Unofficially, the city of Lviv is called the cultural capital of Ukraine. It was founded in the distant 13th century by a Galician prince Danylo Romanovych (Halytskyi) and named after his son Lev (eng., the Lion). That’s why today the most popular informal name of Lviv is - the lion's city. Throughout its history, Lviv was under the control of many European countries, particularly Poland, Austria, Germany and Russia, and inherited from each of its invaders a certain part of the culture. Lviv conceals the genuine beauty of exquisite architecture. Its streets hide a lot of mysteries, underground passages and interesting legends which attracts more and more tourists every year. I am not able to tell you everything about the lion's city in one article, but I can start our story with its heart – Rynok Square, where history meets gastronomy.
The architecture of the central part of the city is mostly attributed to the Renaissance with Gothic elements. Renowned architects from all over the world created buildings on Rynok Square. Aforetime, all buildings on the square bore the name of their owners and had no numbering. Only the wealthy merchants and aristocrats could build a house here. There were also restrictions on the floors. Only nobles and higher clergy were allowed to build more than three-floor houses. Each house had not only a unique architecture but also its own color. The heart of Lviv is not large - only 142 by 129 meters. There are 44 buildings, with the City Hall in the center. However, this very small area opens for us the soul of a magnificent city. In 1998, the central part of the city was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Each walk around Lviv starts from Rynok Square. There are several interesting museums, many thematic restaurants and cafes. If you are not afraid of heights, you should climb the top of the City Hall. The Pharmacy Museum "Under the Black Eagle" will definitely attract your attention. Here, you will see the oldest pharmacy in Europe, learn about the history of medicine making, see the old laboratory and be able to get into pharmacy cellars. For those who were interested in the history of the city, I would definitely advise to visit the Bandinelli Palace, walk through the halls of The Korniakt Palace (Lviv Historical Museum) with the famous Italian Courtyard.
Rynok Square is famous for its themed restaurants. Here, you can find the most expensive restaurant in Lviv the Masonic Lodge. You have to be careful because the menu contains prices with a few extra nulls. The most famous thematic restaurant of Lviv is Kryjivka. Undoubtedly, this is a legendary place. The interior is in the style of a hidden place of the Ukrainian Insurgent Army. In Kryjivka, you can order Ukrainian dishes and drinks. It works 24 hours a day. The most famous entertainment institution on the square is the Beer Theater Pravda (eng. the truth). Here, the best brewers from Ukraine, USA, the Czech Republic and Belgium are brought together. In the evenings, the audience entertains the whole orchestra, which delights guests with world-famous hits. The heart of the lion's city, where history meets gastronomy, is very young and dynamic. You will definitely want to come back here.
Сover photo © credits: iStock/Ruslan Lytvyn
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