Lviv, Ukraine

Lviv is situated roughly 70 kms from the border with Poland. It has many historical buildings and cobblestone streets with small courtyards. The architecture dates back to the Polish and Austro-Hungarian era. The city has more than 60 Museums and over 100 Cathedrals and Churches. The mountain top ruins of the 14th Century Castle in High Castle Park, provides a stunning panoramic view over the city and the surrounding hills.

The 19th Century Palace of Potocki was built in a French Classicism style for the powerful former Minister President of Austria, Alfred Józef Potocki. The enormous gates and moulded balconies highlight the splendour of the Palace as well as its interior design. In the early 2000’s the Potocki Palace was handed over to the Lviv Art Gallery.

One of the oldest neighbourhoods in Lviv is the Armenian Quarter, where in the 13th Century they established their Churches, Schools, Hospital and Theatre. The 16th Century Armenian Cathedral of Lviv houses some of the most stunning paintings, which date back 600 years and the dome of the temple is adorned with mosaics.

The Neo-Renaissance Lviv Theatre of Opera and Ballet is often compared to the Vienna State Opera due to its grand façade and similar interior design. The Opera was built in 1900 and still holds new performances each season.

Other major attractions to see while in Lviv include the Dormition Cathedral complex, which consists of a whole ensemble of architectural masterpieces comprised of a printing house, a library, a school and a museum. The ensemble has a direct relationship with the Italian courtyard because it was built from the funds of Konstantin Kornyakt. The interior of the Dormition Cathedral is decorated with paintings dating back to the 17th - 18th Centuries. The Italian courtyard mirrors the architectural monuments of the Renaissance period. It is a very romantic and cosy corner in the nearby Market Square where you will hear both classical and jazz concerts while sipping on a cup of coffee in one of the many cafés. It also now houses a museum named after King Jana III.

The UNESCO World Heritage Listed Market Square is part of the historic centre of Lviv and its main attraction is the 14th Century Town Hall. At a height of 65 metres it is regarded as the tallest town hall in all of the Ukraine. Presently it is also the seat of the local authorities and from the top you will enjoy an incredible panoramic view over the city.

Before leaving Lviv a visit to the Lychakiv Cemetery is a must. It is an essential part of the city’s architecture and one of the most magnificent Necropolises in Europe, which dates back to the 18th Century. The cemetery has some of the most beautiful crypts and gravestones as well as approximately 500 sculptures. You will find that the inscriptions on the tombstones are written in multiple languages including Ukrainian, Polish, Armenian, Latin, Russian, Hebrew, German and Italian.

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