Lviv is the biggest city of the Western Ukraine, with a population of about 750,000; located on about 550 km from Kyiv (by the shortest route).
Lviv, one of the oldest and most beautiful towns in the Ukraine, lies in the foothills of the Carpathians, on the watershed of the rivers Bug and Dniester, approximately 500 km to the west of Kiev and 70 km from the frontier with Poland. Lvov has regular rail services with Poland, Romania, Czech, Austria and Hungary, and also with many centres of tourism in Ukraine. The town, Is five hours journey from the frontier check-point at Chop (266 km). It takes about 7 hours 30 minutes from Lviv to Kyiv by train (627 km), and the distance by road is 550km.
Lviv was founded in 1256 by the Ukrainian prince Danylo Galytskyi as a fortress to defend his lands against raids by nomad tribes from the east, and was named in honour of his son Lev (Leo). In the Middle Ages, Lvov was one of the enlightened towns of Europe. In 1574 the first Ukrainian and Russian printer Ivan Fedorovych ( known in Muscovy and Russia as Fyodorov) set up a printing-press here. In the mid-sixteenth century the first institution of higher education in the Ukraine, the "Lvov fraternity'' was started in Lvov, and by the seventeenth century there were already two establishments of higher education in the town, one of which became the university in 1661.
In 1901-1903 the illegal Leninist newspaper Iskra (Spark) was transported to Russia via Lvov. After the Bolshevik October Revolution in Russia (1917) in the course of the intervention against Soviet Russia, Lvov was seized by the forces of bourgeois Poland.
In September 1939 Lvov became a part of the Soviet Ukraine, and since that time it has been a regional centre in the Ukrainian SSR. The town was badly damaged during the Second World War. Liberated from nazi occupation in 1944, in the postwar years it developed into one of the Ukraine's important industrial centres. Lvov's enterprises supply the Soviet Union with buses, TV sets, metal-cutting lathes, medical and telegraphic equipment. The production of farm machines and the glass industry are well developed in the town. Besides one of the oldest universities in Europe, Lvov has another nine institutions of higher education. In the town there is the Ivan Franko Academic Opera and Ballet Theatre, the Ukrainian Theatre, and the Philharmonic Society. The choir Trembita is the most popular of the folk song and dance companies. Lviv has its own distinctive style of architecture. In the sixteenth century the presence of a large Italian trading colony in the town left its mark on the building work. In the seventeenth century the Italian Renaissance style changed to Baroque. In the eighteenth century Rococo from Poland prevailed, followed by German classicism in the nineteenth century. The town even has an Armenian cathedral, which was the church of the Armenian merchants' colony. Interesting buildings have also been erected in the last ten to twenty years. It is best to begin your sightseeing tour of the town on the former Knyazha Gora (Prince's Hill) where Prince Danylo Galytsky built his fortress. The ruins of the fortress have survived here in Vysoky Zamok (High Castle) Park. From here your tour will take you along Bohdan Khmelnytsky street to the centre of the old town. On the way you will see three old churches, the Church of St. Nicholas (thirteenth century), the Onufriyevska Church (1518) where the first printer Ivan Fyodorov is buried, and the Pyatnytska (Good Friday) Church (1645). In the centre of the old town there is Ploshcha Rynok (Market Square) which is lined by buildings from the fifteenth-nineteenth centuries. The most impressive among them are the former Town Hall (1827), the palace in Renaissance style, and the so-called Chorna Kamianytsia, a complex of sixteenth-century dwellings. Many valuable historical and architectural monuments are extant the districts adjacent to the square. Thus, in Vicheva Street there is the former Benedictine Convent and Cathedral (1595-1628) in Italian-Byzantine style; in Virmenska (Armianska, Virmenian) street, the Armenian Cathedral (1363); in Stavropihiiska street, the Dominican Church (1764) in Baroque style decorated with an enormous number of sculptures; in Pidvalna Street, the Royal Arsenal (eighteenth century) and the Town Arsenal (sixteenth century), the Powder Tower (1554); in Ivan Fedorov street there is the Printing-house of theStavropichiiske fraternity (seventeenth-nineteenth centuries), and on the street intersecting it, Ruska (Russian) street - the Russian Orthodox Church of the Dormition (1630), the Chapel of the Three Prelates (1578), and the house of Komyakt (1572). To the south of Market Square, there is the Bernardine Church, which has monks' cells (1600-1630). To the southwest of Market Square one of the largest groups of cult buildings in old Lviv is extant. This is the Latin Cathedral (1360-1480) and the chapels of Kampiano and Boimi adjacent to it (sixteenth century) which are richly decorated with stone-carving and sculptures. Further towards the southwest lies Ploshcha Mitskevycha (Mickiewicz Square), a small square surrounded by old buildings. In the middle of the square stands a statue of Adam Mickiewicz, the great Polish poet (1905). Lvov's main thouroughfare, Prospect Svobody (Freedom Avenue), leads out of Mickiewicz Square to the north. At the opposite end there is the Opera and Ballet Theatre whose facade is reminiscent of that of the Paris Opera. Enrico Caruso and other famous opera singers frequently sang here. There are quite a few monuments in Lvov recalling the events of the Great Patriotic War: a tank on a pedestal, a monument to the Soviet soldiers who liberated Lviv in 1944. Opposite it on Glory Hill there is a memorial complex consisting of Triumphal Gates, the eternal flame, common and individual graves, and sculptural compositions that create a solemn sorrowful ensemble dedicated to the heroes who fell in the Great Patriotic War. To the southwest of Mickiewicz Square in Grabovsky Street towers a grey fortress structure, the Citadel. In 1941 there was a nazi concentration camp where 140,000 people died. A Monument of Glory to the Soviet Army has been erected in Bogdan Khmelnytsky Park. Lvov is one of the greenest towns in the Ukraine. The most luxuriant of its parks is the Stryiskyi Park laid out in 1876. The lower part of the park which contains a collection of rare trees and shrubs is crossed by straight decorative alleys, while the upper part contains virgin forest. On the southern edge of the Stryiski Park, at 152 Ivan Franko street, stands a wooden house with an attic and a tiled roof where the outstanding Ukrainian author and playwright Ivan Franko lived from 1902 to 1916. Now it houses a Literary Memorial Museum. Of the other museums in Lvov mention should be made of the History Museum, the Museum of the History of the Troops of the Carpathian Military District, the Museum of Ukrainian Art, which has a fine collection of paintings ranging from fourteenth-century icons to modern canvases; and the Picture Gallery with a unique collection of paintings by Austrian and Polish artists of different centuries.
Knyshi (Pies) Sift the flour. Mix the yeast with sugar, add half a cup of lukewarm water and leave in a warm place until the yeast has risen. Make a hole in the heap of flour and pour in the remaining lukewarm water and the yeast. Stir the dough carefully and leave in a warm place to rise. When the dough has doubled in size, add salt and knead the dough thoroughly. Leave it to rise again.
Pinch off a piece of dough the size of a large fist or two, make a ball, put it on the baking tray and pat to flatten. Sprinkle the pastry with salt and oil. Pierce the pastry's edges with a greased spoon. The number of holes - five or seven - depends on the size of the pie. Get a hold of each strip and pull them to the center of the pie. Press the strips together firmly. Brush the pie with oil. Bake in the oven at a middle temperature of about 200-C. Carol-singers and other visitors were offered knyshy in abundance.
(3,5 cups rye four, 1,5 cup wheal flour, 40 g yeast, 4 tablespoons sugar, salt, 1/2 liter lukewarm water, oil (to grease the baking tray))