Number of inhabitants: 13.5 thousand inhabitants.

Area (km²): 7.65 km²

Today, Zhovkva is the administrative centre in the Lviv region, and one of the most interesting small historical towns of Ukraine. Founded in 1594 as a private fortress settlement, it was built according to the principles of ideal towns of European Renaissance. Since the middle of the XVII c., Zhovkva became a royal residence and the administrative centre of one of the most famous Polish Kings, Jan III Sobiesky (1629-1696). During this period, the town reached its apogee of wealth, and became one of the most beautiful private residences in Europe. From the XVII century – up to the early XVIII century, Zhovkva was at the centre of prominent events in European history. It was associated with the lives and careers of the greatest statesmen of several nations.

The town is proud of its rich historical and cultural heritage, especially architecture complexes, churches and temples, and natural mountainous landscape. The specific local atmosphere filled with refined artistic flair attracts tourists from Lviv (over 30 km) and Poland (about 50 km).

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Video video
Map map

The map of Zhovkva with indicated area of the COMUS Project.

Statement by the Mayor about COMUS Statement by the Mayor about COMUS

"We see in the COMUS project a favourable opportunity to awaken and mobilize different groups of residents in community development using its main asset which is the cultural heritage. I think that our main interest is that we could get efficient tools for local policy development as community-led and inclusive project. Besides, I hope that we could elaborate respective planning documentation to attract future investments. The town of Zhovkva is situated in the depressive agricultural region, and for decades has not received the necessary investment for its development. We have accumulated a bulk of social problems including preservation and use of the cultural heritage, and we hope that the COMUS project can help us to approach them and find solutions. The project could give a strong impulse for town development. As a result of changes, we expect to increase the number of tourists, as well as to encourage direct income from improved services, renewed local economy and active small businesses."

Mayor of Zhovkva

priorities priorities

Heritage characteristics

The cultural heritage of Zhovkva is represented in four main areas:

  • direct town connections with the greatest historical figures of several nations and events of European value of the XVII and XVIII centuries;
  • famous centre of Jewish culture in Eastern Europe;
  • architectural heritage of the town (unique Renaissance town-planning complex end of the XVI century, 24 architecture ensembles, 100 monuments of world significance, national and regional importance). The historical town core still has its original Renaissance planning and functions of the town centre;
  • artistic heritage – great stock of royal painting workshop of the late XVIІ century, Zhovkva School of the Ukrainian Baroque style of the XVIІ-XVIІІ centuries; unique temple painting of Ukrainian Modern.


Expected achievements

Due to the project implementation, the town expects to achieve two main outcomes:

  • consolidate local community receiving support and assistance from regional, national and international agencies;
  • develop tools for planning and development (strategy and the programme of town development using its cultural heritage; town planning documentation concerning cultural heritage preservation and development of the historical downtown).

The COMUS project implementation area embraces the historical core of the town, all its historical buildings and architecture ensembles.


Local community priorities

  • preservation of the historical heritage – to make the necessary research and documentation efforts for preparing development and investment plans;
  • improvement of the living environment – to find solutions for improving living conditions of low-income groups in the historical buildings which need restoration;
  • resolution of social problems – developing and improving local services and facilities, for example, road connection, water supply;
  • ways to solve transport problems in the historical part of the town – find a better organisation of transport use in the historical part of the town, in terms of ecology and habitants;
  • development of business and services – create favourable conditions and stimuli for local business development as a partner for the town’s economic growth;
  • use of waste land (renovation of lost historical buildings) – generate ideas about how to use waste land and destroyed historical buildings as a part of long-term town development;
  • development of town landscape and public space (square, castle park, chamber sites).

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Map of Ukraine with the location of Zhovkva

A bird's eye view of the town. Photo by Dmytro Slediuk ([email protected]), with permission.

A monument protected by UNESCO, the Church of the Blessed Trinity. Photo by M. Kubai, with permission

Winter urban landscape. Photo by M. Kubai, with permission.

Town Hall. Photo by M. Kubai, with permission.

Building with galleries. Photo by M. Kubai, with permission.

Zhovkva castle. View from the central square. Photo by M. Kubai, with permission.