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Where there is no law, but every man does what is right in his own eyes, there is the least of real liberty
Henry M. Robert

Lviv has never had this kind of History

20 March, 2007 - 00:00
YAROSLAV ISAIEVYCH / Photo by the author

“... Lviv is situated in a place that is like an arbor in the middle of paradise. The surroundings are very beautiful. If you just step over the threshold, you immediately see so many wonderful things that you would have to travel for hundreds of miles to see this...In this city, like in Venice, it has become commonplace to encounter people from every corner of the world in their specific costumes: Hungarians wearing their small magerkas, Cossacks wearing big kuchmas, Russians wearing white shapkas, Turks in white chalmas. All of these people wear long costumes, while Germans, Italians, and Spaniards are in short ones. Everyone, no matter what language he speaks, will find his language here. The city is situated more than a hundred miles from the sea. But when you see a crowd of Cretans, Turks, and Italians wearing sailors’ clothing, whirling next to barrels of Malmsey wine, it seems that a port is just at the city gates.”

This extract from the travel notes of Martin Gruneveg, who lived in Lviv in 1582-1602, gives an idea of the city to which a large group of Lviv-based historians, enamored of their home town, devoted several years of painstaking work. They have just published the first volume of the History of Lviv.

This is the most complete history of Lviv in the 750 years of its existence. It was created by a large collective of 50 authors under the general editorship of Academician Yaroslav Isaievych, the director of the Ivan Krypiakevych Institute of Ukrainian Studies. The edition was prepared for publication by the Lviv publishing house Tsentr Evropy.

The first volume examines the history of Lviv starting from the first manuscript mention of the city (1256) until it came under the rule of the Habsburg Empire (1772). The second volume, to be published this month, covers Lviv’s Habsburg period (1772 - October 1918.) The third volume, which the authors plan to issue by City Day, covers the period from November 1918 to the present.

This unique publication is richly illustrated with reproductions of engravings, icons, old portraits, photographs and drawings of buildings, sculptures, and handicrafts. Among the illustrations is the first cartographic depiction of the city on a map of Europe dating to the year 1339.

No city in Ukraine, including Kyiv, can boast of such a published history. There are plans to publish a Polish edition of the History of Lviv in the form of a digest.

By Iryna YEHOROVA, The Day