Gallery: seeing Lviv in black and white
When I visited Lviv in 2010 I described it on my Virtual Tourist page as a beautiful city ‘waiting in the wings’. By this I meant that it was ripe for tourism but hadn’t yet been discovered by the masses, nor did it yet have the infrastructure to deal with them. What it did have was beautiful churches with elaborate interiors; a lovely main square surrounded by historic townhouses; broad avenues and narrow winding streets; quirky cafés, a striking opera house and monuments of all kinds and styles.
Lviv was a host city for the European Football Championships two years later. Hopefully that would have had a positive impact on its tourism infrastructure. I had it in mind to go back one day to see, and to take my husband who wasn’t with me on that 2010 visit. I was sure he would love its faded charms and friendly welcome.
But I didn’t go back. And of course at present such a visit isn’t to be recommended, even though this is one of the westernmost cities in Ukraine and far from the front and the main fighting. I feel for its people, as I do for all Ukrainians. So this Monochrome Madness post is dedicated to them and especially to my friend Victor, our host in Lviv and now in exile in Poland.
I did return to Ukraine, although not to Lviv, in 2013. We had a chilly but fabulous trip to Kharkiv to see Newcastle United play FC Metalist. I posted about that trip a couple of years ago: Where Lenin once pointed the way to …?. Sadly that post has been overtaken by events and is now out of date. That eastern city has been very much in the line of fire during the war and has suffered considerably.
As always I have used Silver Efex for all my edits.
A small sculpture on the Black House, a famous Renaissance building on Rynok Square
Sculpture of Leopold von Sacher-Masoch, an Austrian writer who lived in the city for a time
His name gave rise to the term masochism, and the statue is outside a masochist-themed café. If you slide your hand into the left pocket you will get something of a surprise!
Statue of Neptune, one of four classical statues in the corners of Rynok Square
The others are Adonis, Amphitrite and Diana
Outside the Latin Cathedral aka the Basilica of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary
Monument to Ivan Pidkova, a Cossack leader who was executed in Lviv on June 16, 1578
The name Ivan is in Cyrillic metal letters, while his last name is replaced by a metal horseshoe (pidkova means horseshoe in Ukrainian)
In Lychakiv Cemetery, the burial place of the city’s intelligentsia, middle and upper classes, as well as its war heroes
Also in Lychakiv Cemetery, one of the most evocative and photogenic I have visited anywhere
A little bit of selective colour on this one, also from Lychakiv Cemetery
And here, in the Polish Eaglets Cemetery, Lychakiv Cemetery
This is a memorial and burial place for Poles who died in Lviv during the Polish-Ukrainian (1918−1919) and Polish-Soviet Wars (1919−1921)
Kryvka Church in the Lviv Museum of Folk Architecture and Culture
I visited Lviv in 2010
Beautiful photos of so many statues. But somehow my favourite is the selective colour photo of the rose in the cemetery (it’s almost like you can feel an emotion here).
That’s exactly what I was trying to convey with that edit, so thank you 😊
You can almost feel the textures through the images Sarah, I especially love the top one.
Thanks so much Leanne, I’m happy you liked them 😊
A bittersweet post indeed, and we can only hope that Ukraine can survive…
I believe it will but no doubt much altered by the impacts of the war 🙁
I loved this post Sarah. Lviv was on my radar of places to visit but sadly have never made it. You’ve made it sound like I’ve missed a treat and your images are so poignant. It was interesting to see that you use Silver Efex for editing, something I’ve never considered but a great idea for your wonderful photographs. I’ve no doubt that Victor would be chuffed to get a mention too.
Thank you Malcolm – yes, you did miss a treat I would say. I loved the couple of days I spent here with the VT crowd (apart from the hill Victor assured us was easy to climb but which wrecked my achilles for months afterwards!) Silver Efex is great for monochrome edits because it has a lot of good filters but also is completely flexible if like me you enjoy ‘fiddling’ 😉
I assume that elcting to add a bit of colour is easier than the usual way with Photoshop.
I find it so, yes – and more subtle!
Thanks for the tip Sarah 🙂
I too hope that war torn places come back stronger than ever. Very sobering look and realistic.
Thank you Suzanne 😊
oh now that sounds like a great place to visit that is beautiful but not yet discovered by the masses
Very true – I hope once the war is over some people will discover Lviv. Some tourism would certainly help boost what will be a totally ravaged economy and this city should hopefully stay as lovely as it was, unlike those in the east.
A lovely tribute, Sarah…..
Thank you Marie 🙂
These are beautiful. We are currently hosting a woman from Lviv. She is proud of her beautiful city.
Oh, that’s lovely of you – and yes, she should be proud indeed!
A very bittersweet post. I hope most of what you show is still there to be seen.
I think it will be. There have been a few shells aimed at Lviv but mainly at the energy supply infrastructure. One or two buildings may have been hit, sadly, but it hasn’t suffered like the eastern cities. In contrast, Kharkiv has been almost flattened I believe, so most of what I saw there will have gone. SO dreadfully sad.
Awful, and actually unimaginable
Oh and I should have said….I bet you two are champing at the proverbial in anticipation of the Champions League draw….
Absolutely! We had a great evening on Monday celebrating with other London-based fans in our favourite match-showing pub 😃⚽
Yes I remember Lviv receiving a lot of plaudits during that Euro tournament. It looks quite an enthralling city but, as you say, well,off the radar currently.
If / when the situation improves I’d love to go back, and I’ve also always wanted to visit Odessa. Maybe one day …
This feels deeply melancholy, with the misery of the current war there, and seeing all the photos in black and white…
I felt so too Rose, especially the cemetery shots, but I also wanted to share how lovely this city is. It’s been spared the worst of the conflict so I’m hopeful that one day it will again be beautiful and will be welcoming visitors.