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Worth seeing


The magnolia tree in the Garden of Muses (near the Uviera Palace) is not only beautiful, but also as old as the villa next door.

This magnolia of the Sulanja variety (Magnolia soulangeana) was probably planted in the early twentieth century in the garden near the newly built palace of the Lviv magnate Antonii Uviera, a fabric merchant and owner of the European Hotel. Uviera’s modernized classicist villa with Empire and Art Deco decorative elements designed by architect Ivan Bagensky and the nearby garden attract visitors throughout the year with its beauty, nobility, and antiquity.

The magnolia tree is a real highlight of this exquisite landscape. The huge white and pink flowers that bloom in May and cover the entire crown of the tree like foam add to the tree’s charm. A sweet aroma hovers around, reminiscent of the delicate scent of perfume.
Our magnolia tree is a social media favorite: when it blooms, the Franko House is noisy, and people line up outside the villa to have a photo shoot on the terrace next to the magnolia tree.

The Museum staff invites everyone to visit Franko’s villa as well, because this wonderful space is not inhabited by magnolias alone.


In the courtyard near the villa, a powerful oak tree, a symbol of power and strength from Franko’s famous poetry, spreads its branches:

Grow up, tall oak,
It will be a beautiful spring!
The fetters of age will be broken,
People will wake up.

Where did he come from, in Franko’s garden? Although the oak tree was not planted by the owner of the estate, it can be safely called an exhibit of the Museum, because it is the guardian of our national history.

In May 1926, the tree was planted at the stadium of the Sokol-Batyr sports society to commemorate the tenth anniversary of Ivan Franko’s death. And the newspaper Dilo, in its article “The Feast of Franko. Sokil to Ivan Franko” reported: “On that day, the Falcons paid their respects to the spirit of Franko with dignity and dignity. The celebration began with a speech by Dilo editor Paliyiv, after which a slab was unveiled under the freshly planted oak tree of Franko. A parade of orderly falconry in front of an oak tree followed, and then the exercises began.”

However, in 1939, with the advent of Soviet rule in Galicia, the stadium was closed, and the oak tree was cut down, destroying any traces of the young pro-Ukrainian movement. But Petro Franko, the first director of the Museum, ordered the caretaker Sofia Dutko and a gardener to transplant the oak tree to the Museum’s grounds, as well as to move the slab and place it under the tree. Unfortunately, the stove was broken after another inspection from Kyiv.

And the oak tree still grows as a memory of those heroic events, as a symbol of the indestructibility of the Ukrainian nation. To this day, the tree creates shade for visitors with its majestic crown and remains a silent witness to historical events.


An old pear tree stands on a hill near the family villa, the only tree from Franko’s garden that has survived to this day.

With the construction of his own house, Ivan Franko also took care of planting his garden, because although he had long been a man of the city, the call of the land and work around it obviously never let him go. Petro Franko recalled: “There were always several vegetable trees around the house. My father went with us to a gardener on Kryzhova Street, and we triumphantly brought back almost ten grafts of apples, cream, one nut, and several dozen stumps of gooseberries, white and red currants, raspberries, etc. The black currants were for my mother, who was unusually fond of this “black currant,” vegetable confit and would give its leaves to tea.”

The old pear tree still pleases us and the Museum’s guests with its fruits, although it has experienced many cataclysms. Зокрема, 1 травня 1944 року на території садиби Івана Франка вибухнула бомба, скинута під час нальоту радянської авіації. The writer’s house was damaged, and a pear tree was also hit. The museum staff made a lot of effort to save the tree. In 1993, a young tree was split off from an old pear tree and planted nearby.

And in 2019, the museum workers noticed that the old tree was sick: the leaves fell off prematurely, were twisted and covered with red spots, and for the first time in many years there were no fruits. So Volodymyr Vitrogradsky, a professional arborist (tree care specialist), was invited to the Franko House and together they began to save the pear tree. The treatment was carried out in stages and turned out to be quite expensive: it was necessary to make a radical crown pruning, remove all diseased and damaged branches, clean the hollows that had formed on the tree over time, and one of the largest – from the bomb blast, disinfect them, treat them with special solutions and seal them.

A large campaign was organized to save the tree: various charity events, events, thematic excursions, art plein airs, and exhibitions were held. Frank’s pear eventually became a local celebrity. You can see how it all went down by watching the video:

Today, this tree is a living exhibit that has “seen” Franko himself and not only, and has captured in its memory many events, both happy and sad, over the course of more than a hundred years. It also remembers the gracious sunshine that filled the fruit with honey flavor, and the thunder and lightning that left terrible marks on the crown and trunk. Today it is a true symbol of the Franko House, in the shadow of which music and poetry sound, debates continue, and there is an endless flowing conversation about the owner of this House, which you can join.

Bust of Lesya Ukrainka

Near the stairs leading from the memorial villa to the House of Muses (formerly the villa of Antony Uviera), there is a bust of Lesya Ukrainka. Although it was not the same staircase that the mother of the famous Mavka used to go up to Franko’s yard, but another one, the one from what was then Vincent Poninsky Street and is now Ivan Franko Street.

Lesya Ukrainka was the first guest from greater Ukraine to visit Ivan Franko in his new home. It was on October 23, 1902 (October 10, old style). Franko family have just moved into their own apartment two weeks ago. “Dear mother,” Lesia Ukrainka wrote to Olena Pchilka that day, “I could barely find a moment to write, because there are always people, and I have to do something – run or something else,” and a few lines later: “I was at Olha F[edorivna]’s (she gave me the money). That house is very far away. It’s right outside the city. The place is beautiful and the house is wow (of course, I’m judging by the look of it, but I don’t know if it’s actually built), they already live there (4 Poninskiego Street), they’ve barely settled in. The houses there are very empty.”
Did Ivan Franko know about her arrival? Did he expect a guest to come? Or did he meet me on the stairs and joke, as he often did, that he lived here like in a monastery and was a janitor? It is not known. Lesia Ukrainka did not mention this in her memoirs, nor did she write about it in a letter to her family.

The story of the bust’s appearance is also special, because it appeared in the Museum’s collection by a miracle: the abandoned figure was accidentally found in a ditch near the road by Bohdan Korchak, where it had been thrown by disappointed thieves who discovered that the bust was not made of metal.

Eventually the bust was rescued and restored, and since then it has been decorating the Museum’s courtyard, reminding guests of Lesia’s first significant visit to the Franko Villa.

A bust by Pivovarov

In early 1949, through the efforts of the then director of the Taras Franko Museum, a monument to Ivan Franko was erected near the memorial building. It was a truly remarkable event, because until then there had been no monument to the great writer in Lviv!

But this was preceded by a lengthy bureaucratic procedure with requests for permission from the Soviet authorities, requests for funding… It took a long time to choose the sculpture. But this was preceded by a lengthy bureaucratic procedure with requests for permission from the Soviet authorities, requests for funding… It took a long time to choose the sculpture.

Hryhorii Pyvovarov was from the town of Lokhvytsia in Poltava Oblast. He received his art education at the Kyiv Art Institute. In 1942, during the Second World War, the sculptor died.

The bust itself was severely damaged during World War II. Finally, after a thorough restoration, it was cast in bronze at the Lviv Metalworking Plant. The bust was cast by Dmytro Tyrus, the same man who made Franko’s bronze tombstone in 1933.

Taras Franko recorded his first impressions of this work: “The work is done carefully, meticulously and with pietism,” “the expression of the face is respectful and at the same time combative, it gives very well the moral strength of the revolutionary poet, the writer of progress” (May 21, 1949, “Certificate” No. 9, Museum funds, OA, No. 1870).

On the territory of the Museum, the bust was installed on a pedestal made of red Terebovlia sandstone, the work of Lviv sculptors Yevhen Dzyndra and Volodymyr Skolozdra, and the monument was unveiled on August 27, 1949, on the occasion of the 93rd anniversary of Ivan Franko’s birth. Thousands of people gathered on the street in front of the writer’s house.

However, the main initiator of the monument, Taras Franko, did not participate in the celebration: at that time he was no longer the director of the Museum, having been fired a few weeks before the opening for, to put it mildly, not being sympathetic to the Soviet government and trying to sabotage ideological orders. The new director, Ivan Kiyashko, received all the media attention and people’s gratitude.

Nevertheless, the monument to Ivan Franko is still one of the Museum’s hallmarks.

Bust of Ivan Franko by Yevhen Dzyndra

If you enter the Museum through the upper gate at 150 Ivan Franko Street, you will be able to enjoy a magnificent view of the terrace of the House of Muses (Uviera Palace), near which there is a majestic bust of the writer by the famous Ukrainian sculptor Yevhen Dzyndra. Цей видатний львівський митець другої половини ХХ століття походить із містечка Демня неподалік Львова, яке віддавна мало славу регіонального каменярського центру. His career began during the Second World War. Yevhen Dzyndra was also one of the organizers of the famous Lviv Sculpture and Ceramic Factory.

The artist’s style combines pre-war Ukrainian realism and the way folk stonemasons work. The artist performed both small works in wood and monumental forms. Unlike other sculptors, Yevhen Dzyndra worked on the sculpture as a whole – from designing the design to independent stone processing. The artist created a large gallery of portrait dips: Taras Shevchenko, Vasyl Stefanyk, Solomiya Krushelnytska, Ludwig Van Beethoven, Mykola Leontovych, and, of course, Ivan Franko. His legacy also includes numerous posthumous masks of famous Ukrainians, including Mykola Leontovych and, of course, Ivan Franko.

The artist created a bust of Ivan Franko in 1961. In 1962, it was transferred to the Museum. Since then, this place has become a favorite for the Museum’s guests to take photos.