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Lviv History Museum

Among Ukraine's museums, the Lviv History Museum is one of the oldest and richest in historical artefacts and cultural relicts. Its displays help visitors visualise and trace the historical past of the town of Lviv and the lands of Galicia from olden times to modern days.

The Museum's collections are housed in buildings Numbers 4, 6, 24 Rynok Square. These buildings house arhitectural monuments of the 16th, 17th, and 18th centures.

The exhibits on the ancient and medieval history of western Ukrainian lands are available for observation at 24 Rynok Square. The materials, displayed there, provide information on the town's beginnings, activities of Old-Ruthenian Prince Danylo of Galicia, and help illustrate the fight of the Ukrainian people led by Bogdan Khmelnytsky.

The struggle of the Ukrainian people for their national identity and statehood in the 19th - 20th centuries is illustrated by the exhibits featuring Ukraine's Modern History events, which are on display in buildings No 4 Rynok Square.

The Royal Chambers of building No 6 Rynok Square preserve and exhibit historical valuables, comprised of 18th-century furniture and clocks, silver artefacts, a unique collection of decorations and medals, and other items.

The former Town Arsenal, an architectural monument of the 16th century, offers for observation old arms and weapons (13th - early 20th centuries) from nearly 40 countries of the world.

The Lviv History Museum was affiliated with its branch "Literary Lviv in the first half of the 20th century" at Gvardiyska Str. in the early 1990s. Its new departments were set up in the towns of Brody and Peremishliany. Other major offshoots are: the History Museum of Old-Ruthenian Town of Zvenigorod; the Museum of Colonel Yevhen Konovalets (OUN leader) in the village of Kulchytsi, Sambir district; and the Tustan' Historical and Cultural Preserve.

The Lviv History Museum was founded in 1893. Its earliest collection was not numerous and comprised historic materials and objects formerly stored in the town archives and different magisterial offices. Some acquisitions were donations and gifts from people of the town.

The first house of the Museum was the archive department of the Town Hall. As the number of exhibits was growing, the magistracy bought, in 1908, the ancient stone building at 6 Rynok Square to house the National Museum named after King Jan III Sobieski. In 1918, five halls were given to the History Museum, to house the town's collections.

In 1926, Lvovites acquired another building for the Museum, at 4 Rynok Square. Five thousand items from the collection of the History Museum were transferred to this new building and opened for public observation on the 22nd of September, 1929.

On the 8th of May 1940, the History Museum of Lviv and the National Museum named after King Jan III Sobieski were united to form one institution - the Lviv History Museum.

Today, it stores over 320,000 museum objects. The Museum's major collections include materials of archaeological excavations, tools, wares by craftsmen of Lviv's guilds, works of art, old coins, orders and medals and arms and weapons.

In 1994, a new section was initiated in the Museum - the History of Ukraine's Struggle for Liberation.

A collection of materials on the militant activities and operations of Ukraine's combatants is displayed in the Museum House at 4 Rynok Square.

This exhibit illustrates memorable events of World War I that involved Ukrainian Sichovi Striltsi, Ukrainian Galician Army, offers documentary accounts of underground activities of the UVO - OUN in the interval between the wars, displays a great variety of materials such as: leaflets, War Fund counters, illegal editions and publications featuring the fights of the Ukrainian Insurgent Army (UPA), Secret organisations of the OUN, the "Galichina Ukrainian Division, - 1-UD-UPA, materials on the Ukrainian Chief Liberation Council (UGVR).

This department of the Museum invites Ukrainian patriots, participants of the Liberation Movement, living either in Ukraine or abroad to co-operate in acquiring new items for the Museum's collections and in exchanging scientific information.