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Market Square, Lviv, Ukraine | by Ferry Vermeer
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Market Square, Lviv, Ukraine

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The Rynok Square in Lviv (Ukrainian: Площа Ринок, Polish: Rynek we Lwowie) is a central square of the city of Lviv, Ukraine. It was planned in the second half of the 14th century, following granting city rights by Polish king Casimir III, who annexed Red Ruthenia. The king ordered Lviv to be moved more to the south, where a new city was built to the plan of a traditional European settlement: a central square surrounded by living quarters and fortifications. Old, Ruthenian Lviv had become a suburb of the new city.


The square is rectangular in shape, with measurements of 142 meters by 129 meters and with two streets radiating out of every corner. In the middle there was a row of houses, with its southern wall made by the Town Hall. However, when in 1825 the tower of the Town Hall burned, all adjacent houses were demolished and a new hall, with a 65-meter tower, was built in 1835 by architects J. Markl and F. Trescher.


Around the square, there are 44 tenement houses, which represent several architectural styles, from Renaissance to Modernism. In the four corners, there are fountains—wells from 1793, probably designed by Hartman Witwer. The sculptures represent four Greek mythological figures: Neptune, Diana, Amphitrite and Adonis. In front of the Town Hall, there was a pillory. In 1998 the Market Place, together with the historic city center of Lviv, was recognized as a UNESCO world heritage site.


The square was designed soon after Lviv’s location as a city. Originally, the buildings were Gothic; however, a great fire on 3 June 1527) destroyed most of the city. The new city, then known in Polish as Lwow, was rebuilt in Renaissance style, with a few remaining examples of Gothic architecture. There is a vault in tenement house number 24 and a portal in house number 25. The Rynok Square was witness to several important events in the history of Poland and Ukraine. Among these, in 1387 King Wladyslaw Jagiello accepted the homage of Petru I of Moldavia here. In 1436 another Moldavian ruler, Ilias of Moldavia, paid homage to King Wladyslaw III in Lviv. Also, at the pillory, several historical figures were executed, including rulers of Moldavia Ştefan Tomşa (1564), Ioan Potcoavă (Ivan Pidkova) (1577) and Iancu Sasul (1582). In 1848, during the Spring of Nations, a Polish National Guard was formed here. On 11 November 1920, prime minister Jozef Pilsudski hosted a military parade to commemorate awarding the Virtuti Militari cross to the city. Also, on 30 June 1941, Yaroslav Stetsko proclaimed Ukraine's independence in a house located on the square. In 2006, a major restoration of the square’s pavement was carried out. Square, Lviv


The Lviv palace of Prince Stanisław Lubomirski was built in the 1760s to Jan de Witte's design on the site of several older houses (one of which had been the property of Szymon Szymonowic). The palace's main façade, featuring decoration by Sebastian Vessinger, is on the Market Square. The two other fronts are considerably less conspicuous. Between 1771 and 1821, the Lubomirski Palace served as the residence for Austrian governors of Galicia. It was purchased by a Ukrainian organization, Prosvita, in the 19th century and subsequently became a hotbed of nationalist activities. It was there that Yaroslav Stetsko proclaimed Ukraine's independence several days after Nazi Germany's invasion of the Soviet Union. Next door to the Lubomirski Palace is the former palace of the Roman Catholic archbishops where King of Poland Michał Korybut Wiśniowiecki died in 1673. Palace, Lviv


The Dormition or Assumption Church (Ukrainian: Успенська церква, Uspenska tserkva) is the main Orthodox church in the city of Lviv, Ukraine. At present it is leased to the Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church. It was constructed in the late 16th and early 17th centuries with funds provided by the Greek merchant Constantine Corniaktos and other members of the Lviv Dormition Brotherhood, a local bratstvo which also operated a well-known Orthodox school and press. The church's architecture bears the mark of the Renaissance. This especially applies to the profusely decorated façade of the adjacent Chapel of the Three Hierarchs, built between 1574 and 1591 to Piotr Krasowski's designs. Nearby is one of Lviv's most conspicuous landmarks, the Korniakt Tower, which was carried to its present height of 65 meters after a conflagration in 1695. This ornate bell-tower was originally commissioned by Corniaktos from architect Piotr Barbon in the 1570s. Church, Lviv


The Carmelite Church in Lviv was first mentioned in 1634 as the church of the monastery of the Barefoot Carmelites. In 1748 it was the scene of a notorious scuffle ("monomachia") between the Carmelites and their neighbours, the Capuchins. The suburban location caused the church to be rather well fortified, yet it was ravaged by the Cossacks in the Khmelnytsky Revolt and the Swedes in the Great Northern War. The entire façade was redesigned in the 19th century. Still, the building retains much of its original character and design, attributed to architect Jan Pokorowicz. Especially noteworthy are the 300-year-old black marble altar and a series of frescoes executed by Giuseppe Pedretti in the 1730s. After 1789 the church has passed through a succession of owners, ending with the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church which reconsecrated the church to Michael the Archangel in 1991. Church, Lviv

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Taken on September 14, 2009