Photographs of the Lemberg-Czernowitz Railway (1868)

The railway first came to Lviv (Lemberg) in 1861, connecting the city to Przemyśl as part of the connection from Krakow. In 1866 a railway was built connecting Lviv to Chernivtsi (Czernowitz). As a result, the capitals of two Austro-Hungarian crownlands Galicia and Bukovina were connected not only to each other, […]

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Black Gold In Galicia: Oil Boom & Bust In Austria-Hungary

By Chris Wilkinson Oil, that vital resource the modern world needs to exist, does not immediately come to mind when one thinks of Eastern Europe. Oil reserves are most frequently associated with the Middle East, United States, Canada, the North Sea, Mexico and Venezuela among others. Of course the elephant […]

Prewar Lviv in Photographs: Roller Shutter Signage

In prewar Lviv, ads and signs were placed on all sorts of surfaces, as can be seen in my post about hand-painted signs. Here is a small collection of old photographs of Lviv showing signage that was painted on the roller shutters that protected storefronts (and so only visible when […]

Buchach through the Glasses of Agnon

By Eugenia Senik Translated by Svitlana Bregman Everyone has his or her own Buchach. There are people who were born here and still live in the town. There are those who took their first steps on this land, but upon learning to walk fast and nimbly went far beyond their hometown. […]

Lederer & Popper Montage Postcards of Galicia and Beyond

Over 100 years ago the Prague-based company Lederer & Popper created a series of colored photomontage postcards featuring various cities, in particular in the Austrian and German Empires. I first came across a few photomontages from Lviv and was particularly struck by the one depicting a woman who had fallen […]

Evolution of Metrical Records in Galicia (1760-1830)

Metrical books are birth, marriage, and death registers kept by the Church. “Greek Catholic records were initially kept in Church Slavonic, then in Latin, and finally in Ukrainian. During periods of transition, the records occasionally show the use or mix of two languages—Church Slavonic and Latin, or Latin and Ukrainian…The […]

Prewar Lviv in Photographs: Hand-Painted Signs

I’ve searched through old photographs of Lviv for ones with hand-painted signs, in particular for signs that are still visible today. I’ve only found one—an old photograph of a milkhouse, which I posted about earlier. But in any case, I found plenty of great photographs that show how storefronts and […]

Remnants of Lviv’s Medieval Fortifications

When the Austrian Empire acquired Lviv in 1772, the city’s fortification walls and moats were in a particularly poor state. Five years later, the new rulers began to pull down the fortifications as part of their urban planning strategy, which, among other aims, sought to unite the historic center and […]

Jewish Traces in Lviv: Tombstones Turned to Pavement

When Lviv’s Lenin statue was toppled in 1990, fragments of Jewish tombstones were discovered in the foundation. This came as no surprise, however, as it was a known fact that Nazi and Soviet authorities not only destroyed Lviv’s Jewish cemeteries, but also used the stone to pave the city. Lviv […]

Hidden Jewish Prayer Room in Lviv

Several years ago I read about an old Jewish prayer room that was discovered in the basement of a building in Lviv. Finally, thanks to my friend Sarah who obtained instructions on how to find it, I was able to see it in person. (Though only on our second attempt […]

Searching for Traces of the Lipińskis in Oleskiy Region

My great (x5) grandparents Feliks and Tekla Lipiński moved to the village of Koltiv (Kołtów) from Lviv in 1811. Feliks was invited by Count Józef Baworowski to his estate in the countryside to conduct his court orchestra. The former landlords, the Starzeńskis, built a beautiful garden house on a high hill […]