Despise that the first written mention is known since 1256 A.D., it does not mean that first people came to live on these hills. The archaeological excavations in 1992 in the Pidzamche district of old Lviv town confirmed a date of the first Slavonic settlment here in 5-th ct. In 981 A. D. a territory of Lviv region was joined by the Kyiv prince Volodymyr the Grate to the Kyiv state. In XII ct. after the wars the separate states. The wise princes tried to unite their lands.
For instance, Volyn prince Roman son of Mstyslav took Galych in 1199 A.D., uniting the small states of Western Rus’: Peremyshl, Zvenygorod, Belz, Galych, Terebovlya, Volyn and other. That was a Galycia-Volyn state. During 40 years after prince Roman has died (in 1205) there were a wars between the Rus, Polish and Hungarian kings. Prince Danylo of Galicia foprtified its positions on the Galician throne just in the middle of 13 ct. Son of prince Roman, Danylo Galytsky has rulled as a real diplomat and politician. In order to protect a state, he builds a numerous fortresses (Lviv as well, in the name of his son Lev). Before the Lviv was founded, in order to save a state from numerous Mongol-Tatars attacks Danylo accepted a crown from the envoys of Pope of Rome. Some of his heirs were using this title. The first written mention about Lviv was found in Galicia-Volyn chronicle. In in spring 1256 in Rus town Holm (now it is Helm – Polish territory) there was so big fire, that one from Lviv could see a fire in Holm (according the chronicle).
During the times of prince Lev (1264-1301), son of Danylo Romanovych our city Lviv became a serious trade-economical center. In 1272 A. D. the center of state was transferred here. In 1340 the last prince of the Galician dynasty – Yuriy ²² has died. Using this case, king of Poland Kazimir ²²² has robbed Lviv. Nonetheless, he could not stay here. Long times the straggle among the Polish and Lithuanian occupants disturbed a peaceful lands… Forces were not equal, and in 1387 Poland spreads here its laws and state-rules.
Local people led a constant fight against these occupants. Rebels during 16-17 centuries under the guidance of Mukha, Borulya, Nalyvayko and especially national war of Bogdan Khmelnytsky are well-known today. Poland took away Lviv till the 1772. New powerful empires have rose up at the end of the 18 ct. at European map. The division of the influence began First division of Poland among the Russia, Prussia and Austria in 1772 transferred Lviv to the Austrian-Hungarian Empire. It was a provincial center of so called Kingdom of Galicia and Volodymyria. Economical and cultural development of the town started with the new worked out oil factories and ozocerite (mountain wax) dig in the late 19 ct. The railway-construction and industry increased.
Unfortunatelly, the First world war started in 1914. As result, Russian troops occupies Lviv and Eastern Galicia for several months. It was one of the hard periods of the Lviv history. Ukrainian and Polish organizations (cultural societies, editorial companies). A lot of the Ukrainian intellectuals (writers, thinkers, artists) were exiled to Siberia.
Ukrainian troops came back to Galicia in 1915. Repressions against the “Ruso-fils” started with the maintenance of Austria-Hungarian state. Lot of peaceful people were exiled to the concenrtation camps (tha main camps were Talerhof nearby Gratz and Teresin in Austria). After First world war Austria-Hungarian Empire (some called it shred-empire) came apart. Different states were founded again: Hungary, Poland, Check-Slovakia and others. Ukrainian people also started its fight for the independence.
Core of Ukrainian civil society – ambassadors to Parliament, counselors, professors has called together a congress at October 18. Ukrainian National Assembly was founded. October 27 the Warsaw government convoke a court-commission, which has to come to Lviv at November 1 in order to overtake a power from the Austrian representative Karl Guyn. In fact, Ukrainian National Assembly with people overtook a power without the war. Early morning Lviv citizens enjoyed a national Ukrainian flags – sky-blue and yellow. Western Ukrainian Republic was proclaimed on the territories of the former Austria-Hungarian lands. Polish government did not admit such a national decision in order to enclose all these lands to Poland. “Polska od morza i do morza” (“Poland from the sea to the sea” – was very popular).
In November 1918 the bloodshed Polish-Ukrainian war started. It was totally unequal war, because the Antanta-forces (first of all the France) helped to Poland by the modern weapon. Army of the brigadier Galler was transferred from the France to Lviv. Ukrainians lead a fight by its own even in late times – January 22, 1919, when Western Ukraine tried to unite with the Ukrainian National Republic into the independent state (Document of union). Despise the bad weapon and often without a weapon Ukrainian forces kept a protection fight to the end of the summer 1919. The last detachments of Marksmen called “Sich” (Ukr. “the battle”) passes Zbruch river, which was a new border, fixed by Riga agreement in 1921. 20 years more Lviv and whole Western Ukraine was under the Polish occupation – till 1939. Politics of the active Polonization of Ukrainian people was forced upon a population. The same or even more sinister repressions started for Ukrainians on the Soviet territory of Ukraine (other riverside of Zbruch).
Since fascist Germany in 1939 September 1 attacked a Poland, Second world war started. In 1939 September 17 Soviet army crossed a Zbruch river and after five days came into Lviv. In Lviv opera so called labor-meeting accepted a declarations of “Soviet power over the Western Ukraine” and “Inclusion of the Western Ukraine into the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic”. On the one hand, for Ukrainians to be one state – it was a dream and real event. One people became one again after the hundreds years of the forced division. On the other hand Stalin, leading a soviet solders to Western Ukraine did not took in account a real wish of peaceful people. It was only new power separation (see “Pakt of Molotov-Ribbentrop” 23.08.1939).
Since 1939 in Western Ukraine started a mass terror as it was before on the whole central and eastern Ukraine. Shootings, deportations and crippling of Ukrainian, Jewish, Polish intellectuals and farmers with the families started till 1941 June 30. Thousands crippled corpses of students, pupils, teachers and artists were buried under the Lviv prisons Brygidky, prisons on the Zamarstynivska str. and Lontskoho str. after retreat of the soviet troops. The same situation was in the other towns. Fraternal cemeteries hid a millions martyrs. Millions people were oppressed, it was even forbidden to remind a terror till the very end of the Soviet country. This is why an attitude of the Ukrainians to soviet system was negative. Bloody fascist occupation was in Ukraine till July 27 1994. After 1945 time to time Ukraine was in the fire of the periodical repressions.
So, 1939 – 1991 years Lviv was a regional center of Western Ukraine. Year before the independence was proclaimed (April 3 in 1990) the sky-blue and yellow flag was upon the Lviv tower. New page of the Lviv history started in 1991. It is a page of the Ukrainian independence.
Modern Lviv is compact, comfortable city to live. Territory counts 171 sq. km., and population is about 760 thousand people. Ethnically more than 70 % of population are Ukrainians. In our city traditionally live Russians, Bielorussians, Jewish, Armenians, Polish, Germany, Slovak, Czheck and representatives of 83 other nationalities. Our city is located in the upper part of Poltva-river (left branch of Bug-river). Modern Lviv has no alarge water sources or rivers. Poltva runs under the town-collectors. Nonetheless, the colorful Roztochchya hills have some iron sources on the main European water-separation among the rivers of Baltic and Bleak-sea systems. Lviv inhabitants have a joke that rain water from roofs of one side – run to rivers of Baltivc sea and from the other – to rivers of Bleak sea. Lviv has a medium continental, damp climate, with a soft winter. In January temperature is on average – 4C, in July: +18C.