Lviv (Lvov, Lwow, Lemberg)
Western gateway to Ukraine
You’ve been to Kyiv, the capital of Ukraine, and so you think you know everything about the country? But that’s not true, since one can’t really understand this country until visiting Lviv, Ukraine’s “secret western capital”.
Just an hour by plane from Vienna or Berlin and you are in the lion city. This animal is held in high regard in Lviv, as evidenced by the public sculptures of hundreds of lions that greet and welcome you to Lviv.
Lviv is a very poetic city steeped in legends both ancient and relatively new! Narrow medieval streets paved with stones, architectural decoration done in different styles – all preserved in its original form. In ancient times Lviv was the capital of a mighty Slavic state called the Galicia-Volyn principality. Being a part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire and then Poland contributed to the formation of the city’s unique image. In spite of all the whims of history the city has not lost its Ukrainian spirit, and thank God, Lviv’s delicate architecture has not suffered from monstrosities of the Soviet Era. So it is no wonder that the central part of the city is included in the UNESCO list of World Heritage. You can admire monuments of different eras created by the combination of numerous national cultural traditions in this open-air museum for hours.
The city’s unperceivable Bohemian aura seemed to magnetically attract unconventional people. There were a lot of geniuses among them including the Polish poet Adam Mitskevych, Ukrainian historian and philosopher Mykhailo Hrushevsky, biologist and the inventor of typhus vaccine Rudolf Vigel, author of classic of Jewish literature Shalom Aleihem, famous fantasist of the 20th century Stanislav Lem and many others looked for inspiration for their creative and scientific work in Lviv.