Lviv in Pictures
Introducing Western Ukraines biggest City in 18 High Quality Pictures
Here is the thing: Lviv is Poland, not Ukraine.
Lviv may be officially part of Ukraine, but historically Western Ukraine has been anything but Ukrainian. Be it under Polish or Habsburgian rule, Western Ukraine has an entirely different history then the rest of the country.
And boy does it show. Introducing Lviv in Pictures you can get yourself ready for Svastikas, a Jurassic Park-style goat and some outrageous fridge magnets. Here we go.
Lviv in Pictures
We start our picture journey at Lviv’s railway station that has this cool Eastern European domed structure:
Walking towards the center we pass by the central bus station:
Once you are past the area around the railway station things start to get interesting. Walking towards the center I first was impressed by the Eurotrip “We are in Bratislava”-like high-rise residential buildings.
Built in the Soviet era living in the houses actually was very sought after since they all had central heating, hot water etc. Many of the older buildings didnt have that.
I kept on walking down until the scenerey changed just a tiny little bit.
Looking right I was confronted with this sight:
While you will find the same type of Soviet-style buildings scattered all over Europe, even more so in Eastern Europe, it was seeing a goat eating grass all by itself that made me realize that I was in Ukraine.
I laughed out loud. Then I kept on walking.
As soon as things got more urban I came by some deserted factories. Here is some street graffiti of the Anti-facist Action that has been altered by Neonazis.
This picture, taken through dense fences, shows a land-land missile.
The outdated piece of military equipment serves as decoration for the nearby cadet school, located almost in the city center of Lviv.
Right next to the cadet school is a monument that reminds of the war against Nazi Germany.
10 more minutes of walking and..tatá! We are right in the heart of Lviv Ukraine.
As if it was an unwritten rule for all 500,000+ cities in the area, Lviv, like Krakow or Wroclaw in nearby Poland, has an ancient market (Rynok) as its geographical center.
Personally, I think that the downtown market squares of Wroclaw and Krakow are much nicer. Nonetheless, Lviv’s Rynok is quite the attraction in itself. The ten thousands of Ukrainians who come to visit Lviv every summer think alike.
Prospekt Svoboda is the main avenue of Lviv. It’s full of benches, miniature train rides and … people promoting all kinds of things like nightclubs, restaurant vouchers and the occasional group of schoolgirls that collect change to support the Ukrainian troops in the war in the East.
The official nomenclature for the conflict in the Donbass region is not “war” or “conflict”, but: “ATO”, meaning “Anti-Terror Organizatziy”.
Speaking of the conflict in the East Lviv is teeming with supporters for the Ukrainian side of the conflict.
These specimens here had no aggressive vibe abouut them, but ultimately looked like grade-A neonazis. I sat on the benches in the back of the picture and asked an elderly men next to me who these young guys were and if they were facists. His answer: they were “nationalists, not facists”.
Well, after seeing a full-grown svastika engraved in a house’s wall on Torgova Street I wasn’t so sure about what the old man said anymore. This one is meant to stay, too. It’s not graffiti but engraved into the concrete wall with something like a knife or a key.
The Putler Kaput” fridge magnet I bought on Lviv’s own flea- and souvenir market called Vernissage. When noone takes offense at a svastika in the city center then who is the Putler here?
Back on Rynok, the city hall’s watch tower is another tourist attraction. A steep 400 steps are to be climbed until you reach a platform where you will be rewarded with a nice view over the city. Entrance fee? Just 10 Gryvna, which is only 0,40€.
Here is some travel advice for Lviv that you should take to your heart:
When traveling to Lviv avoid the week around August 24 like the plague.
Why? Because August 24 is Ukraine’s Independence from Soviet Russia. On no other day will there be families from all over the country coming to Lviv in order to spend their holidays. That’s right, like Disneyworld in the US Ukraine has its own kind of inner-nation tourism. And Lviv on August 24 is the epicenter of it all.
The area around Rynok will be crowded like you haven’t seen and apartments hotel’s will be booked through the roof. If you haven’t booked long in advance
If you are like me and you are no big fan of hotels in Ukraine then trying to find an apartment in that week can be a kamikaze operation. I am not exaggerating here. Together with my Ukrainian friend Vika I have been making calls to 54 (no joke) apartment offers from miete.com.ua or doba.ua before I was able to get my hands on this apartment in the center:
Due to the Habsburgian history Lviv has maintained a culture of coffee houses, coffee roasting and nice cafes.
The Svit Kavy not has only its own roasting house, but also a cute courtyard cafe with life music. Go here for a short escape from hasty Rynok.
Thats all folks!
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