top of page

A Tale of Two Cities:

While the histories of our two cities have been influenced by their distinct geographic settings and climates, they are united by a shared commitment to cultural diversity, urban development, and a blend of historical preservation with modern innovation. 

Portland and Lviv

Founding and Pre-20th Century History:

   - Portland: Founded in the mid-19th century by pioneers and settlers, it quickly became a vital trade and commerce hub due to its strategic location along the Willamette River. 

   - Lviv: Established in 1256 by King Danylo Halytskyi, it was the capital of Kingdom of Galicia-Volhynia until 1340 when it was absorbed into the Kingdom of Poland and later into Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth in mid-16th century and Austro-Hungarian Empire in the 18th century.

Cultural Influences:

   - Portland: Historically influenced by Indigenous cultures, European settlers, and later a diverse migration of populations. It has been shaped by Indigenous traditions, European American settlers, and a diverse array of immigrant communities. 

   - Lviv: A multicultural city influenced by Polish, Ukrainian, Jewish, and other cultures. Its architecture, traditions, and history reflect the coexistence of various ethnic and religious groups. 


20th-Century Developments:

   - Portland: Experienced significant urban development, suburban expansion, and economic growth, particularly during and after World War II. Became known for its environmental consciousness, sustainable urban planning, and technological industries. 

   - Lviv: Entered 20th century as part of Autro-Hungarian Empire, followed by brief period of independence within West Ukrainian People's Republic, and then part of Second Polish Republic between WWI and WWII. Lviv experienced brutal Nazi and Soviet occupations that ended with the demise of the Soviet Union and restoration of Ukraine's independence in the last decade of the 20th century.



   - Portland: Continues to evolve as a vibrant city, attracting a diverse population, embracing progressive values, and becoming known for its tech industry, craft breweries, and cultural scene. 

   - Lviv: Continues to develop and adapt to the needs and challenges of a country under invasion, while boosting its economy and educational sector, cherishing its arts and culture, protecting its history and investing in the future.

 Cultural Identity and Symbolism:

   - Portland: Known as the "City of Roses" due to its long-standing tradition of cultivating roses. Also referred to as the "Bridge City" for its numerous bridges spanning the Willamette River. 

   - Lviv: Known as the "City of Lions" due to its name given by the city founder in honor of his eldest son, Lev/Leo/Lion. Images of lions can be found everywhere in the city--from the statues guardian the City Hall to old weathervane in the history museum.

bottom of page