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At the end of the 19th c. the necessity of forming a historical museum in Lviv be-came imminent. A historian and collector Aleksander Czolowski became the bearer of this idea and put it into practice. Being the director of a small building of ancient acts registry, he accumulated there municipal and guild relics . That was the beginning of the future historical museum; it was informed about in a special Testimonial of the 22nd of December, 1892.

In May, 1908 on the initiative of A. Czolowski, Lviv bought the ancient stone building in 6, Rynok Square and allocated it for the museum aims, namely the National Museum named after King Jan 111.

In 1926 the Historical Museum of Lviv gained its new home -the building in 4, Rynok Square - "Chorna Kamyanytsya" ("The Blackstone House").

The World War II brought changes into life of the museum. On the 8th of May, 1940 the Historical Museum of Lviv and the National Museum named after Jan III were amalgamated into one establishment - the Lviv Historical Museum.

Nowadays the Lviv Historical Museum, one of the richest museums of Ukraine, has in the stock more than 310 thousand museum objects. At the end of the 40s the house in 24, Rynok Square, the so-called Massari building was transferred into its possessions.

The exhibition of the department of history of the Ancient World and the Middle Ages is located in this building. There are unique relics among the archaeological discoveries represented by the department: stone hand rags used over half a million years ago; one of the most ancient musical instruments: a reed-pipe made of bone whichover twenty thousand years old; decorative pottery of tribes of Trypilian one of the most developed European ethnic groups of the fourth - third millenium B.C. Among the rarities there are encolpions - assembled crosses for keeping little parts of relics ons of the saints. There are seventy five of them in the collection.

Painters of different times left for us the views of the prince and medieval town. The most sculpturesque and fascinating one is the canvas "Lviv of the 18th c." painted by Z. Rozwadowski and S. Janowski in 1928.

"Magdeburg Law", a book published in 1581, the city's armorial bearings, attributes of judicial and executive power, arms are the valuable relics of the history of Lviv.

The collection of coins of Lviv mint turns us back to the times when silver and copper money were coined for Chervona (Red) Rus' in the 14-15th c.

Relics of book art tell about richness and peculiarity of Lviv culture. They are "The Apostle of Christinopol" of the 12th c. written in Cyrilic alphabet on parchment; hand-written books of the 15—16th c., a "Note book" of the . 17th c. weighing twenty-eight kg. written on parchment. "Triod' ts-vyetnaya" by Schweipolt Fiol first printed in Slavonic letters in 1491, famous "Ostroh Bible" by I. Fedorov are the most ancient well preserved printed books.

The portrait of Barbara Lang-ish is the pearl of Lviv painting of tiic.' ! 7th c. This poetical character young Lviv woman is a part in collection of coffin portraits w nich is of great artistic and historical value.

Arsenal Museum

I Ancient side-arms and fire-arms (about 5 thousand units), protective arms and military equipment are represented in the Arsenal Museum, opened in 1981 in the building of the former city armoury. The ramparts of the 16th c. are the few ones, that have remained in Lviv till now. Among ancient arms of more than thirty countries of the world side-arms are represented most widely. The knives of the people of the Caucasians and the Arabian East are distinguished for their exquisite ornaments. The stilettos of the 16-17th c. are real works of art. A sample of a sword of the 14th c. on the head of which the cross - the sign of the Teutons - coated with brass is of particular value. The protective arms such as chain armours, coats of mail, shields and helmets are logically combined with the attack arms of ancient warriors. The cuirasses of "a winged husar" (heavy Polish cavalry of the 16-17th c.) which successfully combined elements of eastern and western equipment is the most perfect type of arms. The collection of "winged husars" of Lviv Historical Museum is one of the most interesting and richest ones in Europe. Fire arms are represented with cannons, mortars, guns and others.

The Collection of Art Silver

The virtuosity, sense of beauty and harmony of masters of the past is described in the collection of art silver, which counts several hundreds of saving units of the 15-20th c.

A ring made by a German craftsman of the beginning of the 17th c. which was used by magicians of the past for communicating with the other world, an inkstand with a box with secrets made by an unknown Gdansk (Danzig) craftsman of the middle of the 18th c.; a lock of hair of French Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte framed under glass - all of them fundamentally blend with the interior of Royal Halls. Historic jewellery (furniture, paintings, clocks) underline architectural exquisiteness of recently restored premises.

Literary Lviv of the first half of the 20 c.

The exhibition worth seeing is the one of the Historical Museum branch - "Literary Lviv of the first half of the 20 c.", where in the context of the development of European culture they regard the life and creative work of prominent representatives of Ukrainian vanguard-B.-I. Antonych, S. Hor-dyns'kyi and the others of their contemporaries (18, Hvardiys'ka Street, tel.: 35-10-33).

In the museum there often gather famous Lviv poets, writers, literary scholars, musicians. Classical music performed by famous masters can be heard both in the Royal Halls and in the Italian courtyard. The life in ancient walls which remember Lviv patricians goes on.

The Lviv Historical Museum exhibition is situated in the following premises:

-The Ancient World and the Middle Ages department - 24, Rynok Square.

-The New and the Latest History department - 4, Rynok Square.

-Historical Jewellery department and Exhibition of Art Silver -6, Rynok Square, tel.: 72-06-71.

-Arsenal Museum department - 5, Pidval'na Street, tel.: 72-19-01.

-Sale exhibition of subjects of religious purpose - 5, Pidval'na Street (the socle).

The museum is opened from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. (in winter time) and from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. (spring, summer, autumn). Wednesday is the day off.

 
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