Ukraine travel guide



Lviv Travel Guide

Best of Lviv

The Old Town The Old Town
The Old Town is the historic centre of Lviv; it is considered an exceptional example of the fusion of different architectural styles (Eastern European, Italian, and German). The Old Town is also the political and commercial centre of Lviv; it covers 120 hectares of the Old Russ and Medieval Part of the City.

The Old Town was included in the UNESCO World Heritage List on December 05, 1998 in Kyoto (Japan). Market Square, Armenian Cathedral, Latin Cathedral, St. George's Cathedral and Dominican Church of Corpus Christi are some of the main attractions of the historic centre.

Market Square Market Square
At the heart of the Old Town is Market Square, the central square of Lviv, which dates back the 14th century. The Rynok Square or Market Square (Ploshcha Rynok) has kept its architectural beauty, around the Square there are 44 beautiful burgher houses everyone with its own history and showing several architectural styles, tough all the houses are very interesting, some that deserve a mention are the House Number 4 (Black House), House Number 6 (King Jan III Sobieski Palace), House Number 9 (Archbishops Palace), House Number 10 (Lubomirski Palace), House Number 14 (Venetian House), House Number 23 (House of Szolc-Wolfowicz), House Number 28 (Heppner House), House Number 40 (Boim Family House).

In the four corners, there are fountains decorated with statues representing of Greek gods such as Neptune, Diana, Amphitrite and Adonis, these were erected in the late 18th century. In the middle of the square there is the town hall which towers the centre of town.

Lychakivskiy Cemetery Lychakivskiy Cemetery
Lychakivskiy Cemetery is the resting place of over 400,000 people; there are many patriots, poets, writers and historians lying here, renowned Poles citizen rest here including Maria Konopnicka, Gabriela Zapolska, Zygmunt Gorgolewski, and Stefan Banach. Ukrainian heroes such as Ivan Franko, Stepan Bandera, Yevhen Konovalets, and Andriy Melnyk are also buried here.

There is a monument in honor to the Ukrainian Sich Riflemen unit located just outside the mausoleum of Polish defenders of the city in 1918. Beyond Lychakivskiy Cemetery visitors will find the famous cemetery of Orlat.

Opened in 1787, initially was located in the borough of Lychakiv but the location changed when an imperial Austro-Hungarian edict declared that all cemeteries to be placed on the outskirts of the city limits. The period when the Soviet Union took over the city, after the Second World War, was the worst time for the cemetery, many historical monuments were destroyed, however in 1975, the cemetery was declared a historical monument and now stands as one of the principal attractions of Lviv visited by thousands of tourists.

Lviv High Castle Lviv High Castle
The Lviv High Castle (Vysokyi Zamok) or Lviv Castle Hill is a historic castle located in close proximity of the historic center of Lviv. It takes his name from the High Castle which used to be located on the hill since the 13th century until the late 19th century; this castle was the main defensive port of Lviv during its existence. The first structures of the castle were made of wood and soil, throughout his history the castle was destroyed and rebuilt several times, finally in 1704 the castle was heavily damaged by the Swedish army and in 1777 Austrians initiated disassembling of the fortifications.

In the 19th century, the ruins were taken apart; a new fortress was built, threes were planted, a park was constructed, the hill were the castle was places was used to build the Union of Lublin Mound in commemoration of the 300th anniversary of the Union of Lublin.

Today, there is an observation platform located atop the mound; it is the highest point in the city with 413 meters above sea level providing an unforgettable panorama of the entire city. There are also a few gift shops so you can enjoy shopping souvenirs whilst visiting the park.

St. George's Cathedral St. George's Cathedral
St. George's Cathedral is a religious and cultural symbol for Ukraine. St. George's Cathedral is a baroque-rococo style cathedral constructed between the years 1744 - 1760 on a hill overlooking the city. The cathedral was designed by architect Bernard Meretin and sculptor Johann Georg Pinsel. They combined elements of the Ukrainian religious art and Western architectural styles creating a breathtaking structure.

The main faade has a formidable portal and figures of St. Leo and St. Athanasius protecting the church, the attic above the portal is topped by an expressive statue of St. George the Dragon-slayer, all brilliant creations by Pinsel. The interior is beautiful due its richness and diversity of iconography. One of the most treasured relics of the cathedral is the Icon of the Mother of God of Terebovlia, which dates back to the 17th century and was brought by Bishop Shumlians'kyi in 1674.

In the crypt of the Cathedral lie the sarcophagi of the most influential figure of Ukrainian Church, Metropolitan Andrey Sheptytsky, who was also responsible for the construction of the final church building.

During 19th and 20th centuries, the cathedral served as the mother congregation of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church

Address: 5 St. Yura Square

The Latin Cathedral The Latin Cathedral
The Archcathedral Basilica of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, often called simply the Latin Cathedral is the main Roman-Catholic church in Lviv and is located in Lvivs Old Town in a corner of Market Square.

The Cathedral was the central building of the medieval city, it was constructed during centuries combining harmoniously the architectural styles and elements of different epochs (gothic, renascence and baroque); many of their builders had not lived to see their work finished.

The construction of the citys main church was launched in 1360 when the first stone was laid by King Casimir III of Poland; construction work continued throughout the 15th century and in 1481 the Cathedral was finally consecrated. In the years 1761 1776, the Cathedral was refurbished in the Baroque style. In the 1890s, the presbytery was remodeled in the Neo-Gothic style and stained glass windows, based on Jan Matejko's drawings, were installed.

The interior of the Cathedral has a great number of sculptures, ceilings frescos, murals, carvings, tombstones, epitaphs, icons and other works of art in common. Here is located the famous wonderworking icon of the Virgin Mary the Gentle.

Address:1 Cafedralna Square

Armenian Cathedral Armenian Cathedral
The Armenian Cathedral is a real treasure in Lviv, this small but lovely Cathedral combines successfully various architectural styles: Armenian, Ukrainian and Romanesque-Gothic style. It is one of the oldest in Lviv; in 1363 the large Armenian community in Lviv began the construction of the cathedral, it was finished in 1370

The courtyard of the Cathedral is usually open and is paved with tombstones some of them dating back the 16-17th centuries, the interior has well preserved paintings from the 14th and 15th century. The cathedrals interior contains stylized Armenian sacrificial crosses carved in stone, frescos and mosaics. Among the most extraordinary features are the cupola mosaics created by Jzef Mehoffer in 1908.

The building was blocked up during the Soviet rule, and only finally reopened in 1992 in tandem with the visit of Pope John Paul II. The church rarely has services. On January 5, 2001 the first service after long years was celebrated.

Address: 7 Virmenska Street, Old Town, north of the market square.

Olesko Castle Olesko Castle
Olesko Castle is an outstanding architectural monument; it is located about seventy-five kilometers to the East of Lviv, on a small hill, about fifty meters in height in the south-eastern of the town of Olesko, it has oval form, its walls are 10 meters high and 2.5 meters wide. It stands next to a highway thus can be easily accessed.

Olesko Castle is the oldest preserved castle on the territory of Western Ukraine; the castle is believed to have been built in the 11th century. In the 15th and 16th century the castle was a palace for aristocracy. The Polish King John III Sobieski was born there in 1629. In 1838, 15-minute an earthquake rocked the castle, and severely damaged its left wing.

After restoration in 1965-1975, the Olesko Castle became a museum. Every hall is a museum exhibit in itself. Wooden sculptures of XIV-XIX centuries, stone sculptures, fountains, paintings, icons, and other Lviv art can be seen there.

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