, development of boundary collaboration, recreation and tourism and others. The leading directions in timber and woodworking industries of Zakarpattya are production of furniture, timber plant, veneer sheet, parquet; in resin industry it is non-waste utilization of timber and products of its working. The modernization of enterprises and introduction of the newest technologies did possible the further extension of production volumes of furniture and their export.
The machine-building industry of Zakarpattya produces metal-cutting machine-tools, electric motors, valves, household gas convectors, gas meters and others. The regional food industry is highly developed, in particular production of wine, cognac, tinned fruit, soft drinks and mineral water.
The great attention is paid to subsequent structural development of national economy complex, attraction of national and foreign investments in the economy, development of small and medium business, and effective use of natural resource potential. The region leads in Ukraine by share of investments per capita. Today there are in Zakarpattya dozens enterprises, which attract national and foreign investments; they perform reconstruction and modernization of production and improve the competitiveness of their products on internal and foreign markets.
The high-quality new pre-conditions for regional economic development appeared with realization of conception of the free economic zone "Zakarpattya" and introduction of the special regime of investment activity of the region’s territory. Almost 400 enterprises with foreign investments were registered; over one thousand joint ventures operate; the JSC "Zakarpattya" and JSC "Autoport-Chop", which have not analogues in Ukraine, function here.
The foreign economic activity acquires the dynamic development. On the territory of Zakarpattya 17 check points through border to the countries of Western Europe function, including six international motor-car, four railway and three points of the simplified transition.
The processes of reformation are actively taken place in the agroindustrial complex. The significant changes in the structure of land-tenure took place. Though the region has not much land, however 50% of all agricultural lands are in property and use of citizens today as well as 46% in collective agricultural enterprises. The basic directions of activity in the village are traditional for Zakarpattya such as stock-raising, gardening, viticulture, corn economy and vegetable-growing.
The powerful natural-recreation and resort potential promoted that Zakarpattya has become one of the most popular places of rest and medical treatment of people. The mineral waters, including 360 springs are already explored, have unique medical and taste characteristics. 30 deposits of sub-thermal, thermal and high-thermal waters, mainly siliceous therms of chloride sodium composition create possibilities of their use both with medical-health and industrial purpose. The mineral and thermal waters by their chemical composition compare well with famous waters of Caucasus, Czech Republic and France. Taking it into account the number of plants on bottling mineral water with the use of highly productive technologies has been significantly increased.
Zakarpattya is the land with the ramified network of sanatorium-recreation establishments including 36 – sanatorium and 87– tourist. To services of lovers of mountain-skiing there are 40 operating ski-lifts. The well-developed network of sanatorium-resort complexes, tourist bases, unique mineral springs and thermal waters, and also beauty of the Carpathians nature attract tourists and holiday-makers in any time of the year.
The guests and holiday-makers are gladly met by 50 hotels (motels), four excursion bureaus and 56 subjects of entrepreneurial activity, which have a license to the right of tourist services granting. On the whole the hospitable Zakarpattya residents simultaneously can adopt up to 13 thousand holiday-makers in summer and up to 8 thousand in winter.
Among those, who, making health, taking forces and enthusiasm with good mention and intentions to come back here next year, leave Zakarpattya there are many thousand tourists from Poland, Romania, Czech Republic, Hungary, Russia and other countries.
Today Zakarpattya is the region with not only powerful economic and natural-resource potential. It is the land, which gave to Ukraine many outstanding scientists, prominent artists and talented masters of stage. The region is traditionally considered as a base in organization and conducting of many international and All-Ukrainian scientific and artistic forums. Four state higher educational establishments of higher form of accreditation function here; the network of general schools is well-organized taking into account interests and spiritual demands of representatives of national minorities; nine educational establishments of a new type were created. Five professional theatres, 659 club establishments and centers of leisure, four museums and regional philharmonic society function here. The Zakarpattya Regional Museum and Museum of Folk Architecture and Way of Life in Uzhhorod tell about the original historical-cultural inheritance of the region, as well as Mukachevo Historical Museum located in the medieval castle "Palanok". 1817 monuments of history, culture and art are counted in the region on the whole.
But the richest of this land is its hard-working, friendly, wise and talented people. They were famous by trade, generosity and rich of soul for ages. How skilfully they always put in order their dwellings, as want perfection, peace and consent in our general house. Come in this magic corner of emerald forests and mountain streams, in the land of hospitable and benevolent people and you make sure in this.