Lviv is a very special place that wins you over every time you go outside. You can be living here for years, know the city very well, but now and then you will find a beautiful alley or stumble on a charming courtyard you have not seen before. Not many tourists, or even locals know that there is a whole district with old beautiful manor houses. Here is a self guided tour to see some of the best historic mansions in Lviv, Ukraine.
Located between Rynok square and the railway station (20 minutes walk) there is a district that long ago was called “The Garden City” or “New World”. In the beginning of the 19th century there wasn’t much in this area, forests, bushes, wild animals. This was until an architect and a businessman (Józef Sosnowski and Alfred Zacharevyc) decided to buy this land and built beautiful villas with gardens for nobles.
They created a building company that offered to do everything: sell you land, create a villa blueprint, and build it. The idea was great, and the profits were high. It was going to be a beautiful area with magnificent villas, and charming gardens. However, not just nobles requested a home in “The Garden City”. Some of the business people wanted to make money on this property, so they ordered them to build apartment buildings to collect money on rent.
Therefore, the “The Garden City” idea didn’t go according to plan, however there were more than a dozen beautiful villas that you can admire.
The duration of this self guided tour can be anywhere between 30 minutes to an hour (starting from the first location).
You should start your tour on 47 Konovatsia street. The first villa you will see is called “Palace Of Plaster Kings”. This is because this villa was built on request of a very rich widow. Her husband was a very famous businessman who had mines and a plaster factory.
Nowadays the villa is a medical center for sportsmen that need rehabilitation. Unfortunately, the building itself isn’t in the greatest condition, but you can see from the outside how regal it must have been in the past.
Location: Yevhena Konovaltsia St, 47, Lviv, Lviv Oblast, 79000
Just 2 minutes away from the palace of Plaster Kings, there is another villa that is called “Geller Villa ”, also known as “The house of the Sun” (due to the many decorations in the form of the sun).
This villa was built in 1905 and sold to Ludwik Geller, the first director of the City Theater.
Nowadays, the Geller villa is a residential house with few apartments. Unfortunately, because there are a few owners, no one wants to spend money to take care of the facade, therefore little by little the villa is falling apart.
Location: Mel’nyka St, 7, Lviv, Lviv Oblast, 79000
On 61 Henerala Chuprynky street there is one more villa that was turned into a monastery at first and then into a hospital.
There is not much to tell you about this villa, except that the left box-looking part of the villa wasn’t part of the original building. When the villa was turned into a monastery, the nuns built the extension. They tried to make it look the same, but you still can tell that it was added later.
Location: Henerala Chuprynky St, 61, Lviv, Lviv Oblast, 79000
Just a few minutes away is located the villa of Ludwik Wiezhbitsky.
Ludwik Wiezhbitsky was a very respectable and well-known person in Lviv. He was an architect, a professor at Lviv Polytechnic university, and the director of Lviv railway.
Ludwik Wiezhbitsky’s family says that he personally created a project for his villa where he and his family lived for a long time.
Until 2005, the Villa of Ludwik Wiezhbitsky didn’t undergo major changes. However in 2005 the villa was rebuilt, during which much of the wooden decor was destroyed, including a unique wall sunclock.
Location: Metrolohichna St, 2, Lviv, Lviv Oblast, 79000
Sosnowski Palace is a villa that contains two buildings, two different addresses, and looks more like a palace than a villa.
Sosnowski Palace is also known as a House-Castle.
Jozef Sosnowski, the famous architect who built many buildings around Western Ukraine, built his own home in 1901.
The most noticeable part of his place/house is the corner tower that is built in Moorish style. The tower makes you feel like the palace was built in medieval times.
Near the entrance, on the right side you can see one of the famous Lviv lions.
Nowadays, Sosnowski Palace is a residential building with a few apartments and offices. You can go inside the main entrance to see the carriage hall and have a peek at the courtyard with a few structures which used to be stables and servants’ houses.
Location: Henerala Chuprynky St, 50-52, Lviv, Lviv Oblast, 79000
Opposite Sosnowski palace there is another villa that belonged to Mykhayla Kovalʹchuka, another well-known architect.
Villa Mykhayla Kovalʹchuka was built in 1898. The villa’s facade is made of unplastered polychrome bricks. Some of the neo-baroque details are present in the decoration of the villa. A corner tower brings a special, fairytale-like atmosphere.
Location: Henerala Chuprynky St, 33, Lviv, Lviv Oblast, 79000
The villa of Placid Dzevinsky was built in the 1890s. It is a fairly small estate that is surrounded by very busy streets from the three sides.
The facade is non-plastered brick that has some Carpathian decoration.
The villa of Placid Dzevinsky has an interesting and not such a happy history. When the Soviets came, Dzevinsky’s family had to run away. This house was given to one of the KGB’s commanders, who had an obsession about collecting antiques.
Because of this obsession, he sent some people to the Gulag and stole their property, or would terrorize them by blackmail. His collection grew, and he willed this collection to a Moscow museum.
After his death, the officials from Moscow museums came to pick up the antiques, but citizens of Lviv protested against it. And then the Soviet Union fell apart and of course Lviv didn’t send this collection away.
Nowadays, you can visit Zlochevsky castle (about an hour outside Lviv), and in the part of the castle that is called Chinese palace you can see the collection of antiques that was stolen from the Lviv people by a Moscow KGB agent.
Location: Henerala Chuprynky St, 21, Lviv, Lviv Oblast, 79000
Zygmunt Rozwadowski is a famous artist. You can guess that the villa of Zygmunt Rozwadowski belonged to a painter by the big panoramic windows on the second floor.
The villa of Zygmunt Rozwadowski has its own long and dark history. In 1927 this villa became the USSR consulate. The citizens weren’t that happy about this, so more than once they threw stones and bricks into the windows of the consulate.
In 1933 a young boy, Lymik, attempted to kill the consul of the USSR and bring attention of the world to what was happening in Ukraine at that time (artificial famine that the USSR government organized in Ukraine in 1932 – 1933; Seven million people died in 17 months).
Nowadays, the villa of Zygmunt Rozwadowski is a residential building in not so great condition.
Location: Ivana Kotlyarevskoho St, 27, Lviv, Lviv Oblast, 79000
Louis Baldwin-Ramult was an architect, His villa was built in 1890.
The villa of Louis Baldwin-Ramult has a Bavarian style. It is a very nice place, but unfortunately it needs some work done.
Nowadays the villa of Louis Baldwin-Ramult is a beauty salon.
Location: Mykhaila Verbyts’koho St, 4, Lviv, Lviv Oblast, 79000
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