‘Zhuravli’: The Galician Funeral Song

I recently discovered that one of my favorite Sich Riflemen (a Ukrainian unit within the Austro-Hungarian Army during WWI) songs, “Chuyesh, brate miy” AKA “Vydysh, brate miy” (Do you hear, my brother), was written in Kraków. It turns out that the song was based on a poem called “Zhuravli” (Cranes) written by […]

German-Era Bomb Shelter Signs in Kraków

One of the obsolete remnants of the past has again become relevant in Lviv is the WWII-era bomb shelter signs. Across the city traces of such signs from the times of the Nazi occupation can still be found. Soon after I arrived in Kraków (in late February 2022) I found […]

A Piano with Russian Bullet Holes: On War, Family, Displacement, the Power of Music, Sich Riflemen Songs, and Russia’s Attack on Ukrainian Culture

“Did they not know that the Ukrainian people sing their beautiful songs, composed over the centuries by national heroes, not only in joy but also in sorrow, misfortune, and grief, during work and at rest, in peaceful times and in times of war? Had they heard the Sich Riflemen song […]

‘Oy u luzi chervona kalyna’: Origins of the Sich Riflemen song

“Oy u luzi chervona kalyna” (Ой у лузі червона калина) is one of the most well-known Ukrainian folk songs, and it has experienced renewed popularity due to the full-scale Russian invasion. The lyrics are over 100 years old, yet they can just as easily be applied to the events of […]

Finding Solidarity with Ukraine: 12 Ways Kraków and Lviv Are Connected via Their Historical Built Environment

Kraków has become my temporary wartime home. When Russia began it full-scale invasion of Ukraine on February 24, 2022, I made the difficult decision to leave my home in Lviv and depart for Poland. I didn’t know how long I would be gone or where I would end up; but […]

Hungarian-soldiers

‘Ked’ my pryshla karta’: An Austro-Hungarian Recruit Song

“Ked’ my pryshla karta” (Кедь ми прийшла карта) is a folk ballad from the Lemko region (Lemkovyna or Lemkivshchyna), a mountainous territory that stretches along the present-day borders of Ukraine, Poland, and Slovakia. The area that today belongs to Poland and Ukraine was a part of Galicia until WWI, while […]

Country of Roxolania: Ukrainian Women in the First World War

By Mariana Baidak for Lokalna Istoriya (original in Ukrainian) “Out of my love for Ukraine, I took a rifle and went to the field to beat the enemy with physical force,” said Olena Stepaniv, the most famous Ukrainian military woman, more than 100 years ago. Since then, the issue of […]

A Look at 1920s Galicia: Photographs of Daily Life in the Countryside

Below is a collection of photographs that depict daily life in the Galician countryside in the 1920s. The photographs were found on eBay by German collector Wolfgang Wiggers, who subsequently published them on his Flickr page. At the time the photographs were taken, Galicia was part of interwar Poland. All […]

How to Teach a Bear to Play the Flute: The Fairy-Tale World of Oleksa Bakhmatiuk

By Oleksandr Simchuk for Amnesia Master tilemaker Oleksa Bakhmatiuk (1820-1882) is the most famous representative of the Kosiv school of ceramics and perhaps the most successful Ukrainian artist of the nineteenth century. A lion playing with a wheel, a bear on the flute warming up a violinist, street artists dancing […]

Architectural Styles of Galician Railway Station Buildings (1856-1914)

A look at some of the different architectural styles used for passenger railway station buildings across Galicia, from the time of the first railway line (1856-1861) to World War I (1914). 1856-1861: The First Galician Railway | Gothic Revival Lviv’s very first railway station was constructed in 1861 for the […]