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) […]

Mozart in Lviv: Grasping for Greatness, Discovering Love

By Chris Wilkinson There is an odd symmetry to the fact that Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s life and music is most often identified with Vienna and Austria, while his son, Franz Xaver Mozart’s musical career took place in the obscurity of Galicia and Lviv. The son headed off to the most […]

Solomiya Krushelnytska: The Galician Who Rescued Puccini’s Madame Butterfly

By Chris Wilkinson It was a voice destined to be heard by millions, a siren’s call that was heard across the world. In opera houses from Odesa to Ottawa, Naples to New York she performed before adoring crowds entranced by the strains of her sonorous vocals. She filled the halls […]

Ivan Franko: His Visits to Tsishky and Phenomenal Memory

My great grandmother had the honor of meeting Ivan Franko, who used to visit her aunt and uncle’s library in the village of Tsishky (today Chishky), near Oleskyi Zamok. Her aunt and uncle were Toma Dutkevych, the parish priest and one of the founders of the agricultural organization Silskyi Hospodar, […]

Olena Kulchytska: Combining Galician Secession and Ukrainian Folk Art

Olena Kulchytska was a Galician Modernist, legendary Lvivian, famous artist, and skilled teacher. She is my favorite Ukrainian artist; in particular, I like how she combines Secession and Ukrainian folk art. Furthermore, she lived about 5 minutes away from where I live in Lviv, and in the interwar period in […]

Karol Lipiński: Violinist and Conductor in Lviv’s First Theater

Lviv has always felt like my native town; however, in recent times none of my ancestors were from here. But in the last few years I discovered that my direct ancestors on two sides of my family (Polish and Austrian) did live in Lviv – though over 200 years ago, in […]

‘The Last Hutsul Musical Magician’

I bought my tsymbaly (hammered dulcimer) from the Tafiychuks—a family of musicians and instrument makers that lives in the Carpathian Mountains. Mykhailo Tafiychuk, or “the Last Hutsul Musical Magician” as Cobblestone Freeway dubbed him in this article, makes many different ancient instruments such as the hurdy gurdy, tsymbaly, and duda (Ukrainian bagpipe). […]