Lvov Travel Guide

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L’viv or Lviv, also Lvov, capital of L'viv Oblast, Ukraine. The city is an important transportation and industrial center; manufacturing includes electronic equipment, motor vehicles, agricultural machinery, chemicals, textiles, and processed food. Long a leading cultural center, L'viv is the site of the L’viv State University (1784, but the first high school - academy - was founded by king Jan Kazimierz of Poland in 1661) and a number of theaters and museums. It is the seat of Roman Catholic, Ukrainian Uniate, and Armenian Christian archbishops and has two churches dating from the 14th century.

L'viv in Red Ruthenia was founded about 1256 and soon became an important commercial center. Captured by the Poles in 1340, the city remained part of the Polish-Lithuanian Commenwealth until 1772, when it was annexed Austria during Poland's partitions. The city still boasts many beautiful examples of Polish architecture, including a statue of Adam Mickiewicz. As part of the Austrian Empire, it was renamed Lemberg and made the capital of the province of Galicia. In 1910 the population consisted of: 175,000 Poles, 21,000 Ukrainians, 9,000 Austrians and Germans. During World War I (1914-18) bitter fighting took place in and around the city. In 1919, during the Polish-Soviet War, L'viv (or Lwow in Polish, meaning the city of lions) was returned to a newly independent Poland. It was seized by Soviet troops in 1939, during World War II, and later was occupied by the German army from 1941 to 1944. In 1945 L'viv was handed to Stalin by the allies and annexed into the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) and became part of the Ukrainian SSR. Ukraine became an independent nation in 1991. Population (1999 estimate) 786,147.

The city still receives many Polish tourists and, as relations between Ukraine and Poland finally improve, this is set to increase. The city itself has a wonderful array of attractions, particularly for those interested in the history of this part of the world. Although there is clearly scope for improvement, both for the inhabitants and for the tourist industry, the people are extremely friendly and helpful, making this city a must for anyone travelling in Eastern Europe.

Contributors

September 22, 2006 change by stefanek (2 points)

March 23, 2005 change by wojsyl

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