Königsau: Galicia’s Pentagon-Shaped German Colony

The village of Königsau (“royal meadow”) was established in 1783 by German Roman Catholic settlers as part of the Josephine colonization—a state-funded settlement campaign to reinforce the society of Galician Germans. And while many German colonies were established as part of this campaign, Königsau is unique for it is the […]

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Traces of Zakopane Style Architecture in Lviv

At the turn of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, Art Nouveau spread across Europe and the United States. In the Austrian Empire the new art movement was called the Secession Style. The transition from historicism to modernism—which took place during this period as part of the struggle against academic art—chronologically […]

A Protection Symbol for the Home: The Six Petal Rosette оn the Crossbeams of Galicia

The Six Petal Rosette The six petal rosette, the flower-like symbol created by overlapping seven circles, as well as the expanded variants with 7 interlocking rosettes and 19 interlocking rosettes (the latter is called the “Flower of Life” in the New Age movement), is an ancient symbol that has been […]

Prewar Hydrant and Valve Marker Plates

Marker plates, which indicate the location of hydrants or valves, can be found all over Lviv. The plates were attached to the facades of buildings to display information about the utility as well as to ensure that the hydrant or valve could be found even if the road was covered […]

The Hutsul Secession in Lviv: Combining Folk Architecture with Art Nouveau

At the turn of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, a new original art movement spread across Europe and the United States. It received various names: Tiffany (from the name L. C. Tiffany) in the United States; Art Nouveau and “fin de siècle” (literally “the end of the century”) in France; […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

Tramway Rosettes and Numbers in Lviv

Antique tramway rosettes remain on many of Lviv’s historic buildings. These elements of infrastructure were attached to the facades of buildings to hold cross-street wires in place, which in turn supported the naked live wire which supplied power to the trams.Lviv’s first electric tram began running in 1894. Throughout the next […]