Restoration Work Returns Lviv Region Gem to its Former Glory
The end of February saw one of West Ukraine’s most romantic fairytale castles showcased to the public following many long years of restoration work. Since the 1990s work has been ongoing at Zolochiv Castle, with donations from Canada’s sizable Ukrainian diaspora and local businessman Petro Pysarchuk helping to overcome chronic state funding shortages and return this magnificent structure to its former glory. Zolochiv is not yet open to the general public but is expected to be unveiled as a must-see tourist destination in early May 2009, according to Lviv Art Gallery director Boris Voznytskiy. The castle has a somewhat macabre history, having been used as a prison in the 19th century and a site for mass executions perpetrated by Soviet forces in the 1940s. However, it is also of huge historical interest with a colourful past stretching back to the early seventeenth century, when it was home to the Sobieski family who produced Poland’s most celebrated monarch, John III Sobieski, a man whose ties to Lviv region and many victories over the Ottoman Empire earned him the title ‘Lion of Lechistan’.