In the nearest Lviv surroundings we recommend to visit Vynnyky and Bryukhovychi with their picturesque landscape, pine and beech forests. But more distant trips around Lviv region are of interest for tourists too.
First of all we advise to make an excursion to ancient town reserve Zhovkva (Żółkiew). It is a town-fortress, an inimitable architectural ensemble, having the biggest number of relics in the region after Lviv.
The town was founded by hetman S. Żółkiewski in 1594 according to carefully thought over plan by architect Paulus Szczęśliwy. In the late 17th century Żółkiew was one of the residences of king Jan III and a large art center. Most of well-known structures were erected in the 17-18th centuries. In front of the castle behind the ramparts the market square (now Vicheva Square) there was laid out, with dwelling houses with open arcade galleries built out on its sides. The new Town Hall appeared in the early 20th century in the place of the old town hall in the square near Hly-ns'ke gate. The monumental late-Renaissance Parochial Latin Church of St. Laurence (arch. Paulus Szczęśliwy, Paolo Romano, Ambrosius Przychylny, 1606-1618) dominates the place. Sculptural tombs of the 17th century of the Żółkiewski and Sobieski families are worthy to be seen in it.
Further to the north there is the ensemble of Basilian Cloister together with the Church of the Nativity of Christ (the 17th - the early 20th century). Interesting paintings of Yu. Butsmanyuk are in the church (1930s). In the northern east from market square there is the synagogue with traceiy typically Renaissance attic (1687). One can move to the nearby complex of the former Cloister and the Latin Church of the Dominicans (the 17th - the early 20th century), with the Church of St. Josaphat functioning in it now. In former suburbs of Zhovkva one can see old wooden churches - of St. Trinity (1720) and the Nativity of the Holy Virgin (1705, the iconostasis of 1710-1727).
From Zhovkva we come over the distance of 12 km to the village of Krekhiv. Here is the ensemble of the Basilians Cloister, the Theological Seminary functioning in it now.
The cloister complex of the 17th-18th centuries consists of St. Nicholas Church, three buildings of cells, massive ramparts with towers-belfries and entrance gates. The cloister began its new life after substantial restoration of 1990-1997.
Going through Zhovkva district we cannot but admire the landscape with lakes; it is the territory of the state protected woodland "Roztochchya".
Another motor-car tour leads to the east of Lvi v along the tour of the so-called "Golden horse-shoe", where ancient castles are situated.
Having come over 75 km of the way along Kyiv highway from Lviv we can see on a high hill the Olesko Castle, an outstanding relic of architecture and history of 13 th—18th centuries. In the 14th century it was a powerful fortress of ancient Rus'.Inthe 15th-16th centuries the castle became the residence of magnates and was rebuilt in the spirit of Italian Renaissance in the 1620s. In 1629 King Jan III Sobieski was born here. Later he used to live here and collected numerous art works. In the 18th century the castle belonged to the Rzewuski family.
After the restoration of 1965—1975 the reserve museum, the section of the Lviv Art Gallery was formed here. Hundreds of unique works of paintings, sculpture, applied arts of the 10th—19th centuries are collected in the museum. Icons, portraits, still-lives, big battle-pieces, furniture, arras, a considerable collection of sculpture of Lviv school of the 16th-18th centuries are among them. The castle is surrounded by a picturesque park.
Not far from Olesko there is located the Castle in Pidhirtsi (Podhorce), an outstanding relic of the late Renaissance architecture (1635-1640), which belonged to magnates Rzewuski in the 18th century. A palace surrounded by ramparts and ditches, the Baroque Latin church (1752-1766) the entrance gate and a park of the 18th century with old lime-trees are parts of the castle ensemble. Now the Pidhirtsi Castle is a section of the Lviv Art Gallery and is in the phase of restoration. In Pidhirtsi village we also advise to see the beautiful wooden Church of St. Michael (1720), a relic of folk architecture.
Further on we move to the town of Zolochiv (Zloczów), another section of the Lviv Art Gallery, the Zolochiv Castle being here. Erected in 1630s on a model of a citadel with bastions, the castle belonged to the Sobieski and Radziwiłł families in the 17th—18th centuries. In the yard of the castle there stand a Big late-Renaissance palace and a Chinese palace.
Castle in Pomoryany
At the distance of 27 km to the south of Zolochiv there is a Renaissance Castle in Pomoryany built in the first half of the 16th century and considerably widened in the late 17th century by king Jan III.
One more ancient fortress can be seen along the road 14 km from Peremyshlyany. In the village of Svirzh (Świrz) on the hill above the river and lake the Svirzh Castle, built in the 16th - the middle of the 17th centuries, is a pleasure to the eye. Near the castle, well restored and accomodated to rest, there is a Renaissance Latin church (1541).
On return journey to Lviv we pass ruins of a magnificent Castle in Stare Selo (the late 16th-17th centuries). Ramparts of 14-16 m high take the area of over 2 hectars.
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