Library V. Stefanik in Lvov
The first third of XIX century becomes the time of a final statement and prosperity of the classic art. The heroes of ancient mythology come to replace the saints; classic emblems, symbols and allegories spread extensively.
Almost every major city, be it Paris and Vienna, St. Petersburg and Moscow, Warsaw and Lviv, find the traits of this pan-European style, while at the same time they keep their typical peculiarities of appearance.
The first buildings in the classical style appear in Lviv in 1780-1790. Over the next several decades classicism becomes the dominant direction of Lviv architecture.
The historical city center - Market Square - remains almost intact (except for decorations of a few buildings, new fountains and the City Hall), the way it has developed in the XVI-XVIII centuries. But the adjacent streets - current Ocheretyana, Staroyevreyska, Virmenska, Halytska, Krakivska, Teatrelna, Shevska, Ivana Franka and some others - were rebuilt and renovated. Heavy, massive buttresses and Renaissance portals are as the islands, embedded in the new building.
In the first half and middle of the last century the anchor points of the new Lviv - monumental buildings of public use - appear in different parts of the city. First of all it is necessary to name those in which today are located: Scientific Library named after V. Stefanyk, Ukrainian Drama Theatre named after M. Zankovetska, science and natural museum.
The library - Lviv National Scientific Library of Ukraine named after V. Stefanyk, or, as it was called earlier, Ossolineum, is a strict, built with mature, noble beauty building. Slender semi-columns of Corinth, surrounding the frontone, form a three-arch portico, from which the horizontals of buildings stretch both ways.
The side facade of one of them is also completed with a small, yet very elegant Corinthian order portico, facing on the north Kopernyka street.
The bars, which separated the library from the street, presently are removed, and the building now even more organically and confidently organizes all that surrounds its architectural space of urban environment.
In the library planning, perfectly connected with the facade, in the design of facades and full of light and air porticos the masters' of classical achitecture of its heyday delicate taste, representativeness, which organically combines with the humanist conception of architecture.
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The history of the building is quite complicated. In XVII-XVIII centuries a church and a monastery of the Covent of Carmelites were standing in this place.
In 1804 and 1812 they have burnt, and the area was bought by Earl M. Ossolinskyi, who planned to build here a library and a museum, which was done in 1826-1827 (the work continued until 1849).
The project was commissioned to the Swiss architect Peter Nobyl who worked in Trieste and Vienna. However, his plans for the building, designed in Vienna in 1804 and which connected the building with the terrain in a not very good way, underwent further significant changes.
The last word was kept by an engineer-captain Yuzef Bem. The ideas of free portico of the side facade, built in 1844, a great shape of the dome on cylindrical base and a number of other significant elements belong to him.
The library on Stefanyka street is probably the best and the most perfect social building of the first half of XIX century Lviv classical architecture.