History of Lviv and its development. Interesting facts about Lviv

Lviv is the most famous city in Western Ukraine. For many centuries, it was the national, cultural and scientific center of the region. Today, Lviv is considered one of the main tourist cities of Ukraine and one of the most beautiful cities in Europe. A huge number of tourists from all over the world come here to walk along the ancient streets, drink fragrant coffee, get acquainted with the real Ukrainian flavor and chat with friendly local people. Today we will review the history of Lviv, which left an indelible imprint on its character. In addition, we learn what you need to pay attention to tourists when visiting this amazing city.

history of Lviv

The history of Lviv

Lviv is located near the western border of Ukraine in the foothills of the Carpathians. Settlements on this place have existed since the V century AD. Later they belonged to the Great Moravian state.By the 10th century, Poland and Kievan Rus began to lay claim to the territory. In the XIII century began the history of Lviv as a full-fledged city.

The settlement was founded by Prince Danilo Galitsky, whose son was called Leo. Hence the name of the city. Somewhat later, Lviv received the status of the capital of the Galician-Volyn state, and then - the administrative center of the Russian province, the Kingdom of Galicia and Lodomeria. The city became the capital of the West-Ukrainian People's Republic in 1918. Then Lviv was annexed to Poland, but not for long.

During the Second World War, he was captured by the army of the USSR, and then - Germany. When the war ended, Lviv turned to the USSR. Since 1991, it has been the administrative center of independent Ukraine. Now let's talk more about the most important periods in the history of Lviv.

Galicia-Volyn principality

After long conflicts with the Poles and protracted internecine wars by representatives of the Slavic principality, by the middle of the XIII century, Daniel Galitsky, the son of Roman Mstislavovich, later an outstanding politician and diplomat, became enthroned. Thus began the history of the city of Lviv. To provide his state with reliable protection, he built several fortresses, one of which was Lviv.Soon, Daniel Galitsky took from the hands of the papal ambassadors the title of king, who later passed on to his heirs.

The first written mention of the city dates back to 1256. It was found in the Galician-Volyn chronicles. Today the history of the city of Lviv in Russian usually begins with this year. Strengthening the boundaries of his possessions, Danila Galitsky built it according to all the canons of the time.

Lviv consisted of three parts: the fortified city, the outskirts and the suburbs. Fortifications were held in the area of ​​the present Knyazhei Mountain. From the High Castle, the city was separated by a deep moat and huge ramparts with a palisade.

The trade route passed through the central part of the settlement, past a large number of churches and churches. They were built of wood. Therefore, to this day they could not stand. Later on these places were built stone temples. The city developed very quickly and in 1272 it was given the status of the capital of the Galician-Volyn principality. From 1340 to 1349, when the Romanovich family was gone, Lvov was ruled by Dmitriy Detko - a representative of the Lithuanian prince Lyubart.

lions history of the city

Poland and the Commonwealth

In the history of Lviv, summarized in this article, there were many peripetias, especially during the period when the city was part of Poland and the Commonwealth speech.In 1349 Lviv was captured by the Polish king Casimir III the Great. After 7 years, he gets the Magdeburg right, which gives him a strong impetus for development.

In 1363, the Armenian community established its metropolis in Lviv and built a church. Soon the Polish king moved the city center from the old Market square and began construction to the south, around the new Market square. Most of the population of Lviv was represented by German colonists. However, some marginal streets were inhabited by non-Catholics. Their inhabitants were deprived of petty-bourgeois rights in Lviv. The history of Russian, Armenian and Staroyevreyskaya streets began at this time.

The favorable location of Lviv at the intersection of trade routes going from Kiev, the Black Sea, Western and Eastern Europe, the ports of the Baltic Sea and Byzantium stimulated its rapid development. In 1379, Lviv received the right to build warehouses, which dramatically increased its attractiveness to merchants.

In 1387, the Polish Queen Jadvig captured the city and the surrounding land. Being a part of Poland, and then the Polish-Lithuanian state, he was appointed the capital of the Russian province.It included 5 elders, whose centers are located in cities such as Lviv, Sanok, Kholm, Peremyshl and Galich.

Lviv history briefly

Over the next centuries, Lviv developed rapidly, and its population grew. Soon it became a multinational city, as well as a center of science, culture and commerce, with a large number of religions. The defense structures of Lviv were constantly strengthened, and as a result, it became one of the main fortresses of the Commonwealth.

There were also Orthodox bishops, 3 archbishops (Armenian, Roman Catholic and Greek Catholic), and 3 Jewish communities (Karaite, suburban and city) at the same time. Settlers from different parts of Europe lived in Lviv: Germans, Italians, Greeks, Englishmen, Scots, and many others. In the 16th century, Protestants arrived in the city.

At the beginning of the XVII century, the population of the city was about 30 thousand inhabitants. It employed several dozen shops, in which there were more than a hundred craft professions.

In 1649, Lviv was besieged by Ukrainian Cossacks, whose head was Bohdan Khmelnytsky. They managed to capture and destroy the castle. After receiving the ransom, the Cossacks left the city.In 1655 the Swedish army invaded Poland, which captured most of it and laid siege to Lviv. Forced to retreat, the Swedes never took the city. In 1656, Lviv was surrounded by the Transylvanian army of Prince Dyerd Rakoczi I. But again in vain.

In 1672 the city was besieged by the army of the Ottoman Empire, led by Mehmed the Sixth. Lviv was lucky again - the war ended before it was taken. After 3 years, the Crimean Tatars and Turks took up the attack of the city. However, King Jan III Sobieski managed to defeat them in the battle, called "Lviv" (August 24, 1675). In 1704, during the Great Northern War, Lviv seized and, for the first time in the history of the city, plundered the Swedish army of King Charles XII.

history of the city of Lviv in Russian


In 1772, when Poland was first divided between Austria, Prussia and Russia, Lviv became part of the Austrian Empire, which would later become Austria-Hungary. The city was given the status of an administrative and political center of the most backward province of the state - the Kingdom of Galicia and Vladimiria.

In the years 1772-1918 the city was called Lemberg. After its entry into Austria, German became the language of the administration, and the main number of management positions were occupied by Germans and Czechs.Nevertheless, Lviv continued to remain the center of Ruthenian and Polish culture.

Cultural and economic growth in the history of the city of Lviv began in the second half of the XIX century, when oil deposits were developed in the city and a railway was built.

When World War I began, Lvov was taken by Russian troops (September 1914). Until the middle of July 1915, he served as the center of the Galician general governorship until the Austro-Hungarian army again occupied it. Soon, Nicholas II proclaimed the reunification of Russia with Galicia. National political, cultural and educational organizations were forcibly closed, and many representatives of the local intelligentsia were expelled to Siberia.

In 1915, the Austrian army returned to Galicia, and the reverse process began - the persecution of people suspected of sympathy for Russia. Those were shot, hung up or sent to concentration camps. The most famous of the camps was "Talerhof", located near the Austrian city of Graz. Following the war, Austria-Hungary fell apart. A number of independent states were formed: Poland, Czechoslovakia, Hungary and others.Ukrainians also began an active struggle for independence.

lions history of the city


On November 1, 1918, the Ukrainians proclaimed Lviv as the capital of ZUNR (Western Ukrainian People's Republic). Within a few days, a small group of Ukrainian soldiers took control of the city. When the Polish and Ukrainian military units approached Lviv, a conflict began, as a result of which the Ukrainians had to leave the city. Then the authorities of ZUNR declared a general mobilization, and the UGA (Ukrainian Galician Army) was formed from soldiers of the former Austrian army. Against the Ukrainians also made the Polish army, formed in France under the command of Haller.

Until the middle of the summer of 1919, the Polish-Ukrainian war continued, during which the CAA conducted several unsuccessful attacks. As a result, the Inter-Union Commission, located in Paris, decided: before the final determination of the fate of Lvov, leave it under the control of Poland. Later, Poland agreed with Simon Petlyura on cooperation. In exchange for the fact that the UNR will not qualify for Western Ukraine, she promised to assist her in the fight against the advancing Red Army and the Bolsheviks.


In 1920, during the Soviet-Polish confrontation, the Red Army under the command of Alexander Yegorov attacked Lviv. In June 1920, from the north-east side, the 1st Cavalry Army of Budyonny tried to break through to the city. Residents of Lviv are well prepared for defense. They formed and fully staffed two cavalry and three infantry regiments. Defensive structures were built everywhere. 3 Polish divisions and 1 Ukrainian regiment also arrived to defend the city.

On August 16, after a month of stubborn fighting, the Red Army overcame the Western Bug River and, reinforced by the Red Cossack units, began to storm the city. Fierce fighting brought a lot of casualties to both sides. After 3 days, the attack was still repulsed, and the Red Army retreated. Lviv received the Polish Order "For Courage", which was the main military award of Poland. Later, his image appeared on the Polish coat of arms of the city. Upon the signing of the Riga Peace Agreement, Lviv belonged to Poland and was the capital of Lviv Voivodeship. He quickly restored the position of the most important scientific and cultural center of the country.

The Second World War

With the beginning of the Second World War in the history ofLviv began a dark streak. In September 1939, Soviet troops crossed the Zbruch River and approached the city 5 days later. On October 26-28, a national assembly was held at the opera house, according to the results of which a declaration was adopted on the establishment of Soviet power in Western Ukraine. In late 1939, mass terror began in the region. During the year, the German colonies that had operated here since princely times were moved to Germany. Later began shooting and exile. All those who did not support the Stalinist policy were repressed. When the fascists attacked the USSR, regular troops left Lviv without a fight. Before the retreat, the NKVD destroyed representatives of the intelligentsia and students who were serving time in local prisons.

lions history of the city briefly

Back in the 1940s, several Ukrainian military units were formed in Germany. When the fascists attacked the USSR, one of such units came to Lviv - the Nachtigall battalion commanded by R. Shukhevych. It happened on July 30, 1941. On the same day, the Ukrainian nationalists organized a National Assembly, at which the restoration of the Ukrainian State was proclaimed. As a result, the Ukrainian government was formed, the head of which was Yaroslav Stetsko.

On June 22, 1941, the OUN (organization of Ukrainian nationalists) attempted to seize the prison. However, the guards pushed her representatives. The fighting continued until June 30, when the Germans fully occupied the city. The Nazis opposed the independence of Ukraine, and on June 12, A. Hitler ordered the arrest of all representatives of the Ukrainian government. Later, the Gestapo also detained the main Ukrainian nationalist, Stepan Bandera, who refused to revoke the act of independence.

Hundreds of nationalists were imprisoned, and many of them were shot. Thus began the bloody Nazi occupation. In the area of ​​the Citadel, the German authorities organized a concentration camp in which more than 140 thousand prisoners of war were killed, as well as the Yanovsky concentration camp, where Jews were killed, and the Lviv ghetto.

In the period from 1942 to 1944. in Lviv there was a communist underground called the People’s Guard of the Frank. One of his representatives, intelligence officer Nikolai Kuznetsov, succeeded in eliminating the vice-governor of the district, Galicia Bauer, as well as the head of the office of Schneider.

German terror in Lviv continued until June 27, 1944, when the Red Army entered the city. On July 23, the operation began for the Home Army, commanded by General Vladislav Filipovsky.The goal was to establish the Polish government and gain advantageous positions in the negotiations on the border between Poland and the Ukrainian SSR. The next day, Soviet troops surrounded the city and took it two days later. After the approval of the Soviet authorities in Lviv, the leadership of the Home Army was invited to a meeting with the commanders of the Red Army and taken into custody by the NKVD.

lions photo story

the USSR

When the Second World War ended, a turning point began in the history of the city of Lviv. The city became part of the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic (USSR). The main part of the Poles who lived in the city went to Poland, mainly to its western part. The national composition of Lviv was changed, as many traditional ethnic groups (Jews, Poles and Germans) were either transported or destroyed. The Polish language and all its regional variants gradually fell out of use. The Ukrainian language became dominant for the first time in the history of the city of Lviv. In Russian, they also began to speak here, but not so massively.

250 million rubles were received from the All-Union budget for the restoration and development of the city. Highly qualified specialists and scientists came here from all over the country.From Leningrad, Sverdlovsk, Moscow and a number of other cities, construction materials, transport, equipment, etc. were supplied to Lviv.

Along with positive changes were negative, in particular, the suppression of the Ukrainian national movement by the Soviet government and the eradication of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church began. The parishes of the latter were transferred to the Orthodox Russian Church. When Stalin died, Soviet policy became more tolerant, and Lviv approved its status as the most important center of Ukrainian culture.

In the 50s and 60s of the XX century, Lviv grew significantly both geographically and demographically. Many famous plants and factories from Eastern Ukraine were moved here. By the beginning of the 80s, 137 large enterprises operated in the city. At their facilities produced diverse products: from buses to kitchen utensils.

Science was developing no less intensively in the city. By the beginning of the 80s, 3 institutes of the Ukrainian Academy of Sciences Academy, dozens of research and design institutes, 11 universities, as well as branches and branches of academic institutions operated in Lviv. An important event for the city was the creation in 1971 of the Western Scientific Center of the Academy of Sciences of the Ukrainian SSR.

In Soviet times, Lviv remained the most important cultural center.By the end of the 70s, there were five theaters, about 40 cinemas, 46 palaces of culture, a circus, a philharmonic society, 12 major museums and more than 350 libraries.

Independent Ukraine

In 1991, the USSR broke up into independent states. For the first time in history, Lviv sighed freely and became the vanguard of the nationalist changes of the time. In 1998, the historic center of the city and the Cathedral of St. George were listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. On May 14 and 15, 1998, the 6th Summit of Heads of Central European States was held at the Lviv Palace of Railwaymen. It addressed the theme of the human dimension of pan-European and regional integration, as well as its role in building a new Europe. In the early summer of 2001, the city was visited by Pope John Paul II. He celebrated the Mass according to the Latin rite and participated in the liturgy of the Byzantine rite.

lions history

Modern Lviv

Having reviewed briefly the history of the city of Lviv, let's get acquainted with its modern look. Today, Lviv is a compact, fairly comfortable city for living. On the territory of 171 km2lives a little less than 800 thousand people. By ethnicity, the city can be safely called a multinational.70% of the population falls on Ukrainians, and the remaining 30 are divided between Russians, Poles, Jews, Armenians, Germans, Czechs and representatives of 83 more nationalities.

In terms of tourism, Lviv is the most popular city in Ukraine and is included in the rating of cities in the world that you should definitely visit. Thanks to its successful location and eventful history, it literally became an open-air museum. The city has more than 2 thousand attractions, half of which are architectural monuments of Ukraine. This illustrates the different periods in the history of Lviv. The sights of the city are mainly concentrated in its compact center. But in order to fully get acquainted with them, it will take more than one week.

If the time and budget of the trip are limited, then the emphasis should be placed on the main highlights of Lviv:

  1. Ride the tram. Trams, masterfully scurrying through the narrow streets of Lviv, are considered one of its symbols. Most routes pass through the historic center of the city. Thus, for a couple of hryvnia, you can quickly explore the main monuments of the city’s architecture.
  2. Cathedrals.In Lviv there are many churches, temples, cathedrals and churches, visiting which, if desired, you can fit in one walk.
  3. Inspection of the city from Castle Hill or the Town Hall Tower. From a bird's eye view, Lviv is especially beautiful.
  4. The courtyards, many of which have retained their old look, let you feel the soul of the city.
  5. Restaurants One of the main modern "highlights" of Lviv is a rich assortment of themed cafes and restaurants. Almost every institution of the city is a separate attraction and attraction for tourists.
  6. Coffee and chocolate. These two products are considered another symbol of Lviv.
  7. Lychakovo cemetery. A completely unique place is the majestic Lviv necropolis, many of which are from the Polish and Austro-Hungarian periods in the history of Lviv.
  8. Guided tours of the city. For a small fee here they offer a huge number of exciting excursions, allowing not only to admire the sights, but also to listen to interesting stories about Lviv.
  9. Even in a city as spoiled by stunning architecture as Lviv, the opera house,not to mention its luxurious interior, it seems something special. No wonder that “Lviv Opera” is considered to be a decoration of the whole of Europe.
  10. Museums. Lviv is not only a city-museum, but also a city of museums. There are quite a few of them here. Therefore, everyone can choose for themselves the most appropriate subject and learn more about the history of Lviv. Photos, ancient things and documents will contribute to that.


The rich history of Lviv, summarized above, illustrates how versatile and interesting this city is. No wonder many tourists say that a trip to Lviv is equivalent to a trip to Europe, only it does not require a visa. Lviv is an open-air museum of history and a storehouse of Western-Ukrainian flavor.

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