Zhovkva – Cultural Heritage Card

Zhovkva is a district center in Lviv region. The city is located on the boarder of two natural regions: Roztochchia hills and Small Polissia plane which was bogged in the old times. The boarder of the natural regions coincides with the rich geological, climatic and flora and fauna boarder in Europe, near which Main European Water Divide is located. The extraordinary climatic and geographical location was chosen to build here the “ideal” Renaissance city.

Zhovkva - Cultural Heritage Card


The historical part of Zhovkva city is located on the elevated ridge spreading from East to West and with its Western edge adjoins the northern and eastern ledge of Rostochchia. The ridge is crossed by the river Svynia near the foot of the mountain Garai (150 m) which flows into the river Pata, and then – into the Western Bug. In the river valley there were the ponds in the old times (Soposhynsky, Seredni, Zvolynskyi), which were dried during XIX century. The territories bogged in the old times on both sides of the ridge were also gradually dried and now are completely built up.

Near Northern and Eastern ledgers of Roztochchia – the mountain of Garai the two ancient routes of Chervona Rus (Halychyna and Volyn, Zvenygorod and Belz principality) intersected. From East to West the route passed (continuation of the well-known Chervony Shliakh) the section between the cities Dymoshyn (today the city of Kamyanka Buzka) and Shchekotyn (suburbs of the village Glynsko, 5 km from Zhovkva) and then – to Cracow. The route from the capital city Halych passed from the South to North through Lviv to Belz and Kholm. In XVII-XVIII it was an important historical route from Lviv to Warsaw through Zamost – the so-called “Korolivskyi Trakt”.

On the southern suburb of the city near the brick plant the clay deposits were developed in small amounts, and were used for the production of ceramic bricks. Near the city the discharge sulfurous waters was found with the surface temperature of 39 °C, which may be used for the balneological and thermal purposes.


The city of Zhovkva was founded in 1597 near the village of Vynnyky. At the end of XVI century Vynnyky became the property of Hetman Stanislav Zholkevskyi. Hetman started the city construction in 1597 and the privilege of Magdeburg right was received in 1603 from the king Zygmund III Waza. With granting of Zygmund III Wasa’s Merit to Zhovkva in 1603, the economic life of the city and suburbs revived, the crafts and trading started developing more rapidly. The city was governed by the magistrate elected upon negotiation with the city owner.


For Zhovkva the uplifted platform advantageous in the defensive respect was chosen. In the first half of the XVII century Zhovkva turned into the fortified walled city surrounded by the hills and ditches. The market square planned in front of the castle from the northern and eastern sides was surrounded by the residential stone houses with the galleries-entrance halls. After Zholkevsky family the city belonged to Danylovych family, later – after the mother Sofia Teofilia to Yan III Sobieski, king of Rzecz Pospolita. Zhovkva reached its prosperity during the reign of Yan III Sobieski. He turned the city into quite an important center of political life of Rzecz Pospolita. In his residence the king hosted the ambassadors of French king Louis XIV, Spanish king Karl ІІ.

After the victory in the battle near Vienna papal nuncio bestowed the Roman Sword to the king. Quite a lot of known historical figures visited Zhovkva. During Bohdan Khmelnytskyi’s rebellion the army of Cossacks and peasants entered Zhovkva twice together with Hetman. In April 1707 Ivan Mazepa, the Ukrainian Hetman came to Zhovkva. During the Great Northern War of 1700–1721 Zhovkva castle from December 1706 to April 1707 became the residence of Russian Tsar Peter the First.

At the end of XVIII century with the coming of Austrian power, the works in Zhovkva started from the liquidation of the fortifications and reconstruction of different facilities for the administrative institutions. Then the part of defensive walls with Lvivska and Zhydibska Gates were dismantled, the castle was adapted to the needs of prison, it was planned to reconstruct the city hall. At the end of XIX century the monuments reconstruction works started. (Zvirynetska Gate was reconstructed together with the part of walls near the castle).

Before the First World War the 15th regiment of the dragoons of Grand Duke Joseph was based in Zhovkva (command staff and both divisions). The war inflicted huge damage on the city. In September 1914 the city was invaded by the Russian army. The Austrians resisted Zhovkva in 1915. From 01 November 1918 the power of West-Ukrainian People’s Republic was established in the county which lasted in the city till 16 May 1919. Zhovkva was under the power of temporary Podillya Administration up till 1923 until the Polish sovereignty over the Eastern Halychyna was acknowledged on the international level.

In the second Rzecz Pospolita Zhovkva was the county city of Lviv Voivoidship. Here the 6 regimen of the Horsed Soldiers named after hetman Stanislav Zholkevsky was based.

After the beginning of the Second World War in September 1939, the city was invaded by the Red Army. The monument to the king Yan III Sobieski in front of the city hall was destroyed, as well as the monument to the city founder – Stanislav Zholkevskyi. Before the German army entered the city, in the local NKVD prison located in the castle at least 29 prisoners were killed. Wehrmacht entered the city of 26 June 1941. During war the city lost most of its residents. Most of Jews were killed in the forest near the city, or taken to the concentration camps, or death camps. The Poles were resettled to the territory of Polish People’s Republic after the war. During the Soviet times Zhovkva was renamed (1951) into Nesterov in honor of the well-known aviator Petro Nesterov.

In 1992 was returned its name of Zhovkva. In 1994 the city was granted the status of State historical and architectural reserve – there are 55 monuments of the world, national and regional significance here. Since 1998 Zhovkva is the applicant to enrollment in UNESCO list.

City population

Since the city foundation different peoples resided here. The biggest part was constituted by the Poles, Jews, Rusyns, later on Tatars and Armenians settled in the city.


Jews in the city

The first mention of Zhovkva Jews is dated 1593. In 1600 the Rus voivode Stanislav Zholkevskyi allowed Jews build their first house of worship. At that time the Jews were in minority and the local community had the status of Lviv prykahalok. In 1620 it became the independent Zhovkva kahal. The Jews were given a separate street in the city called Zhydivska (Jewish), it led to Zhydivska (Jewish) Gate (one of four in the city).

Together with the location privilege in the city it was allowed to conduct the fairs four times a year and two weekly trades. The king equaled Zhovkva in its rights with the other cities which had the Magdeburg right, having exempted it from duties and different taxes, and allowed free trading to the merchants and craftsman from the other cities. Favorable conditions attracted the Jews-merchants to the new city. The people from the other cities run to Zhovkva from massacres and different discrimination limitations. For the purpose of limiting the Jewish settlements, Regina Zholkevska in 1619 issued a decree according to which every Jew who wanted to reside in Zhovkva had to pay 50 hryvnias for building the municipal fortifications and work services along with the other residents. At that time there were prohibitions as to the place of residence, however, Zhovkva Jews bought the houses in different parts of the city including in Rynok and on the suburbs, opened their shops and kiosks.

In 1640 Jews were allowed to open the yeshivah (Jewish school). At the end of 17 century Jews receive the right to build the stone defense synagogue in the city.

In 1765 the Jewish community of Zhovkva encountered more than 1, 500 persons and owned more than 270 houses. At the end of 18 century, when Zhovkva was the part of Gabsburg monarchy, about 100 Jewish houses were located in the city center alone. The buildings located near the market at which the lively trades took place practically almost were passed to the hands of Jews. The part of the street leading from Rynok to synagogue turned into the trading street and was called the Jewish Market. As of the end of 1890 in Zhovkva out of the general amount of 7. 143 residents Jews constituted 3.783 persons (53%). After the First World War their amount decreased and according to the census of 1921 they encountered 3.718 persons (47%) out of the general amount of 7.867. In the interwar period the amount of Zhovkva population increased but the percent of Jews decreased: as of 1939 the Jews encountered 4. 270 persons (38%) of the total amount 11.100 (29). The life of Jewish community in Zhovkva, like the other communities of Eastern Europe, was interrupted by the Second World War. In November 1942 ghettos appeared in Zhovkva: all Jews of the city and surrounding villages were forced to the separate fenced territory in the square of Dominican Church and in Turynetska square.

Here about 6 thousand persons were kept. Over 4 thousand were shot in the forest “Bir”, the others were forced to Yaniv concentration camp and the forced labor camp in Rava-Ruska, where they were killed. The other part was brought to the death camp of Belzhets. The liquidation of ghetto took place on 25 November 1943. 74 Zhovkva Jews survived Holocaust. Some of them were evacuated by the Soviet regime to East, the others were hidden by the local Christians, others were hiding in the forest.

Jewish cemetery was destroyed in 1970. Since then there is a huge market in place of the cemetery.


Archaeological excavations testify to the fact that the place where the city is located was settled back in 3-2 millennium B.C. during the excavations the stone working equipment was found, as well as the clayware, bronze treasuries.


Near Zhovkva in the v. Glynsko (Shchekotyn, Shchekotiv) the ancient settlement was found with the remains of the wooden constructions, fragments of ceramics, weapon, jewelry of the ancient Rus epoch.

The city of Shchekotiv was mentioned in Halychyna-Volyn Chronicle in 1242. The first mention in the chronicles about the village of Vynnyky (near which Zhovkva was built) is dated 1368. Vynnyky was located on the boarder of Zvenygorod and Belz Principality, through the territory of which the trading routes from Halych and Lviv to Belz and Kholm passed.

Religious institutions


Zhovkva synagogue belongs to the most outstanding Jewish monuments both in Ukraine and Europe. By its style and peculiarities the sanctuary is the Renaissance and Baroque fortification.

The first synagogue in Zhovkva was built in 1624 in the house of Aron Moshkovych and only in 1626 the first Rabin was appointed to it. This synagogue was wooden. In Jewish section called in the documents Jewish street, apart from synagogue there were all religious buildings necessary for the life of religious community: ritual sauna with mikvah (pool with the rainwater and spring water), shehitah (place for the finch slaughter), and the Rabin’s house, Beit haMidrash (school with the library and the praying hall).

Public and cultural life concentrated around the synagogue. In 1640 Zhovkva owners allowed Jews to open the religious school yeshivah near the synagogue with studying of Talmud. Mendel from Zhovkva, Elizer Favir, Benjamin Ozer, Yegudah ben Israel lectured there. Jewish community of the city was gradually growing – if in 1628 Jews occupied 21 houses, in 1680- already 88. In the second half of XVII century the population of Zhovkva was complemented by Lviv Jews.

The Jewish community in 1635 received the privilege from Stanislav Danylovych, and in 1664, 1678 and 1687 – privileges from Yan III Sobieski, under which the community received the permit for construction of the stone synagogue. In 1692the construction permit was received from the archbishop Yan Lypsky.

The stone synagogue in Zhovkva was erected in place of the wooden one – near the northern defense walls, near the gates called Zhydivska (Jewish). Like the sacral constructions of those times, it, if necessary should perform the defensive functions and be the shelter from the enemies. Synagogue had the walls, 2m thick and heavy door. After the construction of the main part, lengthwise the southern façade the chapel for women (ezrat nashym) was constructed. It was connected to the men’s chapel through six small windows, designed not for the visual perception but for listening of prayers due to which they were located quite high in the sunken chapel for women (the floor level was brick – 2,15 m).

After the fire in 1724 the synagogue was being completed. This is when the western block with the synagogue premises, porch and the women’s gallery over it were erected. During the fire 1833 the synagogue was heavily damaged but later it was restored. After the profound reconstruction of 1830-s the synagogue has changed – the façade was decorated with the “Cracow attic” with pseudo-loopholes.

The inner eastern part of synagogue called Aron-ha Kodesh was decorated with the two-layer portal, columns and gable with the Hebrew inscription. Over the Torah niche the round window was arranged. The fornication of the synagogue was decorated like the Catholic Church Tuscan column and pilaster was decorated with the rosaces and palmettes. The walls of the prayer hall were covered with the multicolored paintings with the symbolic animals and Jewish inscriptions.

At the beginning of XX century the issue of restoration came up due to its unsatisfactory condition. However, the reconstruction works were conducted inappropriately: the part of polychromy was destructed. The reconstruction works started in 9138 were not completed due to the lack of money.

Already in the first days of German occupation 1941, Nazis tried to destroy the synagogue. After the attempt to blow it the northern women’s gallery was completely destroyed, Western block lost the roof and emporium domes, and three fields of domes and columns were destroyed in the main praying hall as well as the roof above it.

In 1963 the partially reconstructed synagogue was listed in the National register of architectural monuments. Despite this status, the building was used as a warehouse. Since the beginning of 1990-s different reconstruction documents were elaborated, but, due to the absence of the necessary amount of money, the concept of integral synagogue reconstruction was not developed. In 2007 main block of the synagogue was covered with brass.

Roman-Catholic St. Lazarus Church

Built in 1606–1618 on the artificial fill, as a family mausoleum of Zholkevskyi family and pantheon of knightly glory. Stanislav Zholkevski is buried in the underground, together with his wife Regina Herburt and their son Jacob, Danylovych family, the king’s father Jacob Sobieski, king’s sons, state secretaries, abbots, temple patrons. By the number and significance of the burials of outstanding historical figures of Polish history the church is often called «The Small Wawel»

The church was built by Petro Shchaslyvyi, after his death 1610 — by Pavlo Rymlianyn and Amvrosiy Prykhylnyi. The temple in the form of Latin cross in the plan is decorated by the Byzantine dome, characteristic of Ukrainian wooden churches decorated by the sculpture friso, many decorative elements, sculpture of the Archangel Michael. The main entrance is framed with the white-stone carved portal with the images of Peter and Paul, st. Lawrence and Stanislav, Evangelists and Christ the Almighty surrounded by the angels’ heads and ornaments. This portal is considered the best Renaissance portal of Ukraine and Poland.

There was Organ in the temple. With coming of the Soviet power the temple became the warehouse for the fertilizers and at the beginning of 1990 organ disappeared. Now the operating Church of St. Lawrence of the Roman Catholic Church of Ukraine is located here. (Kolegiata p. w. Św. Wawrzyńca).

Dominican Monastery

The church on this place appeared for the first time only in XVI century. At first it was wooden and was burned after some time. The new temple was built of stone. The church was built in 1653—1655 at the expense of the funds of Teofilia Sobieska, as a burial vault of her son Mark. The tombs of Teofilia and Mark Sobieski made in the second half of the XVII century by the well-known sculptor Andreas Schlüter in the interior survived till now. Cells appeared in 1754—1792. In the same 1792 the temple acquired the modern appearance. The artist K. Politynskyi painted the interior of the temple in 1903—1927. However, the elements of the exterior decorations of the temple have not survived to this day.

The remains of the northeast wall are also located here. In front of the entrance Lvivska Brama was located near which there were three bells of this temple – Maria, Jacek, and Dominic. During the Rzecz Pospolita times, Austro-Hungary and the Second Rzecz Pospolita it was the functioning temple. During the Soviet epoch the barracks of several regiments, stables and warehouse were located here. Now the first floor belongs to Lviv archdiocese of Greek-Catholic Church, as well as the temple which now bears the name of the Saint Jehoshaphat, the Great Martyr.

Brazilians Church and the Nativity church (Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church)

The church was built in 1612 in place of the wooden due to the privilege of Stanislav Zholkevsky.

In 1691 Yan III Sobieski brought the remains of Ivan Suchavsky from Moldavia. The same year the monks Brazilians came to Zhovkva, however, the information about their presence in the city already exists from 1682. The monastery was laid near the church, and the Romanian philosopher, metropolitan Dositheos who came to accompany the holy remains was appointed the abbot.

In 1697-99 Zhovkva artist Ivan Rutkovych made the iconostasis together with the carvers. In 30-s XVIII century the iconostasis was sold to New Skvariava. In the 30-s of ХХ century the metropolitan Andrei Sheptytskyi purchased the iconostasis for the collection of Lviv National museum. In XVIII century the tower was constructed. In 1895 the print shop of Fathers Brazilians was laid. The rest of the buildings were in the process of accomplishment till the beginning of XX century. Only the renaissance white-stone portal of the side entrance remained from the old times. The today’s paintings of the church from 1932 to 1934 were created by Julian Butsmaniuk. In 1990 the church was returned to the Brazilians order and now it belongs to the Lviv metropoly of Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church.

St. Lazarus Church

The history of temple starts in 1624when the wooden church was built. In 1627 the municipal hospital for the poor was opened at the church. In 1735 for the funds of Jacob Sobieski the stone buildings of the church and hospital were constructed. In 1861 in the reconstructed ensemble buildings the monastery of Felicians was housed which operated till the Second World War.

Since 1994 in the building of the former church the church of Saint and Holy Lazarus which belongs to Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church functioned.

Holy Trinity Church

It was built on the former suburbs of Lviv in 1720 at the expense of the parish and the king’s son Kostiantyn on the place of the former church which was burned in 1717. The Church is a wooden tridential building with the brick annex — the vestry. There is five-level iconostasis in the church which encounters approximately 50 icons and was created by the craftsmen of Zhovkva Ivan Rutkovych’s school of Painting and Cutting at the beginning of the XVIII century. The icon-painting embodied the innovatory searching — the icons of the saints are endowed with the elements of Ukrainian type. The iconostasis was made of the lime, hits decoration has deep cuttings performed by Ignatius Stobienski. In 1978—79 the iconostasis was restored.

On 21 June 2013 at the 37 session of UNESCO World Heritage Committee in Cambodia the Church of Holy Trinity was listed as the world heritage among 16 wooden churches of the Carpathian Region of Poland and Ukraine.

Church of the Nativity of Mary

The church was built in 1705 in place of the old also wooden one. There is a unique Baroque iconostasis inside performed in 1708—10 by Zhovkva craftsman Kinush. The today’s icons were performed in 90-s of XVII century and the iconostasis was painted by the craftsmen of Zhovkva school, leader of those time in the spheres painting and cutting in 1710—27.

The activity of church was renewed in 1993, and the restoration of iconostasis was conducted in 1996 at the expense of the Fathers Brazilians who patronize the church.

Civil institutions

City hall

The first stone city hall was built in the Renaissance style. The city hall was constructed by the architect peter Beber in the year of 1687. The solar watch is located on the wall of the city hall and there is an inscription below: «Міра мірою, а продаж і купно згідно з часом». It was dismantled in 1832 due to the critical condition. The local counselors had to conduct their meetings at first in one of the houses in Lvivska street, and later – in the front phase of the castle.

Modern city hall was built in 1932 i.e. in 100 years after the previous one was dismantled. It was built according to the competitive design of the architect Bronislav Victor in place of the former barracks and casemates. In the pre-war period from the city hall the city blower at noon performed the specially composed melody — «Kheinal».


Жолква достопримечательности

Was laid in 1594 by Zhovkva founder Stanislav Zholkevskyi. The construction process lasted until 1606 and was performed by Pavlo Shchaslyvyi. It is also known that upon the invitation of Zholkevskyi such well-known architects as Amvrosiy Prykhylnyi, Pavlo Rymlianyn, Petro Beber worked here. On the castle façade there were the statues of the first four owners of Zhovkva: Zholkevskyis, Danylovychs, Sobieskis, Radzyvyls. In the yard there is the house where the city owners resided. The frontal phase was the armory, stables, and the place of residence for the soldiers and servants. There was a carriage court at the stable, and the smith shop was located at the armory. The eastern phase was the place of residence for the numerous guests of the castle. The kitchen, bakeries, storerooms were located in the western phase. The spring water was flowing under this phase through the oak water pipe. In the southern palace building there were private rooms of the castle owner, as well as the treasury, great halls for the formal reception. The main staircase was leading to them on the second floor. Also the chapel was adjacent to the owner’s room built in 1640.

The Mint functioned in the city – on the territory of the city since XVII century where the golden coins were engraved.


The typography of the Fathers Brazilians which is the part of the monastery complex till now functions as a printing office.

Jewish typography

Jewish typography was known around the world. It was established in 1690. The traditional religious literature was printed here, as well as the theological disputes of the authors who sent their work from different corners of the world. In 1795 the treatise «Palets Azariyi» (Azariah’s Finger) (written in 1727), where the issue of the Jewish esthetics is considered was printed here. The author of treatise is – Menakhem Gakogen.

The typography was located on Rynkova Square. It was the private typography of Ubi Fabus Lewi. The successors of Ubi Fabus owned the printing office in Zhovkva till the end of XVIII century.


Jewish schools

In 1640 Jews were allowed to open the yeshivah, religious educational institution where Talmud was mostly studied.

Urban development

Zhovkva city was laid in 1597 by the crowned hetman Zholkevsky as an “ideal city” of the Renaissance epoch. The Renaissance conception of an “ideal” city-residence was planned according to the proportional design of the well-known Italian theoretician Pietro Cataneo (work of1567).

Zhovkva was planned on the basis of perfect proportions the secrets of which were known by the Renaissance craftsmen. The design of both general scheme of the city boundaries and each quarter, parcels and houses to the smallest details were performed in the “golden” proportions. This was facilitated by the system of measurements proportionally connected between them and with the human body construction. The design and construction works were conducted by the highly experienced specialists – architects and guild masters who knew the delicacies of their craft and especially cared for their prestige. Therefore the quality of their works and their artistic level were very high.


The well-known Italian constructors were invited to build the city: architects Paolo de Ducato Clemenci (also known as Pavlo Shchaslyvy, he became the first bailiff of Zhovkva) and Paolo Dominici (known as Pavlo Rymlianyn). The construction of the external bastion fortifications in the 40-s of XVII century was performed by the other Italian architect: Ambrosio Natclauss Vaberene who was known as Ambrosiy Prykhylnyi. He finished the first stage of the city construction.

The city planning conception was based on the following main factors: boundaries, the place of its location and the established directions of important routes. The places of passing of the ancient routes through the city determined the location of the city gates. The roads which should have been preserved (according to the wise tradition the place of residence could not be built on their place), determined the directions of the compositional axes if the city.

The main compositional axe was bound to the new road along the crest of ridge (today Lvivska Street). At the small angle to the main axe one more axe is located – two orthogonal axes which form the modular axe of several quarters in the northwest part of the city. The direction of these axes determined the ancient routes on the modern streets of Vynnykivska and Vasyliyanska.

For the city location the advantageous uplifted platform was chosen on the bank of the pond where the important routes of Red Rus intersected. Until 1620 the construction of all main civil buildings and defense structures was finished, the city was normalized and developed. In the second half of XVII – early XVIII century, when Zhovkva was the private residence of the king Yan III Sobieski, the city was developed, received a number of new stone buildings, garden and park ensembles, and achieved its highest development and welfare. Since mid XVIII century the city fell in despair and suffers critical damages of the historical buildings. However, the city was not re-planned, it preserved its primary Renaissance design, almost all main civil buildings, essential part of historical residential buildings, and defense buildings.

The special feature of Zhovkva was that auxiliary trading squares of the city (trading in firewood, grain, cattle, hay) were taken outside the city walls to the outskirts. This way small central part of the city was free of constant trading functions. Besides, the territories of cemeteries at the Nativity church and the Virgin Mary Church which turned into the monasteries later on were included into the circles of the defense walls. Despite many west-European cities, Zhovkva became more spacious, included essential greened territories and received the diverse quarter planning.

The combination of the two systems of the city defense structures is quite interesting: on the one hand the old system with the defense walls, towers and on the other – the new system of the earth bastions and curtain walls which circled the city outside the defense walls and towers (construction of the defense walls line took 13-14 years to the city, and construction of the earthworks and stone bastions – 50 years). The defense walls on the side of the city were 8-10 m high, from outside, due to the deep stank, it grew up to 13-15 m. the walls had one- and two-layer wooden live galleries with the loopholes for light hand weapon. From the East and part of northern side of the city, where it was weakly protected by the natural barriers, the heavy embankments were filled. The stone bastions with the earth filling with the places for main guns were often located in a way that they provided for the cross fire in al strategic directions of the enemy attack, and also along the curtain walls. The Lviv outskirts had less powerful defense structures (embankments with the wooden fortifications and towers, bastion crampons at the entrance).

The principles of “ideal” city, apart from the clear composition and perfect defense system embodied also the viable social life organization in the city and common defense against the enemies’ attacks. For this purpose, when planning the city, the brick and ethnical self-organization principles of its residents were established. The ethnic communities were given the territories for their civil centers with the temples, schools, hospitals, and other community institution. The streets and quarters were settled according to the workshop belonging (which is testified by the ancient names of the streets – Nyzhnia Pekarska, Verkhnia Pekarska, Nyzhnia Kravetska, Verkhnia Kravetska, Snytsarska, Shkiriana, Myasna, etc.). Such structuring of the city facilitated better administration of the city, organization of civil works, defense, liquidation of fire and other natural disasters.

The medieval city development tradition during many years elaborated a perfect type of the city residence, residential land lots and quarters, their amount and suggestion which was reflected in the later planning of the renaissance “ideal” cities. The “Ideal” city Zhovkva was perfectly planned, divided into small compact quarters. It was quite spacious, did not have any dead-end streets and passes, all residential houses and adjoining land lots were separated from each other by the common walls and walls overhanging the roofs, all the land lots of residential developments had the main entrance into the house and court entrance from the other street.

Zhovkva received very harmonious development where the clear influence of Italian architecture is reflected – open galleries of the first floors of the main street developments, attic façade accomplishments. The city had a developed rich structure of Vertical dominants. Picturesque silhouette of this small city was especially beautiful. Against the background of the strong walls the high defense towers with the spires were rising as well as the rich domes of temples and city hall.

The monuments of architecture and construction

The State Historical and Architectural reserve functions, which includes 55 architectural monuments, city planning monuments and garden and park arts monuments, 15 historical monuments.

List of architectural monuments:

Ensemble of town’s meeting market square.

Houses No. 2, 3

City hall


St. Lawrence church

Fathers Brazilians Monastery


Green plantations monuments

Along with the castle the park was laid in Zhovkva, which in due time was an outstanding sample of landscape construction (design) XVII century. The garden of baroque epoch which belonged to the significant samples of landscape architecture on the territory of Ukraine, disappeared in XVIII century.

On the territory of park over 70 types of valuable trees still grow. Near the castle the owners of the castle created the “Wild Beast Show”, specific land lot of park, on the green meadows on which the chamois and deer grassed. Hunting was the favorite leisure of all owners of Zhovkva – both Zholkevskyis and Danylovychs, and the king of Rzecz Pospolita Yan III Sobieski. The latter having chosen Zhovkva castle as his residence, turned it into the luxurious home.

Movable monuments

Жовква_что посмотреть

Since 1678 Zhovkva castle has become the residence of the king Yan III Sobieski. In the 2nd half of XVII — beginning of XVIII century, the city was developed perfectly and reached its greatest prosperity and welfare. At that time the collection of arts, graphics, tapestry curving, china, weapon were kept in the castle. At the same time the city was glorified by the iconographers and cutters of Zhovkva arts center of the late XVII- early XVIII century

The parts of the king’s heritage were lost, however, some of its part survived to this day. One of the most important values is the famous canvas «Vienna Battle» and «Pokronia Battle» by the Italian artist M. Altmonte. They were stored in the Roman Catholic St. Lawrence temple in Zhovkva. Today they are on display in Olesk and Zolochiv castles.

Sacral arts

The iconostasis of the school famous for Ukrainian iconography is kept in the wooden church which is located on the roadside of the city.

Tourist infrastructure


There are tourist information centers in Zhovkva, with the possibility to order the excursions and purchase the souvenirs.


Hotel Aquarel, Zhovkva, Vokzalna Street.

Hotel “Park”, 3 Bandery Street.

Hotel “Style”, Gasyna Street.

Hotel-motel “Klen”


«Na Pidsinniu»


Pizzeria «Celentano»

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