Lviv (also spelled L'viv and Львів; Polish: Lwów, German: Lemberg, Russian: Lvov, Latin: Leopolis) is in Western Ukraine and used to be the capital of East Galicia. It's the biggest city of the region and a major Ukrainian cultural centre on the UNESCO World Heritage List.
The city has a multicultural history but little of the evidence of this has survived until today. It was founded in 1256 by King Daniel of Galicia (Ukrainian: Король Данило Галицький - Korol' Danylo Galyckyy) and fell under Polish control in the 14th century. Poles, Jews, Ukrainians, Germans and others lived there together for centuries. This multicultural experience virtually came to an end during and after WWII. Germans, with the help of Ukrainian nationalists, killed most of the Jews (about one third of Lviv's population at that time) and, at the end and in the direct aftermath of the war, the Polish population (about 50% of the population) was first partly driven out by nationalist terror, then "repatriated" to Poland in its new borders by the Soviet government. The Polish and Jewish heritage is hardly preserved, but one can find some inscriptions on former shops in Polish, Yiddish and German.
In recent times, because of Lviv's proximity to Europe and openness to foreigners, the city's multicultural feel has experienced a resurgence. Even today, walking through the city centre, a traveller can hear Poles laughing and taking pictures of the beautiful old buildings, Germans walking through the city on guided tours, Ukrainian or Russian tourists and students joking about this or that, and American or British businessmen chatting in cafes. There is even a small Jewish community in the city. The many universities in Lviv attract students from every continent on the globe, and its old architecture draws tourists from various parts of the world, including Ukraine. Read more