The city Chernovtsi (or Chernivtsi) was founded in the 12th c. as a fortress to protect the Galytske-Volyn principality from the nomadic tribes. It has a very rich history closely connected with the history of neighbouring Rumania and Moldavia. To-day it is an administrative, cultural and economic centre of Northern Bukovyna - the land of the beech woods picturesquely covering the Carpathian mountains. The population of the city is over 260,000.