Ivan Franko Park

  • Ivan Franko Park (opposite the University building) is already four hundred years old. It is the oldest park in Lviv and Ukraine, and one of the oldest municipal parks in Europe.

    Three colossal oaks in the upper part of the park are probably the oldest trees in our city. Their age is over 300 years. 

    Four hundred years ago the place where Ivan Franko Park stands now was occupied by city cornfields, but later this land became private property. In the end of the 16th century wealthy citizen of Lviv Szolc-Wolfowicz founded a park here and spent 1600 zloty on its beautification. Later he married off his daughter to ambassador of the Venetian Republic in Lviv Antonio Massari and handed the park over to his son-in-law. Massari, in turn, rearranged the park in Italian manner. 

    In the early 19th century the new owner whose name was Gecht redeveloped the park for the entertainment of the people of Lviv. A Dorian rotunda has remained in the park’s lower part from that time. In 1855 the park became the property of the city once again, thus becoming one of the oldest municipal parks in Europe. A well-known Lviv gardener called Bauer started its beautification. He rearranged the park in English style. It was at that time – a century and a half ago – that almost all old trees were cut down, and the ones which we admire today were planted. There are about fifty species of them, with oaks, hornbeams, limes and fir trees prevailing. Some exotic and rare plants can also be found here. At the end of the main alley you can see a large cast-iron vase with bas-reliefs (1838) which, according to the free interpretation of the famous work by Danish sculptor Thorvaldsen, depict “The Flow of Human Life”.

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