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 […]

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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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

‘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 […]

Lychakiv Station: Lviv’s Forgotten Train Station

Tucked away in an old neighborhood on the east side of Lviv is the site of a former Austrian-era train station — the Lychakiv Station. Lychakiv Station, built in 1906, was Lviv’s third — after the Main Railway Station and the Pidzamche Station north of the city. The station was […]

Jewish Traces in Lviv: Mezuzah Scars

In Lviv’s medieval old town, the Jewish community was most concentrated on the street which today is called Staroyevreyska, or Old Jewish Street. This Jewish quarter once had two synagogues and a house of learning. During WWII, these synagogues along with other traces of Jewish life were all but erased […]