Lychakiv Cemetery Tour
Tour Participation Requirements
Special Medical Restriction
Visiting a cemetery may not sound like the most lively form of sightseeing, but when the cemetery is Lychakiv, it is more than a final resting place. It's kind of an outdoor art and history museum, where the moving sculptures and memorials accumulated over centuries keep the heritage of Lviv vibrant and alive.
The cemetery was created when fear of plague and disease from corpses buried within the city limits inspired the decision to move from the town center. At first, only the well-to-do that could reserve space there. (The poor were burned.) Master sculptors were commissioned to dress up the resting places of the wealthy, and new tombs were created honoring artists, writers, spiritual leaders, and politicians.
Beyond the two Gothic Revival entrance gates built between 1875 and 1901 in the oldest part of the cemetery, you'll find monuments designed in Neo-Classicist, Empire, Eclectic, Art Nouveau, and Art Deco styles. One bronze statue of a grieving woman was made to look as if it's crying when it rains; another statue memorably depicts the Angel of Death.
The tomb of poet and social activist Ivan Franko, a giant of Ukrainian literature and politics, is embellished with a worker wielding a pick; the tomb of beloved writer Maria Konopnicka features a lifelike sculpture, and can always be found bedecked in flowers.
Other works include a banker's with a handle, designed to look likeon a bank vault, and a statue of a beautiful angel looking sadly up to heaven. Perhaps most striking of all is the tomb of socialite Jozefa Markowska, adorned with a full-size sculpture of a sleeping woman.
Lychakiv Cemetery truly is an outdoor museum – one that can tell you as much about the people and culture of Lviv as the indoor kind. A peaceful, tree-lined park is proof that cemeteries are for the living.
The price of freedom
Lychakiv has several war memorials honoring Ukrainian, Polish, and Soviet soldiers. There's a section that pays tribute to American and French volunteers who fought with the Poles in the Polish-Ukrainian War (1918-19), and the Polish-Soviet War (1919-21). The semicircular colonnade has an inscription about these fighters. The translation is, "They died so we could live free."
Full refunds issued for cancellations made 7 full days prior to the date and time of requested services. Cancellations made within the 7-day and 72-hour window will receive a 50% refund of purchase total. Purchases are non-refundable inside of 72 hours.