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 […]

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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 […]

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 […]

The Genie & His Blue Bottle – Yuriy Kulchytsky: The Beginning of Coffee in Vienna & Lviv

By Chris Wilkinson Lviv gained many things from its association with Vienna while under Austrian rule. Among the most enduring have been Baroque and Secessionist architecture, railways, industrialization and a European cosmopolitanism that still permeates the city today. Many visitors to Lviv assume coffee and Viennese coffeehouse culture were also […]

Lviv 1934: Through the Lens of American Explorer Louise Arner Boyd

Louise Arner Boyd (1887-1972) was an American explorer of Greenland and the Arctic, who wrote extensively of her explorations, and in 1955 became the first woman to fly over the North Pole privately chartering a DC-4 and crew that included aviation pioneer Thor Solberg. In August 1934, after being elected as a […]

‘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 […]

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 […]