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Lviv - a 21 photo report. UEN exclusive

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Lviv - a 21 photo report. UEN exclusive

Post by Nelson on Fri Jul 31, 2015 4:16 am

Lviv

Where is the most beautiful place to visit in Ukraine?
- a question often raised when meeting with friends and visitors.
People suggest various locations -  Kiev, Kaniv, Odessa, Donetsk, Sevastopol, Yalta..
But for me one place shines far above the rest - Lviv.
The centre is very beautiful - it reminds me very much of Prague, perhaps my favorite city in the world.
The outskirts are not so endearing perhaps - rather like St Petersburg in Russia. Some of the old Soviet building styles survive.
But the centre is wonderful with lots of attractions, and all really within walking distance.

The iconic image of Lviv is typically the opera house. It also features on the 20 uah bill



Last edited by Nelson on Sat Aug 01, 2015 8:23 am; edited 1 time in total

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Post by Nelson on Fri Jul 31, 2015 4:21 am

The opera has a wonderful design, and the seating is also comfortable. Superior, I would say, to Kiev.
In the Kiev opera, if you are on the Bel Etage, or further up, the floor falls forward. Rather uncomfortable.
In Lviv, none of this. The interior is maybe not quite so elegant as the Kiev opera house, but the standard is high.

No guesses as to which production this photo is from ))



And the orchestra is of a very high standard.



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Post by Nelson on Fri Jul 31, 2015 4:23 am

Walking back a little from the opera, you get this view, particularly in the winter months, when little stalls are set up selling a whole variety of things.
This is really the centre of the city. Prospekt Svobodi.




Here you see a view of Prospekt Svobodi from the Town Hall tower.
The opera building is middle right.



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Post by Nelson on Sat Aug 01, 2015 6:50 am

During Euromaidan Lviv citizens suffered the most deaths of any group of Ukrainians.
They are said to be fiercely nationalistic. But I would say that patriots are found all over Ukraine, but perhaps more particularly in the west and centre.
In Rivne, Ivano Frankivsk, Xmelnitski, Zhitomir, Kiev oblasts.

The anti-Putin sentiment is particularly strong in Lviv, as displayed in these market shops displaying a variety of anti-Putin goods.




and also



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Post by Nelson on Sat Aug 01, 2015 7:07 am

Looking a little further south, along Prospekt Svobodi, from the tower, one sees the Schevchenko monument.




There are also several hotels in this area, some not badly priced. Perhaps 500 uah for 2 people for a night, including breakfast.
That works out at 10 dollars per person. Not bad, for the centre of town.
Of course, you could rent an apartment longer term for much less, but for a visit of 3 or 4 days, I found the hotel comfortable, and well positioned for visiting sights in the area.

Further south still I saw this man - walking his cat with a lead! On Prospekt Schevchenka.



One road off Schevchenka is Ulitsa Tchaikovski, on which you will find the Philharmonic Hall.
The Lviv Philharmonic is excellent. I was very fortunate in hearing a performance of Mahler 6 when I visited a couple of months' ago.
Perhaps not to everybody's taste, but even so - very very difficult music to perform.
A few months earlier I had heard Mahler 5, famous for its slow Adagietto, used in several films.

Also in this area of Prospekt Schevchenka you can find several museums, and places to eat, including the usual Macdonald's, but also some excellent but inexpensive cafeteria.

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Post by Nelson on Sat Aug 01, 2015 7:15 am

From the central Prospekt Svobodi, you can go in many different directions.
At the northern end I saw this amazing chemist's shop. What a window display!



Heading east from Svobodi, you can go up the Armenian street - Virmenska. Many interesting sights, and churches, old buildings here -



An amazing ceiling - rather reminiscent of the Sistine Chapel, but not so autrageously gaudy...



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Post by Nelson on Sat Aug 01, 2015 7:24 am

Heading in the other direction, you can go to the organ hall - which I understand has the largest church organ in Ukraine.
And also - up the hill - quite a walk - to St George's church.




And on the roof, St George slaying the dragon. Patron Saint of many places, including England.



Also west from Svobodi, you can see the Bandera monument.
Although it is quite a walk. Easier to take a tram. Get one from Doroshenko heading west. And it will take you straight past the monument, on the way to the main Railway station. Here - not my greatest photo, but taken from the said tram.




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Post by Nelson on Sat Aug 01, 2015 7:41 am

Another popular area near the centre of Lviv for tourists is Rinok Square. The square in which is situated the Town Hall.

Here some views around the square -







And here a view looking east, from the square




Cafes in this area I found rather expensive. And the food - small in quantity, and so-so in quality.

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Post by Nelson on Sat Aug 01, 2015 7:53 am

At Rinok Square you can go up the tower. Although this is not particularly well advertised.
What you do - Head into the Town Hall at the main entrance. And go to the lift. Go up as far as it will go.. 4 or 5 floors, I think.
And then follow the signs for the tower. Not super well marked, but you can ask also.
You have to pay at this stage. Not too much, but not super cheap either. . 20 or 30 uah.
And then... lots and lots of steps upwards, winding round and round...
If you are scared of heights - don't do it!! Going down is a nightmare, as you have to look down into the abyss and contemplate your end.
You will also need to be reasonably fit.

The view from the top is super.
Here, some buildings around the square itself ( the town hall is situated in the centre)


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Post by Nelson on Sat Aug 01, 2015 8:16 am

I have to be honest and say I have lost a good number of my Lviv photos. I have many somewhere of the amazing Cemetery.
It has an entry all on its own in wikipedia
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lychakiv_Cemetery

You need a couple of hours minimum to walk around.
Today - many many graves of those killed in the current war against Russia. Today's heroes.

To get to the cemetery, just take the tram. Number 7.  It is cheap and gets you there almost as quick as a taxi.
Cost, I think, 2 hrvnia... that's about... 4 cents... 3p ... affordable ))
You have to pay to go in. Prices have gone up. I think 20 hryvnia now. Guided tours are more expensive.
Personally, I just walked around. Worth looking in a guide book or online before to get a map, or an idea of the place.

One last place I visited - High Castle. Free.
Head east from Rinok Square. You'll see a tv tower on a high hill - that's where you're going. Perhaps 40 minutes walk in total from Prospekt Svobodi.

The view from the top is super. And you can look right around - 360% view.
Here, the view looking west towards the city centre.
Notice the Town Hall Tower right in the centre. It doesn't look too high from this viewpoint. But just try walking up it!
Not too many shops in the area. So take a bottle of water and a mars bar, or whatever your prefered snack may be )
You're likely to meet some foreigners at the top. I met a Canadian. And also somebody from Africa.



And flying high over the hill, the Ukrainian flag.
Lviv. Beautiful city. Excellent food, if you eat in the right place.
Good hotels, if you choose intelligently. And cheap travel - use trams mostly. Some buses.
Taxis are expensive. My favourite place in Ukraine, without a shadow of doubt.


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Re: Lviv - a 21 photo report. UEN exclusive

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