Lviv’s Austrian-Era Municipal Cemeteries

Everyone has heard of Lviv’s Lychakiv Cemetery — not only is it well-known among locals, but it is also one of the city’s main tourist attractions. The beautiful sculptures, winding paths, and prominent figures buried here attract a constant flow of crowds. Though not nearly as popular, Yaniv Cemetery is […]

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Galician Military Units of the Austrian-Hungarian Empire

By Evan Samborski Through dangerous gamesmanship of its nationalism policy by mixing concessions with brutally underhanded tactics to manage competing national projects, the Austrian-Hungarian Empire cultivated a great deal of conscription units from the territory of Galicia prior to, and through World War One. The course of dedication to state […]

‘Schranken’ & ‘Rogatkas’: Lviv’s Austrian-Era Tollgates

The first tollgates (Polish: rogatka; German: Schranke) in Lviv (Lemberg / Lwów) appeared at the end of the eighteenth century when Galicia passed into the possession of the Habsburgs. Until then, customs duties were collected at the city gates that were set within the city walls. In 1777, the dismantling […]

Antique Sinks in Lviv

Many of Lviv’s old buildings had communal sinks located in courtyards, hallways, or on galleries. No longer a water source for the residents of these buildings, most of the sinks have been removed and today are popular antiques. Only a handful remain in their original locations, especially the decorative ones […]

Ghost Signs of Lviv: A Look into the City’s Faded Past

I love ghost signs. These messages from the past are one of my favorite parts of the urban landscape. I get overly excited every time I discover a new one. Ghost signs (aka fading ads or brick ads) are old hand-painted signs that have been preserved on a building for […]

The Ukrainian Cooperative Movement in Galicia: Silskyi Hospodar

Name: Silskyi Hospodar (The Village Farmer)Type: Agricultural organizationGoal: To teach peasants modern farming methodsFounded by: the Revs. Toma and Julian DutkevychYears active: 1899-1944 The Ukrainian Cooperative Movement, which began in Galicia in 1883, addressed the economic plight of the Ukrainian people through the creation of financial, agricultural, and trade cooperatives that enabled Ukrainians to […]

The Coats of Arms of the Kingdom of Galicia and Lodomeria

Today the jackdaw is the most recognizable symbol of the Kingdom of Galicia and Lodomeria; yet, this crow was not even found on the crownland’s first coat of arms, which featured three crowns for Galicia along with separate symbols for Lodomeria and Auschwitz (Oświęcim). Why was the first coat of […]

Austrian Military Barracks in Lviv – Part II

From the End of Nineteenth Century to WWI When Galicia came under the rule of the Habsburg Monarchy in 1772, no specially built barracks or barracks complexes existed in Lviv. At first, the Austrian military used the premises of Lviv’s monasteries for magazines (ammunition storehouses) and barracks (Ger: Kaserne/Caserne; Polish: koszary; Ukr: касарні, казарми, кошари). […]

Dom Inwalidów: Where Disabled Military Veterans Retired in Lviv

The Romantic historicist ensemble of the former Dom Inwalidów / K. K. Invalidenhaus (Invalids’ House) is a valuable monument of architecture and history. An initiative of the emperor of the Austrian Empire, the Dom Inwalidów was a retirement home for disabled military veterans in Lwów / Lemberg from 1863 to […]

Photographs of Prewar Lviv: Hand-Painted Signs

I’ve combed through hundreds of old photographs of Lviv (Lemberg / Lwów) in search of hand-painted signs that are visible today as “ghost signs.” While I’ve only been able to find one such example – a photograph of a milkhouse, the search was not in vain: I came out with […]

Antique Roller Shutters of Lviv

Antique steel roller shutters dating from before WWII can still be found around Lviv, covering the windows and doors of former storefronts. Some of these shutters are still used; many, however, look as if they haven’t been opened in decades. These remnants of the past are especially interesting because their […]