‘The Polish-Ukrainian Border Ran through the Marriage Bed’: Interethnic Marriages in Prewar Galicia

Interethnic marriages are common on territories where together with the indigenous population live representatives of other ethnic groups. Most often they are between ethnic groups that have close religious, linguistic, and cultural characteristics. “In interwar Galicia the largest number of such marriages was between Ukrainians and Poles, especially on the border of […]

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Greatness that Cannot Be Ignored – The Potocki Palace: Lviv’s Grandest Residence

By Chris Wilkinson A jarring spectacle awaits those unsuspecting pedestrians strolling along Kopernyka Street in Lviv. Past the first floor shops and multi-storied apartment buildings piled one atop another there suddenly appears a fence of forged iron. Behind this stands the Potocki Palace. Here, set back rather incongruously, looks to […]

‘Only in Lviv’: How One Song Became the Anthem for a Nation

By Juliette Bretan ‘Where else do people feel as good as here? Only in Lviv! Where else they lull you to sleep and wake you up with a song? Only in Lviv!’ (‘Tylko We Lwowie’, 1939) In the region straddling the border between Poland and Ukraine, there is a single […]

Leopold Von Sacher-Masoch & His Galician Experience

By Chris Wilkinson On Serbska Street, just off Rynok Square in the heart of the Old Town, is a statue of Leopold von Sacher-Masoch, the man whose surname gave rise to the term masochism. Sacher-Masoch spent the first twelve years of his life in Lemberg (Lviv’s German name at the […]

The Eastern Fair in Lviv: Art Deco Posters

The Eastern Fair The Eastern Fair (Targi Wschodnie in Polish) was a major trade fair in interwar Poland. It was established in 1921 in Lwów (today 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 […]

Vanished World: Galicia’s Lost Synagogues

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 […]

Lviv’s Underground River: The Poltva

By Chris Wilkinson The old city center of Lviv seems to have it all. Medieval  and Baroque architectural wonders, a magnificent Neo-Renaissance opera house, cobblestone streets, fashionable coffee houses and eye popping, colorful buildings. This ensemble was deemed worthy of UNESCO World Heritage Site status. The cliché that you have […]

Lviv’s First Centralized Fire Station

The fire service of the city of Lviv was organized on January 4, 1849, on the initiative of Mayor Karl Göpflingen-Bergendorf, and is one of the oldest organized fire brigade structures on the territory of present-day Ukraine. In the last quarter of the nineteenth century, to further improve the city’s […]

Obsession: Antoni Schneider & His Encyclopedia of Expertise on Galicia

By Chris Wilkinson A good argument could be made that obsession is little more than ambition taken to extremes, ambition to do something way beyond what has ever been done before. Obsessions by their very nature are all consuming. Thus obsessives find their lives for better or worse (usually worse) […]

Love as Another Form of Insanity: Dueling for Romance in 19th-Century Lviv

By Chris Wilkinson In the popular imagination, a classic nineteenth-century duel consists of two men standing back to back. They begin stepping away from one another, fifteen slow, but steady paces, suddenly they turn to fire their pistols. The first shooter has a near miss. A cold, terrifying fear descends […]

Mozart in Lviv: Grasping for Greatness, Discovering Love

By Chris Wilkinson There is an odd symmetry to the fact that Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s life and music is most often identified with Vienna and Austria, while his son, Franz Xaver Mozart’s musical career took place in the obscurity of Galicia and Lviv. The son headed off to the most […]