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New Underground Tours Explore Historic Ivano-Frankivsk Town Hall Prison

In Ivano-Frankivsk, a new guided underground tour is in the works, exploring the town hall’s subterranean passages, which once served as a prison.

These new tourist routes are set to launch later this year. Currently, preparatory and technical work is underway to install lighting in the underground passages, with completion expected in about a month. The tour will not cover all the underground areas but will focus on those of historical significance. It will be a themed excursion featuring curated exhibits about the past, historical events connected to the town hall’s basement areas, as well as legends and intriguing stories. The routes will be established in one wing where the prison was located.

This prison existed there from the late 17th century until the First World War. After that, this part of the underground remained unused, while the rest of the premises serve as museum archives. The Ivano-Frankivsk town hall is a recognized local architectural landmark. Although it was constructed in 1935, the underground passages have a much older history.

It is believed that the initial prisoners of the Ivano-Frankivsk town hall included members of the Hutsul rebel movement, including Vasyl Bayurak, a comrade of Oleksa Dovbush. Historians also suggest that in one of the small chambers in June 1880, Ivan Franko, the renowned Ukrainian writer and poet, may have been held.