The Gunpowder Tower

  • The Gunpowder Tower built in 1554-1556 (4 Pidvalna Street) is the only monument of fortification construction in Lviv that has been preserved till now.

    Out of several dozen solid defensive towers, gates and bastions in Lviv, only one has survived to the present day – the Gunpowder Tower. It was built of stone left over from the old City Arsenal. This was the most solid tower, as it was from this direction that invaders from the East would often approach the city walls. The tower stands on defensive ramparts preserved from ancient times; two hundred years ago a park was laid out here and it was called the Governor’s Ramparts after the residence of the Austrian Governor of Galicia (‘Halychyna’), which was located nearby.

    The Gunpowder Tower was not used exclusively for defensive purposes. Lviv was a trading centre, and so everything was designed to contribute to trade. During short intervals of peace without the looming threat of enemies, the tower was used as a grain storage.   

    Since the late 1950s the tower has accommodated the so-called House of the Architect which often hosts cultural events. Even though the tower looks quite vast from the outside, the inside facilities are rather confined: this is because the walls are about three metres wide. The tower entrance is guarded by two white marble lions of the 19th century, which, from among the approximately seven thousand stone lions in Lviv, are of the greatest artistic value.

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