Lviv (ləvēˈō, ləvēfˈ) [key], Rus. Lvov, Pol. Lwów, Ger. Lemberg, city (1989 pop. 791,000), capital of Lviv region, W Ukraine, at the watershed of the Western Bug and Dniester rivers and in the northern foothills of the Carpathian Mts. The chief city of W Ukraine, Lviv is a major rail and highway junction and an industrial and commercial center. Machine building, food processing, and the manufacture of chemicals and pharmaceuticals, motor vehicles, and textiles are the leading industries. Lviv is also an educational and cultural center, with a famous university (est. 1661) and several institutes of the Ukrainian Academy of Sciences. Landmarks include a 16th-century palace and two 14th-century cathedrals.
Founded c.1256 by Prince Daniel of Halych, the city was named for his son Lev and developed as a great commercial center on the trade route from Vienna to Kiev. It also served as an outpost against Tatar invasions. Lviv was captured by the Poles in the 1340s, the Turks in 1672, and the Swedes in 1704. During the first partition of Poland (1772) it passed to Austria, and became the capital of Galicia. Lviv was the chief center of the Ukrainian national movement in Galicia after 1848. The capital of the short-lived West Ukrainian Democratic Republic after World War I, the city was taken by Poland in 1919 and confirmed as Polish by the Soviet-Polish Treaty of Riga (1921). Lviv was annexed to Ukraine by the USSR in 1939. German forces held the city during much of World War II and exterminated the Jewish population; by the early 1990s the city's Jewish residents numbered about 17,000. In 1945, Poland formally ceded Lviv to the USSR, from which Ukraine declared its independence in 1991.