Austrian Military Barracks in Lviv – Part I

From the end of the 18th century to the middle of the 19th century After the Habsburg Monarchy began to rule Galicia, a large number of land holdings became property of the Austrian military. This is no wonder as the military required considerable resources such as fields, mills, magazines (ammunition […]

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Combating Dust 100 Years Ago: Traces of Lviv’s Antique Central Vacuum Cleaners

A rather unique and rare remnant of the past found in Lviv is the antique central vacuum inlet — one small part of a central vacuum cleaner system that was installed in buildings still before WWI. Central Vacuum Cleaners A central vacuum cleaner works by sucking dirt particles through tubes […]

The Pavilions of the Galician General Regional Exhibition of 1894

The largest fair in the history of Lviv / Lwów / Lemberg, the General Regional Exhibition (Powszechna Wystawa Krajowa) was held in 1894, on the 100th year anniversary of the Kosciuszko Uprising. The aim of the exhibition was to promote Lviv as a modern metropolis and demonstrate Galicia’s economical and […]

Abandoned Roman Catholic Churches in the Galician Countryside

The Eastern Galician countryside — most of which today is located in western Ukraine — is dotted with abandoned Roman Catholic churches (kościoły) that today stand as reminders of the centuries-old Polish communities that once lived there. Before the war, Roman Catholic Poles made up 21% of the population of […]

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 […]

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 […]

Brody as Depicted on Władysław Kocyan’s Postcards

To get a feeling of what Brody’s cityscape and residents looked like at the beginning of the twentieth century, we can glimpse through the postcards produced by Władysław Kocyan. Kocyan created one of the largest collections of postcards of the town and today they serve as invaluable documents of a […]

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 […]

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 […]

Prewar Hydrant and Valve Marker Plates

Marker plates, which indicate the location of hydrants or valves, can be found all over Lviv. The plates were attached to the facades of buildings to display information about the utility as well as to ensure that the hydrant or valve could be found even if the road was covered […]

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 […]