The city of Lviv is now open to the world; its motto is to be the cultural and tourist capital of Ukraine. Rynok Square and some nearby places of interest are located at the heart of Lviv and are definitely worth featuring as a Lomo location.
The first written mention of Lviv dates back to 1256. According to the most common version, this city was founded by Prince Daniil Galitsky and named in honor of his son, Leo Daniilovich. From 1272 to 1349 it was the capital of Galicia-Volyn principality. In 1349, the Polish king Casimir III the Great conquered Lviv and until 1772 it was part of Poland. In 1772, after the First Partition of Poland, Lviv became the capital of an Austrian province – the so-called Kingdom of Galicia and Lodomerii. From 1918 to 1939, it again, became part of Poland. After the 2nd World War – in the USSR, and after 1991 – as part of independent Ukraine. Of course, every era has left its mark in shaping the city. It’s nice to know that the city’s rich history is well-preserved especially through the existing architecture. There has been no demolitions and construction sites. Streets are the same as a century ago, complete with paved stone blocks and even the doors of all houses are 100-year old wood carvings.
Rynok Square (or “Ploshcha Rynok” in Ukrainian) is located at the heart of this medieval city. In the center of the square is the Town Hall, next, a cathedral. On either side of it are 44 buildings of different ages and architectural styles, mostly from the XVI – XVIII centuries. The square’s area was built by artisans who were invited from Germany. It was named The Ring (ring). The local pronunciation of the word was transformed into “Rynok”. Thus, it gave its name to the market area, and not vice versa.
From every corner of the square step are two streets, which divide the city into large blocks. In 1793, four fountains were put up in the square, which can be seen up to this day. Each fountain is crowned with a statue of a mythological hero: Neptune, Diana, Amphitrite, and Adonis. Houses on the square are very beautiful. Almost all of the facades have only three windows, as the land is very expensive, and for increasing the number of windows they had to pay higher taxes. Almost every house has a board, which says, “Architectural heritage”.
The most beautiful buildings in Ploshcha Rynok are located on the east side. This so-called House of Bandinelli, Black Kamenica (or Black House), and the Palace of Korniakt. There is a historical museum in all of these buildings. Black Kamenica is more richly decorated than all the other homes on the square. This house got its name during the 19th century in darkened times from which the facade is made of rust. Korniakt Palace was built in 1580 for a wealthy merchant with Greek origins, Constantine Korniakt. It was then owned by Polish king, John III Sobieski. This palace has a beautiful courtyard with a loggia, the so-called Italian courtyard.
Now Ploscha Rynok is a tourist and museum located downtown in Lviv. It is always crowded with tourists. There are also many museums, cafes, and souvenir shops in this area.
Lviv’s historic centre including Rynok Square has been on the UNESCO World Heritage list since 1998.