This tour is especially recommended to those who visit Royal Lviv for the first time. Walking along Rynok Square and nearby streets, you will be fascinated by the diversity of architecture, and the tour guide’s intriguing stories will help you to have a good look, to feel and understand all its beauty.
According to the legend, the Polish king Casimir III the Great laid the foundation’s first stone in the second half of the 14th century. Being the main temple of Roman Catholics in Ukraine, it is the only one in Lviv that has preserved its initial Gothic look until today. Do you know what part of the temple shows the Polish protesting against the Austrian occupation? Have you seen the silent memories of Lviv wars? Why was the second tower of the cathedral not finished? You will definitely find out.
City Hall. Rynok Square
This place has been considered the heart of Lviv since the 14th century until today. The main square of Royal Lviv was built by the German colonists on the instructions of the Polish King Casimir III Great, as a classic European square with the City Hall. Back in the day, such famous people as Peter the Great, Franz Josef and Pope John Paul II visited the square.
So why is it called Rynok? How many times was the City Hall rebuilt? What was in its dungeons? What was special in the way the rich Leopolitans were bringing up their gilded youth? Who takes care of the 150-year-old clock? We will tell you.
Royal stone house and Italian courtyard
Being one of the oldest stone buildings of royal Lviv, it was constructed in 1580 according to the project of Italian architects in the Italian Renaissance style. From 1678 it was the residence of Polish king Jan III Sobieski. This is the same building where the Treaty of Eternal Peace was ratified between Moscovia and the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth. Here you can find the only Venetian courtyard in Ukraine and one of the first balconies in Lviv.
The city collection of weapons found here can be traced back to 1430. Arsenal was rebuilt after it had been damaged by fire in 1571 and after the Swedes' attack in 1704 ... By the way, did you know that the Swedes laid siege to Lviv? The building was also used as a prison and as the city executioner’s housing, where he used to live with his family, and that didn’t stop him from conducting interrogations and torture right there. At present, it houses an Armoury Museum that was opened in 1981 and is the only one of that type both in Ukraine and on the territory of the former USSR.
Bernardine Monastery and its defensive walls
The construction of the monastery took over 30 years (1600-1630) and it was done according to the project of Italian architects. Facades and interiors of the monastery made it the richest monastery of its time, and the Bernardine monks used to be the richest monastic order in Lviv. It was from this monastery that the Pseudo-Demetrius I started his march to Moscow. It was here where the coalition conducted negotiations, when Bohdan Khmelnytsky intended to invade Lviv. Only one tower survived until now - the Hlynianska Tower with adjoined defensive wall’s fragment. This is the biggest fragment of the medieval city fortifications of royal Lviv, survived until now.