In Lviv, exciting stories and fairytales are in the air. This atmospheric city has so many legends that it seems that even not every local would be able to tell them all. Lviv has legends of different genres: funny, sad, romantic, historical… And, of course, scary and mysterious stories hold a special place in this list. Beautiful buildings and narrow streets of Lviv are well-known not only for great architecture and unusual spirit, but also for old stories about witches, ghosts and black magic.
Witches on the Bald Mountain
When Lviv was just founded, the castle was standing on the Kniazha mountain first. But strong winds were blowing over the mountain, so the king had spent only one winter in that castle and then he built the low castle on the hill and moved there. When the Poles attacked Lviv in 1340, the castle on Knyazha mountain had been burnt down, and was never reconstructed afterwards. The mountain, which had no forest left on it because of the fire, received the name “Bald”. According to the legend, this place has become a favorite meeting point for witches, magicians and demons, who lived in the city suburbs. In nights, witches were flying over the city, hunting for those who were strolling in the streets at late hour. They were also looking for those unlucky ones who forgot a key in their doors. Witches stole the keys and brought them to their Master. Those homes that had been left without keys never experienced piece and harmony afterwards. The witches had control over inhabitants and made them quarrel, fight and live in a mess. That`s why when a family lived an unhappy life and had endless musses, the people said that the witches had stolen their keys.
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Ghost of Black Coffin
In old times, like 400 years ago, a ghost appeared in Lviv Statehouse. That ghost always came in the midnight in the guise of a black coffin which was flying through the halls with terrifying groans heard from it. Nobody could explain these terrifying events, until one of the Lviv judges found out the truth. It turned out that once upon a time the panel of judges considered one of the cases inaccurately, and sentenced an innocent person to death. After a while, the real perpetrator was found, but it was too late – the non-guilty one had been dead already. Right after that, the horrifying black coffin began to appear in the Statehouse as a dreadful warning for unfair judges. The new generation of judges has learned the lesson, so they wrote a phrase in big letters on their statute book saying: “Remember the coffin that was passing through the halls and stairs of the Statehouse”. From that time, each of the judges who took the book in his hands was thinking and analyzing everything properly before passing of a sentence.
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White Lady and Coffee
Once a caravan from the East made a stop in Lviv, and together with that caravan an extremely handsome young Eastern man came to the city. He paid a visit to one of Lviv tradesmen and brought a gift – fragrant and bitter Eastern coffee. The daughter of the tradesman, young beauty Yusefa who did not want to get married to anyone, tried coffee and instantly fell in love with the unusual drink. And that was not the only thing that she fell in love with: the Eastern man also won the heart of the young lady right away. Yusefa was ready to follow the man and his coffee to the ends of the earth, but the destiny had other plans. The caravan took its way, and Yusefa have never seen handsome guy ever after. The girl was dreaming about him all the time. She had a large dowry and many golden ducats, but as she did not want to marry anyone except her beloved, so she hid all ducats in a box and put it to the basement of her house. The people say that some time ago that box was found, and a small coffee shop was opened with this money. When a fresh coffee is made there, a ghost of the White Lady Yusefa always comes out attracted by her favorite aroma.
Lviv city was always famous not only for its tradesmen and craftsmen, but also for black magicians. Grygoriy Lyskevych was the most famous of them. In the end of the XVI century, he had a home with a small shop at the address 8, Blyakharska street. In that shop, Grygoriy sold different potions from abroad, roots, wax candles, wines and even medicine. The room of the magician was always full of numerous medicine glasses, bottles, test tubes, pouches with various herbs and tens of books. That was a place where Grygoriy Lyskevych performed alchemical experiments, summoned ghosts and spirits to talk to them, met other magicians and did many other wonders. Regular people did not know about secret life of Grygoriy. The dwellers of Lviv thought that he was just an old pharmacist. Only when he died and people opened his room, they found out that he was actually a real black magician.
A little more than a century ago, a tenement called “Under the Lindens” was located in Lviv at the address 8, Zelena street. That villa had been the home of young and talented actress Yadviga Kalergis, who moved to Wien afterwards. The beautiful girl had numerous admirers including young Lviv writer Yurko, who could not even dream for a personal meeting with the charming lady. Surprisingly, one day he received a letter from Yadviga, where she wrote that she was coming back to Lviv and invited him to her home. Since then, every Saturday happy young man visited her beloved actress in her empty tenement. But with time, she began to hide her face from him, and then she started to meet him only in a dark room, and one day he could not find her at all. In that day, Yurko occasionally heard a conversation of tradesmen who were going to sell Yadviga`s house. They were saying that the actress died two years ago, just after moving to Wien...
Old ghosts and spirits still live in Lviv, sometimes coming out at nights…. So be careful!
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