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The wonderful city of Lviv, lying in western Ukraine, with its rich history, beautiful architecture and complicated past.
Captured by Poland in 1349 and held until 1772 when it was incorporated into the Habsburg Empire, becoming the capital of the Kingdom of Galicia and Lodomeria until 1867 when it became part of the newly formed Austria-Hungary until 1918.
From 1873 Galicia was an autonomous province of Austria-Hungary with Polish and Ukrainian or Ruthenian, as official languages.
According to the census of 1910, the city became the 4th largest in the Monarchy. After World War I, it became the capital of the newly proclaimed West Ukrainian People's Republic, but shortly after fighting broke out between Polish and Ukrainian armies, both nations claiming the city as their own, although it had a Polish majority unlike the eastern part of Galicia with Ukrainian majority.This ended in a Polish victory and harsh times awaited the Ukrainian minority of the city, including the shutting down of Ukrainian schools and universities.
After the Soviet invasion of september 1939, the city was renamed Lvov in Russian and it went through a phase of Ukrainization, like reopening the closed schools. Meanwhile many Poles, Jews and Ukrainian nationalists who refused Soviet passports were deported.
Many more atrocities followed when Nazi Germany invaded in 1941. By the end of the occupation virtually all oft he Galician Jewish population was wiped out (approx. 200.000 in Lviv alone).
The Soviets re-entered the city in 1944 and it was annexed by the Soviet Union which was followed by a large resettlement of the Polish population, still holding the majority in the city. They were settled in the annexed territories from Germany, now part of Western Poland, from where large numbers of Germans, who were settled there by the Nazis at the start of the war, were themselves relocated after end of the conflict. This, combined with Ukrainian migrations resulted in the the city becoming mostly Ukrainian.
Today, Lviv is a bustling city with much to offer to any visitor. The historic city centre is on the UNESCO World Heritage List since 1998.
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