I’m arriving at the bus station, what’s the time actually, it’s hard to say, because I haven’t woken up yet. I’m getting off the bus, it’s pouring out, I can see only the gray and gloomy, neglected bus station. I look around, and it doesn’t look any better, damaged buildings and bus stops. A quick glance at the tram tracks, crunched on the four sides of the world. Although I’m still unconscious after a night trip, my gut instinct tells me it’s better to get on the bus.
While I’m watching the monotonous landscape of the city, I’m asking myself: is this really beautiful, antique Lviv, I’ve heard so much about?
A short walk down the empty street, finally it’s Saturday 8 am. I’m watching demolished townhouses with windows decorated with various laces, markets with icons and all kinds of bric-a-bracks, destroyed facades of the buildings. Surprisingly, I’m starting to like this town, it has something special, THIS unique atmosphere.
Liviv is a city – surprise. You need to look deeper to get to know it.
One of the most interesting places is Casino. The building was built between 1897 and 1898. Since then, he has been used for many purposes, as well as it has had many names. Now it’s called the Home of Scholars.
The building impresses from the outside, but what’s inside… it knocks down. On the ground floor there are wooden twisted steps on which you can feel like in the scene of the Titanic. The building itself was used to make films like D’ Artagnan or the Three Musketeers.
On the first floor there are beautiful rooms – white with marble fireplace, black – concert room, red with beautiful crystal chandeliers and one with an antique terrace. Officially, the Casino is closed to visitors, but in practice the security guard will show you it for 15 UHR.
The next point – the Cathedral of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary is one of the oldest churches in Lviv. The dark climatic interior combined with a colorful, oriental decoration makes an amazing impression.
Close to the cathedral, there’s a small, Armenian café where you can drink the world’s best coffee made on the sand (more details here).
Apart from the coffee, Lviv also smells chocolate, prepared in different ways and strudels with various filling, which you can taste in a wide range of climatic restaurants.
It’s also worth looking into the Orthodox Church. From the outside, it appears to be a simple, typical chapel, but when you get into, you’ll be surprised by its cosy atmosphere.
Just outside the Old Square, there’s one of the oldest pharmacies in Lviv, operating from the 18th century. In addition to the interesting decor, you can see exhibits used to make medicines and numerous vials, weights and old documents.
The Panorama of Lviv is best seen from the perspective of a gnome sitting on the chimney of the Dim Lehend Restaurant or from a car located on its roof!
But one thing is sure, Lviv is a very specific city and very neglected. At first glance, it may seem gray and gloomy, but just take a look a little further, enter the building or even the courtyard to see the amazing, surprising face of this city.
That’s its character, you can love it or hate it, and for me it’s love, maybe not at the first sight, but I know I’ll come back here again.