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01 Jun. 2023

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Things you didn't know about Lviv: unusual facts about the city

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Things you didn't know about Lviv: unusual facts about the city

Lviv is not only a city of a thousand lions, museums, and coffee, but some facts about it may surprise even native Lvivites. Learn more about modern and atypical Lviv with us

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Lviv is the city where the first Ukrainian book was printed, the first railroad tracks and a European-style post office were built, the first Ukrainian theater, university, and school were opened, and the world's first kerosene lamp was lit and the first balloon was lifted into the air. However, these are well-known historical facts that every Ukrainian can be proud of. But what do you know about modern Lviv?


We invite you to get acquainted with another, atypical side of Lviv.


Is Lviv Europe?


Lviv is an original city with an unusual atmosphere and a special character. Moreover, it became the first Ukrainian city to be included in the Top 100 European Cities. It fascinates every tourist, and for good reason, because Lviv is called the twin of Prague, old Krakow, and little Paris. This is due to the fact that the city combines the history of 8 states that Lviv once was part of.


By the way, the city became Paris not only in words, because in 1978 Lviv was the location for the filming of the 3-episode movie D'Artagnan and the Three Musketeers. As you know, the events in the movie took place in the French capital.


Interestingly, the city has several streets named after Western stars and figures. Among them are the streets of Washington, Lincoln, John Lennon and others.


The world's second Statue of Liberty


In the late nineteenth century, Leonard Marconi installed a sculptural group on the building of the Galician Savings Bank, the central figure of which was called the "second Statue of Liberty." Today it is located on the roof of the Lviv Ethnographic Museum.


In fact, the sculpture is a symbol of frugality and banking success, but the difference is that the Ukrainian statue is "sitting". During the Soviet era, this gave rise to many ironic expressions such as "even Freedom is sitting in the USSR."




What is the connection between Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II and Lviv?


Ruslan Baginsky, the Ukrainian king of hats and accessories, was born and raised in Lviv. His brand is chosen not only by famous Ukrainian women, but also by world stars, including Madonna and Miley Cyrus.


In addition, Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain received a specially designed hat in yellow and blue colors from RB as a gift, which became a symbol of Ukrainians' gratitude for the support of the state amid the terrible war.


Read more interesting facts about Ukrainian designers of international renown here.


What do a modern historic building in Lviv, humor, and a toilet have in common?


At 45 Rynok Square, you can find a historic building where one of the most famous restaurants, Atlas, was located in the 1930s. What is the irony? 

If all Ukrainians "went to the toilet," then Lviv residents who traded on the square "went to Mr. Eju," the owner of the aforementioned establishment, which had a paid toilet. The rules established in the Atlas describe Lviv humor with particular eloquence:


● "It is not allowed to use plates, glasses, and chairs as arguments for your political and religious views"

● "Guests are not allowed to take home knives and forks, and if they really want to, they can have no more than one pair per month"

● "A certain amount of alcohol consumed allows you to demand that the owner of the establishment deliver the visitor home free of charge"

● "If you encounter poor service, please be patient, wait, eat, drink, and leave the restaurant without scandal and without paying the bill."


Today, guests and residents of the city can visit the restored restaurant at the same address after it was confiscated by the Soviets.






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What is the connection between Lviv and Hollywood?


For more than 15 years, Lviv has been one of the developers of special effects for Hollywood. It is thanks to IT developers from Lviv that the world has seen such films as Harry Potter, The Hulk, and Spiderman.


Sex and the city


In 1425, a "Pillar of Shame" was erected in Lviv, where citizens were publicly punished for "love crimes." In those centuries, extramarital affairs, homosexual relations, self-gratification, and love affairs between Christians and non-Christians were considered a violation and a crime.

This pillar has survived to this day and can be found in the Italian Courtyard of the Lviv Historical Museum.


At the same time, Lviv is known as the city where "masochism" was founded, as the world-famous Leopold von Sacher-Masoch was born and raised here. Today, there is a brass monument to Masoch in Lviv, which, by the way, has a "highlight" in the form of a protruding pocket with the writer's charms. It is believed that whoever puts his hand in Masoch's pocket will find happiness. 




In addition, guests and residents of the city can visit the eponymous Masoch coffee shop and try the signature drink "Punish me, my mistress!". But be prepared for more than just a tasting.


And this is only a small part of the unusual facts about Lviv, because this city and its residents have such a rich history that it is impossible to tell about all the "highlights" even by writing a book. 



Visit Ukraine is an organiser of tours around Ukraine. 800 tours. Choose yours on the website.


So, if you are planning a trip to Western Ukraine, we recommend that you do not neglect your safety and choose safe tours with Visit Ukraine!


We remind you that even in today's realities, the attractiveness of Ukraine's picturesque landscapes continues to attract foreign tourists. Find out about the most popular and most visited places here.




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