Lviv is a city in western Ukraine. Capital of the historical region of Galicia, Lviv is now regarded as one of the main cultural centres of today's Ukraine. The historical heart of Lviv with its old buildings and cobblestone roads has survived World War II and ensuing Nazi and Soviet occupation largely unscathed. The city has many industries and institutions of higher education such as Lviv University and Lviv Polytechnic. Lviv is also a home to many world-class cultural institutions, including a philharmonic orchestra and the famous Lviv Theatre of Opera and Ballet. The historic city centre is on the UNESCO World Heritage List. Lviv celebrated its 750th anniversary with a son et lumi�re in the city centre in September 2006.
Lviv was founded on the existent settlement most probably in 1240-1247 by Daniel, ruler of the medieval Ruthenian kingdom of Galicia�Volhynia, and named after his son, Lev. The first record belongs to the chronicles mentioning Lviv in 1256. In 1349 Galicia and Lviv were incorporated into the Kingdom of Poland by King Casimir III the Great. Lviv belonged to the Crown of the Kingdom of Poland 1349�1772, the Austrian Empire 1772�1918 and the Second Polish Republic 1918�1945. Since the 15th century the city acted as a major Polish and later also as a Jewish cultural center; with Poles and Jews comprising a demographic majority of the city until the outbreak of World War II, the Holocaust, and the population transfers of Poles that followed. The other ethnicities living within the city, Germans, Ruthenians, and Armenians, also greatly contributed to Lviv's culture. With the joint German-Soviet Invasion of Poland at the outbreak of World War II, the city of Lviv and Lw�w Voivodeship were occupied and annexed by the Soviet Union, becoming part of the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic from 1939 to 1941. Between July 1941 and July 1944 Lviv was under German occupation and was located in the General Government. In July 1944 it was captured by