Celebrating Lviv’s ancient European pedigree
Early December saw Lviv mark the anniversary of the city’s adoption of the Magdeburg Rights in 1356. Based on the laws developed in the German city of Magdeburg in the early Middle
Ages, the Magdeburg Rights were a set of rules and regulations governing trade and relations between the government and the governed. This early precursor to trading blocs such as the
European Union proved popular among the merchants of Eastern Europe and was adopted progressively throughout the High Middle Ages, with Lviv one of the first cities in Eastern Europe to be acknowledged with its own set of Magdeburg Rights less than one hundred years after the city’s official foundation. In recent years the promotion of Lviv’s Habsburg heritage has been in fashion as local officials and tourism trade professionals seek to shake off the negative associations of the Soviet past, but this latest costume drama reflects a new trend of nostalgia for the pre-renaissance Europe of the Germanic Holy Roman Empire!