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 […]

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 […]

Austrians in Galicia: Тhe Hirsch Family

One of the most interesting revelations for me in researching my family history has been discovering ancestors of different ethnic, religious, and linguistic backgrounds. Growing up in the Ukrainian diaspora, I had always assumed all of my ancestors were Greek Catholic Ukrainian-speakers, but the more I have learned about my family, […]

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 […]

Life in the Galician Village of Bila: Sickness & Injury

A look at early twentieth-century life in Bila (Polish: Biała), a village bordering Ternopil in eastern Galicia. The description is from the autobiography of Katherine Rychly Pylitiuk, who was born in Bila in 1904, grew up there, and immigrated to the United States in 1922. This post is taken from […]

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 […]

Nineteenth-Century Galicia in the Lithographу of Karl Auer

Karl Auer (German: Karl Auer; Czech: Karel Auer; Polish: Karol Auer) (1818-1859) was a lithographer and graphic artist of Czech descent who worked in Lviv and Galicia for over 20 years. After graduating from the University of Vienna in the 1830s, Auer came to work in Lviv at the invitation […]

The Galician Railway

By Iwona Dakiniewicz The journey to America was long, costly, and tedious. The majority of emigrants came from remote villages. Peasants began their journey with teams of horses or on foot, to get to the nearest railroad station. This article gives you a possibility of locating the railroad station from which […]

Life in the Galician Village of Bila: Food

A look at early twentieth-century life in Bila (Polish: Biała), a village bordering Ternopil in eastern Galicia. The description is from the autobiography of Katherine Rychly Pylitiuk, who was born in Bila in 1904, grew up there, and immigrated to the United States in 1922. This post is taken from […]

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 […]