Boot Scrapers: Przemyśl

It was in Przemyśl, a small Galician city situated today in Poland near the Ukrainian border, that I first discovered what a boot scraper was and where my love for these remnants of the past began. I had first seen these odd metal objects in Lviv, but hadn’t given them […]

Zakopane Style Architecture in Przemyśl

Zakopane Style (Styl zakopiański) architecture is inspired by the folk art and architecture of Poland’s highland region known as Podhale. The style was conceived in the 1890s by architect Stanislaw Witkiewicz and named after the region’s main town — Zakopane. The Zakopane Style combines wooden framing and reinforced stone structures, […]

The Will to Control: The Austrians Reimagine Lviv’s Rynok Square

By Chris Wilkinson Austrian architecture and culture is often equated with magnificence. Anyone who visits Vienna cannot help but marvel at its many beautiful Baroque buildings, the grandeur of the Hofburg palace, the exquisite culture that gave the world Mozart and Strauss. An air of refinement is pervasive. Conversely, Austrian […]

Königsau: Galicia’s Pentagon-Shaped German Colony

The village of Königsau (“royal meadow”) was established in 1783 by German Roman Catholic settlers as part of the Josephine colonization—a state-funded settlement campaign to reinforce the society of Galician Germans. And while many German colonies were established as part of this campaign, Königsau is unique for it is the […]

Traces of Zakopane Style Architecture in Lviv

At the turn of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, Art Nouveau spread across Europe and the United States. In the Austrian Empire the new art movement was called the Secession Style. The transition from historicism to modernism—which took place during this period as part of the struggle against academic art—chronologically […]

A Protection Symbol for the Home: The Six-Petal Rosette оn the Crossbeams of Galicia

The Six-Petal Rosette The six-petal rosette, the flower-like symbol created by overlapping seven circles, as well as the expanded variants with 7 interlocking rosettes and 19 interlocking rosettes (the latter is called the “Flower of Life” in the New Age movement), is an ancient symbol that has been used across […]

The Hutsul Secession in Lviv: Combining Folk Architecture with Art Nouveau

At the turn of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, a new original art movement spread across Europe and the United States. It received various names: Tiffany (from the name L. C. Tiffany) in the United States; Art Nouveau and “fin de siècle” (literally “the end of the century”) in France; […]

10 Places You Will Never Visit in Lviv

Lviv’s historical urban structures survived WWII largely unscathed, thus much of Lviv’s prewar cityscape is intact. Nonetheless, if we look through old photographs of the city, we still come across unfamiliar places. This is not surprising as Lviv, like any city, underwent physical transformations throughout the centuries. In addition to […]

Prewar Street Signage in Lviv

Considering how many times street names and the official language were changed in Lviv, it’s quite miraculous that we can still find street signage from previous eras around the city.  But in fact, quite a few prewar Polish-language street signs remain hidden (sometimes quite literally under paint or plaster) in […]

Greatness that Cannot Be Ignored – The Potocki Palace: Lviv’s Grandest Residence

By Chris Wilkinson A jarring spectacle awaits those unsuspecting pedestrians strolling along Kopernyka Street in Lviv. Past the first floor shops and multi-storied apartment buildings piled one atop another there suddenly appears a fence of forged iron. Behind this stands the Potocki Palace. Here, set back rather incongruously, looks to […]