Lviv is a Central-European city founded in the middle of the 13th century by Prince Danylo on the banks of the Poltva River on the main European watershed. Lviv is very beautiful city with long history and rich culture.
The main city river - Poltva - collects water from more than 200 streams and creeks. In 13th century the river played an important economic and defensive role. Lviv’s ethnographers from the late of the Middle Ages mentioned that in their times Poltva was used for shipping, trade and fishing ships sailed up the river to the Baltic Sea. The river banks were lined with mills, system of sluices, channels, ponds. And at the end of 19 century in the days of Austro-Hungarian empire a town government decided to include the river into the underground sewer system of Lviv. Among the arguments called were swamp area, water rot, myriads of flies and mosquitoes, awful stench. In the early 20th century all central part of Poltva River was hidden under the ground and at the end of 20th century the whole river was completely closed. Since then - and that is more than a half of century – the situation has not changed - the river flows under a city on concrete pipes, absorbs all the products of vital functions of densely populated city, and falls through Western Bug, Vistula and Narva in the Baltic Sea. Because the city was deprived of the river, new problems appeared. Lviv had no separate rainwater drainage and when the atmospheric pressure changed drastically, what happens very often, Poltva River and the sewage began to “breathe” and the city filled with stench.
The problem of rivers returning back to the cities became very acute in Europe over the last time, and the inhabitants of many European cities adequately corrected the sins of their predecessors - unfortunately, not in Ukraine and in Lviv.
That’s why Lviv city organisation "The Museum of Ideas" in 2009 started a long-term cultural project called “LeoPoltvis”. The purpose of this project is to exacerbate the problem of "lost" rivers in society and to search real capabilities of its salvation.