The Eastern Fair in Lviv: Pavilions

The Eastern Fair The Eastern Fair (Targi Wschodnie in Polish) was a major trade fair in interwar Poland. It was established in 1921 in Lviv, after the end of the Polish-Soviet War, which redrew the Polish-Soviet border and incorporated Galicia into the Second Polish Republic. The aim of the trade […]

Read More

Wiesenberg: Shadows of Galician Germany

From Kray Regional Tourist Portal At the end of the eighteenth century, as a result of the Partitions of Poland, Galicia fell under Austrian rule. One of the results of this geopolitical shift was the program of settling the lands with German colonists. In this way the Austrian authorities hoped […]

Some Like It Not – Billy Wilder: Fame, Fortune & Fate (From Galicia to Hollywood to the Holocaust)

By Chris Wilkinson “To know me, you must think of me in terms of what Austria was like in 1906, when I was born. Austria in those days was a huge monarchy of 56 million people – the Austro-Hungarian Empire. The monarchy seemed indestructible.”– Billy Wilder One of Hollywood’s greatest movie […]

Life in the Galician Village of Bila: Crime & Punishment

A look at early twentieth-century life in Bila (Polish: Biała), a village bordering Ternopil in eastern Galicia. The description is from the autobiography of Katherine Rychly Pylitiuk, who was born in Bila in 1904, grew up there, and immigrated to the United States in 1922. This post is taken from […]

Józef Eder: Earliest Known Photographer of Lviv

We owe the oldest photographs of Lviv to Józef Eder (1831-1903), the owner of one of the oldest photography studios in Lviv. His photographs, which have been digitized and are widely available on the Internet, date to the middle of the nineteenth century. Starting in 1861, together with Bernhard Brand, […]

German Colonization in Galicia

By Iwona Dakiniewicz Galicia—a region that came into being as a result of the First Partition of Poland in 1772—came under the rule of the Austro­-Hungarian monarchy. This new land, with an area of 78,496 sq. km., became the largest land in the Habsburg Kingdom, but at the same time presented […]

10 Places You Will Never Visit in Lviv

Lviv’s historical urban structures survived WWII largely unscathed, thus much of Lviv’s prewar cityscape is intact. Nonetheless, if we look through old photographs of the city, we still come across unfamiliar places. This is not surprising as Lviv, like any city, underwent physical transformations throughout the centuries. In addition to […]

A Transcendent Vision – Lwów’s Ossolineum: Triumph of the Intellect

By Chris Wilkinson The cultural destruction wrought upon Eastern Europe by war and revolution is not well publicized in the west. Hundreds of thousands of books, manuscripts, maps and artifacts have been stolen or destroyed as a direct result of conflict. Consider for instance, the successive Soviet, Nazi and Soviet […]

Zofia Batycka: The Lvivian Who Became Miss Polonia and a Famous Film Actress

Zofia Batycka (1907–1989) was born into the wealthy family of Eugeniusz Batycki, a Lviv attorney. Her family owned the Palace of Turkull-Comello, where the Zofia Batycka spent her charming youth. She would later become Miss Polonia in 1930, Vice Miss Europe, Miss Paramount, and a theater and movie actress. The […]

Prewar Street Signage in Lviv

Considering how many times street names and the official language were changed in Lviv, it’s quite miraculous that we can still find street signage from previous eras around the city.  But in fact, quite a few prewar Polish-language street signs remain hidden (sometimes quite literally under paint or plaster) in […]

Vanished World: Galicia’s Jewish Cemeteries

Galicia was once home to a large Jewish population. Before the war, Jews were the third most numerous ethnic group in the region, after Poles and Ukrainians, and all Galician cities and towns had vibrant Jewish communities. Much of this heritage was destroyed during the war and most of what […]