Supporting the Beauty of Facades: Lviv’s Blind Balustrades

The blind balustrade, like the blind window, is an element of architecture that has an aesthetic rather than utilitarian function. Instead of forming the protective edge of a balcony or of a change of level, blind balustrades are applied to the wall surface to add ornamentation to the façade or […]

Old Hand Water Pumps in Lviv

Around Lviv one can find a few relatively intact old hand water pumps. In the place of many more, only the bottom mounting piece remains.

horse stable

Remnants of Horse Stables in Lviv

As part of the horse-drawn transportation infrastructure in Lviv, stables were built alongside residential buildings around the city. The stables were one-level structures with haylofts. Sometimes carved horses heads adorned the facades. Not many of these stables remain and those that do are hiding in quiet corners and back alleys […]

Kosiv: Former Center of Natural Medicine and Vegetarianism

Back during Austrian times and up until World War II, the Carpathian Hutsul town of Kosiv (formerly Kosów) was a center of natural medicine and vegetarianism. This is thanks to Dr. Apolinary Tarnawski (1851-1943), a Polish physician who at the end of the nineteenth century founded a private sanatorium in […]

Why Does the Diaspora Write Their Дs So Strangely?

People in Ukraine are usually perplexed when they see Ukrainians from the diaspora write their Дs like this: However, in the American and Canadian diasporas, this is an extremely common way of handwriting the letter Д — that is, a triangle with a leg inside as opposed to a flat-top […]

Jewish Traces in Lviv: Tombstones Turned to Pavement

When Lviv’s Lenin statue was toppled in 1990, fragments of Jewish tombstones were discovered in the foundation. This came as no surprise—it was a known fact that Nazi and Soviet authorities not only destroyed Lviv’s Jewish cemeteries, but also used the stone to pave the city. Lviv had two Jewish […]

Photographs of Prewar Lviv: Ukrainian Signage

In Lviv, according to the Austrian census of 1910, 51% of the city’s population was Polish Roman Catholic, 28% Jewish, and 19% Ukrainian Greek Catholic. Linguistically, 86% of the city’s population used the Polish language while 11% used Ukrainian (Lviv). Looking at these statistics, it’s no surprise that the Ukrainian language was […]

Vault Lights in Lviv

Many years ago in Lviv I came across what looked like a metal door matt. I had no idea what it was until I saw similar panels in Edinburgh and Tallinn and turned to the Internet for help. Turns out it is a vault light to illuminate the basement. It […]

Galicia’s Sokolnie: The Architectural Heritage of the Polish Sokół Society

The former buildings of the Sokół Polish Gymnastic Society stand today in the center of almost every Galician town on both sides of the Polish-Ukrainian border. Serving as sports and cultural centers, these were once significant buildings in the town space and often outstanding architectural masterpieces. Although today few of […]

The Ukrainian Cooperative Movement in Galicia: Maslosoyuz

Name: Maslosoyuz (The Dairy Union)Type: Association of dairy cooperativesFounded by: Yevhen Olesnytsky, Ostap Nyzhankivsky, L. Horalevych, I. BachynskyYears active: 1904-1944 The Ukrainian Cooperative Movement, which began in Galicia in 1883, addressed the economic plight of the Ukrainian people through the creation of financial, agricultural, and trade cooperatives that enabled Ukrainians to pool their resources, […]