Monday, January 11, 2010

The pearl of the Western Ukraine.

Lviv (German: Lemberg; Latin: Leopolis) is a major city in western Ukraine. Lviv was founded in 1256 in Red Ruthenia by King Danylo Halytskyi of the Ruthenian principality of Halych-Volhynia, and named in honour of his son, Lev. Together with the rest of Red Ruthenia, Lviv was captured by Kingdom of Poland in 1349 during the reign of Polish king Casimir III the Great. Lviv belonged to the Kingdom of Poland 1349-1569, the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth 1569-1772, the Austrian Empire 1772-1918. The 17th century brought armies of Swedes, Hungarians from Transylvania, Russians and Cossacks to its gates. However, Lviv was the only major city in Poland that was not captured by the invaders. In 1672 it was besieged by the Ottomans, who also failed to conquer it. Lviv was captured for the first time by a foreign army in 1704, when Swedish troops under King Charles XII entered the city after a siege. With the outbreak of WWII the city of Lviv with adjacent land were annexed and incorporated into the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic 1939-1941. Between July 1941- July 1944 Lviv was under German occupation and was located in the General Government. In July 1944 it was captured by the Soviet Red Army and the Polish Home Army. According to the agreements of the Yalta Conference Lviv was integrated into the Ukrainian SSR again. After the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, the city remained a part of the now independent Ukraine, for which it currently serves as the administrative centre of Lviv Oblast.