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Lviv is one of the richest towns in Ukraine as to the number and value of historical and architectural monuments representing the architectural styles and trends of different times — from Old Russian to Art Nouveau. The physical planning of Lviv, which came into being in the mid-13th century, is analogous to that of other towns of Old Rus. It has practically gone and can be traced in the retained names of some streets and in toponyms: Zamkova (Castle St.), Pid Bramkoyu (At the Entrance Gate), Stary Rynok (Old Marketplace), Murovany Mist (Stone Bridge).

Nickolay Kravtsov's project Moments from the Past of Lviv


The Princely Lviv consisted of two parts: the fortified Dytynets (Castle) on High Hill and the Posad (Settlement) at its foot, where tradesmen and artisans lived. The dwelling houses, except for the Dytynets and a few churches, were wooden. Monumental construction in those times was carried on in traditions of the Old Rus architectural school.

A relic coming down to us from that period is the Church of St. Nicholas (late 13th c.). It is a peculiar cross-shaped structure with three apses and two cupolas: one over the central volume and the other over the altar. Other examples of the late 13th and early 14th centuries are the churches of St. Paraskeva Piatnitsa and of St. Onufry which later were restructured. The mid-14th century is represented by the cathedrals of St. John the Baptist and of St. Mary of Snows.


Gothic Lviv Guide
In the middle of the 14th century, a new settlement was rising in the southern Posad of the Princely Town. In keeping with the then architectural concepts of West-European town-building, it was fortified with stone walls and towers had a regular housing development with a central square and the town hall in it.

Up to the 16th century, both wooden and masonry architecture were equally common in housing construction, with the stylistic prevalence of Gothic.

The earliest relics of this style are the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist (middle and second half of the 14th c.) and the Latin Cathedral (architects: Nichko, M. Hanseke, J. Grom, A. Rabisz, H. Blecher, the 1360s—1493). At the same time, the traditions of Old-Russian architecture were maintained in engineering, for example, the construction of the Armenian Cathedral which was then under way (archit. Doring, 1363).


Renaissance Lviv Guide
Beginning with the mid-16th century, the humanistic tendencies of the Renaissance penetrated into the spiritual and material culture of Lviv. They were most brightly embodied in architecture, this being stipulated by an influx to Lviv of skilful builders from Italy, chiefly from its northern provinces. Chronologically, the Renaissance took shape in Lviv within the second half of the 16th and the first third of the 17th centuries.

For this rather short span of time quite a number of architectural monuments had been created and the best among them was the ensemble of the Assumption Church: the Kornyakt Belltower (archit. P. di Barbona, 1572), the Chapel of the Three Prelates (archit. A. Pidlisny, 1590), the Church of the Assumption proper (archit. P. Romano, W. Kapinos, A. Prykhylny, 1591 — 1629).

Other examples of Lviv Renaissance architecture are the Boims Chapel (archit. A. Bemer(?), 1609—1615) and the Campianos Chapel at the Latin Cathedral (late 16th c.— 1629), the Church of the Bernardines (archit. P. Romano, A. Prykhylny, 1600—1630), the Church of the Benedictines (archit. P. Romano, J. Pokorowicz, late 16th c.— first half of the 17th c.), houses in Rynok Square — No.4 (1589), No.6 (archit. P. di Barbona, 1580) and No.28 (early 17th c.).


Baroque in Lviv
In the 1630s in Lviv architecture the Renaissance gave way to a new style — the Baroque.

This style was initiated in the construction of the Jesuits Cathedral (archit. D. Briano, 1610—1630) and the Purification Cathedral of the Barefooted Carmelites Convent (archit. D.B. Gizleni, 1644 — late 17th c.) notable for their rich ornamentation of the facades.

The Church of St. Michael of the Barefooted Carmelites Monastery (1634) and the Church of St. Paraskeva Piatnitsa (1644), with its valuable iconostasis of that period, are devoid of superfluous decoration. A remarkable architectural monument of the late Baroque, crowning the Baroque period in Lviv engineering, is the Dominicans Cathedral (archit. Jan de Witte, 1745—1770).


Classicism in Lviv
The Classicism, that superseded the Baroque, did not gain any significant development in the town's architecture. Its approximate time limits are the late 18th and mid-19th centuries.

A few noteworthy examples of the style are: the building of the Maria Zankovetska Ukrainian Drama Theatre (archit. L. Pikhl and J. Zaltsman, 1837 — 1842), the Museum of Natural History (archit. V. Rayevsky (Senior), 1830s), the Palace of Latin Archbishops (archit. J. Zaltsman, 1844), House No. 4 Krakivska Street (early 19th c., redesign).


Eclecticism in Lviv
The style that originated as far back as the mid-19th century and prevailed up to the end of the century was the Eclecticism which adopted the features of the Gothic, Renaissance and other architectural styles.

This style is aptly represented by: the Opera House (archit. Z. Gorgolewski, 1897—1900) and the building of the former Museum of Arts and Crafts (archit. L. Marconi and J. Janowski, 1904).


Art Nouveau in Lviv
Relics of the Art Nouveau that emerged as a reaction to the Eclecticism and took shape in the early 20th century are very numerous in Lviv, but there are very few of them on the territory of the Historical and Architectural Preserve.

These are: House No.32 Rynok Square (archit. M. Luzhetsky, 1912), and House No.5 B. Khmelnitsky Street (archit. R. Felinsky, early 20th c.). A valuable sculptural piece is the monument to A. Mickiewicz (sculpt: A. Popel and M. Parashchuk, 1905).

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