UA-174184 315- ая открытка

Country: Ukraine

Distance: 682 km

Travel time:  12 days

On postcard: Lviv

Lviv (Ukrainian: Львів L’viv, Polish: Lwów; Russian: Львов, L'vov; German: Lemberg; Latin: Leopolis; see also other names) is a city in western Ukraine. The city is regarded as one of the main cultural centres of today's Ukraine and historically has also been a major Polish and Jewish cultural center, as Poles and Jews were the two main ethnicities of the city until the outbreak of World War II and the following Holocaust and Polish population transfers (1944–1946). The historical heart of Lviv with its old buildings and cobblestone roads has survived World War II and ensuing Soviet presence largely unscathed. The city has many industries and institutions of higher education such as the Lviv University and the Lviv Polytechnic. Lviv is also a home to many world-class cultural institutions, including a philharmonic orchestra and the famous Lviv Theatre of Opera and Ballet. The historic city centre is on the UNESCO World Heritage List. Lviv celebrated its 750th anniversary with a son et lumière in the city centre in September 2006.

Lviv was founded in 1256 in Red Ruthenia by King Danylo Halytskyi of the Ruthenian principality of Halych-Volhynia, and named in honour of his son, Lev. Together with the rest of Red Ruthenia, Lviv was captured by the Kingdom of Poland in 1349 during the reign ofPolish king Casimir III the Great. Lviv belonged to the Crown of the Kingdom of Poland 1349–1772, the Austrian Empire 1772–1918 and the Second Polish Republic 1918–1939. With the Invasion of Poland at the outbreak of the second World War, the city of Lviv with adjacent land were annexed and incorporated into the Soviet Union, becoming part of the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic from 1939 to 1941. Between July 1941 and July 1944 Lviv was under German occupation and was located in the General Government. In July 1944 it was captured by the Soviet Red Army and the Polish Home Army. According to the agreements of the Yalta Conference, Lviv was again integrated into the Ukrainian SSR. Most of the Poles living in Lviv were resettled into Polish territories annexed from Germany.

After the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, the city remained a part of the now independent Ukraine, for which it currently serves as the administrative centre of Lviv Oblast, and is designated as its own raion (district) within that oblast.

On 12 June 2009 the Ukrainian magazine Focus assessed Lviv as the best Ukrainian city to live in. Its more Western European flavor lends it the nickname the "Little Paris of Ukraine".

The city is expecting a sharp increase in the number of foreign visitors next summer for the 2012 UEFA European Football Championship, and as a result a major new airport terminal is being built. Lviv is one of 8 Polish and Ukrainian cities that is co-hosting the group stages of the tournament.


Lviv is located on the edge of the Roztochia Upland, approximately 70 km from the Polish border and 160 km (99 mi) from the eastern Carpathian Mountains. The average altitude of Lviv is 296 m (971.13 ft) above sea level. Its highest point is the Vysokyi Zamok (High Castle), 409 m (1,341.86 ft) above sea level. This castle has a commanding view of the historic city centre with its distinctive green-domed churches and intricate architecture.

The old walled city was at the foothills of the High Castle on the banks of the river Poltva. In the 13th century, the river was used to transport goods. In the early 20th century, the Poltva was covered over in areas where it flows through the city. The river flows directly beneath the central street of Lviv, Freedom Avenue (Prospect Svobody) and the renowned Lviv Opera House.

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