Zhovkva is only a stone throw from Lviv and our Zhovkva Tour is a great way to get to know it. This small town that was largely built by Polish noblemen was once a bustling commercial center. It’s castle and the beautiful Rynok (market square) account of those busy Renaissance times. It also used to be the center of a fairly large Jewish community, whose main synagogue you can still discover.
Fine Renaissance architecture and a great view on our Zhovkva Tour
In its heydays, Zhovkva was a bustling commercial town. A place where pottery artisans, glass blowers, goldsmiths and weavers were producing some of the finest crafts of the region. The richly decorated and well-preserved houses, especially around the Rynok are witnesses of those times. The castle now houses the museum of the city history and from here you can enjoy a wonderful view over the whole town and the architecture mainly from the Renaissance but also from several other periods that left their traces in Zhovkva.
Explore the Jewish heritage of Zhovkva
Until the destruction of the Jewish community and the extermination of the Jewish people of Zhovkva by German soldiers and their local helpers, Zhovkva had more than 6000 Jewish inhabitants, roughly half the population of the city. They met in many synagogues, which now for the most part are only represented by the once majestic Zhovkva Main Synagogue that was built in the typical style for the region. The interior is completely lost but the walls and the hall are preserved. We will take you to explore this treasure and wander through the streets of the former Jewish quarter, with many houses still being preserved. It is in Zhovkva that you can find the East West Street, the road on which many of Phillippe Sands’ relatives lived that he accounts for in the book with the same name.
The Shoah is also visible in Zhovkva, when visiting the mass grave that the Nazis created for the town’s Jewish population (on request).
See a UNESCO World Heritage church
Most astonishing for internationals standards might be the Holy Trinity Wooden Church Zhovkva, which is part of the Unesco World Heritage of Western Ukraine. The amazing iconostasis is one of the best artworks in the state and a masterpiece of the Zhovkva Painting and Carving School of Ivan Rutkovych.