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 the images were taken in the area around Rohatyn and Koniushky (Polish: Koniuszki), today located in the Ivano-Frankivsk oblast of Ukraine.

A couple of the photographs are signed by a “Hoetz”; the rest were taken an unidentified photographer. Many of them have a description written in German on the reverse side.

All the captions and descriptions below are from Wiggers’ page.

Galician Women

“Galician woman.” Handwritten German text below the photograph: “The most beautiful polish girl in Galicia. She told me, when I bought this photograph from her in Bursztyn. Doesn’t she look like Germania? Only the pedestal is missing on which she has to stand.” (“Germania” is the personification of the Germans. A robust woman with long blonde hair.)
Rusyn Woman. “Ruthenian woman in her fur coat. I like her melancholic expression, she has something majestic”
Young mother
In the garden


“Ruthenians in Sunday Best”


Grain winnowing


Farmhouse in Galicia. Handwritten German text on the reverse: “How Panjehouses (farmhouses) are built, I will tell you personally. That would take too long. But it is strange that although only one half of the house is finished, the storks are already here. There are a lot of them around. But the girls are not afraid to be bitten in the leg. They always go out of their way.” [The writer refers to an old North German superstition that a woman gets pregnant in case a stork bites her leg.]
In the countryside
A peasant family eating their midday bread

Near the Church

The churchyard

Soldiers at Rest

1920 or earlier


Galicia 1920, Flickr account by Wolfgang Wiggers

10 thoughts on “A Look at 1920s Galicia: Photographs of Daily Life in the Countryside

    1. My great grandparents came from Galicia. I never knew where this was until recently, your pictures & writings have helped tremendously to understand were a part of me came from. Thank you.

  1. My fathers family came from galicia around 1889 I do not know much about the country family name was spelled Esyk Essik Essick and my dad joseph used Esseck Father was Framcis Mother was Mary Marshak

  2. Zdravím ,krásné fotky z dob minulých ,otec pocházel z Tylawy/Polsko/v roce 1941 byl odvlečen s polu s ostatními chlapci na nucené práce do rajchu ,když se vrátil ale už do Čech a hledal svou rodinu ,tak ta už byla odsunuta na Ukrajinu , Tarnopolská obl. a jeden bratr žil v Haliči ,kde jsem také jednou byl na návštěvě někdy v roce 72 ,bohužel už žije jen jedna tátova sestra v Ladičíně a děti otcových sourozenců ,rodina z Haliče žije v USA v Rochesteru

  3. My Grandfather Thomas Elchynski came from Galicia .thank you for all the information, as we have none. He never spoke of his homevtown

  4. Thank you for these pictures. My grandparents came from Sanok, Galicia. My grandfather was born in 1888 and my grandmother in 1891. They came to the United States in the early 1900’s. Their parents were farmers so I enjoyed seeing the pictures of the farms and the farmlands and can picture my great grandparents being there.

    1. Mis bisabuelos vinieron a la Argentina a principios de siglo 20. Dejando parte de sus familiares en Ucrania , galitzia como decían ellos. También en pueblos como humnyska, hrusca y tlumach . Mucho esfuerzo, valores humanos y mucha dedicación a sus familias. Gracias a ellos por tener mis raíces y sus tradiciones.

  5. Moi dziadkowie nazwisko Michal i Maria Swiazek pochodzili ze wsi Lukowiec Wisniowiecki. Powiat Rohatyn. Moja mama i jej siotra tam sie urodzily.
    Dziekuje za zdjecia. Po 2giej wojnie swiatowej dziadkowie wraz z corkami zostali osiedleni w Polsce na Dolnym Sladku w okolicach miasteczka Wolow.
    Moja mama miala na imie Sabina po mezu Brzezinska.
    Jej siotra Cecylia po mezu Nowosielska.
    Dziekuje za zdjecia.
    Chcialabym tam kiedys pojechac, w okolice Rohatyn.

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