Transfers Lviv - Warsaw - Lviv
The Armenians, who had large colonies in Kiev, Kamianets-Podilsky and the Crimea, were one of the first peoples to settle in Lviv. Forced by the Turks to leave their historical homeland, some of the Armenians moved to Lviv and were granted by Prince Danylo of Halychyna a residential permit. Krakiwska, Lesy Ukrainky and Virmenska Streets circumscribe the present-day Armenian Quarter.
Successful merchants and skillful craftsmen, the Armenians soon formed a strong influential community. The Armenians opened the first bank, “Hora Myloserdia” (“The Mountain of Charity” – “Mons Pius”). They made the best translators and goldsmiths. In the 16th-17th centuries their innate hatred towards the Turks made them spies at the service of Polish Kings. Almost every merchant coming back home from the East had some valuable information to share.
The community owned a school, a publication and a nursing home for elderly people. The Armenian Church in Lviv was headed by a Metropolitan. Such Lviv's celebrities as burgomaster Bartholomew Zimovych, historian Sadok Bronch, the discoverer of spa springs in Trouskavets and Drohobych Theodore Torosevych were all Armenians by origin. The Armenian Cathedral has always been the cultural and religious center for the Lviv Armenians.
After 1939 the Lviv Armenians sufftered a tragic fate. Some of them left iviv and fled to the West, the others perished during the Nazi occupation. Nowadays, the most numerous Lviv Armenian's communities are in Krakow and Warsaw. Several years after World War II the Soviets closed down the cathedral and later turned it into a Lviv National Museum icon storage. It was only in 2003 that the cathedral was returned to the community. Ukrainian and Armenian politicians of the highest ranks, the Armenian Catholicos as well as the famous French songwriter of Armenian origin, Charles Aznavoure, were present at the ceremony of inauguration.