Galicia’s Adventurous and Free-Spirited Sofia Jablonska

From Lviv Today – a bilingual lifestyle magazine Here is the astounding story of the Galician girl who managed to conquer thousands of fans with her poetic travel essays and become Ukraine’s first internationally renowned travel writer, documentalist, and journalist. Early beginnings Sofia Jablonska was born in 1907 in the […]

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 […]

Engineer Słowik and His Enduring Mark on Lviv

The Recovered Story of a Prewar Metalworks Owner Countless people contributed to the urban development of Lviv and left their enduring mark on the city. It is thanks to these architects, urban planners, engineers, entrepreneurs, craftsmen, construction workers, and factory workers that we have the beautiful architecture, cobblestone roads, infrastructure, […]

Leopold von Sacher-Masoch: Much More than Masochism

While today the term “masochism” is widely known, few know its origin, let alone anything about the man behind the name—Leopold von Sacher-Masoch. A while back I posted about this Lviv native’s childhood experiences in the Galician capital (found here), but now I’d like to share a few curious, lesser-known facts […]

Some Like It Not – Billy Wilder: Fame, Fortune & Fate (From Galicia to Hollywood to the Holocaust)

By Chris Wilkinson “To know me, you must think of me in terms of what Austria was like in 1906, when I was born. Austria in those days was a huge monarchy of 56 million people – the Austro-Hungarian Empire. The monarchy seemed indestructible.”– Billy Wilder One of Hollywood’s greatest movie […]

Józef Eder: Earliest Known Photographer of Lviv

We owe the oldest photographs of Lviv to Józef Eder (1831-1903), the owner of one of the first photography studios in Lviv. His photographs, which have been digitized and today are widely available on the Internet, date to the middle of the nineteenth century. Starting in 1861, together with Bernhard […]

Zofia Batycka: The Lvivian Who Became Miss Polonia and a Famous Film Actress

Zofia Batycka (1907–1989) was born into the wealthy family of Eugeniusz Batycki, a Lviv attorney. Her family owned the Palace of Turkull-Comello, where the Zofia Batycka spent her charming youth. She would later become Miss Polonia in 1930, Vice Miss Europe, Miss Paramount, and a theater and movie actress. The […]

The Genie & His Blue Bottle – Yuriy Kulchytsky: The Beginning of Coffee in Vienna & Lviv

By Chris Wilkinson Lviv gained many things from its association with Vienna while under Austrian rule. Among the most enduring have been Baroque and Secessionist architecture, railways, industrialization and a European cosmopolitanism that still permeates the city today. Many visitors to Lviv assume coffee and Viennese coffeehouse culture were also […]

Leopold Von Sacher-Masoch & His Galician Experience

By Chris Wilkinson On Serbska Street, just off Rynok Square in the heart of the Old Town, is a statue of Leopold von Sacher-Masoch, the man whose surname gave rise to the term masochism. Sacher-Masoch spent the first twelve years of his life in Lemberg (Lviv’s German name at the […]

Obsession: Antoni Schneider & His Encyclopedia of Expertise on Galicia

By Chris Wilkinson A good argument could be made that obsession is little more than ambition taken to extremes, ambition to do something way beyond what has ever been done before. Obsessions by their very nature are all consuming. Thus obsessives find their lives for better or worse (usually worse) […]