Lviv, the capital of Western Ukraine, is a large industrial and commercial centre of Ukraine. Its narrow old streets and its historic centre make it one of the best places in the country.
Lviv was founded as a fort in the mid- 13th century by Danylo Halytsky and was named after his son Lev, which means lion. The lion is the historic symbol of the city. For centuries it has been the Western Ukraine’s main city.
Lviv’s main street is Freedom Avenue. It runs from Mitskevych Square to the Ivan Franko Opera and Ballet Theatre. Also in Freedom Avenue you can see the National Museum which used to be the Lenin Museum. In the middle of the avenue there is a statue of Ukrainian national poet, Taras Shevchenko, and there are always a lot of flowers at its feet.
The Museum of Ethnography, Arts and Crafts, with a statue of Liberty in front, demonstrates furniture and porcelain. Each room presents a different era.
Opposite Lviv University there is a monument to the Ukrainian poet Ivan Franko, from which Ivan Franko Park stretches towards the Hotel “Dniester”.
Lviv’s open-air Museum of Popular Architecture and Life is worth visiting. About 100 old wooden buildings are divided into many ethnographic groups of Western Ukraine.
Shevchenko Avenue attracts people with its beautiful buildings and various shops. There you can find a statue of Mykhailo Hrushevsky, Ukraine’s most famous historian and the country’s first president in 1918. The Museum of Old Ukrainian Culture has a nice display of small, carved wooden Carpathian crosses.
Lviv Picture Gallery has one of the largest collections of European paintings in the country, with over 1000 paintings on display, and 5 000 in storage.
Lviv is also famous for its churches and monasteries, among which are the Roman Catholic Cathedral, Uspensky Church, St George’s Cathedral, Church of St John the Baptist, Jesuit Church and many others. Lviv is also famous for its Museum of Historic Religions.
Inside the Town Arsenal there is the Museum of Old Arms, with a display of various arms taken from over 30 countries.