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Lviv

Fascinating capital of culture of Ukraine
This title, assigned to Lviv in 2009, is well deserved considering the city has some 60 Museums, holds 100 Festivals and has equally splendid churches of every faith rich in valuable works of art, without forgetting the countless cultural institutions, which all make it an excellent centre of attraction for art, literature, music and theatre.
 
 
Today the city, which used to go by the name of Leopolis, welcomes almost a million visitors a year, coming from Poland, Belgium, Austria and even the USA and Russia, due in part to its well-equipped airport which is only 6 kilometres from the centre. The city’s strategic position, at the foot of the Carpathians and at the crossroads of important routes between each point of Europe, as well as its wonderful surrounding countryside dotted with hills, forests and castles, has drawn numerous groups of people since ancient times, who with their different cultures and traditions have made Lviv a multi-ethnic city. This characteristic is clearly visible in its monuments and architecture, which harmoniously combine artistic elements from eastern Europe, Italy, France and Germany.
 
 
The city of Lviv, one of the oldest and characteristic in Europe, was founded in 1256 by Prince Danylo of Galicia, which he named in honour of his son Lev. It sits on seven hills, like Rome, the highest of which is over 400 metres above sea level and hosts the High Castle. The heart of the city is Rynox Square, the old Market Square and centre of political, public, cultural and commercial life for over 500 years.
 
Opera Theatre
Opera Theatre
In the old town, which is small enough to be toured on foot, stands the elegant Opera House building, one the finest theatres in Europe in neo-Renaissance style, which each season has a rich programme of operas and ballets.
 
 
A stroll along Virmenska Street, one of the oldest thoroughfares and centre of the Armenian community, reveals unique architecture that takes you back in time to the ancient spirit of eastern Christianity.
 
Chapel of the Boim family
Chapel of the Boim family
Another exquisite and unique monument, a World Heritage site like the rest of the city, is the extraordinary Mausoleum Chapel of the Boim family, a valuable example of Renaissance architecture, which is located in a prominent position in Cathedral Square.
 
The Renaissance-influenced architectural style of the city has given it the name of Florence of the East.
 
National Museum
The city of Museums
Also called the city of Museums, Lviv has a very wide selection of museums, including the Pharmacy Museum, Museum of Folk Architecture and Rural Life and the Museum of History of Religion, to name just a few.
 
 
Events
Tourists can attend one of the numerous festivals, and some of the most unusual are the Chocolate, Coffee and Beer festivals. But Lviv is not just about culture, its inhabitants enjoy every aspect of life, and there are some 700 cafes and restaurants, which are always bustling, even at night, and not just with tourists.
 
Pidhirtsi Castle Lviv region
The castles
Just outside the fortified city walls, the spectacular surroundings are filled with beautiful castles and ideal for interesting excursions. A tour worth taking is of the ‘Golden Horseshoe Castles’, a series of fairy-tale constructions that surround the city.
 
 
Lviv, the largest and most populated city in Ukraine, offers visitors a comfortable, hospitable stay in its elegant hotels and an exciting visit from every point of view, even from a culinary aspect. The cuisine has Russian and Polish influences and is always accompanied by a warm welcome.
 
Kalach bread
Typical products
The local beer is excellent and even has its own museum, as are the fine wines and food dishes, which feature vegetable soups, eggs, meat and mushrooms flavoured with spices and herbs. For centuries considered the “bread basket of Europe”, Ukraine produces many types of bread, which is often used in religious rituals. Cakes and sweets are popular and are often covered with honey with a unique flavour, as are the locally produced chocolates.
 
 
Where to sleep in Lviv
 
Lviv is a welcoming city and offers different possibilities for accommodation.
To find the ideal hotel and the best offers you can do a search for the stars but also for districts or landmarks.

  


Text by Anna Glik
Photos: Sisterscom.com, Shutterstock
Video: lvivland.com
Copyright © Sisterscom.com
Published on Avion Tourism
N3/2018
Updated June 2019
 
 
Tourism Board
www.lviv.travel
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Discover the city, the main tourist attractions, the most important museums to visit and tours not to be missed, selected for you by the Editorial Staff of Avion Tourism.
WHERE TO GO
Monuments
RYNOK SQUARE
The Rynok square of Lviv is the heart of the fourteenth-century old quarter and is similar to Polish and German squares. Fires and restorations have changed its appearance over the years but the result has always been elegant and harmonious. In the centre of the square stands the 65-metre high Town Hall, with its Viennese Baroque architecture of the nineteenth-century. The clock tower is a great vantage point for seeing the entire city and its old quarter from above. Another of the square’s gems is the Renaissance Bandinelli Palace, built in the sixteenth-century, property of the Italian merchant Roberto Bandinelli, who opened the first post office in Lviv.
NATIONAL THEATRE OF OPERA AND BALLET
Freedom Avenue, 28
The National Theatre of Opera and Ballet in Lviv was built by the architect Zigmund Gorgolewski and is compared to the likes of theatres in Paris and Vienna.
A combination of various European styles, its interior is richly decorated; the main stage is a focus point thanks to Henryk Semiradsky’s “Parnaso” curtain of the 1900s.
www.opera.lviv.ua
 
DOMINICAN CHURCH -
CATHOLIC CHURH OF THE HOLY EUCHARIST
Magnific, solemn monument in late Baroque style, it has a Greek cross plan and important marble statues and is topped by a monumental dome.
 
KORNYAKT PALACE
This superb late Renaissance building on Rynox Square was built by a rich wine merchant of Greek origins, Constantine Kornyakt, a benefactor of the city, and later became the royal residence of the Polish king, Jan Sobieski. A curious fact is that, while buildings that look onto the square, by law, could only have three windows on each facade, for his services Constantine Kornyakt was granted permission to construct a building with six windows.  
 
 
PALACE OF COUNT POTOCKI
This majestic construction in neo-Renaissance style was built in the nineteenth century. Decorated externally with reliefs, mouldings and superb windows, its interior features an equally sumptuous Louis XVI style on the first floor. The rooms, such as the Red Hall, Hall of Mirrors or Blue Hall are decorated exquisitely with gilding, artificial marble and mirrors. Worthy of a visit is the chapel with miraculous icon of the Virgin Mary of Lviv, which dates back to the fifteenth century. The second floor houses a vast exhibition of European art from the 14th to the 16th centuries.
CHAPEL OF THE BOIM FAMILY
This exceptional and very unique building is situated on Cathedral Square. It was erected by a rich wine merchant of Hungarian origin, Georgiy Boim, for himself and his family. It features important stone sculptures depicting scenes from the Passion of Christ, the figures of Saints Peter and Paul and portraits on glass of Georgiy and his wife. It is said that this chapel transmits energy to visitors, who, however, can only visit in summer.
 
 
 
HIGH CASTLE
In reality this castle is only a ruin, but the view of the city, and particularly the old town, from the hill on which the castle sits is well worth the walk to the top. Destroyed and rebuilt several times, it was transformed from a wooden structure to a more solid stone building and, at the end of the nineteenth century, a wonderful, lush green park was created on the site of the ruins.
BENEDICTINE MONASTERY
This imposing fortified construction situated outside the walls is one of the best-preserved monuments of the area and, although its original core was built in medieval times, parts were added over the centuries, which form a striking compendium of styles - Renaissance, Mannerism and Baroque, the latter of which is seen above all in the statues and decorations. Immediately on entering the courtyard, there is an air of mysticism and spirituality that continues in the church, which is adorned with numerous stone altars and walls covered in striking frescoes.
 
THEATRE OF VOSKRESINNIA
Gen. Grigorienko sq. 5
theatre of Lviv that was founded in 1990 in the wake of Ukraine’s social changes. It became famous over the years and gained popularity in the whole of Europe; from 1996 it specialised in open-air productions. In 2010 it was awarded with a very prestigious award from the Academic Theatre by the Ukrainian Ministry of Culture.
www.voskresinnia.eu
 
Museums
LVIV ARSENAL MUSEUM
This is the oldest museum of its kind in Ukraine. Cannons were smelted, and death sentences and torture were carried out here. The interesting Weapons Museum is also found here, the only one in the country.
MUSEUM OF FOLK ARCHITECTURE AND RURAL LIFE
This open-air museum illustrates the life of Ukrainians in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. It exhibits forges, schools, sawmills, textile factories, wind and water mills. One of the most interesting things is a perfect copy of a farmhouse dated 1749. Numerous folk festival take place here each year.   
 
SOLOMIYA KRUSHELNYTSKA MUSICAL MEMORIAL MUSEUM
23 S.Krushelnytska Street
This museum of Lviv is located in the former home of the renowned singer whose name it bears. The exhibition rooms display posters, concert programs, musical scores, portraits and personal items; towards the end of the tour it is possible to hear this unique singer’s extraordinary voice.
www.salomeamuseum.lviv.ua
 
Excursions
 
SKHIDNYTSIA
Located in the region of Lviv at a height of 600 metres above sea level, this small urban community is surrounded by mountains that reach 850 metres in height. It is destination for numerous tourists almost all year round thanks to the fresh mountain air and relaxing hot springs.
ZOLOCHIV CASTLE
This castle, of all those found around Lviv, is well worth seeing. A seventeenth-century fortress, it offers a museum with many valuable items, including the gold crown of King Danylo of Galicia of the Romanoff dynasty, who founded the city.

 
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