Lviv Things to Do Tips by smschley
Lviv Things to Do: 282 reviews and 777 photos
The Act of Declaration of Independence of Ukraine was adopted by the Ukrainian parliament on August 24, 1991. The Act established Ukraine as an independent, democratic state. Today this day is one of the biggest holidays in the country and sparks festivals throughout the country. We were there for the celebration in Lviv. The day was full of adventure for us as it started off sunny, but as we were watching the dancers on stage we were hit by a strong downpour of rain and lighning. Luckily the rain only lasted for about 30 minutes so the acts were able to start up again.
The day featured a variety of singers, dancers and musicians and my personal favorite, the belly dancers,
Directions: Ryok Square
In front of the Royal Arsenal is a monument to Ivan Fedorov, placed there in 1977. Born around 1510, he was one of the fathers Russian and Ukrainian printing. He produced the first printed Church Slavonic Bible the first Russian textbook and the first printed Russian alphabetical subject index, calendar, and poem. In 1581 Ivan returned to Lviv, where he died on December 15, 1583.
Directions: In front of the Royal Arsenal
Nykyfor Dvornyak was a Ukrainian primitivist painter that was also known a Nykyfor Krynytskyj. Born in Lviv in 1895 he died in 1968 and was buried here. His main claim to fame seems to be that locals believe that it’s good luck to rub the nose and finger on his monument. …. Which we did also…. When in Rome….
Directions: Next to the Dominican Church - Church of the Blessed Eucharist
One of the newer statues in Lviv is the Monument to King Daniel of Galicia. The monument was placed in 2001, by sculptors Romanovich and Yaryich.
In 1205, after the death of his father, Roman Mstyslavich, the ruler of Galicia-Volhynia, the boyars of Galicia forced the four-year-old Daniel into exile with his mother.
In 1221 Daniel re-established his rule over Volhynia, where the boyars and populace had remained loyal to his dynasty. By 1238, he had defeated the Dobrzyñ Knights, and regained most of Galicia, including the capital at Galich.
Despite having to accept Mongol overlordship, by the time of his death in 1264, Daniel had reconstructed and expanded the territories held by his father, held off the expansionist threats of Poland and Hungary, minimized Mongol influence on Western Ukraine, and raised the economic and social standards of his domains. He was succeeded in Galicia by his son Lev.
He is said to be the founder of Lviv, whose name was derived from that of his son Lev.
Directions: The Monument to King Daniel of Galicia stands in the middle of the Galytska Square, which can be found just inbetween the Adam Mickiewitz Square and the Bernadine Church
Medieval walls with arrow slits
In Medieval time, Tatars, Moldavians, Turks and rebellious Polish would take turns attacking Lviv, so defensive measures were a vital matter. A system of fortifications was completed by 1445 - Higher and Lower Defense Walls with a ditch between them, and a deep moat filled with water was established to protect the town.
A 16-meter high defense rampart with so-called High and Low Castles was also constructed. However, with the invention of firearms, such fortifications became insufficient, so they were altered again and again through time. High walls were replaced by lower and thicker ones; towers with narrow embrasures were replaced with semicircular defense structures with an open space in place of a roof on the top
Two of these fortification constructions have been preserved until the present day in Pidvalna Street and in Brativ Rogatyntsiv Street. The earthworks became very common, as well. The last significant addition to the town defense system was the Royal Arsenal, constructed in 1639-1669.
The High Castle built by the Polish King Kazimierz III, heavily fortified and located on a steep hill, 300 meters high, remained inaccessible for more than 300 years. Only in 1648, the High Castle was seized for the first time, by the Cossacks of Maxym Kryvonis. In 1672, Turks captured it almost without a fight. Later, little was done to save the Castle from decay, and in the 1870s it was demolished, with only a segment of its southern wall being preserved till today.
Remains of the 16th century city fortifications include the Southern Gate (Hlynianska Vezha), parts of the city walls and the Town Arsenal, which nowadays is home to the Arms Museum.
Enclosing the 300 year-old Bernadine monastery are medieval walls with arrow slits
Directions: Along the Ivana Franka st., next to the Bernardians Monastery complex
The Southern Gate is located at Vynnychenka street.
Town Arsenal can be found at Pidvalna Street 5.
A gentleman that we asked for some direction from took it upon himself to give us a brief tour of his city. One of the sites we would have probably missed was the Lviv version of the statue of liberty.
The building was that it sits on was erected in 1891 for the Halychyna Saving Bank, the Central Bank of Galicia. The statue of liberty is actually the allegorical representation of economic strength of the Austrian empire. The popular name of this statue is "The sitting statue of Liberty.". The work is attributed to Frederic Auguste Bartholdi, sculptor of the famous “Statue of Liberty”.
Directions: As you walk down Svoboda Ave. from the Opera house down the central alley, look for the yellow-brick building on the right side adjacent to the Grand Hotel. Look up and you will see the Ukrainian Statue of Liberty
Just about every Ukrainian city has replaced its Lenin statue with a Shevchenko monument. Behind the poet is a sweeping relief depicting Ukranian history using religious folk art. That statue was a gift from the large Ukrainian community in Argentina. This monument was erected on August 24, 1992. by Sculptors: V. and A. Suchorski, Architects: Y. Dyba and Y. Kromey.
Taras Hryhorovych Shevchenko (March 1814 – March 10 1861) was a Ukrainian poet, artist and humanist. His literary heritage is regarded to be the foundation of modern Ukrainian literature and, to a large extent, the modern Ukrainian language. He is now viewed as almost an iconic figure with unmatched significance for the Ukrainian nation.
Directions: town center
The Bernardine monastery along with the Greek Catholic church of St. Andrew, now belong the Order of St. Basil the Great. The Roman Catholic Franciscan Observantists, known in the region as Bernardines were invited to 1460. They constructed an ornte wooded structure, but over time the structure was covered with a stone fasade. This structure is attributed to Saint John of Dukla.
In 1509 the monastery was plundered by the Moldovan hospodar (Lord) Bogdan III cel Orb. In the 17th century the present day church and monastery were constructed in the same place in the style of Italian and Dutch mannerism and consecrated in 1630.
As the complex was located outside Lviv's city walls it was equipped with its own fortifications from the east and south, mostly taken apart at the beginning of the 19th century. In 1733 square belfry was added to the complex and in 1736 a monument to Saint John of Dukla, who died in the monastery in 1484, was built in front of the church and now houses his tomb.
The interior was refurbished in the baroque style in the years 1738-1740. The church managed to avoid being closed by the Austrian emperor Joseph II, although part of the monastery was taken over for the city archive. After the Second World War the church was closed by soviets and fell into ruin until the collapse of the soviet union when it was returned to the faithful, since 1991 the complex is under the care of Ukrainian Greek Catholic Basilian Order and has undergone thorough renovation.
Directions: intersection of Valvoa and Serbska
Gunpowder Tower was built between 1554 and 1556 and out of several dozen solid defensive towers, gates and bastions in Lviv, it is the only one that has survived. It was built of stone left over from the old City Arsenal. This was the most solid tower, as it was from this direction that invaders from the East would often approach the city walls. The tower stands on defensive ramparts preserved from ancient times; two hundred years ago a park was laid out here and it was called the Governor’s Ramparts after the residence of the Austrian Governor which was located nearby.
The Gunpowder Tower was not used exclusively for defensive purposes. Lviv was a trading center, and everything was designed to contribute to trade. During short intervals of peace without the looming threat of enemies, the tower was used as a grain storage.
Since the late 1950s the tower has accommodated the so-called House of the Architect which often hosts cultural events. Even though the tower looks quite vast from the outside, the inside facilities are rather confined: this is because the walls are about three meters wide. The tower entrance is guarded by two white marble lions of the 19th century, which, from among the approximately seven thousand stone lions in Lviv, are of the greatest artistic value.
On the side of the tower is a little café which makes for a nice rest area. It’s a very peaceful place with little of the noise that you get from some of the other areas of town. Have a beer and relax.
Address: boulevard of the King's Arsenal
A monument to Ivan Pidkova built in 1982 as a reminder of the courageous Cossack leader executed in 1578 in Lviv.
Ivan Pidkova was a Hetman of Ukrainian Cossacks from 1577 to 1578. He possibly was the first one in history to be elected by the entire Zaporizhian Sich, and Voivode of Moldavia. Hetman was the title used for commanders of the Ukrainian Dnieper Cossacks. In 1577 he conquered Moldova causing a diplomatic issue between Turkey and Poland. To eliviate the situations, the Poles captured and executed him in order to appease the Turks
He is the hero of Taras Shevchenko's romantic 1839 poem Ivan Pidkova, of Romanian writer Mihail Sadoveanu's socialist realist 1952 novel Nicoarã Potcoavã, and of several Cossack ballads.
Address: Pidkovy Square
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