The High Castle

This is the highest point of Lviv. A hill in the historic center, where a fortress used to stand, is now a wonderful park, and an acknowledged masterpiece of landscape art. The High Castle attracts tourists because its observation deck offers breathtaking views of old Lviv.

Historians believe that the city’s history began with the construction of the castle by Prince Danylo Halytskyi in the 13th century. At first the fort was wooden, but a hundred years later, Polish king Casimir the Great built in its place a stone outpost with four towers. The castle served as a mint and storage of ammunition and important documents.

In the 17th century, Cossacks ransacked the castle; 50 years later, it was captured and destroyed by Swedish troops. After that, the fort lost its strategic importance. In the 19th century, the castle was taken apart. A park appeared in its place, which is now a national point of pride, included on Ukraine’s list of natural wildlife preserves. It stretches over two terraces: the upper and lower.

On the upper level you can find ruins of the defensive wall and an artificial burial mound commemorating the 300-year anniversary of the Lublin Union. At the top of the mound is an observation deck, from which all of Lviv can be seen as if on the palm of your hand. The city is especially charming in the evening glow, and both curious tourists and locals ascend the hill in order to feast their eyes on this unforgettable sight.

The upper park also houses the TV tower and an artificial cave, whose entrance is guarded by two stone lions brought over from the old Town Hall. On the lower terrace you can find a gardener’s house, restaurant, and another observation deck.

One of the oldest buildings in town, the Gunpowder Tower, stands near the High Castle. It is a great example of 16th century military architecture. The tower served as a storehouse for ammunition, gunpowder, and, during times of peace, grain. Today, Lviv’s Architectural Club uses the tower.

Location: The High Castle is located in Lviv’s historic center and can be seen from almost any point in town. It is easy to get here, because of the maps in the town; the tall TV tower can also serve as a reference point. There are two ways to approach the hill. The first is to follow M. Krivonos Street (a steel ladder goes up from a restaurant on the lower terrace); the second way is to follow the High Castle Street.

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