Lviv – The Last Hidden Gem of Europe
The charm of Lviv is catching and can transform one’s mood from the moment of arrival. Phil Black at CNN in London called Lviv, “The European cultural capital you’ve never heard of” (July, 2012). It’s vibrant population of 750 000 people is young and is seen everywhere in bustling outdoor cafes and beer gardens with a paint box of colourful flowers and mix of European cuisine. The Lonely Planet ranked Lviv in the TOP 10 best destinations in Europe in 2016. And Anne Applebaum wrote, “Lviv has the ambiance of Prague of Krakow, but without the prices or the crowds”. (The Wall St.Journal, June 2, 2015).
Lviv’s contributions to science and medicine are greater than these few examples. The first oil lamp in the world was invented by chemists, Johan Zeg and Ignacy Lukasiewicz in Lviv in 1853 when they discovered paraffin oil, still used by one-third of the world’s population. The first typhoid vaccine was developed by Rudolf Stephan Weigl (1883–1957), who founded the Weigl Institute in Lviv. KPMG recognized Lviv as a top emerging IT destination in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, and many refer to Lviv as the “silicon valley of Europe.” Stanislaw Ulan was a native of Lviv and one of the inventors of the hydrogen bomb.
History and Architecture
Lviv was founded by King Danylo Halytskyi in the 13th century and was named after his son Lev, which means lion. Over the past 100 years Lviv has had a changing international parentage — Austro-Hungary, Russia, West Ukrainian People’s Republic, Poland, Germany, Soviet Union and independent Ukraine. The charming city center with its narrow, cobblestone walkways and mix of Byzantine, Neo-Classical, Renaissance, and Baroque architecture was named a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1998. The stately and elaborate opera house, theatres, and multiple cathedrals and churches can give the viewer a sore neck from looking upward. More than 2 500 architectural monuments and 5 ancient castles around the city add to the flavour of a rich European cultural community.
Price and Value
The favourable exchange rate of the Euro and U.S. Dollar make Lviv an attractive and efficient place to visit. This means that meals and shopping are more affordable in Lviv than in Western Europe or the U.S. It is easy to have a meal in a good restaurant in Lviv for €15, and ballet tickets, which are about $160 in New York, are €15 in Lviv. The reputation of Lviv as a tourist destination has grown, with 2.2 ml visitors to the city in 2018. All these are estimates made at the time of this flyer.
Lviv Opera and Ballet Theatre
Designed by Austrian architect, Zygmunt Gorgolewski in 1898, it has been compared to the Paris and Vienna Opera Houses. The selected site was a river, which had to be filled in pre-construction. Above the main cornice of the façade are statues of 8 muses. On the fronton above is a sculptural triad of winged bronze figures of Drama, Comedy and Tragedy. An alternating repertoire of ballet and opera operate year-long.
House of Scientists
A former casino for Lviv’s elite classes, The House of Scientists is an elaborate neo-Baroque architectural icon with a grand meandering staircase. The building was designed by the famous Austrian company Fellner and Helmer in 1898 and continues to stun visitors. The bold colors and gilding, antique European furniture, and underground restaurant, Art Maestro, made it the right choice for the Presidential Summit for Central Europe in 1999.
The Lviv Chocolate Manufacturing
Right in the center of town, one walks past the Chocolate Manufacturing Company and sees huge swirls of chocolate ribbons behind the glass exterior. Best of all, this is also a café, with a chocolate store selling all kinds of beautifully packaged chocolate on the 3rd floor. It is always packed with people.
The Lviv Philharmonic
The Lviv Philharmonic Symphony has been in continuous operation for over two centuries. In the early 20th century, the orchestra attracted guest luminaries Gustav Mahler, Richard Strauss, and Ruggero Leoncavallo. Today, it has a robust repertoire in Lviv and travels all over Western Europe for performances. Frequent art exhibits in the lobby add appeal.
This restaurant pays homage to the Baczewski family, old vodka distillers and now the name of the prettiest restaurant in the city. Glass ceilings and greenery give the feeling of a garden party, enhanced by over-sized white bird cages with bright yellow canaries chirping their melodies. Ukrainian menu.
The museum, situated in the spacious park, operates as the largest open-air museum of its kind in Europe. Its aim is to preserve the wooden folk architecture, everyday life and art artifacts that depict daily routine, work and leisure of Western Ukrainian villages of the last 3 centuries. Offering workshops on traditional crafts and hosting various festivals, the museum is visited by 165 000 people annually.
This Neo-Renaissance architectural palace once belonged to one of Central Europe’s most powerful and influential families, the Potocki family. Three grand halls with ornate molding, marble fireplaces, and a stately Mirror Hall make it desirable for diplomatic and cultural events; among which were the Presidential Summit for Central Europe in 1999, UEFA reception with Michel Platini in 2012. This palace is a branch of the Lviv Art Gallery with European paintings from the 14th–18th centuries. Open daily.
Center of Beer Culture
A beer museum in the Lvivska Brewery, the oldest brewery in Ukraine, betrays its historical beginnings with its arch-original design. The multi levels with hundreds of arced wooden pieces on the interior ceiling look more like a design studio than a brewery. It shows the history of brewing through a fantasy of water, malt and hops, and offers tastings at the round bar on the
3rd floor. The city has got rich collection of Art objects at private galleries and museums.
Ivan Franko National University of Lviv
Ivan Franko University, founded in 1661, is a classical higher education establishment with scientific emphasis, old traditions, and modern innovation approaches. It is comprised of 17 faculties for over 22,000 students in under-graduate, masters, and doctoral programs. Ivan Franko University is located in the center of the city with ample capacity for large plenary sessions and numerous break-out rooms.
• Assembly Hall: 600 pax
• Reading Hall: 200 pax
• Seminar halls: 50-100 pax
• Airport: 6.3 km
• City Centre: 1 km