The Svobody Avenue
The Svobody Avenue – is the main street in Lvov, one of the most beautiful and prestigious in the city, the center of business and cultural life.
In the architectural style of this street we can observe the combination of secession and eclectic styles, based on the historical styles of Classicism, neoRenaissance and baroque. The total length of the avenue is 350 meters. On the Southern end it leads to the Mitskevith square, on the northern end it is crossed by Gorodskaya Street. After this the Svobody Avenue becomes Chernovola Avenue. During the times the name of this avenue was always changing: Nijnie Valy, Legionov str., Getmanskie Valy, the first of May str., Adolf Hitler Plats, Lenina Avenue. In 1990 it got its constant name Svobody Avenue. But the name was not the only thing that was changing. The appearance of the street was also changing. Till 1772 the fortress of Lvov was still preserved, and only after its liquidation the construction of the avenue began. On the spot of western fortress the pair side of the avenue was formed and close-fitting squares. The odd (unpaired) side of the avenue remained less inhabited with single houses along the road.
The avenue got its modern appearance in 1800, when the pedestrian lane was built and poplars were being planted along the bank of the river Poltva. Even then the citizens of Lvov loved to stroll along this avenue. In the end of 19th century the river Poltva was covered with concrete blocks, and even bigger number of plants and trees was added. In 1888 on the unpaired side of the avenue the line of horse tram was added, in 1893 – the lines of electric trams. The main decoration of this street is the theater of Opera and Ballet that was built in 1900. Since that time the avenue has become famous for the whole Europe. In 1901 the electric illumination was installed. In the mid-war period on the avenue lots of public events were held.
In 1939 at the City Theater was working an Assembly of Western Ukraine organized by communist People, which was approved by the decision to merge the Western Ukrainian lands that were part of Poland, and the Ukrainian SSR.
Today the Svobody avenue is the most elegant and prestigious street in Lvov. The ground floors of all the buildings are occupied by banks, expensive shops, cafes, restaurants, gambling clubs and casinos. Nevertheless in most buildings the upper floors still have flats. Since 1980 the avenue has become the place for meetings of different political clubs and for demonstrations. Since 1991 on the square in front of the Opera theatre different concerts and public events are organized. Such as the celebration of the city’s anniversary, and other celebrations.
The restoration and upgrading of ancient buildings is also performed. For example the restoration of one of the towers of the fortress. Today there’s a restaurant in it. Many famous names are connected with this avenue. For example on this avenue used to be the building where famous Austrian writer Leopold Ritter von Sacher-Masoch was born, the one who gave the name to conception of masochism. His father was the chief of the police at that time. Today the Svobody Avenue is associated with Khreshchatik street in Kiev. Everything that is happening in Lvov takes place on the Svobody Avenue!