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Capital city of Lviv Oblast in western Ukraine

Top 10 Lviv related articles


Ukrainian: Львів
Lviv is open to the world
Location of Lviv in Ukraine
Lviv (Europe)
Coordinates: 49°49′48″N 24°00′51″E / 49.83000°N 24.01417°E / 49.83000; 24.01417Coordinates: 49°49′48″N 24°00′51″E / 49.83000°N 24.01417°E / 49.83000; 24.01417
Country  Ukraine
Oblast  Lviv Oblast
Magdeburg law1356
 • MayorAndriy Sadovyi
 • City of regional significance182.01 km2 (70.27 sq mi)
296 m (971 ft)
 (January 2021)
 • City of regional significance720,383
 • Density4,000/km2 (10,000/sq mi)
 • Metro
 • Demonym
Time zoneUTC+2 (EET)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+3 (EEST)
Postal codes
Area code(s)+380 32(2)
Licence plateBC (before 2004: ТА, ТВ, ТН, ТС)
Sister citiesPlovdiv, Freiburg, Chengdu, Kraków, Lublin, Novi Sad, Przemyśl, Tbilisi, Kutaisi, Winnipeg, Vilnius, Banja Luka, Budapest, Rishon LeZion, Lodz, Rzeszów, Wroclaw, Rochdale

Lviv (Ukrainian: Львів [lʲʋiu̯] ( listen); Polish: Lwów [lvuf] ( listen); German: Lemberg; see also other names) is the largest city in western Ukraine and the seventh-largest city in the country overall, with a population of 720,383 (est.2021).[1] Lviv is one of the main cultural centres of Ukraine.

Named in honour of Leo, the eldest son of Daniel, King of Ruthenia, it was the capital of the Kingdom of Galicia–Volhynia[2] from 1272 to 1349, when it was conquered by King Casimir III the Great of Poland. From 1434, it was the regional capital of the Ruthenian Voivodeship in the Kingdom of Poland. In 1772, after the First Partition of Poland, the city became the capital of the Habsburg Kingdom of Galicia and Lodomeria. In 1918, for a short time, it was the capital of the West Ukrainian People's Republic. Between the wars, the city was the centre of the Lwów Voivodeship in the Second Polish Republic.

After the German-Soviet invasion of Poland in 1939, Lviv became part of the Soviet Union, and in 1944–46 there was a population exchange between Poland and Soviet Ukraine. In 1991, it became part of the independent nation of Ukraine.

Administratively, Lviv serves as the administrative centre of Lviv Oblast and has the status of city of oblast significance.

Lviv was the centre of the historical regions of Red Ruthenia and Galicia. The historical heart of the city, with its old buildings and cobblestone streets, survived Soviet and German occupations during World War II largely unscathed. The city has many industries and institutions of higher education such as Lviv University and Lviv Polytechnic. Lviv is also the home of many cultural institutions, including a philharmonic orchestra and the Lviv Theatre of Opera and Ballet.[3] The historic city centre is on the UNESCO World Heritage List.

Lviv Intro articles: 19


Besides its Ukrainian name, and its ancient Ruthenian name of Lwihorod[4]/Lvihorod[5] the city is also known by several other names in different languages: Polish: Lwów; German: Lemberg[6]; Yiddish: לעמבערג‎, Lemberg, or לעמבעריק, Lèmberik; Russian: Львов, Lvov; Hungarian: Ilyvó; Serbo-Croatian: Lavov; Romanian: Liov; Latin: Leopolis[7] (meaning "lion city", from Ancient Greek, Λέων Πόλις Leon Polis); Crimean Tatar: İlbav; Middle Armenian: Իլով, Ilov; Armeno-Kipchak Իլօվ, Ilôv; see also other names.[8][9]

Lviv Names articles: 9


The coat of arms, the banner of the Lviv City Council and the logo are the officially approved symbols of Lviv. The names or images of architectural and historical monuments are also considered the symbols of the city by the Statute of Lviv.[10]

Lviv's modern coat of arms is based on the coat of arms from the city seal from the middle of the 14th century—a stone gate with three towers, in the opening of the gate of which walks a golden lion. Lviv's large coat of arms is a shield with the coat of arms of the city, crowned with a silver city crown with three edges, held by a lion and an ancient warrior.

Lviv's flag is a blue square banner with the city emblem image and yellow and blue triangles at the edges.

Lviv's logo is an image of five colorful towers in Lviv and the slogan "Lviv is open to the world" under them.[11] The Latin phrase Semper fidelis (Always True) was used as a motto on the former coat of arms of 1936-1939, but was no longer used after the Second World War.

Lviv Symbolics articles: 5


Lviv satellite view (Sentinel-2,
14 August 2017)

Lviv is on the edge of the Roztochia Upland, about 70 kilometres (43 miles) from the Polish border and 160 kilometres (99 miles) from the eastern Carpathian Mountains. The average altitude of Lviv is 296 metres (971 feet) above sea level. Its highest point is the Vysokyi Zamok (High Castle), 409 meters (1342 feet) above sea level. This castle has a commanding view of the historic city centre with its distinctive green-domed churches and intricate architecture.

The old walled city was at the foothills of the High Castle on the banks of the River Poltva. In the 13th century, the river was used to transport goods. In the early 20th century, the Poltva was covered over in areas where it flows through the city; the river flows directly beneath Lviv's central street, Freedom Avenue (Prospect Svobody), and the Lviv Theatre of Opera and Ballet.


Lviv's climate is humid continental (Köppen climate classification Dfb) with cold winters and warm summers.[12] The average temperatures are −3 °C (27 °F) in January and 18 °C (64 °F) in July.[13] The average annual rainfall is 745 mm (29 in) with the maximum in summer.[13] Mean sunshine duration per year at Lviv is about 1,804 hours.[14]

Climate data for Lviv (1981–2010, extremes 1936–present)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 13.8
Average high °C (°F) −0.1
Daily mean °C (°F) −3.1
Average low °C (°F) −6.1
Record low °C (°F) −28.5
Average precipitation mm (inches) 40
Average rainy days 9 9 11 14 16 17 16 14 14 14 13 11 158
Average snowy days 17 17 11 3 0.1 0 0 0 0 1 8 15 72
Average relative humidity (%) 83 81 77 69 71 74 75 76 79 80 84 85 78
Mean monthly sunshine hours 64 79 112 188 227 238 254 222 179 148 56 37 1,804
Source 1: Pogoda.ru.net,[13]
Source 2: NOAA (sun only 1961–1990)[14]

Lviv Geography articles: 12


Archaeologists have demonstrated that the Lviv area was settled by the 5th century.[15] The area between Stilsko and Lviv was settled by White Croats[16][17] and the area between the Castle Hill and the river Poltva was settled by the Lendians (Lędzianie), a West Slavic tribe since the 9th century.[18] The city of Lviv was founded in 1250 by King Daniel of Galicia (1201–1264) in the Principality of Halych of Kingdom of Rus' and named in honour of his son Lev[19] as Lvihorod[20][21][22] which is consistent with names of other Ukrainian cities, such as Myrhorod, Sharhorod, Novhorod, Bilhorod, Horodyshche, and Horodok.

A 17th century portrait depicting Knyaz Lev of Galicia-Volhynia with the city of Lviv in the background

Earlier there was a settlement in the form of a borough with a characteristic layout element—an elongated market square. Daniel's foundation of the stronghold was, in fact, its next reconstruction after the Batu Khan invasion of 1240.[23][24]

Lviv was invaded by the Mongols in 1261.[25] Various sources relate the events, which range from destruction of the castle to a complete razing of the town. All sources agree that it was on the orders of the Mongol general Burundai. The Shevchenko Scientific Society (Naukove tovarystvo im. Shevchenka) says that Burundai reduced the order to raze the city. The Galician-Volhynian chronicle states that in 1261 "Said Buronda to Vasylko: 'Since you are at peace with me then raze all your castles'".[26] Basil Dmytryshyn states that the order was implied to be the fortifications as a whole: "If you wish to have peace with me, then destroy [all fortifications of] your towns".[27] According to the Universal-Lexicon der Gegenwart und Vergangenheit the town's founder was ordered to destroy the town himself.[28]

After Daniel's death, King Lev rebuilt the town around 1270 at its present location, choosing Lviv as his residence,[25] and made it the capital of Galicia-Volhynia.[29] The city is first mentioned in the Halych-Volhynian Chronicle regarding the events that were dated 1256. The town grew quickly due to an influx of Polish people from Kraków, Poland, after they had suffered a widespread famine there.[28] Around 1280 Armenians lived in Galicia and were mainly based in Lviv where they had their own Archbishop.[30] In the 13th and early 14th centuries, Lviv was largely a wooden city, except for its several stone churches. Some of them, like the Church of Saint Nicholas, have survived, although in a thoroughly rebuilt form.[31] The town was inherited by the Grand Duchy of Lithuania in 1340 and ruled by voivode Dmytro Dedko, the favourite of the Lithuanian prince Lubart, until 1349.[32]

The region and the region adjacent to Lviv, Leopold, Poland, was a destination of 50,000 Armenians fleeing from the Saljuq and Mongol invasions of Armenia.[33]

Galicia–Volhynia Wars

During the wars over the succession of Galicia-Volhynia Principality in 1339 King Casimir III of Poland undertook an expedition and conquered Lviv in 1340, burning down the old princely castle.[25] Poland ultimately gained control over Lviv and the adjacent region in 1349. From then on the population was subjected to attempts to both Polonize and Catholicize the population.[34] The Lithuanians ravaged Lviv land in 1351 during the Halych-Volhyn Wars[35] with Lviv being plundered and destroyed by prince Liubartas in 1353.[36][37] Casimir built a new city center (or founded a new town) in a basin, surrounded it by walls, and replaced the wooden palace by masonry castle – one of the two built by him.[25][38][39] The old (Ruthenian) settlement, after it had been rebuilt, became known as the Krakovian Suburb.[38]

In 1356 Casimir brought in more Germans and within seven years granted the Magdeburg rights which implied that all city matters were to be resolved by a council elected by the wealthy citizens. The city council seal of the 14th century stated: S(igillum): Civitatis Lembvrgensis. In 1358 the city became a seat of Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Lviv, which initiated the spread of Latin Church onto the Ruthenian lands.

After Casimir had died in 1370, he was succeeded as king of Poland by his nephew, King Louis I of Hungary, who in 1372 put Lviv together with the region of Kingdom of Galicia–Volhynia under the administration of his relative Vladislaus II of Opole, Duke of Opole.[25] When in 1387 Władysław retreated from the post of its governor, Galicia-Volhynia became occupied by the Hungarians, but soon Jadwiga, the youngest daughter of Louis, but also the ruler of Poland and wife of King of Poland Władysław II Jagiełło, unified it directly with the Crown of the Kingdom of Poland.[25]

Kingdom of Poland

Lviv High Castle, fragment of engraving by A. Gogenberg, 17th century

In 1349, the Kingdom of Ruthenia with its capital Lviv was annexed by the Crown of the Kingdom of Poland. The kingdom was transformed into the Ruthenian domain of the Crown with Lwów as the capital. On 17 June 1356 King Casimir III the Great granted it Magdeburg rights. In 1362, the High Castle was completely rebuilt with stone replacing the previous made out of wood. The city's prosperity during the following centuries is owed to the trade privileges granted to it by Casimir, Queen Jadwiga and the subsequent Polish monarchs.[25] Germans, Poles and Czechs formed the largest groups of newcomers. Most of the settlers were polonised by the end of the 15th century, and the city became a Polish island surrounded by Orthodox Ruthenian population.[40]

In 1412, the local archdiocese has developed into the Roman Catholic Metropolis, which since 1375 as diocese had been in Halych.[25] The new metropolis included regional diocese in Lwow (Lviv), Przemysl, Chelm, Wlodzimierz, Łuck, Kamieniec, as well as Siret and Kijow (see Old Cathedral of St. Sophia, Kyiv). First Catholic Archbishop who resided in Lviv was Jan Rzeszowski.

In 1434, the Ruthenian domain of the Crown was transformed into the Ruthenian Voivodeship. In 1444, the city was granted the staple right, which resulted in its growing prosperity and wealth, as it became one of the major trading centres on the merchant routes between Central Europe and Black Sea region. It was also transformed into one of the main fortresses of the kingdom, and was a royal city, like Kraków or Gdańsk. During the 17th century, Lwów was the second largest city of the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth, with a population of about 30,000.

In 1572, one of the first publishers of books in what is now Ukraine, Ivan Fedorov, a graduate of the University of Kraków, settled here for a brief period. The city became a significant centre for Eastern Orthodoxy with the establishment of an Orthodox brotherhood, a Greek-Slavonic school and a printer which published the first full versions of the Bible in Church Slavonic in 1580. A Jesuit Collegium was founded in 1608, and on 20 January 1661 King John II Casimir of Poland issued a decree granting it "the honour of the academy and the title of the university".[41]

The 17th century brought invading armies of Swedes, Hungarians,[42][43] Turks,[44][45] Russians and Cossacks[43] to its gates. In 1648 an army of Cossacks and Crimean Tatars besieged the town. They captured the High Castle, murdering its defenders, but the city itself was not sacked due to the fact that the leader of the revolution Bohdan Khmelnytsky accepted a ransom of 250,000 ducats, and the Cossacks marched north-west towards Zamość. It was one of two major cities in Poland which was not captured during the so-called Deluge: the other one was Gdańsk (Danzig). At that time, Lwów witnessed a historic scene, as here King John II Casimir made his famous Lwów Oath. On 1 April 1656, during a holy mass in Lwów's Cathedral, conducted by the papal legate Pietro Vidoni, John Casimir in a grandiose and elaborate ceremony entrusted the Commonwealth under the Blessed Virgin Mary's protection, whom he announced as The Queen of the Polish Crown and other of his countries. He also swore to protect the Kingdom's folk from any impositions and unjust bondage.

Lviv in a lithograph from 1618

Two years later, John Casimir, in honour of the bravery of its residents, declared Lwów to be equal to two historic capitals of the Commonwealth, Kraków and Wilno. In the same year, 1658, Pope Alexander VII declared the city to be Semper fidelis, in recognition of its key role in defending Europe and Roman-Catholicism from Muslim invasion.

In 1672 it was surrounded by the Ottomans who also failed to conquer it. Three years later, the Battle of Lwów (1675) took place near the city. Lwów was captured for the first time since the Middle Ages by a foreign army in 1704 when Swedish troops under King Charles XII entered the city after a short siege. The plague of the early 18th century caused the death of about 10,000 inhabitants (40% of the city's population).[46]

Habsburg Empire

In 1772, following the First Partition of Poland, the region was annexed by the Habsburg Monarchy to the Austrian Partition. Known in German as Lemberg, the city became the capital of the Kingdom of Galicia and Lodomeria. Lemberg grew dramatically during the 19th century, increasing in population from approximately 30,000 at the time of the Austrian annexation in 1772,[47] to 196,000 by 1910[48] and to 212,000 three years later;[49] while the poverty in Austrian Galicia was raging.[50] In the late 18th and early 19th centuries a large influx of Austrians and German-speaking Czech bureaucrats gave the city a character that by the 1840s were quite Austrian, in its orderliness and in the appearance and popularity of Austrian coffeehouses.[51]

The Racławice Panorama opened in 1894

In 1773, the first newspaper in Lemberg, Gazette de Leopoli, began to be published. In 1784, a latin language university was opened with lectures in German, Polish and even Ruthenian; after closing again in 1805, it was reopened in 1817. By 1825 German became the sole language of instruction.[51]

During the 19th century, the Austrian administration attempted to Germanise the city's educational and governmental institutions. Many cultural organisations which did not have a pro-German orientation were closed. After the revolutions of 1848, the language of instruction at the university shifted from German to include Ukrainian and Polish. Around that time, a certain sociolect developed in the city known as the Lwów dialect. Considered to be a type of Polish dialect, it draws its roots from numerous other languages besides Polish. In 1853, kerosene lamps as street lighting were introduced by Ignacy Łukasiewicz and Jan Zeh. Then in 1858, these were updated to gas lamps, and in 1900 to electric ones.

Lviv at the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries

After the so-called "Ausgleich" of February 1867, the Austrian Empire was reformed into a dualist Austria-Hungary and a slow yet steady process of liberalisation of Austrian rule in Galicia started. From 1873, Galicia was de facto an autonomous province of Austria-Hungary with Polish and Ruthenian, as official languages. Germanisation was halted and the censorship lifted as well. Galicia was subject to the Austrian part of the Dual Monarchy, but the Galician Sejm and provincial administration, both established in Lviv, had extensive privileges and prerogatives, especially in education, culture, and local affairs. In 1894, the General National Exhibition was held in Lviv.[52] The city started to grow rapidly, becoming the fourth largest in Austria-Hungary, according to the census of 1910. Many Belle Époque public edifices and tenement houses were erected, with many of the buildings from the Austrian period, such as the Lviv Theatre of Opera and Ballet, built in the Viennese neo-Renaissance style.

The Galician Sejm (till 1918), since 1920 the Jan Kazimierz University

During Habsburg rule, Lviv became one of the most important Polish, Ukrainian and Jewish cultural centres. In Lviv, according to the Austrian census of 1910, which listed religion and language, 51% of the city's population was Roman Catholics, 28% Jews, and 19% belonged to the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church. Linguistically, 86% of the city's population used the Polish language and 11% preferred the Ruthenian.[50] At that time, Lviv was home to a number of renowned Polish-language institutions, such as the Ossolineum, with the second-largest collection of Polish books in the world, the Polish Academy of Arts, the National Museum (since 1908), the Historical Museum of the City of Lwów (since 1891), the Polish Copernicus Society of Naturalists, the Polish Historical Society, Lwów University, with Polish as the official language since 1882, the Lwów Scientific Society, the Lwów Art Gallery, the Polish Theatre, and the Polish Archdiocese.

Furthermore, Lviv was the centre of a number of Polish independence organisations. In June 1908, Józef Piłsudski, Władysław Sikorski and Kazimierz Sosnkowski founded here the Union of Active Struggle. Two years later, the paramilitary organisation, called the Riflemen's Association, was also founded in the city by Polish activists.

At the same time, Lviv became the city where famous Ukrainian writers (such as Ivan Franko, Panteleimon Kulish and Ivan Nechuy-Levytsky) published their work. It was a centre of Ukrainian cultural revival. The city also housed the largest and most influential Ukrainian institutions in the world, including the Prosvita society dedicated to spreading literacy in the Ukrainian language, the Shevchenko Scientific Society, the Dniester Insurance Company and base of the Ukrainian cooperative movement, and it served as the seat of the Ukrainian Catholic Church. Lviv was also a major centre of Jewish culture, in particular as a centre of the Yiddish language, and was the home of the world's first Yiddish-language daily newspaper, the Lemberger Togblat, established in 1904.[53]

First World War

Lemberg (Lviv, Lwów) in 1915

In the Battle of Galicia at the early stages of the First World War, Lviv was captured by the Russian army in September 1914 following the Battle of Gnila Lipa. The Lemberg Fortress fell on 3 September. The historian Pál Kelemen provided a first-hand account of the chaotic evacuation of the city by the Austro-Hungarian Army and civilians alike.[54] The town was retaken by Austria-Hungary in June the following year. Lviv and its population, therefore, suffered greatly during the First World War as many of the offensives were fought across its local geography causing significant collateral damage and disruption.

Polish–Ukrainian War

The Lwów Eaglets, teenage soldiers who fought on the Polish side during the Battle of Lwów
Ukrainian Sich Riflemen fought on the Ukrainian side in November 1918. The picture was made by one of the contemporaries of event.

After the collapse of the Habsburg Monarchy at the end of the First World War Lviv became an arena of battle between the local Polish population and the Ukrainian Sich Riflemen. Both nations perceived the city as an integral part of their new statehoods which at that time were forming in the former Austrian territories. On the night of 31 October – 1 November 1918 the Western Ukrainian People's Republic was proclaimed with Lviv as its capital. 2,300 Ukrainian soldiers from the Ukrainian Sich Riflemen (Sichovi Striltsi), which had previously been a corps in the Austrian Army, took control over Lviv. The city's Polish majority opposed the Ukrainian declaration and began to fight against the Ukrainian troops.[55] During this combat an important role was taken by young Polish city defenders called Lwów Eaglets.

The Ukrainian forces withdrew outside Lwów's confines by 21 November 1918, after which elements of Polish soldiers began to loot and burn much of the Jewish and Ukrainian quarters of the city, killing approximately 340 civilians (see: Lwów pogrom).[56] The retreating Ukrainian forces besieged the city. The Sich riflemen reformed into the Ukrainian Galician Army (UHA). The Polish forces aided from central Poland, including General Haller's Blue Army, equipped by the French, relieved the besieged city in May 1919 forcing the UHA to the east.

Despite Entente mediation attempts to cease hostilities and reach a compromise between belligerents the Polish–Ukrainian War continued until July 1919 when the last UHA forces withdrew east of the River Zbruch. The border on the River Zbruch was confirmed at the Treaty of Warsaw, when in April 1920 Field Marshal Pilsudski signed an agreement with Symon Petlura where it was agreed that for military support against the Bolsheviks the Ukrainian People's Republic renounced its claims to the territories of Eastern Galicia.

In August 1920 Lviv was attacked by the Red Army under the command of Aleksandr Yegorov and Stalin during the Polish–Soviet War but the city repelled the attack.[57] For the courage of its inhabitants Lviv was awarded the Virtuti Militari cross by Józef Piłsudski on 22 November 1920.

On 23 February 1921, the council of the League of Nations declared that Galicia (including the city) lay outside the territory of Poland and that Poland did not have the mandate to establish administrative control in that country, and that Poland was merely the occupying military power of Galicia (as a whole[58]), whose sovereign remained the Allied Powers and fate would be determined by the Council of Ambassadors at the League of Nations.[59] On 14 March 1923, the Council of Ambassadors decided that Galicia would be incorporated into Poland "whereas it is recognised by Poland that ethnographical conditions necessitate an autonomous regime in the Eastern part of Galicia."[60] "This proviso was never honoured by the interwar Polish government."[61] After 1923, Galicia was internationally recognized as part of the Polish state.[58]

Interbellum period

Lviv panorama before 1924

During the interwar period, Lwów held the rank of the Second Polish Republic's third most populous city (following Warsaw and Łódź), and it became the seat of the Lwów Voivodeship. Following Warsaw, Lwów was the second most important cultural and academic centre of interwar Poland. For example, in 1920 professor Rudolf Weigl of the Lwów University developed a vaccine against typhus fever. Furthermore, the geographic location of Lwów gave it an important role in stimulating international trade and fostering the city's and Poland's economic development. A major trade fair called Targi Wschodnie was established in 1921. In the academic year 1937–1938, there were 9,100 students attending five institutions of higher education, including the Lwów University as well as the Polytechnic.[62]

Eastern Trade Fair (Targi Wschodnie), main entrance.[63]

While about two-thirds of the city's inhabitants were Poles, some of whom spoke the characteristic Lwów dialect, the eastern part of the Lwów Voivodeship had a relative Ukrainian majority in most of its rural areas. Although Polish authorities obliged themselves internationally to provide Eastern Galicia with an autonomy (including a creation of a separate Ukrainian university in Lwów) and even though in September 1922 adequate Polish Sejm's Bill was enacted,[64] it was not fulfilled. The Polish government discontinued many Ukrainian schools which functioned during the Austrian rule,[65] and closed down Ukrainian departments at the University of Lwów with the exception of one.[66] Prewar Lwów also had a large and thriving Jewish community, which constituted about a quarter of the population.

Unlike in Austrian times, when the size and number of public parades or other cultural expressions corresponded to each cultural group's relative population, the Polish government emphasised the Polish nature of the city and limited public displays of Jewish and Ukrainian culture. Military parades and commemorations of battles at particular streets within the city, all celebrating the Polish forces who fought against the Ukrainians in 1918, became frequent, and in the 1930s a vast memorial monument and burial ground of Polish soldiers from that conflict was built in the city's Lychakiv Cemetery.

World War II and the Soviet incorporation

Germany invaded Poland on 1 September 1939 and by 14 September Lviv was completely encircled by German units.[67] Subsequently, the Soviets invaded Poland on 17 September. On 22 September 1939 Lwów capitulated to the Red Army. The USSR annexed the eastern half of the Second Polish Republic with Ukrainian and Belorussian population. The city became the capital of the newly formed Lviv Oblast. The Soviets reopened uni-lingual Ukrainian schools,[68] which were discontinued by the Polish government. The only change over imposed by the Soviets was the language of instruction, with the actual net loss of about 1,000 schools in short order.[69] Ukrainian was made compulsory in the University of Lviv with almost all its books in Polish. It became thoroughly Ukrainized and renamed after Ukrainian writer Ivan Franko. The Polish academics were laid off.[70] Soviet rule turned out to be much more oppressive than Polish rule; the rich world of Ukrainian publications in Polish Lwów, for instance, was gone in Soviet Ukrainian Lviv, and many journalism jobs were lost with it.[71]

German occupation

On 22 June 1941, Nazi Germany and several of its allies invaded the USSR. In the initial stage of Operation Barbarossa (30 June 1941) Lviv was taken by the Germans. The evacuating Soviets killed most of the prison population, with arriving Wehrmacht forces easily discovering evidence of the Soviet mass murders in the city[72] committed by the NKVD and NKGB. Ukrainian nationalists, organised as a militia, and the civilian population were allowed to take revenge on the "Jews and the Bolsheviks" and indulged in several mass killings in Lviv and the surrounding region, which resulted in the deaths estimated at between 4,000 and 10,000 Jews. On 30 June 1941 Yaroslav Stetsko proclaimed in Lviv the Government of an independent Ukrainian state allied with Nazi Germany. This was done without preapproval from the Germans and after 15 September 1941 the organisers were arrested.[73][74][75]

Lviv Holocaust memorial in Israel

The Sikorski–Mayski Agreement signed in London on 30 July 1941 between Polish government-in-exile and USSR's government invalidated the September 1939 Soviet-German partition of Poland, as the Soviets declared it null and void.[76] Meanwhile, German-occupied Eastern Galicia at the beginning of August 1941 was incorporated into the General Government as Distrikt Galizien with Lviv as the district's capital. German policy towards the Polish population in this area was as harsh as in the rest of the General Government. Germans during the occupation of the city committed numerous atrocities including the killing of Polish university professors in 1941. German Nazis viewed the Ukrainian Galicians, former inhabitants of Austrian Crown Land, as to some point more aryanised and civilised than the Ukrainian population living in the territories belonging to the USSR before 1939. As a result, they escaped the full extent of German acts in comparison to Ukrainians who lived to the east, in the German-occupied Soviet Ukraine turned into the Reichskommissariat Ukraine.[77]

Tango of Death

According to the Third Reich's racial policies, local Jews then became the main target of German repressions in the region. Following German occupation, the Jewish population was concentrated in the Lwów Ghetto established in the city's Zamarstynów (today Zamarstyniv) district, and the Janowska concentration camp was also set up. In the Janowska concentration camp, the Nazis conducted torture and executions to music. The Lviv National Opera members, who were prisoners, played one and the same tune, Tango of Death. On the eve of Lviv's liberation, German Nazis ordered 40 orchestra musicians to form a circle. The security ringed the musicians tightly and ordered them to play. First, the orchestra conductor, Mund, was executed. Then the commandant ordered the musicians to come to the center of the circle one by one, put their instrument onto the ground and strip naked, after which they were killed by a headshot.[78] A photo of the orchestra players was one of the incriminating documents at the Nuremberg trials.

In 1931 there were 75,316 Yiddish-speaking inhabitants, but by 1941 approximately 100,000 Jews were present in Lviv.[79] The majority of these Jews were either killed within the city or deported to Belzec extermination camp. In the summer of 1943, on the orders of Heinrich Himmler, SS-Standartenführer Paul Blobel was tasked with the destruction of any evidence of Nazi mass murders in the Lviv area. On 15 June Blobel, using forced labourers from Janowska, dug up a number of mass graves and incinerated the remains.[80] Later, on 19 November 1943, inmates at Janowska staged an uprising and attempted a mass escape. A few succeeded, but most were recaptured and killed. The SS staff and their local auxiliaries then, at the time of the Janowska camp's liquidation, murdered at least 6,000 more inmates, as well as the Jews in other forced labour camps in Galicia. By the end of the war, the Jewish population of the city was virtually eliminated, with only around 200 to 800 survivors remaining.[81][82][83]

Liberation from Nazis

After the successful Lvov–Sandomierz Offensive of July 1944, the Soviet 3rd Guards Tank Army captured Lviv on 27 July 1944, with a significant cooperation from the local Polish resistance (see: Lwów Uprising). Soon thereafter, the local commanders of Polish Armia Krajowa were invited to a meeting with the commanders of the Red Army. During the meeting, they were arrested, as it turned out to be a trap set by the Soviet NKVD. Later, in the winter and spring of 1945, the local NKVD kept arresting and harassing Poles in Lviv (which according to Soviet sources on 1 October 1944 still had a clear Polish majority of 66.7%) in an attempt to encourage their emigration from the city. Those arrested were released only after they had signed papers in which they agreed to emigrate to Poland, which postwar borders were to be shifted westwards in accordance with the Yalta conference settlements. In Yalta, despite Polish objections, the Allied leaders, Joseph Stalin, Franklin D. Roosevelt and Winston Churchill decided that Lviv should remain within the borders of the Soviet Union. On 16 August 1945, a border agreement[84] was signed in Moscow between the government of the Soviet Union and the Provisional Government of National Unity installed by the Soviets in Poland. In the treaty, Polish authorities formally ceded the prewar eastern part of the country to the Soviet Union, agreeing to the Polish-Soviet border to be drawn according to the Curzon Line. Consequently, the agreement was ratified on 5 February 1946.

Postwar Soviet Union

Sykhiv – Lviv's largest residential neighborhood, was built in the early 1980s under Soviet rule

In February 1946, Lviv became a part of the Soviet Union. It is estimated that from 100,000 to 140,000 Poles were resettled from the city into the so-called Recovered Territories as a part of postwar population transfers, many of them to the area of newly acquired Wrocław, formerly the German city of Breslau. Many buildings in the old part of the city are examples of Polish architecture, which flourished in Lviv after the opening of the Technical School (later Polytechnic), the first higher-education technical academy on Polish lands. Polytechnic educated generations of architects who were influential in the entire country. Examples are: the main buildings of Lviv Polytechnic, University of Lviv, Lviv Opera, Lviv railway station, former building of Galicyjska Kasa Oszczędności, Potocki Palace.[85] During the interwar period, Lviv was striving to become a modern metropolis, so architects experimented with modernism. It was the period of the most rapid growth of the city, so one can find many examples of architecture from this time in the city. Examples include the main building of Lviv Academy of Commerce, the second Sprecher's building or building of City Electrical Facilities. One monument of the Polish past is the Adam Mickiewicz Monument at the square bearing his name. Many Polish pieces of art and sculpture can be found in Lviv galleries, among them works by Jan Piotr Norblin, Marceleo Bacciarelli, Kazimierz Wojniakowski, Antoni Brodowski, Henryk Rodakowski, Artur Grottger, Jan Matejko, Aleksander Gierymski, Jan Stanisławski, Leon Wyczółkowski, Józef Chełmoński, Józef Mehoffer, Stanisław Wyspiański, Olga Boznańska, Władysław Słowiński, Jacek Malczewski. Poles who stayed in Lviv have formed the organisation the Association of Polish Culture of the Lviv Land.

According to various estimates, Lviv lost between 80% and 90% of its prewar population.[86] Expulsion of the Polish population and the Holocaust together with migration from Ukrainian-speaking surrounding areas (including forcibly resettled from the territories which, after the war, became part of the Polish People's Republic), from other parts of the Soviet Union, altered the ethnic composition of the city. Immigration from Russia and Russian-speaking regions of Eastern Ukraine was encouraged. The prevalence of the Ukrainian-speaking population has led to the fact that under the conditions of Soviet Russification, Lviv became a major centre of the dissident movement in Ukraine and played a key role in Ukraine's independence in 1991.

In the 1950s and 1960s, the city expanded both in population and size mostly due to the city's rapidly growing industrial base. Due to the fight of SMERSH with the guerrilla formations of the Ukrainian Insurgent Army the city obtained a nickname with a negative connotation of Banderstadt as the City of Stepan Bandera. The German suffix for city stadt was added instead of the Russian grad to imply alienation. Over the years the residents of the city found this so ridiculous that even people not familiar with Bandera accepted it as a sarcasm in reference to the Soviet perception of western Ukraine. In the period of liberalisation from the Soviet system in the 1980s, the city became the centre of political movements advocating Ukrainian independence from the USSR. By the time of the fall of the Soviet Union the name became a proud mark for the Lviv natives culminating in the creation of a local rock band under the name Khloptsi z Bandershtadtu (Boys from Banderstadt).[87]

Independent Ukraine

Citizens of Lviv strongly supported Viktor Yushchenko during the 2004 Ukrainian presidential election and played a key role in the Orange Revolution. Hundreds of thousands of people would gather in freezing temperatures to demonstrate for the Orange camp. Acts of civil disobedience forced the head of the local police to resign and the local assembly issued a resolution refusing to accept the fraudulent first official results.[88] Lviv remains today one of the main centres of Ukrainian culture and the origin of much of the nation's political class.

In support of the Euromaidan movement, Lviv's executive committee declared itself independent of the rule of President Viktor Yanukovych on 19 February 2014.[89]

In 2019 citizens of Lviv supported Petro Poroshenko during the 2019 Ukrainian presidential election. The number of votes for Poroshenko was determined by more than 90%.

Lviv History articles: 239