Photographs of Prewar Lviv: Hand-Painted Signs

I’ve combed through hundreds of old photographs of Lviv (Lemberg / Lwów) in search of hand-painted signs that are visible today as “ghost signs.” While I’ve only been able to find one such example – a photograph of a milkhouse, the search was not in vain: I came out with […]

Boykos: The Silent Inhabitants of the Carpathians

Boykos are the most enigmatic of the Ukrainian Highlanders and are extremely reticent, which is why they have experienced the least foreign influence. At the mention of the Hutsuls, clear associations immediately emerge – kolomyiky, bartka (ceremonial axe), Arkan, Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors. Lemkos call to mind the Wisla campaign, […]

Prewar Postcards of Lviv’s Union of Lublin Mound

Today probably few people know when they climb up the High Castle (Vysokyi Zamok) in Lviv, one of the city’s most popular tourist destinations, they are walking up a monument built in the late nineteenth century to commemorate the 300th anniversary of the Union of Lublin – the pact which […]

The Wooden Greek Catholic Churches of the Galician Lemko Region

The Lemkos and Their Fate The Lemkos are an ethnic group who historically inhabited the mountain valleys and foothills of the Carpathians in a region (called Lemkovyna or Lemkivshchyna) that today stretches along the border between Poland and Slovakia covering some western territories in Ukraine. The area that today belongs […]

The ‘Galician Gaudi’: Teodor Talowski & His Fanciful Architecture

Teodor Talowski is one of the most important Polish architects of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. He has been described as the “Galician Gaudi” or the “Polish Gaudi” because he combined late Historicism with Secession (Art Nouveau) and Modernist influences. His works include apartment buildings, churches, chapels, and […]

Antique Roller Shutters of Lviv

Antique steel roller shutters dating from before WWII can still be found around Lviv, covering the windows and doors of former storefronts. Some of these shutters are still used; many, however, look as if they haven’t been opened in decades. These remnants of the past are especially interesting because their […]

‘The Eastern Gates of the Austrian Empire’: The Brody Border

‘The Eastern Gates of the Austrian Empire’ In 1772 the city of Brody became part of the Habsburg Monarchy as a border town of the crownland of Galicia and Lodomeria – first with the Commonwealth of Poland and from 1795 with the Russian Empire. The international border was about 6 […]

Volutes on the Gables of Lviv: From Renaissance to Art Deco

The Volute in Architecture The volute is the spiral, scroll-like ornament found in the capital of the Ionic column, and which was later used in Corinthian and Composite column capitals. Deriving from the Latin word voluta (“scroll”), the ornament has many possible origins including the curve of the ram’s horns, […]

Austrian Military Barracks in Lviv – Part I

From the end of the 18th century to the middle of the 19th century After the Habsburg Monarchy began to rule Galicia, a large number of land holdings became property of the Austrian military. This is no wonder as the military required considerable resources such as fields, mills, magazines (ammunition […]

Made in Ukraine: Lviv Shopping Guide

An Alternative Shopping Guide to Lviv’s City Center A list of the best places to find all things made in Ukraine, local artwork and music, and antiques. Made in Ukraine:Clothing, Accessories & Home Decor Ukraine’s craft industry has really taken off in the last few years. As a result, hundreds […]