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Lviv (Львів), Ukraine

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Lviv, UkraineLviv, Ukraine
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Lviv (Ukrainian: Львів, Russian: Львов, German: Lemberg, Polish: Lwów) is a major city in western Ukraine. It is 296 m (971 ft) above sea level and has a population of 760,000 (2011 estimate), within a metropolitan area of 1.5 million people.

Located 70 km from the Polish border, Lviv is closer to Krakow than it is to Kiev. It was a center of Polish and Jewish culture until the Second World War, which decimated the Jewish population, and after the war, the boundary moved west to put in within Ukraine. Despite the upheavals caused by the war, the Old Town of Lviv has been well preserved and is today recognized as a World Heritage Site.

Shpytalna Street, LvivShpytalna Street, Lviv
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Lviv experiences a humid continental climate. Warmest month is June, when the average temperature reaches 18°C (64°F). Coldest month is January, when the average drops to -4°C (25°F). Lviv receives about 760 mm (26 in) of rain a year, mainly during the summer months.

Lviv is a city with many monuments commemorating significant events and famous people. There are no less than eighteen different monuments in the city honoring among them Pope John Paul II, the Virgin Mary, Saint George, the Good Soldier Švejk, and others.

Lychakiv Cemetery, Lviv, UkraineLychakiv Cemetery, Lviv, Ukraine
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The area around Lviv has been inhabited since prehistoric times. Earliest settlement was established here in the 5th century. The city itself was founded by King Daniel of Galicia within the Principality of Halych-Volhynia in the 12th century. Through its long history, Lviv was occupied and ruled by different powers including the Kingdom of Poland, the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth and the Habsburg Empire.

When the Habsburg monarchy was dissolved following the First World War, Lviv became a pawn in the power struggle between Poland and Ukraine, both wanting to add it to their country. Ukrainian troops entered the city in 1918 but faced resistance from the city's Polish majority.

Interior of the Armenian Church, LvivInterior of the Armenian Church, Lviv
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authorshipAlex Zelenko
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Polish sovereignty over Lviv was internatinally recognized in 1923. It was for a while the third largest city in Poland from 1923 until 1945, when Poland ceded its prewar eastern part to the Soviet Union. In February, 1946, Lviv became part of the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic.

Today Lviv has a well-preserved Old Town with many beautiful historic buildings of a variety of architectural styles including Gothic, Renaissance, Baroque and Neo-Classical.

View of Lviv with the Latin CathedralView of Lviv with the Latin Cathedral
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Visiting Lviv

The Lviv International Airport (LWO) receives flights from Kiev, Athens, Istanbul, Moscow, Munich, Prague, Vienna and Warsaw. There are taxis from the airport to downtown Lviv about 7 km away. The fare is 45UAH. There are also trolleybuses from the airport to the city. The fare is only 1-2 UAH.

Interior of the Latin Cathedral, LvivInterior of the Latin Cathedral, Lviv
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Sights & Attractions in Lviv

  1. Armenian Cathedral of the Assumption of Mary
    Church of the Armenian Apostolic Churchn with a history going back to the 14th century.
  2. Golden Rose Synagogue
    The oldest synagogue in Ukraine and a World Heritage Site since 1998.
  3. Latin Cathedral
    Officially the Archcathedral Basilica of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, is the main Roman Catholic church in Lviv.
  4. Lychakiv Cemetery
    A huge cemetery where 400,000 people where buried, including local elites.
  5. St George's Cathedral
    The mother church of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church.

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