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Lviv, a cultural and tourist center of Ukraine
Lviv, also called «The city of Lions», was founded by Prince Danylo Halytskyy and named in honor of his son Lev or Leo. The first written mention of the city was in Halych-Volyn chronicles dating back to 1256.
It seems that since its very foundation in the mid-13th century Lviv became an arena where major political and economical changes took place all the time. Convenient location on the trade routes between east and west and passes across the Carpathians have given it both quick prosperity and turbulent history.
Over the centuries our town survived numerous wars, sieges, calamities. In 1272 Lviv became the capital of the Halician - Volynian principality, a state which succeeded Kievan Rus in the late 12th century and existed till the middle of the 14th century.
Thanks to its geographical position the town was soon included into the European system. Later king Kazimir attempted to seize the lands but the local population defended their town. At the end of the 14-th century all the territory belonging to Halician - Volynian principality yielded to the Polish, the Lithuanians and the Hungarians. In 1356 the town of Lviv took on the Magdeburg Law.
Today the city of Lvov with a population of over 800,000 is a soul and heart of the Western Ukraine. In 2006 the city celebrated its 750th Anniversary
Have you ever been to Lviv? Perhaps that trip is among the brightest in your life. Haven't you ever been to Lviv? You certainly should see this city which could save its ancient guise, spirit and soul during seven centuries.
Actually, Lviv has become one of the main centers of Ukrainian culture. There are a lot of museums, art galleries, cinemas and theatres in Lviv. The pride of the city are the Lviv State Art gallery and the Lviv National Museum of Ukrainian Art that host one of the richest art treasures of our country. There are many works by famous artists and sculptors, in particular West Ukraine Art is represented by such names as Ivan Trush, Olena Kulchytska, Olexa Novakivsky, Anton Manastyrsky, whose works have been highly popular for over fifty years.
Lviv is a well-known center of musical culture. The Lviv Organ Hall, the Ludkevich Concert Hall of the Lviv Philharmonic Society, the Cathedral of Dominicans and the Saint-Lazar Church regularly organize concerts and musical parties. The academic choir “Trembita”, a choir of boys and men “Dudaryk”, symphony orchestras of the Lviv Philharmonic Society are well-known all over the world.
During a year various festivals and competitions animate the cultural life of Lviv. The Lviv Day is celebrated in autumn. The theatre festival “Golden Lion”, the musical festival “Contrasts” and the S.Krushelnytska festival of the opera art have become traditional.
Generally, it all makes Lviv an attractive tourist destination. By the way, the city has a well-developed tourist infrastructure. By the number of architectural, historical monuments and their unique beauty it takes the first place in Ukraine. Its central historical part is included into the "List of World Cultural and Natural Heritage of UNESCO".
The most popular architectural and historic sites in Lviv are Rynok Square, the Latin Cathedral of St. Maria, Uspenska (Assumption) Church, Dominican Cathedral, St.George Cathedral (main Greek-Catholic church), Lychakiv Cemetery, High Castle, Lviv Opera House.
Rynok Square is the heart of the city because the Ratusha (City Hall) with its 65 meters high tower is situated there. The four corners of the square are adorned by four decorative fountains with the sculptural figures of the Greek gods Amphitrita, Diana, Neptune and Adonis.
Lviv Opera House is one of the most beautiful opera theatres in Europe. It was built in 1890 by architect Z.Gorgolewski. The richly sculptured facade features images of Tragedy, Comedy, Music and Drama. The interior of the theatre is very impressive with its hall of mirrors, lifelike sculptures and twelve painted canvases.
The High Castle hill is the highest point of Lviv. Only a fragment of the wall reminds of magnificent castle built by Prince Danylo. It is now a tourist site offering a picturesque panorama of the city of Lviv.
The guests of Lviv are often taken to ancient Lviv churches: St.Nicholas Church, St.Onufriy and Uspenska Church. Uspenska /Assumption/ Church was built in the 13th century in the Renaissance style, the church is comprised of three parts: the Church, the Bell Tower and the Chapel. The oldest is the 65 meters high Bell Tower - Tower of Kornyakt, named in honor of its founder. In the 17th century the Uspenska church was the centre of cultural life of the Ukrainian population of the city.
The narrow cobblestone streets, rich architectural surroundings, quaint cafes and shops and rich arts community make Lviv an unforgettable city.
If you love just walk around, visit coffee shops, watch people, find "gems" in every street, park, building or small yard, Lviv is your city. Relaxing atmosphere, friendly and polite people - it is all about Lviv.
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