Retrospective journey into the history of Lviv
Archeologists claim that the lands Lviv is located on were inhabited 20 thousand years ago. It is known that at the beginning of the first century Slavic tribes lived on these territories. In the IXth century these lands became the part of Kievan Rus, which was one of the most powerful European States in those days. Later on, however, because of the frequent Mongol-Tatar invasions, this state was split into separate principalities. The mightiest among them was Galicia-Volyn principality, founded at the end of the XIIth century by the prince Roman Mstyslavovych.
At the beginning of the 13th century, Prince Danylo Halytskyi succeeded his father to the Galicia-Volyn throne. In order to protect the state, he built several well-fortified fortresses, including Lviv fortress, and called it after his son Leo.
The first record of the city of Lviv was found in Galicia-Volyn chronicle and dates back to 1256. It was recorded that in spring 1256 a huge fire seized the town of Kholm (now the territory of Poland) – and the flames of the fire were so high, wrote the chronicles, that they could be seen from the city of Lviv.
In 1272 Lviv became a capital of Galicia-Volyn principality.
In 1340, when the last of the Galician Princes – George II died of poisoning the Polish king Kazimierz III attacked Lviv and robbed it. Polish kings managed to capture Lviv only in 1387. Lviv remained under the Polish rule for four centuries, up to 1772.
In 1772 after the first partition of Poland among Prussia, Austria and Russia, Lviv was annexed to Austria (later Austro-Hungarian Empire). The city became a political and administrative center of the province, which was officially called the Galicia-Lodomeriya province.
At the end of World War I in 1918, Austro-Hungarian Empire collapsed and a number of independent states appeared on the map of Europe such as: Hungary, Czechoslovakia, Poland, and others. Ukrainians also started struggling for their independence. The Ukrainian National Council was established by Ukrainian elite and on the 1st of November 1918 it proclaimed the Western Ukrainian People’s Republic on the territory of Ukrainian lands belonging to Austro-Hungarian Empire. Later, on the 22nd of January 1919, Western Ukrainian People’s Republic was reunited with Ukrainian People’s Republic into one independent State (Act of Reunification).
Polish Government did not want to agree with such situation. Thus, Polish-Ukrainian War started in November 1918, and in a year it was won by Polish side. For the second time Lviv was annexed to Poland and these lands were under the rule of this country till 1939.
On the 1st of September 1939 World War II began by German’s attack on Poland. On the 17th of September 1939 according to the Molotov-Ribbentrop Treaty, Red Army entered the territory of Western Ukraine. As a result, the territories of Western Ukraine were reunited with the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic.
On the 30th of June 1941 Lviv was occupied by German troops. Nazis occupation of Lviv lasted till the 27th of July 1944 when Red Army entered the city for the second time.
From 1939 till 1991 Lviv had been a regional center of Soviet Ukraine.
On August, 24th 1991 Ukraine proclaimed its independence and our city became the regional city of Independent Ukraine. The city of Lviv is now one of the main scientific, educational, cultural, transport and business centers of the country.