Lviv had been called ‘truly European’ long before the Ukrainian official Eurointegration path started.
Amazing architecture, trams, a myriad of coffee flavors, bars with home-made liqueurs. A city bursting at the seams with cultural life. Some Ukrainians move here seeking new inspiration. And you know what? They find it!
Once part of the Habsburg monarchy (they called it Lemberg), Lviv became the real stronghold of Ukrainian national resistance during the Soviet times.
Today Lviv competes for the proud name of Ukrainian cultural capital. For example, Leopolis Jazz Festival attracts not only Ukrainians but also jazz fans from the neighboring countries. LvivMozArt breathes new life into classical music events. And some true raves are being organized in the castles nearby!
Our top (and sometimes unobvious) recommendations for you:
1. Have you already heard about Johann Georg Pinsel, mysterious XVIII century Baroque-Rococo sculptor with unknown origins and well-known artistic heritage?
If yes — his museum should definitely form part of your plans in Lviv. If not — you’re really missing out!
During the last 10 years Pinsel’s works from this museum were exhibited in Louvre, Paris and Belvedere, Vienna. Think about it!
2. An operating pharmacy that’s been going since the 18th century? A venue that plays host to numerous exhibitions in its various rooms, not to mention it has underground cellars? Yeah, that’s Lviv!
3. ‘Lviv — the Ensemble of the Historic Centre‘
In 1998 Lviv’s historic center became the second Ukrainian object enrolled in the UNESCO World Heritage List. You may have heard about Daniel of Galicia, King of Ruthenia, who is considered to be the legit founder of Lviv naming the newly-established capital of Western Ukraine after his son Lev and challenging Kyiv’s exclusive significance long before the decentralization reform.
However, the history of Lviv’s historical center had started already in the 5th century, gathering architecture of different epochs through centuries. But why ‘World Heritage’?
Firstly, it is here that the architectural and artistic traditions of Eastern Europe meet those of Italy and Germany combining to create a mixed yet harmonious area of 120 hectares.
Secondly, a number of ethnic groups with different cultural and religious traditions have established themselves here as separate yet interdependent communities within the city. The evidence of these varied communities is still visible in the modern townscape.
In other words, take different cultural identities, authentic traditions and religious views & stir them altogether in a very respectful way letting them interact but not turning them into a bland hodgepodge.
Success: you have managed to create a multicultural society that works and the UNESCO guys are on their way.
Detailed tourist information about Lviv (where to go, what to eat, how the municipal transport system functions, which guide to hire, what the upcoming events are etc.) you can always find here.