Issue 20, January 2010.
Lviv is one of the most dreamily romantic cities in Eastern Europe with its ancient cobbled streets and enticing archways leading into a thousand and one intimate courtyards. The fairytale capital of West Ukraine is rich in romantic legend and has inspired architects, writers, noblemen and playwrights for centuries. This was the scene of legendary romances between Polish aristocrats and Ukrainian beauties, a city where Venetian ambassadors would become bewitched and Habsburg dukes unmanned. It was also once the home town of the infamous Mr. Masoch and the setting for many of his erotically-charged tales, giving rise to the modern-day concept of masochism. Today’s Lviv is just as seductive as it was in centuries past, and as the city prepares to celebrate St. Valentine’s Day 2010 we look at a few of the most appealing local options as you plan how to spend the most romantic holiday of the year!
Issue 19, December 2009.
2009 has been an exciting and challenging year in Lviv which has seen the West Ukrainian capital named as Ukraine’s City of Culture before receiving less welcome international headlines in November as the centre of a brief swine flu panic. Despite a general global economic downturn which has hit all of Lviv’s key EU trade partners hard, 2009 has seen more and more international companies looking to invest in the region and establish Lviv offices, with the tourism and outsourcing sectors proving particularly attractive. International carriers including Lufthansa and Turkish Airlines have added Lviv to their list of destinations in 2009, marking a symbolic step for Lviv Airport towards an increasing role as a regional air travel hub. Meanwhile, plans for the new-look terminal building have been approved and an international construction group chosen to handle the massive building works that when completed will transform Lviv Airport from a post-Soviet backwater into a leading regional air hub.
Issue 18, November 2009.
As more and more tourists are discovering, Lviv is a magical city where every street holds immeasurable treasures that reflect an ancient and cosmopolitan heritage dating back 750 years. Lviv annually welcomes more than one million tourists, and as the city modernises and prepares to host Euro 2012, this figure is set to rise every year. New services and leisure options are constantly springing up to cater for the growing tourist trade, but few have proved as popular as the city’s iconic ‘Wonder Train’, which offers visitors the chance to see the very best of Lviv from the comfort of a state-of-the-art German-made tourist train!
Issue 18, November 2009.
Seventy years ago this autumn the Soviet Union’s Red Army marched into West Ukraine and seized the then-Polish administered regional capital city Lviv. This annexation, which was part of the secret clauses in Stalin’s euphemistically named August 1939 non-agression pact with Adolf Hitler, marked the beginning of a fifty- year Soviet reign that, although interrupted by the cataclysms of WWII and the West Ukrainian nationalist insurgency which would smoulder on until the 1950s, was to have a massive impact on the face of Lviv and change the way the city grew and developed forever.
Issue 15, July 2009.
Lviv is becoming increasingly famed as one of the architectural pearls of Eastern Europe, but amid all the spires and dreamily crafted masonry of the Lviv skyline the city is still clearly missing one key element – a waterfront. Lviv simply has no river to speak of, and the city’s troubled water supply has been a thorny subject among local citizens for over a hundred years, with many residents still suffering from restricted supplies and regular cut-offs. This lack of waterways in the downtown area helps to create a pressure-cooker micro-climate in central Lviv which can quite literally turn the inner city into a sultry giant sauna on a summer’s afternoon.
Issue 14, June 2009.
Lviv is one of the few cities in Eastern Europe that has managed to preserve its medieval authenticity, escaping major damage repeatedly despite being the scene of brutal fighting in virtually every conflict to rock the region in the past few centuries. This charmed life has produced a wedding cake of a city boasting endless delights which can be explored on many different levels, with something for every taste from the macabre to the romantic. As the tourism industry improves and innovates to meet the demands of the 21st century tourist trade, more and more specialized tours are being offered up allowing guests to explore specific areas of Lviv’s past. Whether your interest is in underground catacombs or the city’s Habsburg heritage, you are now almost guaranteed the chance to find the right tour for you!
Issue 13, May 2009.
Lviv has traditionally been known as the café capital of the region, with a bohemian culture conducive of laid-back afternoons spent discussing the meaning life as you watch the world go by. In recent years the tourism boom which the city has experienced has helped return the café and restaurant sector to its former glory, which has meant that each May the streets of ancient Lviv are once more taken over by a blooming of summer terraces to suit every budget and every taste.
Issue 12, April 2009.
Lviv has always been a city of many religious denominations. Located at one of the great crossroads of European culture, for centuries Lviv has been a place where different strains of Catholic and Orthodox Christianity have rubbed shoulders, leading visitors to claim that wherever you go in the city, you find a bar, a café or a church. As the city prepares to celebrate Easter, we take a look at this diverse religious heritage.
Issue 11, March 2009.
This month see’s International Theatre Day, making this the ideal time to explore Lviv’s long tradition as a focus of Ukrainian theatre. Many elements of Lviv’s theatrical inheritance can be traced in ancient Ukrainian folk customs and rites, with many of today’s theatircal customs dating back to pagan traditions and rituals. These are especially evident in the Spring vesnianky songs, the summer Kupalo festival, winter carols and above all in the ceremony of the Ukrainian wedding. Elements of all these traditions are upheld by Lviv’s many theatres, where the best traditions of international theatre are also in evidence.
Issue 10, February 2009.
Lviv is Ukraine’s most romantic city, full of little courtyards and atmospheric palaces where couples can fall in love as they take in the ancient and breath-taking architecture. Over the centuries Lviv has been the major crossroads between Central Europe and the Eurasian plains spreading out to the east, making it a place where young lovers from all over the world would meet and fall for each other.