Agha Iqrar Haroon
Unfortunate to say that you may not find detail tourism related information about the jewel of Eastern Europe (rather I consider charm of entire Europe) which is region of Lviv in western Ukraine. Lviv is also known as Lwów (among Polish writers), Lvov by Russians and Germans call it Lemberg.
An excellent mix of Austro Hungarian and Polish heritages with breathtaking architectural monuments, Lviv needs at least five to seven days to explore. I went to this city for visiting grave of great philosopher and freedom writer Ivan Franko. I promised him in my meeting with him that I would visit his grave before I would depart from Golden Land of Black Soil—-Ukraine.
You can reach Lviv by commercial flight, by train, by bus and by car from Kyiv if you start your journey from capital of Ukraine.
For understanding the cultural, intellectual and architectural heritages of this city, we need to know that Lviv (meaning Lion) is named after “Leo”, the eldest son of King Daniel of Ruthenia. It had been the capital of the Kingdom of Galicia–Volhynia (also called the Kingdom of Ruthenia) from 1272 to 1349.
From 1434, it was the regional capital of the Ruthenian Voivodeship in the Kingdom of Poland. In 1772, after the First Partition of Poland, the city became the capital of the Habsburg Kingdom of Galicia and Lodomeria. In 1918, for a short time, it was the capital of the West Ukrainian People’s Republic and then it had been the centre of the Lwów Voivodeship in the Second Polish Republic. After the German-Soviet invasion of Poland in 1939, Lviv became part of the Soviet Union, and in 1944–46 there was a population exchange between Poland and Soviet Ukraine. In 1991, it became part of the independent nation of Ukraine.
You will find Lviv a city of rock streets like Prague and an open museum of buildings telling you story of its history like you are walking in an open gallery of paintings. Façade of Opera Theater is enough to tell that this city offers you something real special. Maria Zankovetska Drama Theatre, Rynok (Bazaar) Square, Coffee building and many more to spots offer pages of history to visitors.
Lviv was lucky enough to escape the destruction in the World War Two, and nowadays its fascinating streets and numerous museums make it one of the most exciting places in Ukraine to explore.
During the tour you will discover the historic center of Lviv, which was included in the UNESCO World Heritage List. You will walk old town’s main avenues, squares, and narrow cobbled streets.
One of the places you will see is the Opera House on Svoboda Avenue, laid out above the underground Poltva River.
You will also walk by the historic building housing the Maria Zankovetska Drama Theatre, Jesuit Cahedral, the Virgin Mary Assumption church, the Armenian Cathedral (with 16-17th century tombstones), the Church of the Blessed Eucharist (former Dominican Church), Latin Cathedral and the Transfiguration Church tell you that Lviv was fortunate to enough World Wars and avoided destruction which two world wars brought to Europe.
For visiting the grave of Ivan Franko, I started my journey to history through Lychakiv Cemetery (Graveyard) which is one of the most grandiose and significant European necropolises. It was founded in 1786 and since then it is resting place for rich and famous personalities. You can find buried people who ruled Kingdom of Halychyna (Galicia) and Lodomeria. Graveyard offers you exceptional sculptures and architectural buildings by the most well-known artists and sculptors: Hartman Witwer, the Schimser brothers, Paul Eutelle, G.Perrie, Yu. Markovskyy, I.Levynskyy, H.Kuznevych, S. Lytvynenko. Ye. Dzyndra and others.
Such prominent figures of the Ukrainian culture as Markiyan Shashkevych, Volodymyr Barvinskyy, Ivan Franko, Solomiya Krushelnytska, Ivan Krypyakevych, Stanislav Lyudkevych, Volodymyr Ivasyuk, Anatoliy Kos-Anatolskyy, Ihor Bilozir, and others found their eternal rest place among the ancient trees and greenery.
You can also find the burial vaults of some outstanding Polish figures, such as Artur Grottger, Maria Konopnicka, Gabriela Zapolska, Stepan Banach, Ludwig Rydyger, Karol Mikula, Seweryn Goszczynski.
My journey of Lviv just starts. I will take you to St. George’s Cathedral, Lviv High Castle, Picturesque Svirzh and many more places in second part of this Travel for Cause—Lviv.
Travel for Cause—Lviv Tourism Guide Part I
Travel for Cause: Lviv Tourism Guide Part II—Tustan Fortress—A Wooden structure on Rocks
Travel for Cause: Tourism Guide of Lviv Part III — In Search of Faith — Churches and Cathedrals in Lviv
Travel for Cause: Tourism Guide of Lviv Part IV — In Search of Faith — Churches and Cathedrals in Lviv