Lviv, the historical capital of Galicia and Western Ukraine, and after Kyiv, the second cultural, political, and religious center of Ukraine.
Lviv was founded in the mid-13th century by Prince Danylo Romanovych near Zvenyhorod which had been named after his son Lev. In 1260s, Lviv became the capital of the Principality of Galicia-Volhynia. It consisted of three parts: the ditynets on Lysa Hill, the inner town, and the outer town, stretching as far as the Poltva River.
Today Lviv has an area of 155 sq km. The core is the city of the 14th to 18th centuries. It has the rectangular market square and the city hall stands at the center of the street grid, which is encircled by broad green boulevards at the site of the old walls. The core is densely built up with tall stone buildings, many of them in their original style. The most imposing part of Lviv includes Shevchenko, prospect, Mickiewicz square, and Horodetska street, with many public buildings, hotels, cafes, stores and banks in 19th- and 20th-century styles.
Lviv is a very scenic city with a varied vegetation. There are a lot of picturesque parks in the city. The Lychakiv Cemetery, which contains some famous monuments to noted Ukrainian and Polish residents of Lviv, and the Yaniv Cemetery with other 200 graves of fighters for Ukraine’s independence, resemble parks.
The oldest monument in Lviv consists of the foundation and walls of St. Nickolas’s Church, built by Prince Lev Danylovych in the 13th century. The remnants of Vysoky Zamok date back to the 13th century. There is a great number of the medieval churches built in the Byzantine Romanesque style in Lviv.
Lviv is the only city in Ukraine that still has some original Renaissance architecture. The finest examples of the style are the Dormition Church and the Chapel of Three Saints and some other buildings.
The main monuments in the city are to A. Mickiewicz, I. Franko, V. Stefanyk, I. Fedorovych.
Lviv is the leading scientific and cultural center of western
Ukraine. It has a number of research institutes with high reputation, higher
educational establishments, theaters and libraries.