L’viv, Ukraine (28th of January 2006)

Saturday 28th of January 2006
I was up early (around 9am) and breakfast was included in the price. There was nobody in the office, nobody to ask whether I could leave my bags there and no breakfast. I mentioned it to a German guy who lives in the apartment building (I had met him yesterday and he is aquainted with the hostel management). Ah well, I headed off and walked into town to buy a few things for some colleagues back home (a bottle of Voka and a few KG of Ukrainian Chocolates which are first class and which the country has a fine reputation for). It was Saturday and there were alot of street markets open. They ranged from Arts and Crafts inluding some great paintings to big sheds food of food/meat/fish vendors which was quite exciting. For breakfast, I headed into another dive of a place for a chicken dinner.

I then walked to the town hall in the main square. You can go there and buy a ticket to go to the top of the building to give upa birds eye view of the old city.

Rynok (Market)Square. The building of the City Hall was completed in 1835 after its predecessor collapsed in 1826. The clock tower is 65 m tall with 350 steps leading to its top. It is open for visitors presenting a stunning view of the entire city*. Houses on Rynok Square were built between 16th and 19th centuries in different stiles and survived several fires and remodeling. Most buildings have 3 windows on each floor. Only very rich owners could afford tax put on extra windows. Statues of mythological gods guard the square on each corner: Neptune – god of the sea among the Romans. Adonis – in Roman and Greek mythology god of nature and fertility. Diana – Roman goddess of the hunt and of the moon. Amphitrite – the ancient Greek goddess of the sea.

I took an elevator up and then a couple of flights of stairs which were old and narrow. When I got to the top, I got a blast of freezing cold air.Jesus, it was cold up there but you had great views of the city and surroundings. Its a very pretty town but alot of flat complexes on the outskirts, much like any other town or city in the former USSR.





Latin Cathedral of St. Mary, L’viv (Lviv), Ukraine

Taken on the 28th of January 2006 from the top of the town hall

Latin Cathedral of St. Mary – its construction started in 1360 It combines gothic elements (the apse), Renaissance (chapels) and baroque (interior decor and statues). The Latin Cathedral owes its present look to the reconstruction of 1761-1776 by the architect Waclaw Sierakowski. The main altar of the Cathedral holds the sacred icon of the Holy Mary painted around 1598 (now a copy). The church organ was built in Lviv in 1839. Outside, at the site of the former cemetery, there is a beautiful Boim chapel, a mausoleum of the Boim family from Hungary. Built in 1609-1617, the chapel preserved its stone carved facade and interior.
Another charming Chapel of the Kampians is attached to the Cathedral’s north wall.

Click on the picture to see it in its original size





L’viv (Lviv), Ukraine

Taken on the 28th of January 2006 from the top of the town hall

Ukrainean Flag on top of town hall.

Click on the picture to see it in its original size





L’viv (Lviv), Ukraine

Taken on the 28th of January 2006 from the top of the town hall

Dominican Church built in 1749 – 1764 in place of an earlier gothic church.

Click on the picture to see it in its original size





L’viv (Lviv), Ukraine

Taken on the 28th of January 2006 from the top of the town hall

Dominican Church built in 1749 – 1764 in place of an earlier gothic church.

Click on the picture to see it in its original size





L’viv (Lviv), Ukraine

Taken on the 28th of January 2006 from the top of the town hall

Dominican Church built in 1749 – 1764 in place of an earlier gothic church.

Click on the picture to see it in its original size

from there I walked to the High castle Hill:

The High Castle is the name of the highest hill (413 m) overlooking Lviv. In the 13th century the kings of Halych built a fortress at the High Castle Hill. With the spread of fire arms the significance of the fortress diminished and in 1704 it was conquered and ruined by the Swedish troops of Karl the XII. Since then the fortress at High Castle has never been rebuilt. The High Castle summit with the winding path is man-made in honor of Lublin Union of 1569 that united Poland and Lithuania into one state. The only remnant of the fortress is a part of its southern wall which is guarded by a stone 400 year old lion brought here in 1874. The broadcasting tower and the television center were added in 1957.





L’viv (Lviv), Ukraine

Taken on the 28th of January 2006 from the top of the Castle Hill

Another (but different flag) Flag shot from Castle Hill.

Click on the picture to see it in its original size

It took a good 30 minutes to get up there via a park but the views were excellent. Still, bitter cold…. I did not spend long up there and headed abck down to do a little sightseeing which included visiting the Remnants of the Golden Rose Synagogue.





Dominican Church, L’viv (Lviv), Ukraine

Taken on the 28th of January 2006

Dominican Church built in 1749 – 1764 in place of an earlier gothic church. The church interior has marble and alabaster tombstones and baroque carving. Eighteen wooden sculptures of the Dominican Order saints stand under the dome and four apostles stand at the main altar. The church is a venue for organ music concerts every Saturday and Sunday. A small organ used in these concerts was brought from another church that was under threat of destruction in the Soviet days. The Dominican Church was a museum of Religion and Atheism in the Soviet period with a Foucault’s pendulum hanging from the dome. Nowadays it functions as a Ukrainian Greek Catholic church.

Click on the picture to see it in its original size





Dominican Church, L’viv (Lviv), Ukraine

Taken on the 28th of January 2006

Dominican Church built in 1749 – 1764 in place of an earlier gothic church. The church interior has marble and alabaster tombstones and baroque carving. Eighteen wooden sculptures of the Dominican Order saints stand under the dome and four apostles stand at the main altar. The church is a venue for organ music concerts every Saturday and Sunday. A small organ used in these concerts was brought from another church that was under threat of destruction in the Soviet days. The Dominican Church was a museum of Religion and Atheism in the Soviet period with a Foucault’s pendulum hanging from the dome. Nowadays it functions as a Ukrainian Greek Catholic church.

Click on the picture to see it in its original size





Dominican Church, L’viv (Lviv), Ukraine

Taken on the 28th of January 2006

Dominican Church built in 1749 – 1764 in place of an earlier gothic church. The church interior has marble and alabaster tombstones and baroque carving. Eighteen wooden sculptures of the Dominican Order saints stand under the dome and four apostles stand at the main altar. The church is a venue for organ music concerts every Saturday and Sunday. A small organ used in these concerts was brought from another church that was under threat of destruction in the Soviet days. The Dominican Church was a museum of Religion and Atheism in the Soviet period with a Foucault’s pendulum hanging from the dome. Nowadays it functions as a Ukrainian Greek Catholic church.

Click on the picture to see it in its original size





Dominican Church, L’viv (Lviv), Ukraine

Taken on the 28th of January 2006

Dominican Church built in 1749 – 1764 in place of an earlier gothic church. The church interior has marble and alabaster tombstones and baroque carving. Eighteen wooden sculptures of the Dominican Order saints stand under the dome and four apostles stand at the main altar. The church is a venue for organ music concerts every Saturday and Sunday. A small organ used in these concerts was brought from another church that was under threat of destruction in the Soviet days. The Dominican Church was a museum of Religion and Atheism in the Soviet period with a Foucault’s pendulum hanging from the dome. Nowadays it functions as a Ukrainian Greek Catholic church.

Click on the picture to see it in its original size

I walked abck towards the hostel to visit this site……





Golden Rose Synagogue Commemoration Sculpture, L’viv (Lviv), Ukraine

Taken on the 28th of January 2006

Jewish people settled in Lviv from the early days of the city. Golden Rose was built in 1582. Jesuit monks claimed the land under the temple which resulted in a court trial that ended in favor of the Jews in 1606. In 1604 Golden Rose became the main synagogue of Lviv and the center of the Jewish community in Lviv. The temple was destroyed by German soldiers in WW2. The remains include the foundation, part of the northern wall with windows and partially western wall with the entrance.

Click on the picture to see it in its original size





Golden Rose Synagogue Commemoration Sculpture, L’viv (Lviv), Ukraine

Taken on the 28th of January 2006

For a former Prime Minister of the Ukraine, Yulia Tymoshenko is a fine looking lady. So much so, websites like this one go through her “look” from decade to decade with pictures. Tymoshenko portrays herself as a tough-talking crusader, a passionate Ukrainian nationalist, and woman of the people who is on a mission to clean up the country’s morass of government and business corruption.

It has been an amazing transformation.

A decade ago, Tymoshenko had no nationalist credentials. In fact, she spoke no Ukrainian and had no more than a pragmatic interest in politics. A trained economist from the eastern city of Dnipropetrivsk, she used her connections to former Prime Minister Pavlo Lazarenko to build a natural gas trading empire that made her the country’s richest businesswoman — until her ambitions ran up against the designs of President Leonid Kuchma. More information on her here , here and information on the lections which take place on March 26th 2006 can be found here.

Click on the picture to see it in its original size

It was Saturday and there were at least 10 wedding parties flting about. They were in a queuw to take shots in fron of a religious monument on the main square. You would need to be well wrapped up today. Still nice to see. I am going to finish up with some various shots of the city.





L’viv (Lviv), Ukraine

Taken on the 28th of January 2006

Taken of a church opposite the The Church of the Assumption. Dusk falls in brilliant sun light.

Click on the picture to see it in its original size





L’viv (Lviv), Ukraine

Taken on the 28th of January 2006

The Church of the Assumption complex was constructed in the period between 1572 and 1629. The ensemble includes the bell tower with the largest bell in Lviv called Kyrylo. The tower was funded by Korniakt and was given his name. While the tower was built parishioners constructed the Chapel of Three Saints next to it. The chapel is richly decorated with stone carved interior and exterior. The Assumption Church repeats the shape of the smaller chapel with three typical Ukrainian domes. Large square blocks of stone were used for the church walls. Among founders of the church construction were Ukrainian community of Lviv, rulers of Moldova and Russian Tzars and the Ukrainian Cossack hetman Petro Sahaydachny.

Click on the picture to see it in its original size





L’viv (Lviv), Ukraine

Taken on the 28th of January 2006

Taken of a church opposite the The Church of the Assumption. Dusk falls in brilliant sun light.

Click on the picture to see it in its original size





L’viv (Lviv), Ukraine

Taken on the 28th of January 2006

Congrats. Shes a looker…

Click on the picture to see it in its original size





L’viv (Lviv), Ukraine

Taken on the 28th of January 2006

Its all Dutch to me….

Click on the picture to see it in its original size

I headed back to the hostel quite early … when it got dark as I had not much business left in town. When I got back, again no staff or guests. I actually went abck to bed for an hour. If I wanted too, I could have stayed an extra night free. No staff – Jayus, what a business. When is a hostel a hostel, just because they ahve three beds in a room? No staff, no maps, no advice, a broken TV but stiff, it was pretty good, clean and safe. ……… and they left my brekfast on the bed..yeah.. It might have been there 8 hours but I ate it including the cold coffee… It was very generous with sandwiches, sausages, bread etc. Ate the lot.

I gave the keys back to the building block reception (an old lady) and walked back into town to catch a 1 hy bus back to the bus station. I was mad early (an hour and a half)a nd the place was deserted. I had a few sips of volka from my flash and waited until 10pm which was departure time. There were no other buses left to go and at last a bus arrived. About 20 people were going so there were enough seats that people did not have to share. There was a German guy trying to invest int he Ukraine sitting in front of me and we spoke and we had an inquisitve Ukrainian girl behind me who also joined the conversation. We were quite a long time at the border, even though it was empty. Unlike my Romania to the Ukraine experince, which I stayed ont he bus, we all had to get off and take our bags into the main building. They gave up all customs declaration form to fill up (Which was in Ukranian) which the German guy and I did mot fill up. I was up early and I gave hime my passport. He just smiled, said hi and let me pass. They searched the bags of most of th other passengers.

They then let us stew there for an hour, doing nothing which was strange. it was 1am or so, in a big cold building with no staff. Fianlly we were allowed go through. After 5 minutes, we then gave up our passports which was another 30 minutes. Everybody got their passports back except me. I was worried that they stamped my entry forma nd not my actual passport when entering the country… but I finally got it back (dont know what the delay was… my passport is fully full with no spare pages and alot of stamps) and they stamped my passport.. so I have an exit stamp but no entry stamp. It was straight through Polish customs with no hassles.

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