Lviv [Львів; L'viv; Latin: Leopolis; Polish: Lwów; German: Lemberg; Russian: Львов; Lvov]. Map: IV-4, 5. A city (2015 pop 729,429) and the center of Lviv oblast, the historical capital of Galicia and Western Ukraine, and, after Kyiv, the second cultural, political, and religious center of Ukraine. By population it is the seventh-largest city in Ukraine and the largest in the western oblasts. Standing at the meeting place of three geographical-economic regions—the Roztochia woodlands, the cultivated fields of the Buh Depression, and the fields of Podilia—Lviv has been for centuries a natural exchange center among them. But the main reason for its development was its location at the intersection of natural trade routes—the north–south route from the Baltic Sea to the Black Sea (Kholm–Halych) and the east–west route (Cracow–Kyiv). Because of its location Lviv became an important commercial and cultural intermediary between Western and Eastern Europe, a role assumed from the declining cities of Zvenyhorod, Halych, and Kholm. Lviv’s influence fluctuated between national and regional, according to historical events, particularly the power of Galicia. Its western location, far from the usual invasion routes of the Tatars, assured it a more peaceful development than Kyiv’s. Nevertheless, it was the principal arena of Polish-Ukrainian conflict.
Physical geography. The oldest part of Lviv lies in the depression of the Poltva River, which cuts into the Podolian Upland. The plain, 3–4 km wide and 260–270 m above sea level, was once a peat bog. It narrows to 1 km toward the north and slides between the Podolian Upland and Roztochia to the Buh Depression. The northern side of the depression along the Poltva River is hemmed in by the western part of the Holohory, which separates it from the Buh Depression with a thin ridge 100–150 m above the depressions running from the Chortivska Cliff (414 m) in the east to Vysokyi Zamok (413 m) in the northwest. Built of chalk marls and Miocene sand, sandstone, and limestone dissected by wooded ravines, the ridge is the most scenic part of Lviv. In the northwest it is continued by the somewhat lower, forested Roztochia from Kortumivka Hill (374 m) west of the Poltva River to Lysa Hill (380 m) near Briukhovychi.
The depression of the Poltva River rises 60–100 m toward the south, southwest, and west to the Opilia Upland (the so-called Lviv Plateau), which forms part of the European watershed running from the northwest to the southeast. The gently undulating plain, which reaches 350 m above sea level, is covered with loess and chornozem and is not forested. The western outskirts of Lviv have a different landscape. There the Lviv Plateau descends to 310 m above sea level. The meltwaters of a glacier, which reached as far west as Yaniv, once ran along the Bilohorske slope to the Buh Depression. Sand and gravel fields, with moving sand hills, and marshes cover the slope. The northern part of Lviv is a plain 240–280 m above sea level consisting of wide gentle ridges (Malekhiv) covered with fertile loess and separated by the peat-covered valleys of the Buh River’s tributaries.
Lviv lies in a moderate, damp climate belt, between a continental and a maritime climate. Its average annual temperature is 7.5°C, with averages of 18.5°C in July and 4.1°C in January. The annual rainfall is 666 mm, most of it in July (102 mm) and least in January (27 mm). The average cloud cover is 66 days (maximum in December, minimum in August).
Since 1841 the Poltva River has been covered up. It is exposed only at its source and at its emergence from the city.
History. Lviv was founded in the mid-13th century by Prince Danylo Romanovych near Zvenyhorod, which had been razed by the Tatars, and named after his son Lev Danylovych. Excavations on Vysokyi Zamok have shown that the site was settled in the 10th century. The city is first mentioned in the Galician-Volhynian Chronicle under the year 1256. The chronicle goes on to recount how the Tatar khan, Burundai, ordered the castle to be destroyed in 1259, and how Khan Telebuh attacked Lviv in 1263 and 1287. In the 1260s, during the reign of Prince Lev Danylovych, Lviv became the capital of the Principality of Galicia-Volhynia; it remained its capital until the end (1340s). As Kyiv declined, Lviv rose to national stature.
At first Lviv covered a small area (later the Zhovkva suburb) on the right bank of the Poltva River and consisted of three parts: the ditynets or stronghold on Lysa Hill (today the western plateau of Vysokyi Zamok), the inner town at the foot of the ditynets, and the outer town, the least fortified suburb, stretching as far as the Poltva River. The population was 2,000 to 3,000. Besides Ukrainians it included Germans, Armenians, Tatars, Poles, Karaites, Hungarians, and Jews. The names of some streets, such as Virmenska and Tatarska, as well as of Stare Okopyshche (the Old Jewish cemetery) date back to medieval times. There were 10 Orthodox churches, 3 Armenian churches, and 2 Catholic churches.
The Polish period, 1387–1772. After the death of Prince Yurii II Boleslav, Galicia was governed by Dmytro Dedko, the vicegerent of Liubartas, until 1349, when Casimir III the Great captured Lviv. After a short period of joint Polish-Hungarian rule (1370–87) Lviv was annexed by Poland. At first it served as the capital of a separate country united with Poland. Called Regnum Russiae, it had its own coat of arms (the lion), currency, laws, and administration dating back to the Princely era. Then it became the capital of the Polish province known as Rus’ voivodeship (1434–1772). In 1356 Casimir granted Lviv the rights of Magdeburg law, which enabled the German and Polish merchants to take control of the municipal government. The influx of German merchants and tradesmen increased rapidly.
In the second half of the 14th century the city center shifted southwest to the wide valley of the Poltva River, which provided a better site for a fortified town on the Western European model. The ramparts and moats ran along today’s Horodotska Street, Danylo Halytskyi Square, Pidvalna Street, and Valova Street and enclosed an area of approx 50 ha. Walls were built within the ramparts; in the 15th century they were expanded and reinforced with 17 towers. Today only one of them, the Porokhova Tower, opposite Lysenko Street, survives. The city’s fortifications included two castles, the Low Castle, the residence of the voivode, and the High Castle (Vysokyi Zamok), an observation post with a magazine and a jail built by Casimir III the Great in 1360. The fortified town had two main gates, the Cracow Gate in the north and the Halych Gate in the south. There were two smaller gates for pedestrians, the Jesuit Gate in the west, near the Jesuit church, and the Bosatska (Barefoot) Gate in the east, opposite Ruska Street, which led to the monastery of the discalced Carmelites. The suburbs, which stretched out along the main roads to the city, were unfortified and vulnerable to enemy attack. In 1438 the Crimean Tatars raided the suburbs, and in 1498 the Turkish army lay siege to the city. Much of the town was destroyed by fires in 1479, 1494, 1511, and 1527.
Cottages of Lviv burghers and estates (called yurydyky) of nobles, who did not come under the city courts, sprang up around the city and turned eventually into farming settlements. In the 20th century they became the new suburbs of Zamarstyniv (from the estate of I. Sommerstein, est 1349), Klepariv (from the estate of A. Klopper, 1419), Holosko (1401, near the Olovsko Basin), Kulparkiv (from the estate of P. Goldberg, 1425), Bilohorshcha (1463), and Briukhovychi (1503). There were over 50 churches in the city and its suburbs.
Lviv’s economy developed from a farming, manufacturing, and commercial base in the Princely era to a commercial and manufacturing economy with a range of operations extending beyond the frontiers of Poland. Lviv had ‘absolute warehousing rights,’ which made it a unique trade center. Its renowned trade fairs were held on Saint Agnes’s Day, 3 February (21 January OS), and Saint Margaret’s Day, 30 July (17 July OS), and in later times on Saint George’s Day, 6 May (23 April OS). Banking was in the hands of Jewish and Armenian merchants. After the first period of development ending in the mid-15th century, Lviv’s trade declined because of changes in the trade routes. From the mid-16th to the mid-17th century its trade grew again. Most of the townsmen were craftsmen organized in guilds. The first reference to guilds dates from 1386. By the mid-17th century there were as many as 30 guilds totaling over 500 craftsmen. Lviv’s manufactured products had a high reputation, especially its metalware, jewelry, and weapons.
Until the early 16th century Lviv had a German character. The Germans had gained control of the city magistrat and judiciary, and German was the official language of the city council. Sermons in the Roman Catholic churches were in German, and the first Catholic bishop was a German. Lviv also attracted many Armenians, Poles, and, later, Jews. By the beginning of the 16th century most of the German and Armenian population had been Polonized, and Lviv to a large extent had assumed the character of a Polish town. Ukranians were in the majority only in the suburbs. Their rights were limited by Magdeburg law, which applied only to Catholics. Thus, Ukrainians were excluded from municipal affairs, their trading rights were limited, and they were shut out from the better residential areas.
The name of Ruska Street dates back to that period. Ukrainians suffered not only social but also national and religious discrimination from the ruling Roman Catholic circles. They protested often and organized themselves into brotherhoods. The most prominent of the 10 brotherhoods in the 16th and 17th centuries was the Lviv Dormition Brotherhood (est 1439), which was granted the right of stauropegion in 1586. Through the efforts of the Lviv brotherhoods, the city once again, after the Princely era, became an important Ukrainian cultural and religious center. The publishing activity of Ivan Fedorovych (Fedorov) also contributed to Lviv’s prominence.
From the mid-17th century until 1772 the city declined, and the burghers grew poorer as the government favored the nobility. The trade routes changed, and incessant warfare disrupted commerce. Bohdan Khmelnytsky’s Cossack army twice besieged Lviv; first on 6–10 October 1648, when it took the Vysokyi Zamok fortress, and again between 25 September and 8 November 1655. The city was attacked several times by Turkish-Tatar armies; in 1672, 1675, 1691, and 1695. The greatest blow was inflicted by the Swedes in 1704: they plundered the city and exacted a heavy tribute from the burghers, especially the Lviv Dormition Brotherhood, thereby weakening Lviv for decades.
In the 18th century the guild system disintegrated, and the number of unorganized tradesmen, known as partachi (outsiders, from Latin a parte), increased. A period of fierce competition between the two groups was followed by general impoverishment and decline. The castle and many buildings fell into ruin. Many merchant and manufacturing shops were empty. Approximately 75 percent of the enterprises were taken over by Jews.
The Austrian period, 1772–1918. The transfer of Lviv to Austria (19 August 1772) as the capital of the Crown land of Galicia and Lodomeria opened a new chapter in the city’s development. Lviv was inundated with German civil servants, soldiers, merchants, and colonists. After the partitioning of Poland many Polish immigrants poured into Lviv. The city grew into a commercial, administrative, and cultural center. The first newspaper on Ukrainian territory, the French-language Gazette de Léopol, came out in Lviv in 1776. The first city theater was founded that year. In 1784 the Lviv University and the Academic Gymnasium of Lviv were set up.
As the population increased, the city had to expand. In 1777 the fortifications, which had lost their military value, were torn down and replaced with tree-shaded boulevards. The Poltva River was walled in and diverted into an underground canal. The suburbs spread along the main roads to the city. First to be built up was Horodok district, on both sides of the paved highway leading to Vienna. The city began to be developed beyond the belt of grand buildings along the city walls, the wooded areas along Copernicus Street, toward Franko Park (Jesuit Garden). Emperor Joseph II closed down 27 Roman Catholic churches and monasteries, 7 Ukrainian churches, and 3 Armenian churches and converted them into public buildings, citadels, and prisons. A new city hall (ratusha) was built in 1835.
Lviv’s population grew rapidly. By the mid-19th century it was as large as Kyiv’s and, among Ukrainian cities, second only to Odesa’s. By the turn of the century Lviv was the fifth-largest city in the Austro-Hungarian Empire and the fourth-largest city (after Odesa, Kyiv, and Kharkiv) in Ukraine.
The spread of railways stimulated the city’s growth. The first lines were Lviv–Peremyshl–Cracow (1861), Lviv–Stanyslaviv–Chernivtsi (1866), Lviv–Krasne–Brody (1869), Lviv–Ternopil–Pidvolochysk (1870), and Lviv–Stryi–Lavochne (1873). Another five lines were laid later. Lviv became an important railway junction, one of the largest in the Austro-Hungarian Empire and Eastern Europe. With the building of the main station and the Pidzamchia freight station the city spread from the valley of the Poltva River to the adjacent plateau. In 1871 Lviv was divided for the first time into districts—Halych, Cracow, Zhovkva, Lychakiv, and Central. In 1890 Novyi Svit was added.
In the 19th century Lviv’s industry and trades developed rapidly. In 1814 there were 21 guilds, although the guild system had lost its former influence. In 1841 the first steam mill was built in Lviv. The chief industries were food industry, clothing industry, construction industry, and metalworking industry. There were 9 major enterprises in 1850, 16 in 1870, and 25 in 1902. The enterprises became larger through the 20th century: in 1900 the 22 largest enterprises, with over 100 workers each, represented approximately 8 percent of all the enterprises (278) and employed 5,580, workers, or approximately 55 percent of the total work force (10,163). Beginning in 1841 banking and savings and loan institutions appeared as branches of Austrian banks or of local Jewish, Polish, or Ukrainian ventures (Dnister (bank), 1892; Tsentrobank, 1898; Land Mortgage Bank, 1910).
Austria’s social reforms and enlightened cultural and educational policies, and a relatively liberal political regime, were favorable to the Ukrainian national revival. Before the Revolution of 1848–9 in the Habsburg monarchy Lviv was the center of the national awakening: the Ruthenian Triad wrote at the beginning of the 1830s, and Denys Zubrytsky published Kronika miasta Lwowa (Chronicle of the City of Lviv, 1844). During the Spring of Nations the Supreme Ruthenian Council arose in Lviv and declared the people of Galician Ruthenia to be one nation with the people of central Ukraine. At the same time the Congress of Ruthenian Scholars and the People's Home in Lviv were set up. A chair of Ukrainian language and literature was founded at Lviv University. By the end of the 19th and the beginning of the 20th century, owing to the particular historical situation whereby there was a repressive Russian regime in central Ukraine and a liberal Austrian regime in Galicia, Lviv, for the third time in its history, assumed a leading role in Ukrainian national development. That role is evident in the history of the evolution of Ukrainian political thought from populism to Galician autonomy and, finally, to the idea of complete national independence and unity. The headquarters of the major political organizations, such as the National Democratic party, the Ukrainian Radical party, and the Ukrainian Social Democratic party, were in Lviv. The key Ukrainian cultural institutions, such as the Prosvita society (1868), the Ruska Besida Theater (1864; later Ukrainska Besida Theater), the Ridna Shkola society (1881), the Lysenko Music Society in Lviv (1903), and the National Museum, were established in Lviv. The head offices of the various Ukrainian co-operatives were located there. As the home of the Shevchenko Scientific Society (est 1873) Lviv made an enormous contribution to Ukrainian learning. It was also the leading center for Ukrainian publishing: in 1913, of 83 Ukrainian periodical and 410 nonperiodical publications in the world, 65 and 299 respectively were published in Lviv. Important periodicals, such as Dilo (1880–1939) and Svoboda (Lviv) (1897–1918), and journals, such as the journal Pravda (1867–96), Zoria (Lviv) (1880–97), Literaturno-naukovyi vistnyk (1898–1906, 1922–32), and Zapysky Naukovoho tovarystva im. Shevchenka (1892–1939), were published in Lviv.
In the 19th century Lviv was also a Polish political and cultural center. Taking advantage of their privileged status in Galicia and political influence with the Austrian government, the Poles strenuously opposed the Ukrainian movement. Lviv became a battleground between Ukrainians and Poles. The struggle sometimes erupted in violence, such as Andrzej Potocki’s assassination in 1908, and finally led to the Ukrainian-Polish War in Galicia, 1918–19, beginning on 1 November 1918 (see November Uprising in Lviv, 1918). On 19 October 1918 the Ukrainian National Rada in Lviv had proclaimed a Ukrainian state in the western Ukrainian territories, and on 9 November the Rada named it the Western Ukrainian National Republic (ZUNR). On 21 November the Poles captured Lviv, thereby forcing the ZUNR government to flee to Ternopil.
Interwar period, 1919–39. After the First World War Lviv’s importance declined. It was no longer the capital of a large province of the Austro-Hungarian Empire but the center of a voivodeship. The USSR’s economic isolation undermined Lviv’s role as a trading intermediary between east and west. Attempts to sell Polish goods to the USSR (the eastern trade) were fruitless. Lviv supplied mostly agricultural products from Galicia and Volhynia to the Polish and Western markets. In 1935, of 6,242 commercial enterprises, 3,022 sold food products, and 1,340 sold confectionery products. Industrial enterprises accounted for only a quarter of the turnover of commercial firms. Compared to Poles and Jews, Ukrainians did not play an important role in Lviv’s economy. Nevertheless, Ukrainian provincial co-operatives, such as the Maslosoiuz Provincial Dairy Union, Tsentrosoiuz, and Narodna Torhovlia, the Union of Ukrainian Merchants and Entrepreneurs, and the Zoria artisans' association, had a great impact on the economic life of Galicia’s Ukrainian population.
Polish-Ukrainian hostility increased sharply in the period as Lviv became the center of organized resistance to the Polish occupation of Galicia. On 18 March 1923 40,000 people demonstrated against the decision of the Conference of Ambassadors to award Galicia to Poland. The Ukrainian Military Organization conducted an armed struggle against the regime, in attempting to assassinate Józef Piłsudski (25 September 1921) and President S. Wojciechowski (5 September 1924) on their visits to Lviv. On the 10th anniversary of the 1918 November Uprising in Lviv a massive Ukrainian demonstration was held in the city. In 1929 the national executive of the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists (OUN) was set up in Lviv. On 22 October 1933 a staff member of the Soviet consulate in Lviv was assassinated by the OUN in protest against the Famine-Genocide of 1932–3 and the terror in Soviet Ukraine. In 1936 the OUN executive for Western Ukraine was put on trial in Lviv. In defiance of Polish discrimination in education, the Lviv (Underground) Ukrainian University and the Lviv (Underground) Ukrainian Higher Polytechnical School were set up. The headquarters of Ukrainian political parties, such as the Ukrainian National Democratic Alliance, the Ukrainian Socialist Radical party, the Ukrainian Social Democratic party, the Ukrainian Catholic People's party, and the clandestine Communist Party of Western Ukraine, were in Lviv.
The Second World War. Under the first Soviet occupation (22 September 1939 to 30 June 1941) Lviv served as an oblast center. Before fleeing the German advance the Soviet occupational regime murdered thousands of Ukrainian civilians, mainly members of the city’s intelligentsia. During the three-year German occupation (June 1941 to July 1944) Lviv was a center of the Galicia district within the Generalgouvernement. In 1942 an executive branch of the Ukrainian Central Committee headed by Kost K. Pankivsky was set up in Lviv. The city was the center of the Ukrainian resistance movement (OUN, UPA). The Proclamation of Ukrainian statehood, 1941, took place there on 30 June 1941 and the Ukrainian State Administration was formed. The 1941 Ukrainian National Council in Lviv, headed by Kost Levytsky, operated in the city from July 1941. On 27 July 1944, the Soviet Army re-entered Lviv without battle. The city sustained little damage during the Second World War.
The Soviet period. After the war Lviv’s administrative division was changed a number of times. Today Lviv is divided into six raions: Zaliznychyi, Halytskyi, Shevchenkivskyi, Lychakivskyi, Sykhivskyi, and Frankivskyi. The city’s streets, parks, and institutions were given Ukrainian names, and new cultural and scientific institutions, such as the Lviv branch of the Academy of Sciences of the Ukrainian SSR (3 April 1951), were set up. The national composition of its population changed dramatically. Rapid industrial development was accompanied by demographic growth and changes in the social structure of the city. New industrial and residential districts sprang up. With the Sovietization of the economy, civic life, and private life, Lviv lost its historical role as a center of Ukrainian national and religious life and as Ukraine’s link with the West. All pre-Soviet cultural institutions and the Ukrainian Catholic church were abolished. The inhabitants resisted the anti-Ukrainian acts of the Soviet authorities, passively and actively. In the 1960s and 1970s a number of Ukrainian intellectuals were arrested and tried in Lviv (see Dissident movement). The funeral of the murdered (allegedly by the KGB) composer Volodymyr Ivasiuk in 1979 turned into a massive demonstration. In the late 1980s Lviv took the lead in democratic reform and in the revival of national consciousness. The first mass political rallies in Ukraine took place in Lviv in the summer of 1988. In the national and local elections of March 1990, democratic candidates, some of them former dissidents, won large majorities in the Lviv city and oblast councils. After that victory many pre-Soviet Ukrainian institutions and associations, such as the Ukrainian Catholic church, the Shevchenko Scientific Society, the Prosvita society, and the Plast Ukrainian Youth Association, were revived in Lviv.
Economy. Until 1939 Lviv was a commercial, adminstrative, and industrial city. Its dominant industry, accounting for 60 percent of the output, was the food industry. Under the Soviet regime its industry was nationalized, some of the older plants were reconstructed, and many new ones were built. Today the main industry is machine building (over 30 percent of the total output), especially middle- and precision-machine and tool manufacturing, and its largest plants are the Lviv Bus Plant, the Galician Auto Plant, the locomotive and car repair plant (est 19th century), the bicycle factory, and the diamond and diamond instruments manufacturing consortium (see Lviv Almazinstrument Manufacturing Consortium). The chief representative of the tool and instrument manufacturing industry in Lviv is the Elektron Consortium which makes electric buses, electronic measuring devices, automation equipment, and computers. Lviv’s insulator plant was the only plant in the former USSR to produce glass insulators for every type of power transmission.
The food industry accounts for 20 percent of Lviv’s industrial output. It includes a bacon packing factory and a poultry packing complex, a liquor distillery, flour mills and bakeries, the Lviv Svitoch Consortium of the Confectionery Industry, and the Kolos brewing consortium. Light industry is third in importance. Factories of the Promin manufacturing consortium produce cotton thread, cloth, and knitwear. The Lviv Prohres Manufacturing Consortium makes footwear, and the Vesna, Maiak, and Yunist consortia sew clothes. The building-materials industry is dependent on local sources of materials. Its plants produce bricks and tiles, wall and facing materials, window glass, and reinforced concrete. Lviv also has a woodworking industry that makes furniture, flooring, musical instruments, and plywood and a chemical industry that produces petrochemicals, oxygen, paints and varnishes, pharmaceuticals, and perfumes. Lviv is an important publishing center with a number of large printing enterprises. In 2015 there were 216 large indusrtial enterprises in Lviv.
Lviv is also an important communication center. It is the junction of nine railroad lines and has five railway stations. A number of national highways converge in Lviv. Its Sknyliv airport connects it by air with the major cities of Eastern Europe.
Population. In the mid-17th century Lviv had a population of 30,000 (Kyiv ca 10,000) and was the largest city in Ukraine. By the time Lviv was annexed by Austria, the population had fallen to 20,000. During the Austrian period it grew steadily, from 19,500 in 1776 to 38,700 in 1795, 46,000 in 1820, 70,000 in 1857, 87,000 in 1869, 109,700 in 1880, 159,000 in 1900, and 206,100 in 1910. The First World War interrupted its growth (219,400 in 1921). In 1931 some suburban districts were included in Lviv, and its population jumped from 241,800 to 312,200.
Under Austrian rule Lviv attracted new residents from eastern and western Galicia, whereas in the interwar period almost all new residents came from eastern Galicia. In 1900–10 immigration to the city (28,000) exceeded its natural growth (18,000); in 1921–31 the respective figures were 53,000 and 18,000. The expansion occurred mainly in the suburbs. During the Second World War the population fluctuated wildly. It jumped by over 100,000 to 430,000 (May 1940) as refugees from Poland poured into the city. In 1943, during the German occupation, it decreased to 180,000 (discounting the Germans), because of the destruction of the Jews during the Holocaust. After the war the population increased rapidly, to 387,000 in 1956, 411,000 in 1959, 553,000 in 1970, 665,000 in 1979, and 787,000 in 1989, mainly because of industrialization. The ethnic composition of Lviv changed gradually until the last war. Before 1914 the proportion of Ukrainians increased slowly but steadily because of immigration from the countryside. During the First World War the proportion of Jews increased because of their influx from the small towns, and the proportion of Ukrainians fell because of war casualties and political emigration. In the interwar period the Ukrainian population increased slightly at the expense of the Poles and Jews. In the Second World War the number of Jews fell drastically, and the number of Ukrainians increased. After the war most of the Poles left Lviv, and their place was taken by Ukrainians, including inhabitants of the Sian region and Lemko region, which were annexed by Poland. Thus, the ethnic composition that had characterized Lviv for centuries changed radically, and the Ukrainians became by far the largest group. Then Russians began to settle in Lviv (see the table).
Science and culture. Lviv is the scientific and cultural center of western Ukraine. In 1951 a branch of the Academy of Sciences of the Ukrainian SSR (now National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine) consisting of the Institute of Social Sciences of the Academy of Sciences of the Ukrainian SSR (now Institute of Ukrainian Studies of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine), Institute of Mechanical Engineering and Automation (now Physical-Mechanical Institute of the Academy of Sciences of Ukraine), Institute of the Geology and Geochemistry of Fossil Fuels of the Academy of Sciences of the Ukrainian SSR, and Institute of Agrobiology (now Scientific Research Institute of Land Cultivation and Animal Husbandry of the Western Regions of Ukraine), was set up in Lviv. In 1971 the Western Scientific Center of the Academy of Sciences of the Ukrainian SSR was opened there. Besides the academy’s institutes there are many research institutes with high reputation: the Ukrainian Scientific Research Institute of the Printing Industry, the Ukrainian Scientific Research Institute of Geological Prospecting, the (until 1991 All-Union) Design and Experimental Institute of Bus Building, the Lviv Scientific Research Institute of Epidemiology and Microbiology, and the Lviv Astronomical Observatory. In the Polish period there were five higher schools in Lviv: the Lviv University, the Polytechnic, the Greek Catholic Theological Academy, the Veterinary Academy, and the Higher School of Foreign Trade. By the 1980s there were 11, some of them based on the earlier schools. Currently there are 26 instititions of higher learning in Lviv, including Lviv University, the Lviv Polytechnic National University, the Ukrainian Academy of Printing, the Ukrainian Catholic University, the National University of Forest Technology of Ukraine, the Lviv National Agrarian University, the Lviv National Medical University, the Lviv National University of Veterinary Medicine and Biotechnology, the Lviv Academy of Commerce, the Lviv State University of Physical Culture, the Lviv National Academy of Arts, and the Lviv National Music Academy. The largest libraries are the Lviv National Scientific Library of Ukraine, the Lviv University Library, and the Library of the Lviv Polytechnic National University. There are approximately 400 public libraries, with total holdings of over 15 million books. The most important archives in Lviv are the Central State Historical Archive in Lviv and the Lviv Oblast State Archive.
In the interwar period the city theater in Lviv was Polish, and the Ukrainian public was served by a number of touring theater troupes. Today there are seven main theaters: the Lviv National Academic Theater of Opera and Ballet, the Lviv National Academic Ukrainian Drama Theater, the Lviv Les Kurbas Academic Theater, the Lviv First Ukrainian Theater for Children and Youth, the Lviv Lesia Ukrainka Drama Theater, the Lviv Academic Resurrection Theater, and the Lviv Puppet Theater. There is also a symphony orchestra, the Lviv Oblast Philharmonic, and the Trembita state choir. Of the 40 or more cinemas in the city, the largest are Myr, Dnipro, Lviv, Kyiv, and Ukraina.
Most of the 10 museums that served Lviv in the interwar period, including the National Museum and the museums of the Shevchenko Scientific Society and the Stauropegion Institute, were reorganized during the Soviet period. The chief museums today are the Lviv Historical Museum, the National Museum, the Natural Science Museum of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine, the Lviv Art Gallery, the Museum of Ethnography and Crafts, the Lviv Franko Literary Memorial Museum, the Lviv Museum of Folk Architecture and Folkways, and the Lontsky Street Prison Museum Commemorating Victims oc Occupational Regimes (est 2009).
Once a center of Ukrainian publishing (65 papers before 1939), Lviv was reduced in the Soviet period to only one Ukrainian daily: Vil’na Ukraïna (Lviv), one monthly journal Zhovten’ [Dzvin, as of 1990]), and a young people's magazine (Lenins’ka molod’). The chief publishing houses were Kameniar and Vyshcha Shkola. Under the reforms of the late 1980s some new papers appeared, most of them organs of unofficial organizations. After Ukraine’s independence many new papers (Za vil’nu Ukraïnu, Dilo, Moloda Halychyna) and journals appeared.
Religious life. For several centuries Lviv was a bastion of the Orthodox faith in Western Ukraine. The Lviv Dormition Brotherhood had an important impact on the religious and cultural life of all Ukraine in the 16th and 17th centuries. The city was the seat of Lviv eparchy, which was Orthodox until the end of the 17th century and then Uniate, and of Halych metropoly (est 1807). Through the efforts of Metropolitan Andrei Sheptytsky Lviv became the leading center of Ukrainian Catholic theology. It was the home of the Greek Catholic Theological Seminary in Lviv, the Greek Catholic Theological Academy, and the Ukrainian Theological Scholarly Society, which published the journal Bohosloviia. At the same time it was the seat of Polish and Armenian eparchies. After the abolition of the Ukrainian Catholic church by the Soviet authorities in 1946 (see Lviv Sobor of 1946), only the Russian Orthodox church was permitted to maintain an archbishop in Lviv. In 1990 the Ukrainian Catholic church under Metropolitan Volodymyr Sterniuk in Lviv was officially recognized, and Saint George's Cathedral was returned to it. Since early 1991 the heads of the Ukrainian Catholic church have resided in Lviv.
Layout. Today Lviv has an area of 182 sq km. For descriptive purposes Lviv can be divided into three concentric circles: the central core, consisting of the old city in the depression of the Poltva River; an architecturally and economically mixed area built up in the 19th and early 20th (to 1930) centuries; and the suburbs that were once villages and are not yet fully built up.
The core is the city of the 14th to 18th centuries. It appears well planned: the rectangular market square and city hall stand at the center of the street grid, which is encircled by broad, green boulevards at the site of the old walls. The core is densely built up with tall stone buildings, many of them in their original style. In the second half of the 19th century the center of the city shifted west and southwest. Shevchenko (formerly Akademichnyi) prospekt, Mickiewicz Square, and Horodetska Street became the new axis of the city. That is the most imposing part of Lviv, with many public buildings, hotels (eg, the George Hotel), cafés, stores, and banks in 19th- and early 20th-century styles. At one end of the axis stands the Lviv National Academic Theater of Opera and Ballet, and off to the sides are Lviv University, the Institute of Social Sciences of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine, and the main post office.
The core is surrounded by several districts: Krakiv, in the west, is a mixed residential and commercial area, with an industrial section near the main railway station; Halych and Novyi Svit, in the south, are residential areas with fine villas; Zhovkva, in the north, is an old manufacturing and trading district, with its southern part settled mostly by Jews until the Second World War and its northern edge covered with factories; and Lychakiv, in the east, is residential, with hospitals and the Lychakiv Cemetery on its outer edge. The third circle consists of the suburbs: to the north Zamarstyniv, and Znesinnia are the most industrialized districts of Lviv, and Male and Velyke Holosko, Zboiska, Kryvchytsi, and Klepariv have preserved some of their agricultural character; to the west, Levandivka, Bohdanivka, and Syhnivka are settled by workers and have some industry; to the south, Kulparkiv has a large psychiatric hospital; and to the southwest, Kozilnyky, Snopkiv, and Pasiky are green residential areas with some farmland.
Lviv is a very green city with a varied vegetation. The largest and most picturesque parks are Stryi (60 ha, est 1887), in the south, Vysokyi Zamok (37 ha, est 1835) and Shevchenkivskyi Hai (84 ha), in the east, and Snopkiv (formerly Druzhba; 60 ha, est 1959–63). The smaller parks are Zalizna Voda (18.2 ha, est 1905), Franko (the former Jesuit Garden, 12.2 ha, est late 16th century), Lychakiv (8.4 ha), Pohulianka, and Khmelnytsky (25 ha). The Lychakiv Cemetery, which contains some famous monuments to noted Ukrainian and Polish residents of Lviv, and the Yaniv Cemetery, with over 200 graves of fighters for Ukrainian independence, resemble parks.
Architecture and art. The oldest monument in Lviv consists of the foundation and walls of Saint Nicholas's Church, built by Prince Lev Danylovych in the 13th century. The church burned down in 1623 and 1783 and was rebuilt in 1800. The remnants of Vysokyi Zamok date back to the 13th century. A number of medieval churches, built originally in the Byzantine Romanesque style, have since been reconstructed; among them are Saint Onuphrius's Church and Monastery, the Church of Good Friday in Lviv (reconstructed in 1643–5), the Roman Catholic churches of Saint John the Baptist (1260) on the old Market Square and the Virgin of the Snows (14th century), both rebuilt at the end of the 19th century, and Saint George's Church and Monastery (later Saint George's Cathedral), built by Prince Lev Danylovych outside the city. Saint Theodore's Church, the Church of the Resurrection, and the Church of the Annunciation from medieval times have completely disappeared. The Armenian Cathedral in Lviv was restored in the 1920s. The only indubitably medieval piece of art is Dymytrii’s bell, poured for Saint George's Church in 1341. Lviv’s Gothic architecture of the 14th and 15th centuries was destroyed by fire in 1527. Only the Latin Cathedral (built 1340, rebuilt 1761–76), survived and in 1619 the Renaissance chapel of the Kampian family was added to it.
By the end of the 16th century Lviv had the appearance of a Renaissance city. It is the only city in Ukraine that still has some original Renaissance architecture. The finest examples of the style are the Dormition Church in Lviv (1591–1629); the Chapel of the Three Saints (1578–91); the central part of the Armenian Cathedral in Lviv complex; the Boim family chapel (1609–15); the Roman Catholic churches of the Bernardine monks (1600–30), Saint Lazarus (1620–40), Mary Magdalene (1615–35), Saint Wojciech (1602), and Saint Sophia (1574); the Synagogue of the Golden Rose (1582); the residential buildings in Rynok Square, such as the Black Building (1577–88), Korniakt building (1580), and Massari building; and the additions to the fortifications, consisting of the city arsenal (1555–6) and the gunpowder tower (1554–6).
The baroque style of the 17th century is characteristic of Kyiv rather than Lviv. There are only a few monuments in that style in Lviv: the Church of Saints Peter and Paul (1668), the Church of the Holy Spirit (1722–9, destroyed 1939), the Church of the Transfiguration (1729, restored 1906), the churches of the Jesuits (1610–30), the Carmelites (1634), and the Franciscans (1708), Saint Anthony's Church (1718), and the General Hospital (formerly the Piarist College, 1748). During a period of decline in the 18th century, several rococo buildings went up: Saint George's Cathedral (1744–70), the Dominican church (1749–66), the Royal Arsenal, and the façade of the Lubomirski Palace.
The Austrian period was marked by the classicist style, which is embodied in the guardhouse on Pidkova Square, the Ossolineum Institute (1823–33, now the Lviv National Scientific Library of Ukraine), the Dzieduszycki Museum (now the Natural Science Museum of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine), and the Baworowski Library (now the Arts Cabinet of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine). The City Hall (1827–35) and the four fountains around it are in the Empire style; the Lviv Polytechnic National University (1872–7), Lviv University (1877–81), Lviv Theater of Opera and Ballet (1897–1900), main railway station, and post office (1921–2) are in the pseudo-Renaissance or Art Nouveau styles. During the Soviet period Khmelnytsky and Tereshkova streets were lined with residential buildings (1962–73). The Gagarin Palace of Culture (1961), the new buildings of the Lviv Polytechnical Institute (1964–72), the Computing Center (1969), the Lviv (1969) and Dnister (1983) hotels, the Museum of the Carpathian Military District (1952), and the bus terminal (1980) were added to the skyline.
The main monuments in the city are to Adam Mickiewicz (by Mykhailo Parashchuk and Antin Popel, 1905–6), Ivan Franko (1964), Vasyl Stefanyk (1971), and Ivan Fedorovych (Fedorov) (1978); there are also sculptures and an eternal flame (1958) at the Kholm Slavy Memorial Military Cemetery. The Vladimir Lenin monument (1952) was dismantled in 1990. A monument to Taras Shevchenko was erected in 1992.
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[This article was updated in 2016.]
Encyclopedia of Ukraine