Rynok Renewed

As the celebrations for Lviv's 750th birthday die down, one present will endure for decades to come. The city's ancient market square has been given a lavish make-over, completely transforming the ensemble.

Lviv's Main Market Square - the Rynok - is amongst the city's most beautiful prospects, boasting many exquisite palaces and mansions, some of which date back to the Renaissance era. After fifty years of Soviet rule, many were in a miserable state, and the cobbles had not been altered since time immemorial.

Nevertheless, the renovation of the Old 'Rynok' sparked a fair amount of controversy in the lead up to October's unveiling. As hundreds of thousands of dollars were pumped into the project, protests erupted from the artistic community. Many claimed that the project was being rushed through, and that insufficient archaeological work was being carried out.

However, now that square is back to business as usual, residents have had the chance to make up their own minds. And as it's turned out, the spruced up Rynok has won more friends than foes:

"It definitely looks better" says Oksana Tymotsko, 23. "I was very pleasantly surprised. The mansions, the fountains.... And it's great that there won't be cars anymore."


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