I. Franko spent forty years of his life in Lviv. For a long time he did not have his own home. The year 1898 marked the 25th anniversary of I. Franko’s career as a writer and political figure. As a national prize, he received 1000 guldens, which he spent on his house. In addition to this prize, he made use of his wife’s dowry, and also took a bank loan of 1299 korons. In a suburb of Lviv, called Sofiyivka, he built a two-storey house. On the ground floor, the constructors designed a small terrace, a hall, five rooms and a kitchen. Two rooms were added on the first floor
In this house Ivan Franko lived together with his family for the last fourteen years of his life. The family was quite large: his wife Olha Fedorivna, his sons Andriy, Taras, Petro and the daughter Anna. Lesia Ukrainka was the first to visit the Frankos’ house. It was later visited by M. Kotsiubyns’kyi, V. Stefanyk, M. Voronyi, S. Yefremov, Ye. Chykalenko, B. Hrinchenko, H. Khotkevych. The Hnatiuks, the Bandrivs’kyis, the Shchurats, the Kotsovs’kis and the Rozdols’kis were frequent visitors here.
On May 28, 1916 Ivan Franko died in his house. After his death, they set up the “Room of Ivan Franko” at the Shevchenko Scientific Society, where his library, archive and memorabilia were placed. In October 1940 the I. Franko Literary Memorial Museum was opened and all the collections, apart from the library and the archive, were returned to Franko’s house. The first director of the museum was Ivan Franko’s son, Petro.
Until 1986 only a literary exposition was held in the writer’s house, but in 1986 a memorial flat of I. Franko was finally reconstructed. Today the house of I. Franko looks the way it was during his life.
The first room you enter in Ivan Franko’s house is a hall. A memorial hanger, a coffee table, the newspapers and magazines kept in Franko’s bookcases are held here.