Transfers Lviv - Warsaw - Lviv
1/3, Pidvalna Street
The State Archives of the Lviv Region
Walking down to the Russins Quarter it is not hard to notice the monument to the Russian emigrant and publisher Ivan Fedorov at 13. Pidvalna Street. The location of the monument slightly mars the impression of the Royal Arsenal premises (1639 - 1646, by architect P. Grodzitsky). Due to its strategically fortunate position and exceptional importance to the state, Lviv was under the Royal auspices and had two arsenals - the city arsenal and the royal arsenal. Anyone granted city citizenship was obliged to present or acguire some weapon. Kings strengthened the city's defensive capacity at their own expense. The arsenal's open courtyard was a deadly trap for the enemy, who would be driven back by point-blank fire. Today, the arsenal houses the State archives of the Lviv region.
Every city should have a guardian angel to protect city-dwellers in time of pain and sorrow. Lvtv was not an exception. Sculptures of saints decorated all the city administration buildings; some districts and even houses had their own divine protectors. The statue of Archangel Michael with gilded wings was first set up on top of the Royal Arsenal. He then became the city guardian. During the 1672 Turkish assault the statue was dropped by a cannon ball. Later the statue was returned on its pedestal, yet soon a fitful gust of wind shook the heavy metallic sculpture to the ground.
Regardless of the evil sign, the city refused to break the bonds with the Archangel. Soon they found another appropriate place for the statue, an area that was always bustling with people. Yet... One night several criminals sowed off the gilded wings. Fortunately, it did not take long for the Lviv police to find the vandals. This time it was clear that the statue didn't bring good luck. Thus, to avert danger, the statue was taken to the City Museum and later moved to the Museum of Weaponry. The statue is still there at the end of the exposition with St. Michael trying to kill the devil. In the early 1990s several armed burglars broke into the museum and opened fire. Luckily, the statue of Archangel Michael escaped damage.
Having left the Russin Church courtyard, you will notice the ruins of old fortifications. The name of the street itself, Pidvalna (Basement), indicates that it was once part of the fortress. Under the present-day street's traffic area, there was a water gang. Here on the remains of the fortification rampart, crowned by the only well-preserved part of the fortress, the Cannon Powder Tower, one should listen to the story of the Carmelite Church (22, Vynnychenka Street) and observe the tall walls which can be seen from Rynok Square. Built in 1634 by the architect Ya. Pokorovych, it was decorated in 1731-1732 by K. Pedretti and B. Mazurkevych. History blames the monks of the Carmelite order for letting Swed¬ish King Karl XII in Lviv. They had persuaded the city authorities to let them use a crack in the walls by the Royal Arsenal, the crack through which the Swedish army managed to get into the city.