Lviv Photos: Few cities in the world are like an open-air museum. One of them is Lviv - a great European city which is an original and inseparable part of the image of contemporary Ukraine. In the 10th century the territory of the present-day Lviv region was part of the ancient Kyivan state, at that time one of the most influential countries in Europe and the Middle East, a rival to Byzantium. The city of Lviv was founded by Prince Danylo Halytsky, later king of Galicia-Volhynia between 1240 and 1250. Lviv, meaning "city of the Lion", was named in honour of Danylo's son Lev (i.e. Leo - the Lion). First historical records about Lviv are from 1245. Lviv was founded as a fortress for the defence of trade routes. However, it later lost its defensive significance and became a major commercial and economic centre. The favourable geographical location of the city at the cross-roads of important trade routes from western Europe to Asia and from Scandinavia to Byzantium led to a rapid expansion of trade and manufacture. Germans, Armenians, Greeks, Serbs, Jews, Poles, Hungarians, Italians and Tartars settled in Lviv. The publication of the first printed book in Lviv, Ivan Fedorov's "Apostle", was the beginning of book publishing in Eastern Europe. Literature, architecture and fine art developed in Galicia. In 1661 the University of Lviv was founded. Lviv, which today has a population of over 830 000, is the cultural, political and economic centre of Western Ukraine. The economy of Lviv is strong, with the presence of leading industrial branches such as engineering, instrument manufacturing, chemistry, glass, ceramics and timber as well as printing and tourism. A network of specialised banking institutions is developing. Today Lviv is a city of science and education. Eight institutes of the Ukrainian National Academy of Visitors to Lviv are impressed by well-preserved architecture dating from the 17th to 20th centuries. The Lviv historical city centre is registered as a UNESCO world heritage site. One can find in Lviv the most beautifull architecture in Eastern Europe and it is no wonder that many who visit the city leave with lasting memories & love for Ukraine. In the below articles you can read of the proud history of this marvel of a city that all Ukrainians claim with pride & suggested tour of views not to be missed.