Why in Lviv

Lviv

Lviv is a unique city, in which the history, culture, mentality of two worlds – the East and the West – are tolerantly merged

Tourist Attractions

The architectural variety of Lviv displays traditions and styles of various ages and people – gothic, baroque, rococo, renaissance, umpire, secession, constructivism… But you won’t find any discord here. The city, just like a harmonious melody, awakens the best sensations in one’s soul. It is in Lviv that one begins not just to understand, but to feel the meaning of the words “music in stone”. 

Rynok Square

The Rynok Square is the heart of Lviv. Over fifty unique architectural landmarks of 16th-20th centuries are concentrated here. It is built according to the same principle as the central squares of medieval German cities. The center of the Square is dominated by Ratusha (the City Hall), which was constructed in 1835. Its tower boasts a clock made in 1852 and still working today– more than a century and half after it was manufactured. The people of Lviv believe that if you stand at the viewing platform of Ratusha and make a wish exactly at the time when the clock’s bell sounds, it will certainly come true.

In general, every building in the Rynok Square can tell a lot of interesting tales. For instance,  the image of dolphins on the front of Bandinelli Palace brought good luck to the business of its owner, who organized the first  European-style post office here. And in Korniakta Palace is a unique renaissance hall, which is the only remaining Ukrainian monument in secular gothic style of the 15th century.

Opera House

Lviv's beautiful world-class Opera House was built in Lviv in the beginning of the past century as a project of architect Zigmunt Gorgolewski. The architecture of the theater is a combination of various European styles. The lavishly gilded interior decorations are no less impressive than exterior grandeur. The stage’s main point of attraction is the decorative curtain “Parnassus”, made in 1900 by well-known European artist Henryk Semiradsky. Its images of Parnassus are an allegorical representation of human life.

Latin Cathedral

The Latin Cathedral was the main edifice of the medieval city. Here one can find an icon with an inscription telling a tragic story of a girl named Katrusia, who lived over four centuries ago. Apart from usual decorative elements, there are also cannonballs in the walls of the Cathedral. They remained from the sieges survived by the city.

Dominican Cathedral

In the 12th century there used to be a monastery of the Dominicans here: later a cathedral was build on this spot, and rebuilt several times afterwards. The construction of the latest version, which resembles St.Charles Cathedral in Vienna, was finished in 1764. In Soviet times the building was used as a warehouse, and in 1970 a Museum of History of Religion and Atheism was opened here. As a part of the museum’s exhibition, a Foucault’s pendulum was suspended from the dome in the center of the Cathedral, demonstrating the process of the rotation of the Earth. One of the most interesting relics of the Cathedral is the gravestone of Countess Dunin-Borkovska, made by world -famous Danish sculptor Bertel Thorvaldsen in 1816.

Cathedral of the Assumption of Virgin Mary

Everyone who steps through the old stone entrance archway into the courtyard of the Cathedral for the first time immediately feels a direct connection to the ages long gone. The lands of the Cathedral consist of the Korniakta Tower, the Chapel of Three Prelates and the Assumption Church proper. An interesting historical fact is that one of the defenders of the city shot an arrow through the hat of King of Sweden Karl XII from the 66-meter high tower, which resembles Venetian campaniles and was used for defensive purposes.

Armenian Cathedral

The Armenian Cathedral is a perfect combination of Armenian shrine architecture, Roman-gothic style of Western Europe, and old Ukrainian architecture of Halychyna. The design of the Cathedral’s dome is unique and it is supported by hollow pillars made of rocks. The remains of an unusual old Armenian cemetery are preserved in the southern courtyard. It is paved with tombstones which date back more than 600 years. Here one can also see an 18th century wooden fretted chapel housing an altar which depicts the Passion of the Christ on Golgotha.

Bernardine Monastery

Here real historical facts are so intertwined with myths that it’s impossible to tell one from the other. A salubrious spring emerged here after St/Jan from Dukla, the defender of Lviv against numerous sieges, was buried in the monastery courtyard. Then there is a baroque-style rotunda over the well in which the dead bodies of people who wanted to open the city gates to Hetman Bogdan Khmelnitsky in 1648 were thrown. Finally, the clock on the cathedral’s tower has always been five minutes fast, as a reminder of a Bernardine monk who once set the clock five minutes ahead of time to close the city's gates from invadors in the nick of time. 

St.George’s Cathedral

A majestic architectural landmark in the rococo style of the 13th century dominates Lviv from a high hill, blending perfectly with the city’s landscape. The interior of the Cathedral is amazing and displays a variety of icons. One of the precious relics kept here is the 17th century icon of Terebovlian Virgin Mary. In 1663 tears flew from the eyes of Virgin Mary for 40 days, warming the people of Lviv about the siege by the Turks. In 1704 the icon started crying for the second time, when the King of Sweden Karl XII conquered Lviv.