This blog is a place for me to collect, document, share, and help preserve remnants of the past before they are forgotten or disappear forever. While the focus is on Lviv (Ger: Lemberg, Pol: Lwów, Yid: לעמבערג, Ukr: Львів), Galicia (Ger: Galizien, Pol: Galicja, Yid: גאַליציע, Ukr: Галичина) and the former Austrian Empire, the geographical scope reaches also beyond this region.
My blog is divided into three main categories:
- Physical traces of the past found in the urban landscape, architecture, infrastructure, etc.
- Intangible traces of the past found in the cultural realm—in language, music, cuisine, etc.
- Historical information, finds, and locations concerning Galicia’s different nationalities, famous figures, movements, and institutions, as well as some of my personal experiences and discoveries as I continue to research my ancestors who lived in this region and the context of their lives.
All articles are written by me, unless otherwise noted. All articles not written by me are published with the permission of the author.
I happily publish guest posts on my blog. If you have written something related to the history of Galicia and would like to see it on Forgotten Galicia, let me know!
On Searching for Remnants
I like finding how the past has found ways to survive and manifest itself in our world today. Old advertisements liberated from under layers of paint and plaster, forgotten elements of outdated infrastructures, craftsmanship that has survived the test of time, dialects that preserve old and at times archaic lexicons, ancient melodies and songs performed by contemporary singers—these are all insights into the past, ways to experience the past.
Our cities’ and buildings’ physical spaces, urban and rural landscapes, hold secrets to how people used to live, hold traces of previous eras. Embodied in outdated signage, beautiful antique craftsman, and remnants of outdated infrastructures, these mementos of a bygone world serve as are our physical connections to the past.
Culture, in particular folk culture, preserves our distinct cultural heritages that were passed down from generation to generation. They can be found in our dialects, folklore, handicrafts, customs, cuisine. These are our voices, tastes, smells, experiences, sounds from the past, our intangible, nonmaterial connections to the past, to our predecessors.
By finding these traces first hand in our everyday lives, we can better understand how people used to live and better relate to them. It also helps us to better understand our own lives and the world we live in today.
My name is Areta. I was born and raised in Chicago. In 2011 I returned to my ancestral homeland and now reside in the charming city of Lviv, Ukraine.
An article about me and my project in Atlas Obscura.
An article in Ukrainian in Nasze Slowo about me and my project can be found here.