Zhovkva once was an important trading city, and the Market (Vicheva) Square was the heart of trading activities. The origin of this name is explained by the fact that the richest and most influential burghers lived and worked here, trades and fairs, solemn processions and celebrations took place here. All sizes and proportions of the area had the European standards of that time. Trading racks of the tailors, furriers and other craftsmen were located on the main Market (Vicheva) Square. Jewish community was agitated for some crafts that were crucial for their religion (for example, catering sphere). Kosher meat was sold in the separate racks, near the Synagogue that was the biggest in Eastern Europe at that time. The Main square was the center of the medieval city. It was always overcrowded due to lively trade, especially during fairs. The most active traders were Jewish and Armenians. The annual fairs attracted a lot of foreign merchants (for example Turks, Germans, Moldavians) because of their high-quality spices, vines, tobacco etc. On the outskirts of the city lived special carriers that transported all the traded products at a large distance. During the four hundred years of its history, the square has changed its purpose several times, and the layout of the square, buildings and name have changed. Residential development of the square is represented by two-storey houses with arched porches and entrances. In the central square there still is a pillar of shame. It was a common tradition for medieval developed cities to have such a device. It was a place where drunks, unfaithful women and men, and blasphemers were punished. It was also used to control the moral level of society during the Reformation that quickly spread into today's Ukraine. Nowadays, tourists also can see four townhouses on the south and seven townhouses on the east, and three stone buildings, attached to the north-east part of the Market square.
City gates The Market Square was surrounded by four gates that were used as the entrances to the city. They were called as: the Lviv, Zhydivska (Turinetska), Hlynska and Zvirynetska gates and were built in the 17th century. During the 19th century, the Lviv and Zhydivska gates were destroyed and Zvirynetska gate was rebuilt. Hlynska gate also is renovated. It is decorated with military symbols and knight’s helmets. The gate was dismantled in the 1960s and rebuilt in the days of Ukrainian’s independence after 1991.
Internet sources: uma.lvivcenter.org: Vicheva Square in Zhovkva with the Monastery of the Basilian Order (1918-1939) uma.lvivcenter.org: Vicheva Square in Zhovkva with St. Lawrence Church (left) and the Monastery of the Basilian Order (right; 1905-1910)
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