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I had enough time and decided to walk upstairs and enjoy the view and share the pictures with you here.
You only have to enter the central entrance to the City Hall and walk upstairs to the fourth floor following the TOWER signs.
The tower is open from 11 a.m. every day until it gets dark.
It must be a nuisance for the city council employees to meet lots of guests in the corridors of their offices...
The entrance fee is 5 UAH.
It will take you about a quarter of an hour to get to the observation platform.
They say there are 306 stairs to the top.
Just take your time and climb them without haste.
Before you reach the tower observation platform located at the height of 74 meters there is a souvenir shop where you can buy a variety of souvenirs on your way to or from the observation platform.
Enjoy the bird’s eye view of downtown and of the entire Old Town!
Updated Apr 4, 2011
Address: 1 Market Square
Liberty Avenue ("Prospect Svobody" in Ukrainian) is the most elegant and the most prestigious street of Lviv.
It is only 650 meters long.
Lots of old style apartment houses, stores, cafes. bars and hotels are located in this street.
The street has a very busy traffic and hence the air seems to be rather polluted.
You can take a stroll along the green alley located between the two sides of the street.
It starts from the fountain at the Opera and Ballet Theater and finishes at Adam Mitskevich Square.
It is about 300 meters long. The locals call it simply stometrovka, that is, a 100-meter lane (like in athletics).
There is a monument to Taras Shevchenko in the middle of this alley.
The monument was created by the sculptors Andriy and Volodymyr Sukhorski and the architects Yuriy Dyba and Yuriy Kromey.
It was dedicated on August 24, 1992, on the first anniversary of independence of Ukraine.
It looks very special indeed, especially the bronze pylon hear the poet's statue.
The twelve-meter-high decorative pylon with a lot of allegorical images is called A Wave of National Revival.
It was completed in 1996. It has a peculiar feature: a hole in its upper part. That hole is, in fact, the nimbus of Virgin Mary depicted on the upper part of the Wave.
The monument became a meeting place of many friends and sweethearts.
I myself agreed to meet my host near this monument.
This is where the city festivals are held.
A lot of local men like to sit at the benches here and play chess or draughts.
Updated Oct 17, 2011
Address: Liberty Avenue
The name of this house sounds as "Chorna Kamianytsia" in Ukrainian.
This house belongs to the architectural gems of Lviv too.
It is is called an exceptional architectural monument of Lviv.
Out of all the forty-four houses located around the City Council building this one is sure to catch your eye.
Its construction began in 1588. It was built of local gray sandstone.
They say it was very colorful at first like many other houses in the area.
The imposing black color must be a product of century-long absorbtion of smoke and dust, although I don’t see why all other houses have not turned black like this one. Was it simply painted over? I know it’s a rhetorical question.
This building belongs to the historical museum now.
Updated Apr 4, 2011
Address: 4 Market Square (Ploshcha Rynok)
The drugstore has been open since 1735.
It was owned by a retired Austrian army doctor who hung a black Austrian eagle over the entrance and called his drugstore Under the Black Eagle.
You can enter and do your shopping in the first hall. The other two halls are not open for customers. You can visit them on an excursion.
There is a copy of the first kerosene lamp invented here in Lviv. It hangs enframed on the wall.
If you enter the first hall, pay attention to the murals on the ceiling. They represent four allegories: four elements – fire, water, air and land. The inscriptions are in Latin: ignis, terra, aqua and aer.
The second hall is dedicated to hisorical medicines and tools and the third one is called Alchemist’s Study.
When you are on an excursion, you can also pay a visit to the cave. One of the underground rooms is called Wine Therapy Room. It’s a room with big oak barrels and a large table.
This is where they treated anaemia with Iron Wine.
Updated Jun 25, 2010
Address: Drukars'ka Street (Bookprinters' Street)
Phone: +38032 322 72 00 41
This chapel located in the Old Town is one of the masterpieces of Renaissance.
It was commissioned by a well-known Lviv merchant George Boim and was built in 1609-1615.
This is the only chapel of the old Catholic cemetery that has been preserved to our days. From the south it is adjacent to the residential quarters of Halytska Street.
The facade and the interior of the chapel were decorated with a lavish carving.
The chapel composition is a cube covered with the Renaissance cupola.
The main facade of the chapel is saturated with an impressive white-stone fretwork.
The fretwork looks like iconostasises of the Ukrainian churches, but is not made of wood – it is made of white stone.
You can see fresco portraites of George Boim and his wife Yadviha on the eastern facade from Halyts'ka Street.
Updated Apr 4, 2011
Address: 1-3 Cathedral Square (Katedralna Ploshcha)
Phone: +380 32 274 40 47
Lviv is well-known for its amazing architectural gems – old apartment houses, churches and cathedrals belonging to different times and styles.
Lots of those houses and edifices are protected by law now.
There are modern apartment houses and buildings on the city outskirts. They can be seen from the observation platform of the High Castle hill.
A lot of monuments belong to architectural masterpieces, among them:
- Adam Mitzkevich monument,
- Virgin Mary monument;
- St.Elizabeth Cathedral and other churches and cathedrals protected by law.
Written Jun 11, 2010
Address: Liberty Avenue, Shevchenko Avenue, etc.
The present city hall building was designed by architects Juzef Markel, Frantishek Treter and Alois Wondrashka and was built in 1835.
The City Council building and its tower belong to the symbols of the city.
The tower is 65 meters.
In 1852 the city clock was installed there.
You can climb the City Hall tower observation platform located at the height of 74 meters and from there enjoy the bird’s eye view of downtown and of the entire Old Town.
Two lions guard the entrance to the City Hall.
They hold a shield with the city’s coat-of-arms.
The coat of arms contains of the gate with watchtowers.
The gate demonstrates the city's hospitality, but the lions guard the city from undesirable guests.
There are four fountains around the City Hall. They contain antique sculptures of Neptune, Adonis, Diana and Amphitrite.
Updated Apr 4, 2011
Address: Market Square
Several of the houses around the Ploscha Rynok are worthy of note, especially on the eastern side where you will find numbers 4 and 6. The former is often known as the “Black Stone House” and a glance at my photos will show you why. This is described by “Lviv in your Pocket” as an “exceptional architectural monument ... matchless not only in Lviv, but in the whole of Europe”. It dates back to the late 16th century and was not always called black – because it did not always look black! The stone is in fact a local grey sandstone, and the present-day colour the result of centuries of exposure to coal dust and smoke. So naturally this wasn’t always called the “Black Stone House” but was formally the “Doctor’s Stone House”.
Today the house is one of the three buildings of the city’s historical museum. There wasn’t really enough time to do a museum justice so I gave this a miss although I would have welcomed the chance to go inside. I gather though that a separate entry fee is payable for all three branches of the museum – something to bear in mind if you want to see inside these historic houses.
Written Jun 24, 2010
Lviv has three cathedrals: Roman Catholic, Greek Catholic and Armenian Catholic. This is the beautiful Roman Catholic cathedral, and is officially known as the Archcathedral Basilica of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, but unsurprisingly is usually dubbed simply the Latin Cathedral. It was built in 1360, replacing an earlier small wooden Roman Catholic church dedicated to the Holy Trinity, but was severely damaged in the fire of 1527, so only the altar and sanctuary remain from that first structure. The present-day building dates mainly from the 18th century and is Baroque in style, albeit with 19th century stained glass windows. No photography is allowed inside so sadly I can’t share these with you. However Wikipedia has a good photograph of the interior.
Less than twenty years ago, during Soviet rule, most of the churches in Lviv were closed or used only as a museum or other non-religious purpose. The Latin Cathedral is one of just two that were left open and in use for worship.
A cemetery once existed around the cathedral but was relocated when Katedral’na Ploscha (Cathedral Square) was paved over. Only the beautiful Chapel of the Boim Family remains on the site – see separate tip below.
There is a suggested donation of 2 UAH to enter.
Updated Jun 24, 2010
This was probably – no, definitely – the church that most impressed me of all those we visited in Lviv. It is located in the heart of what was formerly the Armenian quarter, in accordance with the Madgeburg Laws which divided parts of town by ethnicity, and is a mix of architectural styles and eras: Old Russian, Gothic and Armenian. Its exterior is not especially striking, although a peaceful-looking courtyard on the south side (closed when we visited and possibly always so) caught my eye with a statue of St Christopher above the entrance (see photo 4) and beautifully carved wooden crucifix (photo 5).
But it is the interior that made the most impression on me, filed as it is with vibrantly coloured friezes. I had paid the small fee required for photography and was so pleased that I had done so, in order to try to capture something of their richness on film. At the time I took them to be older than they in fact are, but most are the work of Jan Henryk de Rosen, a Polish artist of the early 20th century. These include the “Fresco of the Annunciation” (main photo), “Fresco of the Funeral Procession of St. Odilon” (photo 2) and the “Last Supper” behind the altar (photo 3). Elsewhere there are mosaics by Jozef Mehoffer, and two wonder-working icons of St. Gregory the Illuminator and the Mother of God, brought in the 17th century from Yazlovets.
The cathedral was closed by the Soviets, and used for storing plundered sacred art. It only finally reopened in 1992 to coincide with the visit of Pope John Paul II.
Written Jun 24, 2010
Address: vulytsia Virmens'ka 7
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