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KARPATY.INFO/Traveling in the Carpathians and around/Western Ukraine/Lviv region:

 

Lviv region

Lviv oblast (Administrative region) is located in the westernmost part of Ukraine. It shares borders to the north and northeast with Volyn and Rivne regions, to the east and southeast — with Ternopil and Ivano-Frankivsk regions, and to the south — with Zakarpattia Region. It also shares a part of Ukraine’s western border with Poland.

The administrative center is the city of Lviv.

Ukrainians make up most of the region’s population. Boykos, a Ukrainian ethnic group, live in the mountainous part of the region.

Natural conditions of the region are varied due to its location at the crossroads of different geografical zones. Lviv region is located within the boundaries of a forest-steppe area and the Ukrainian Carpathians. The region’s terrain is mountainous in the south, with highlands further north in the Precarpathian area. The Podilska Vysochyna (Podolian Upland) is mostly hilly, while Small Polissia and the Higher San Plains are made up of lowlands. Highlands appear again in the Volhynian Upland. The highest elevated areas of the Podolian Upland are the Roztocze Hills (reaching up to 397 m), Holohory, which includes Mt. Kamula (471 m), the highest peak in the plains area of the region, and Voronyaky (reaching up to 440 m). The Ukrainian Carpathians lie in the southwest. The Carpathians are bordered by the Beskids, which are composed of ranges and valleys that run parallel to each other. The Upper Dniester Beskids reach a height of 750 m while the Skole Beskids — 1200-1360 m. The interior belt is made up of the Vododil Range which includes Mt. Pikuy (1408 m), the highest peak in Lviv region.

The climate of Lviv region is temperate continental. It is formed for the most part thanks to the combination of the Atlantic Ocean (significant amounts of rainfall, quick changes in weather conditions) and continental air masses. Winter is relatively warm with frequent thaws; summer is warm but not hot, and on occasion it can be cool (especially in the Carpathians). The climate in the mountains is much more severe, with temperatures dropping with altitude changes (approximately .5 C° per 100 m). Snow cover can be inconsistent but it usually begins in December and lasts until March. The deepest snow cover occurs in February (30-40 cm in the plains and 50-100 cm in the mountains).

Forests, meadows and marshes make up most of the area’s natural vegetation. Forests are predominantly mixed deciduous or coniferous. Large tracts of forests (pine, spruce, beech, oak and hornbeam) cover the mountainous and northern regions.

The distribution of the region’s hydrographic grid is a result of its location within the borders of the Main European Watershed, which divides the basins of the Baltic and Black Seas. 8,950 rivers flow through the region, 216 of which are over 10 km long. These rivers belong to the Dnieper and Dniester Basins (Black Sea Basins) and the Western Bug Basin (Baltic Sea Basin). The longest river is the Dniester (250 km in length within the region's borders); its tributaries include the Bystrytsya, Stryj and Svicha rivers on its right bank and the Stryvihor and Vereshchytsya rivers on its left. The Styr river (Prypyat river tributary) belongs to the Black Sea Basin while the Poltva and Rata rivers (Western Bug tributaries) as well as the Vyshnya and Shklo rivers (San river tributaries) belong to the Baltic Sea Basin. There are many small lakes in the area, the biggest of which are the Yanivske, Drozdovychske and Lyubinske Lakes. In the region there are more than 100 mineral water sources of different chemical compositions, most of them are used for treatment. "Oleska", "Morshynska", "Truskavetska", "Skolivska", "Soluky" are sorts of table water with therapeutic effect and they are commercially bottled.

Lviv Region, thanks to its natural surroundings, historic, architectural and ethnographic attractions, is home to many noteworthy tourist destinations, spa and wellness resorts, and recreational activity hot spots. According to both local and foreign tourists, Lviv is the most interesting place in the region. However, Lviv region is also rest in the mountains, at the foothills, in castles and other interesting sights and places. Most of the buildings and elements built in the Ancient Rus, Romanesque, Gothic, Renaissance, Baroque, Classical, Empire, Art Nouveau and other architectural styles have survived through the time and remain pretty well-preserved.

The most famous mountain ski resorts are Slavske, Oryavchyk, Tysovets, Volosyanka, Rozluch, Plavya; balneological (spa) resorts are Truskavets, Morshyn, Skhidnytsya, Velyky Lyubin, Shklo, Nemyriv.

Worth seeing:
Lviv and other old towns with their historical and architectural sights: Zhovkva, Drohobych, Horodok, Sambir, Zolochiv.

Castles in Lviv region:
Monasteries:
You can also find more other interesting sights on sites of districts, towns, and villages.
TOP-10 interesting architectural sights:
TOP-10 interesting museums:
Conservancy areas:
The region boasts 400 territories and landmarks protected by the Natural Reserve Fund (total area of 113'000 ha, 5.2% of the region's territory), 33 sanctuaries, 240 natural monuments, 55 memorial landscape parks and 61 natural reserves. Among them there are:
  • Roztochya Natural Reserve
  • National parks — Yavorivsky and Skolivski Beskydy
  • Landscape natural reserves — Berdo, Starytsi Dnistra
  • Lopatynsky Forest Natural Reserve
  • Dibrova Zoological Natural Reserve
  • Botanical natural reserves — Leshnivsky, Volytsky
  • Hydrological natural reserves — Chaykovsky, Potelytsky
  • Botanical natural monuments — Lysa Mountain and Sypukha Mountain
  • Complex natural monument — Vapnyarka Mountain
  • Botanical gardens of Lviv National and Forestry Engineering Universities
  • Arboreta — Obroshynsky and Rudkivsky
  • Park monuments — Stryjsky, Mizhenetsky, Sambirsky, Pidhirtsivsky, Busky and Pidhoretsky
Interesting Facts:
The Beskyd Railway Tunnel, with a length of 1747 m, is the longest mountain tunnel in Ukraine. It was built in 1887 and is located between the Skotarske and Beskyd Railway Stations.

The Beskyd Station, built 790 m a.s.l., is the highest altitude railway station in Ukraine.

The Museum of Art Industry, founded in Lviv in 1873, was the first art museum on the territory of Ukraine.

On July 14, 1894, the first soccer match in Ukraine’s history took place between Lviv and Krakow 'Sokil' teams.

The sport resort “Tysovets”, located 1000 m a.s.l. is the biggest alpine facility in Ukraine and can accommodate up to 450 people.

Lviv National Art Gallery is the largest museum in Ukraine. Over 40,000 objects are exhibited in the Gallery and its total area together with the affiliates is 16,000 square meters.

The first Ukrainian Mobile Phone Throwing Championship took place in Lviv on September 14, 2002. The winner set a new world record by throwing an Alcatel phone to 82.86 m.

On May 3, 2003 in Lviv, Ukrainian strongman competitor Vasyl Virastyuk accomplished the following incredible feats in 54 minutes: he pulled 5 tram cars with a total weight of 101.5 tons at a distance of 17.9 meters in 59.62 seconds, pulled 10 cars weighing 16.3 tons for 19.3 meters in 64 seconds and carried two suitcases weighing 171 kg each (record weight) for 19 m in 9.94 seconds.

In 2005 students from Lviv Polytechnic National University set world records for both the longest written lecture notes and the largest group performance of the student anthem “Gaudeamus”.

Another record was set in Lviv during the city’s annual Beer Festival on June 21, 2009: 1,715 people raised their steins filled with Lviv beer and simultaneously shouted the traditional Ukrainian toast – “Budmo!”.

Transport:
The region’s network of trains and highways ensures that the area is connected to many of the country’s other regions and its neighboring countries. There is an international airport in Lviv.

The most important railway routes: Kyiv–Lviv–Prague (or Budapest), Warsaw–Przemysl–Lviv–Bucharest. Main railway junctions — Lviv and Stryj.

The highways in Lviv region are more or less satisfactory. Visitors are impressed by the Kyiv–Lviv–Chop highway, which was almost completely reconstructed a few years ago and now feels like a European roadway with its quality surface, at least its section from Kyiv to Stryj. Main roads: Kyiv–Lviv–Chop (M-06), Lviv–Ternopil–Vinnytsya–Kirovohrad (H-02), Lviv–Ivano-Frankivsk–Mukacheve (H-09), Stryj–Ivano-Frankivsk–Chernivtsi (M-12).

There is an international airport in Lviv.

 

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