Located in hill country on the banks of the Poltva river, near the
border with Poland, Lvov is one of a select group of cities on the UNESCO
World Heritage List. With a population over 700,000, Lvov is the
transportation and cultural center of northwestern Ukraine.
Lvov was founded in 1256, and named after the son of its king. As it
grew, it gained some degree of autonomy within the controlling empires.
In the last century, Lvov was a battleground during both World Wars,
suffering as armies from the east and from the west fought battles in the
During World War II, the Nazis created the Lvov Ghetto, housing about
120,000 Jews. Virtually all were killed. Simon Wiesenthal, the noted Nazi
hunter, was one of the few who surviived.
Nine railways lines, both regional and international, serve Lvov.
Lvov's historic churches, buildings and relics date back to the 13th
century. Its architecture reflects a composite of European styles and
historical periods. While most of its gothic architecture was destroyed
by fire in the 16th century, there are numerous buildings constructed in
the renaissance, baroque, and classic styles.
There are many museums and art galleries in Lvov The most notable are
the National Gallery, the Museum of Religion, and the National Museman.
With three major universities, and over 50 research institutes and
colleges, Lvov is one of the most important education centers of Ukraine