For years Lviv has been the home for people of different nationalities and religions. Cultures of different peoples, enriching one another, got harmoniously combined in the city. The brightest manifestation of this fact is the city’s architecture. And Lviv’s traditional patois — “balak” — is a combination of German, Jewish and Hungarian words, and it’s considered native by both Ukrainians and Poles.
The Latin Cathedral. of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary was constructed in 1344 by King Kazimir the Great. Its constructors were Mykolaj Nychko, Mykolaj Hanseke, Joahim Grom, Ambrozy Rubish and Hans Belcher. In 1361, on the king’s request, pope Urban allowed the foundation of a Latin Archeparchy in Lviv.
For centuries, the cathedral has been changing its looks, so that one can even study Lviv’s history judging by its appearance in different times.
On June 5 2001 the Latin Cathedral was visited by Pope John Paul II. This event was eternalized on a memorial board built into the cathedral walls.
In 1363–1364 the Armenian-Gregorian episcopate was founded in Lviv. Financed by wealthy Armenian merchants, emigrants from Crimea — Akop from Kaffa and Panos from Gaisaraza, the Armenian church of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary was constructed. Famous Polish architects and painters like Franciszek Monczynski, Jusef Megoffer, Witold Minkewicz and Jan Henryk Rosen were involved in the cathedral’s numerous reconstructions and restorations.
The main Greek Catholic church, dominant in Lviv’s architectural landscape, St. George Cathedral, was built in 1744–1761 by Bernard Meretyn. The building was financed by bishops Anataziy and Lev Sheptytzky on the grounds of the old St. George church and monastery. The temple is an important cultural and historical monument.
The “Golden Rose” synagogue — was a private family temple of a merchant Isaak Nachmanovych, built in 1582 by architects Pavlo Shchaslyvy and Petro Zychlyvy in a courtyard in today’s Fedorov Str. Gothic vaults and Renaissance decorations were typical for this monument. During World War II, similar to other Lviv synagogues, it was destroyed by the Nazis; presently there a functioning synagogue in Braty Michnovzi Str.
In the 70s, provoked by industrialization, an active “ukrainisation” process started in the city. According to the 2001 census 90 % of Lviv citizens are Ukrainians and 9 % are Russians, still one third of the city’s population speaks Russian.