Lviv’s Romeo and Julietta

The young Italian guy Mikelini brought to the city a large batch of wine far from Crete. A large part of the wine was bought by Ukrainian merchant.  Inside the merchant’s house Mikelini  saw his daughter Pelagia and immediately fell in love. Their love was so strong that Mikelini decided to stay in Lviv.

But that year - 1594 - a great evil plague covered our city, which at that time had already infected a half of Europe. Pelagia became sick. There was no hope of her recovery, and according to strict prescription still alive ill people were brought to the church and then out of the city. It was extremely dangerous to stay near sick people, even notaries wrote the last words of dying patients, standing under their windows. Despite the illness of his girl Mikelini did not leave Pelagiia, took care of her and tried to make her happy. Life without Pelagia had no value for him. Soon a girl died, and as orthodox was buried in the cemetery of the Church of the Annunciation, which was located on modern Horodotska street near a house number 30. A few days later Mikelini also died.

While dying, as he was a Catholic, he asked to bury him in the church of St. Stanislaw (a church once stood between the current Tyktora and Furmanska streets). On both graves Italian ordered to put the same tombstones with two engraved hearts connected by a branch of a bay. Later on there was inscription “If this love is real even death could not separate people." (words of Lviv poet Shymon Shymonovych).

There is neither church of Annunciation in Lviv nor the church of St. Stanislaw.  More than two centuries ago the churches were dismantled by order of the Austrian government, as the city grew and involved new construction. But it is quite likely even now the souls of Ukrainian girl and her beloved lover are in the air, reminding us that death will never separate a couple which was united by love.