Capturing Ternopil in its Historical Architectural Details

Architectural detail is found everywhere, from the defining shape of a doorknob and the waves created by a balustrade to the winding form of a staircase and the rounded culmination of a handrail. It is in these details that we can see the thoughtfulness, care, time, and skill that was put into each part of the building.

With the passage of time, the details may become deformed, bent, crooked, scratched, or cracked. Yet this wear and tear adds an extra layer of beauty to the buildings. It reminds us of their age, and of all that they endured.

The city of Ternopil (Tarnopol) may not immediately come to mind when thinking about the architectural heritage of Galicia. For while once a major and flourishing city, well over half of the city was destroyed during the war. But this does not mean there is limited material to photograph – one just has to have a keen eye and understand that each element can be captured countless numbers of ways.

Ternopil resident Anna Zolotniuk, a journalist, photographer, and urban explorer, is precisely this person. She knows exactly where to look for these details and has a wonderful way of capturing their beauty. She can photograph the same object again and again, for no encounter with the same detail is ever the same. The perspective or approach is always different, just as the setting is always different: The time of day, the season, the intensity of the sunlight.

So let’s explore prewar Ternopil through its small, often overlooked architectural detail, as captured by Anna.


Gate Handles



Fences and Finials

Handrail Ends



Facade Details

Text by Areta Kovalska
Photographs by Anna Zolotniuk

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