Lviv is a major city in western Ukraine.
The city is regarded as one of the main cultural centres of today's Ukraine and historically also for Ukraine’s neighbour, Poland. The historic centre of Lviv with its old buildings and cobblestone roads has survived the Second World War and the Soviet presence largely unscathed.
The city has many industries and institutions of higher education such as the Lviv University and the Lviv Polytechnic. It has a philharmonic orchestra and The Lviv Theatre of Opera and Ballet. The historic city centre is on the UNESCO World Heritage List. Lviv celebrated its 750th anniversary with a son et lumière in the city centre in September 2006.
Lviv was founded in 1256 in Red Ruthenia by King Danylo Halytskyi of the Ruthenian principality of Halych-Volhynia, and named in honour of his son, Lev. Together with the rest of Red Ruthenia, Lviv was captured by Kingdom of Poland in 1349 during the reign of Polish king Casimir III the Great. Lviv belonged to the Kingdom of Poland 1349-1569, the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth 1569-1772, the Austrian Empire 1772-1918, the Second Polish Republic 1918-1939.
With the outbreak of WWII the city of Lviv with adjacent land were annexed and incorporated into the Ukrainian SSR 1939-1941. Between July 1941- July 1944 Lviv was under German occupation and was located in the General Government. In July 1944 it was captured by the Soviet Red Army and the Polish Home Army. According to the agreements of the Yalta Conference Lviv was integrated into the Ukrainian SSR again.
After the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, the city remained a part of the now independent Ukraine, for which it currently serves as the administrative centre of Lviv Oblast, and designated as its own raion (district) within that oblast.
On June 12, 2009 the Ukrainian magazine Focus assessed Lviv as the best Ukrainian city to live in.