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Short city history
Lviv belongs to the ancient but not the oldest cities of Halychyna land. Before its foundation the other famous for their historical significance cities like Halych and Zvenyhorod had already existed.
Lviv was founded by Danylo Romanovych, the prince of Halychyna. The construction of the city in 1250 points to the fact, that the military strategic needs, like protection from the Tatars’ invasions, and also economic needs were the basic grounds.
Lviv together with Halychyna land lived through the common historical destiny, having suffered many a time terrible misfortunes. Prince's city was developed on the trade artery spreading from the Black Sea through Halych-Lviv-Kholm to the Baltic Sea. This trade way went across the Old Market and past numerous churches and monasteries some of which remained staying till our days (they have been erected anew on the old sites or foundations), like St. Paraskeva Church, St. Onufriy Church, and St. Mykolay Church; St. John the Baptizer Church and Roman-Catholic Maria Snizhna Church.
After Princedom of Halychyna gets under the rule of Poland in the 1350s, the great city, to the south of prince's city, in the wide part of water-meadow, is constructed after the modern fashion. Gothic style of the city of those days is expressed in numerous exuberant buildings, Roman-Catholic churches with steeple roofs, built in the suburbs of the Low Castle and living houses, made of stone and wood. The conflagration in 1527 destroyed these remarkable sights completely. The only examples of Gothic architecture are Roman-Catholic Cathedral and some details in the stone buildings in Rynok (Market Place). New city was protected by the High Castle, built at the end of the XIV century on the second mountain, which was higher than Knyazha Mountain. The steep road runs from this mountain to the city. The High Castle was erected by the king Kazimierz III in the 1360s.
At the end of XVI century Lviv acquires new features, these of Renaissance. At that time new stylish buildings, decorated with Renaissance patterns and small galleries, arise in the middle of the city. The first of them are built in the manner of Italian Renaissance, the latter – in the manner of German Renaissance. The remarkable sights that remained since then acquired in Lviv land some local features, very interesting and typical.
Following the second half of the XVII century the slow decay of Lviv begins. It is caused by wars and by domestic political, social and economic reasons. Baroque style, prevailing at those days, is presented in Lviv by the building of Jesuit Cathedral and Monastery in 1610-1740. Lviv fortifications withstood 24 sieges, and there was not a single case when city was taken by storm.
Just after the walls and barrages had been removed, following 1777, the city outskirts begin to widen and merge with the city itself. In those days Lviv architecture is marked by Classicism, Empire style. The enlargement of city is first directed to the west part, to the left bank of the Poltva River, and then it spreads to the south and east. The fact that Lviv turned from the stronghold into the province capital, had to impact the widening of its living space and exterior design according to the new western fashion. This is the beginning of new Lviv.
Intensive industry development falls for the second half of the 19th century. This is the time of discovering oil deposits in Boryslav, establishing railroads, connecting Lviv with the capital of the empire and other European cities, constructing tram lines, introduction of gas illumination followed by electric illumination. New city quarters are built, theatres, expensive hotels, banks rise, and public organizations are established. In 1870 Halychyna is awarded the status of autonomy. Regional Exhibition in 1894 is an important event of economic and cultural life of the Halychyna Ukrainians. The end of the XIX century – beginning of the XX century also is a period of national inspiration among the Halychyna Ukrainians. Lviv becomes the center of national resurrection; famous political and cultural figures live and worke here.
After the World War I the Austro-Hungarian Empire (the part of which Halychyna and Lviv were) collapses. The constituent countries gain independence. On November 1, 1918 the Western Ukrainian Peoples Republic is declared in Lviv. The newly established state only manages to exist a few months. After the Ukrainian Polish bloody war Halychyna again gets under the Polish power for another 20 years.
In 1939, according to Ribbentrop-Molotov Pact, Western Ukraine becomes a member of the USSR. The advent of the Soviet army brings the city cruel civic repression, but in 1941 Soviet army is forced to retreat under the pressure of German troops.
1941-1944 are the years of the Nazi German occupation. Troops of Ukrainian patriots are to conduct unequal struggle both against the Nazi and the communists during the World War II. Underground struggle in Western Ukraine continues till the mid of the 1950s.
In 1944 Lviv becomes a part of the Soviet Ukraine but even during the period of Soviet rule the city manages to save its national identity. Declaration of Ukrainian independence on August 24, 1991 by Verkhovna Rada laid down the beginning of the new epoch in the history of the Ukrainian state and Lviv in particular.
The most famous museums and parks
Lviv is famous for its museums of different orientation, cultural and historical value and for its parks of different area and landscape structure. Among the most famous are: