Historical Manhole Covers: Przemyśl

In the part of Galicia that is today Ukraine, dating certain remnants of the past can be relatively easy due to the language of the inscription — anything in Polish dates from before WWII. On the other hand, in a city like Przemyśl where Polish was and still is the […]

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 […]

Ghost Signs of Przemyśl

Today a small city in eastern Poland, Przemyśl (Peremyshl in Ukrainian transliteration) was once one of the major cities in Galicia. Przemyśl’s population consisted of many nationalities, including Ukrainians, Poles, Jews, Germans, and Czechs. According to the Austrian census of 1830, the city was home to 7,538 people of whom […]

Orienting Us through the Past: Historical Street Signage in Przemyśl

It is not uncommon in Przemyśl, Poland, to find two, three, or even four different street signs on one building—dating to different periods and regimes: the Austrian Empire, interwar Poland, Communist Poland, and modern Poland. This is because in Poland there was never a campaign to remove Polish inscriptions from […]

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, […]

Historical Manhole Covers and Storm Drains in Ivano-Frankivsk

Ivano-Frankivsk, formerly known as Stanisławów, was one of the largest cities in Galicia, and so it is no wonder that many relics of its prewar past can still be found in the urban landscape. In particular, quite a few manhole covers and storm drains still serve the city’s infrastructure.  From […]

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 […]