SPRINGTIME IN LVIV AND THE PARK OF BOHDAN KHMELNYTSKYI

This year we had to wait a very long time to see the first buds and blossoms in our parks in Lviv growing. Almost by the end of April the first daisy flowers and spring snowflakes came out and proclaimed the end of our nearly endless winter season. Some trees started flourishing a bit earlier. That’s the time which is important and interesting for those photographers who are interested in macro photography in nature. Things change very fast now. Day by day new plants start blossoming and their shapes and colours change almost hour by hour. Early morning and late afternoon I try to get out with my whole equipment to catch the most interesting blooms and buds. And it can happen that I get back to the same flower or tree again several times to observe it growing. Sometimes I spend a couple of hours only with one bush deeply impressed by its bloomage. 

Lviv is a very green city with a lot of different parks. The Ivan Franko Park is told to be one of the oldest parks in Lviv. It was established by the Jesuits. A Venetian consul passed the property to a Jesuit order. The park’s former name Jesuit Gardens derived from that history.

The park I prefer for my macro photo walks is located closely to my apartment and home office in Lviv. It is called Culture and Recreation Park named after Bohdan Khmelnytskyi, a famous Ukrainian Hetman of the Zaporozhian Host, then in the Polish Crown of the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth. The park was laid in 1951, opened in 1959. Its central axes is a central alley as long as 800 m. Flowerbeds and fontains, greenery and footpaths were located here on the terraces. The monuments to Lenin and Stalin were established there, too. At that period the park was considered to be the largest object of landscape architecture of stalinism epoch. But from 2009 one could see only two objects remained from the old times — the colonnade of the central entrance and the cinema “Druzhba” (Friendship) building, which is a restaurant today. 

Nowadays, the territory is known as the Central Park and is a popular place among the progressive and young people for film screenings, city holidays, presentations and festivals. In summer there is an amusement park for children and adults, concerts and art exhibitions and an open-air cinema. From spring to autumn courses for children in skating and biking are arranged from different clubs like the Avalanche Ski Club in Lviv. From 2011 the Leopolis Jazz Festival has its Eddie Rosner Stage also inside the park. A couple of years ago a new restaurant, the Art Rest, opened its doors for visitors and celebrations. Some years ago the management of the Bohdan Khmelnytskyi Central Culture and Recreation Park has changed. Now it has its own homepage (http://www.centralpark.lviv.ua/) and facebook account. Today it is one of the cleanest and best organised parks in Lviv, with video control and special security guards.

If you have an opportunity to visit Lviv I really recommend this park in the heart of the city. And in the early morning hours we might meet doing some macros of the amazing buds and blossoms.

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