"Arsenal", Pidvalna St., 5

Arsenal - an architectural monument of the 16th century (Pidvalna St., 5). This is one of the few buildings of defense type, which remained till nowadays. On this place in 1430 there already was a small armory, which was disassembled in 1554, and on its place under the direction of master Ivan Lys in 1555-1556 there was built a new one, almost completely destroyed by the fire in 1571. The building, which survived until nowadays was built in 1574-1575 with Lviv architects Pavlo (Pavlo Shchaslyvy?) Hanusch, Sebastian (Sebastian Mochyhemba?). Since the construction was carried out due to city funds, the building got the name City Arsenal.

Arsenal was a part of Lviv fortifications system. Its eastern side is attached to the High defensive wall between two towers - Tokarska and Povoroznytska from the north and Shevska tower from the south. In front of the building was Bastille. All together this created a powerful defense of the city. In Arsenal they kept and repaired weapons. Along with Arsenal there was the ammunition. Since 1582 near Arsenal (from the side of Braty Rohatyntsi St.) there was a guns foundry, which were cast for the defense of the city and for sale.

During the attack the Swedes in 1704 Arsenal building was burned and destroyed, but rebuilt in two years. In the 18th century Arsenal was used as informal prison. In 1768 - 1770s there were the prisoners haidamakas kept – the participants of Koliyivshchyna. Memorial board by Lviv sculptor Anatoliy Halyan (1970) perpetuated the memory of them. In 1777 the Austrian government decided to rebuild Arsenal to prison, but could not find money for that. In 1800 the premises of the Shod Carmelites Monastery was used as a prison, and Arsenal was used as military warehouse. To increase the number of buildings the second floor was added.

1850 in Arsenal was again used to store weapons confiscated from Lviv and suburbs citizens after the revolutionary events of 1848. Later it was a warehouse for corn. In November 1918 here were the warehouses of Ukrainian Food Council. In Soviet times Arsenal was used as a warehouse as well.

Arsenal did not always have stern and gloomy look. According to the researcher V. Vuytsyk “from the assembly books of Lviv City Council it is know that Arsenal was decorated with paintings and sculptures outside and inside.” Above the main entrance to the Arsenal there were different inscriptions there, for instant – “Happy Town, which in times of peace is concerned about future security.” At the end of the 18th century the walls decor was removed, but instead of it on the place of a dismantled Shevska tower they built into the city coat of arms, the coats of arms of Jan Sobieski and Stanislaw Jablonowski, moved here from the city walls, which were started to be disassembled. Arsenal suffered significant changes due to restructuring in 1869 and further reconstruction: loopholes lost their size and framing, roof was covered with galvanized tin instead of tiles. Tokarska and Povoroznytska towers lost the top tier.
1973 the restoration works were started in Arsenal. The wall of the High Wall was restored; the basis of the Low Wall was shown from the ground. Original roof, battlements and floors planning was fully restored. In 1980 according to the project of architects and restorers Andriy and Anna Nowakowski the fragment of Shevska tower and a part of defense wall was reconstructed.

In 1975 City Council gave Arsenal to Lviv Historical Museum. After the restoration works were finished on the International Museum Day - May 18, 1991 - there was hold a ceremonial opening of exposition department of Lviv Historical Museum - Museum Arsenal.