Vul. Fedorova, 02 – residential building

ID: 731

The townhouse situated at the intersection of Fedorova and Virmenska streets is a result of numerous reconstructions. It contains some Flemish bond brickwork characteristic of the Gothic period, Renaissance vaults and beam ceilings, and Historicist-styled façade decorations. According to the resolution of the Council of Ministers number 485 dated 30 June 1969, the house was entered into the National register of monuments under protection number 350.


15th c. – a Gothic stone house is built (fragments of typicaly Gothic Flemish bond brickwork made of oversized bricks survive in the cellars)
1527 – the house is burnt up in a fire.
16th c. – the two-storied Gothic "Bohdanivska" house is rebuilt.
16th-17th cc. – the Renaissance "Hryhorovychivska" house is constructed on the surviving Gothic foundations and wall fragments.
Late 18th c. – a substantial reconstruction is carried out: windows are changed, columns between the windows and the separate entrance to the tavern are bricked up. The original segmental window openings are replaced with rectangular ones. The vaulted premises are divided with a wall instead of pillars; the eastern part of the room is dismantled and a flat ceiling is arranged instead.
1872 – a part of the roof is repaired; a new shingle roof covering is put.
1875 – a third story is added, the roof receives a fireproof covering.
1881 – a reconstruction of the ground floor premises is carried out.
1903 – the house is sewered; vents are arranged in the cellars.
1904 – water closets are made in place of "free-falling" ones.
Soviet time – some repair and reconstruction works are done.
2005 – some field research is conducted. During it some old Renaissance elements were discovered. 

The townhouse is situated at the intersection of two streets and thus two adresses are used at the same time: 34 Virmenska str. and 2 Fedorova str. (formerly, Bliakharska). Around 14th century the Lviv Armenian community founded a new street parallel to the northern part of city fortifications. Today it is known as Virmenska street. At this time the parcel where the house is built emerged. Untill the 16th century the Armenian quater was divided from the rest of the city by a gate, situated between Virmenska and Krakivska streets. The parcel is located in the upper part of the street where its housing is ruptured due to the neighbouring Dominican monastery.

The housing of Virmenska street, as well as that of Ruska street and the Rynok square, was considered one of the best in Lviv. As the Armenian community was the richest one in the town, its members used to invite respectable local and visiting constructors to build their houses. As early as the fifteenth century the street was paved with cobblestones and had water supply and drainage systems. The Armenian community played an important part in cultural life of the town. The following famous figures can be mentioned in this connection: philosopher Stepanos of Lviv, historian and writer Simeon Lehatsi (Symeon Lehaci, Սիմեոն Լեհացի), painters Pavlo and Symeon Bohushovychs and others. Also, the first in Europe Armenian printing house was located on this street, and an Armenian theatre gave performances here. Besides, the Armenian ecclesiastical province led by a metropolitan archbishop was the only one in North-Eastern Europe.

Martin Gruneweg, a well-known merchant and traveller who wrote the oldest description of Lviv, lived on Virmenska street from 1588 till 1594. Having taken monastic vows in the Dominican order, he stayed for some time in the Lviv Dominican monastery which blocked Virmenska street in its eastern end. Gruneweg described lots of houses situated on this street, and sketched their layouts. He depicted the house no. 34 on Virmenska street on a plan of the Dominican monastery drawn in 1589.

Both Virmenska street and the whole city were often on fire; in particular, in 1527 a fire ruined the Gothic housing of the town. Later, Renaissance townhouses were built instead. The new houses had fine white stone carvings, carved beam ceilings and polychromy. They were reconstructed often as their owners changed frequently. However, the most considerable construction changes took place in the Austrian time, especially after 1870 when, according to a resolution of the Magistrate, wooden shingle roofs had to be replaced by fireproof ones. It was also typical in this time to add more floors to the buildings, and construct new staircases often lit by skylights. Sometimes houses were reconstructed to a considerable degree. In the course of these reconstructions, a lot of carved white stone architectural elements were damaged or even destroyed. This included entrance portals, richly ornamented window frameworks, old vaults and beam ceilings, other details of architectural décor. Stone carvings were sometimes just beaten down or roughly painted while ceilings were planked or plastered.

It is not known exactly when the corner house was built but its fate was similar to that of the rest of the houses on this street. The preserved Gothic foundations and fragments of masonry walls were used in the reconstruction of the house after the 1527 fire. At that time its name was "Bohdanivska". It could be entered from the Dominikańska (Dominican) square; as depicted on the 1589 sketch by Martin Gruneweg. It is not known if the house ever had an entrance from Virmenska street.

At the turn of the 17th century the "Bohdanivska" house became the possession of Petro Hryhorovych, a rich Armenian merchant. And it was from his name that it got its name "Hryhorovychivska". In 1600 Anna Pstrokońska, his wife, who came from the village of Khotymyr near Peremyshliany, founded the church of St. Mary Magdalene in Lviv. According to the 1614 testament, she bequeathed 5 thousand guldens to the construction of this church. Petro Hryhorovych was a respectable citizen; together with his brother Yosyp he was ennobled by the Austrian emperor Rudolf II.  Apart from commerce, he was engaged in diplomatic service in Istanbul, Vienna, Warsaw and Moldova where he perished in 1616.

According to a 1712 revision of Lviv houses, there was a shop or a tavern on the ground floor of the "Hryhorovychivska" house. Two rooms (one bigger, one smaller) located on the upper floor served as the owners appartment. The tavern (shop) occupied a big room which had two windows facing Virmenska street and a door and a window facing the Dominikanska square. The windows were separated by a column with a carved capital and a smooth shaft which must have been polychromed. The same quarter columns must have decorated the edges of the windows. The ceiling was wooden and polychromed, with carved beams. To reinforce the long beams, which had begun to bend, a cross carved joist was placed under them later. The middle tract premises were vaulted. The western wall, which has been preserved, was supported by buttresses. A vast room over the tavern had two windows facing Virmenska street and two windows facing the Dominikanska square. Next to the big room, there were also the owner’s bedroom and a room over the gate, each having two windows facing the Dominikanska square. The ceilings in these rooms were beamed, as it was case in the ground floor premises.

Hryhoriy Nykorovych, the Lviv Armenian community’s clerk, lived in the house in the second half of the 18th century; however, as the 1767 tax register testifies, the house was still called "Hryhorovychivska". On one of the first detailed plans of Lviv of the Austrian time, drawn by Joseph Daniel von Huber in 1777, it was marked with number 125. Quite probably, the house was reconstructed considerably in the late 18th century. Evidently that the windows were changed then, and the interfenestral columns and the separate entrance to the tavern were bricked up. The original segmental arches of the big niches of the window openings were replaced with rectangular ones: boards were placed on the level of their imposts, and the segments were bricked up. The vaulted premises were divided with a wall instead of pillars. The eastern part of the vault was dismantled and a flat ceiling was constructed instead. To reinforce the imposts of the preserved part of the lunette vault two big beams were placed under them. The room with the preserved vault was used as a kitchen, a separate entrance leading there was arranged.

The house was also changed by those who owned it in the nineteenth century. On a 1849 cadastral map the parcel was assigned number 194. In 1872 the owner Angela Raymond, having received permission of the Magistrate, renewed a part of the roof which leaked and made a new wooden shingle roofing. The house had two floors till 1875 when Teodora Kreuter, a new owner, added a third floor with and a new roof covered with fireproof material, as the Magistrate’s resolution dated 22 April 1875 demanded.

According to archival records, in 1881 the commissariat of the central part of the city was located on the house's ground floor. Also, an official named Kisielka had an appartment here. During this year the premises were reconstructed. The following works were scheduled in the documents: 1) to paint the premises; 2) to make new stoves; 3) to brick up the window between the kitchen and the official room and to make windows between the kitchen, on the one part, and the entryway and the living room, on the other part, with the aim of lighting the kitchen. Regarding the third point, the building administration suggested that the window should be bricked up either completely, or only a narrow upper strip of it be left — so that people who use the kitchen would not able to let out smells or to look into the office.

In 1903 the house was sewered. Its new owners, the Society of the Servants of St. Giles led by Jadwiga Papara, constructed, with the permission of the Magistrate, a concrete channel 33.9 m long and 30 cm wide on Virmenska street and connected it to the town channel to drain soil waters from the cellars. At the same time, vents were made in the cellars. However, only water drainage was made according to this project while the sewerage remained the same. After the Society of Galician Physicians, the owners of the neighbouring house number 11 on Dominikanska (now Stavropihiyska) street, filed a complaint in 1904, it turned out that there is no sewage collector in the house number 2 on Bliakharska (now Fedorova) street, and the contents of the cesspools were going straight to the town channel. Because of that the Magistrate obliged the owners of the house number 2 to replace the “free-falling” closets with water ones; this was done according to an appropriate project in the same year.  

Some repair works were conducted in the Soviet time. As a result, a small room on the ground floor was divided in two parts. The door from the entryway to this room was bricked up. Instead of a window, an entrance to the separated room was cut. Also, bathrooms were arranged in the former kitchen.

In 2005 the ground floor premises were bought out to open a restaurant there. In the course of preliminary works a wooden beam and joist ceiling was discovered. All the beams are carved, typical of the Lviv Renaissance houses of the 16th-17th centuries. The polychromy of the ceiling has darkened a bit under the influence of time. A stone interfenestral column was discovered in the wall from the side of Virmenska street. A deep semicircular niche was discovered in the eastern wall, as well as an arcature consisting of three semicircular arches with simple white stone toes in the western wall. Some fragments of Gothic Flemish bond brickwork, made of oversized bricks, have been preserved in the outer walls of the house. A white stone with a trace from the lost vault's impost has been preserved in the eastern wall of the second tract, as well as a few small semicircular niches in the western wall. White stone window frameworks with destroyed carving on them were discovered on the façade. All the fragments that were discovered give us good reason to date the house to the 15th-16th centuries.

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The corner house stands on a plot sloped to the west. The parcel, elongated from the north to the south, is built up completely. This means that the house has no courtyard and no wing, what makes it different from most of townhouses in Lviv historic center. However, a traditional three-tract division has been preserved in its layout.

The house is built of stone and brick and is plastered. Its architectural and constructive solution reflects the numerous reconstructions carried out in different historic periods. It has some Gothic brickwork, Renaissance vaults and beam ceilings, and a Historicist decor of the façades. The three-storied house has a narrow attic and high socles; it is crowned with a shaped cornice. The ground floor is rusticated. The façade facing Virmenska street has two window axes while the façade facing Fedorova street has six. The windows are decorated with trimmings crowned with cornices. The house can be entered from Fedorova street through a wide vaulted gate. One entrance leads from there to the ground floor premises (a bricked up white stone portal of the original entrance has been preserved); the other one leads to the cellars. Wooden stairs in the back part of the gate lead to the upper floors.

In the interior of the first two floors, the following elements have been preserved: interfenestral columns with carved capitals and a smooth shaft which must have been polychromed; a wooden beam ceiling (supported by a carved cross joist on the ground floor) with polychromed beams; a Renaissance arcature consisting of three semicircular arches with simple white stone toes in the western wall. The middle tract premises are vaulted.

The house is a typical example of the Lviv Renaissance architecture.


Angela Raymond – the owner of the house in the 2nd half of the 19th c.
Anna Pstrokońska – Petro Hrehorovych’s wife.
Hryhoriy Nykorovych (Gregoriusz Nikorowicz) – a clerk of the Lviv Armenian community who lived in the house in the 2nd half of the 18th c.
Joseph Daniel von Huber – an Austrian cartographer who drew a map of Lviv in 1777.
Yosyf Hryhorovych (Józef Gregorowicz) – a Lviv citizen engaged in diplomatic service in Istanbul, Vienna, Warsaw and Moldova.
Kisielka – an official who lived in the commissariat located on the ground floor of the house from 1881.
Martin Gruneweg – a well-known merchant and traveller, the author of the oldest description of Lviv, who lived on Virmenska street from 1588 till 1594
Pavlo Bohushevych (Paweł Boguszewicz) – a distinguished Armenian painter who lived on Virmenska street.
Petro Hrehorovych (Piotr Gregorowicz) – a Lviv citizen of Armenian origin, a rich merchant, who became the owner of the “Bohdanivska” house at the turn of the 17th c.; it was from his name that it was called “Hrehorowychivska” later.
Symeon Bohushevych (Szymon Boguszowicz) – a distinguished Armenian painter who lived on Virmenska street.
Simeon Lehatsi (Symeon Lehaci, ՍիմեոնԼեհացի)a distinguished Armenian historian and writer who lived on Virmenska street.
Stepanos of Lviv – a distinguished Armenian philosopher who lived on Virmenska street.
Teodora Kreuter – the owner of the house in the 2nd half of the 19th c. who added a third floor with a fireproof roof.
Jadwiga Papara – the head of the Society of the Servants of St. Giles which was a co-owner of the house in the early 20th c.


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By Oksana Boyko and Vasyl Slobodyan