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 […]

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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 […]

Medieval Signage in Lviv

Medieval ads and signs have survived in and around Lviv’s Rynok Square. These are metal signs or stone carvings located above entrance ways. The emblems marked the locations of guilds, workshops, stores, taverns, etc. Signage during this era used symbols since the general populace was illiterate. Entrances to taverns were […]

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 […]

Remnants of Coal Elevators

One of the remnants of Lviv’s coal infrastructure is the manually operated freight elevator. Coal would have been transported into the courtyards of buildings along tracks located in the entrance ways. Then from the courtyard the coal would have been hoisted up to each floor on an elevator. This would […]

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 […]

Historical Maps of Galicia (1775-1918)

Borders and Districts of Galicia Galicia as a geopolitical entity was created in 1772 with the establishment of the Kingdom of Galicia and Lodomeria, the Austrian Empire’s easternmost crownland. The capital of the province was Lemberg (today Lviv). A century and a half later, in 1918, Galicia was wiped from […]

Kurkowe Confraternity: Lviv’s Riflemen Society

The Kurkowe Confraternity (later the Riflemen Society) arose out of the need to defend Lviv: in wartime it engaged in the defense of the city, while in times of peace it ensured citizens were trained in shooting. In later centuries, it became an elite club, its members being the city’s most […]

Conscription Numbers: Lviv

Under the Austrian Empire (Galicia was established in 1772), buildings were given conscription numbers, which served as addresses until 1871. (See also examples of conscription numbers in other parts of the Austrian Empire: Vienna, Klosterneuburg, and Przemyśl.) “House numbers, also called house conscription numbers, had their origins with the Austrian imperial […]