The Lost Jewish Cemeteries of Lviv

While many old Jewish cemeteries still remain around Galicia, the same cannot be said of the Jewish burial grounds in Lviv (Lemberg / Lwów). Only found fragments of their ancient tombstones (matzevah) — which were used by the Nazis and Soviets as pavement and building material — remind us of […]

Read More

‘Obezpechyla Azienda’: Lviv’s Prewar Ukrainian-Language Fire Mark

I started working on this article in February 2022, shortly before the war started and before I ended up in Kraków for several months. *** Every day I walk to work across Lviv’s Old Town, passing Rynok Square right in front of the city hall building, down Ruska Street, then […]

Finding Solidarity with Ukraine: 12 Ways Kraków and Lviv Are Connected via Their Historical Built Environment

Kraków has become my temporary wartime home. When Russia began it full-scale invasion of Ukraine on February 24, 2022, I made the difficult decision to leave my home in Lviv and depart for Poland. I didn’t know how long I would be gone or where I would end up; but […]

Ukrainian Societies in Galicia: Boyan

Name: BoyanType: Choral and musical societyGoal: To support the development of Ukrainian musical culture and choral singing; to offer music education and music printingFirst society founded: In Lviv by Ruska Besida, in particular by Anatol VakhnianynYears active: 1891 until WWII In the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, several societies […]

How Lviv’s Neighborhoods Got Their Names

A look at Lviv’s territorial expansion and annexation of former manorial farms Most people are familiar with how Lviv got its name — founder King Danylo of Halych named the city in honor of his son Lev (“lion”). But what about the names of Lviv’s neighborhoods? It turns out a lot of […]

Made in Ukraine: Lviv Shopping Guide

An Alternative Shopping Guide to Lviv’s City Center A list of the best places to find all things made in Ukraine, local artwork and music, and antiques. Made in Ukraine:Clothing, Accessories & Home Decor Ukraine’s craft industry has really taken off in the last few years. As a result, hundreds […]

‘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 […]

Lviv’s Antique Decorative Floor Tiles

One of the most colorful and decorative traces of the times of Austrian Lviv (Lemberg) can be found right under our feet — in the entrances, vestibules, and stairwells of many of Lviv’s buildings, from the floors of the finest banks and institutions to ordinary residential apartments in the city’s […]

Prewar Glass Inscriptions in Lviv

Around Lviv etched window inscriptions that date from before the war can still be found, though not many — glass is the most fragile of all remnants of the past. Most of these are old street names and building numbers, conscription numbers, and other informative messages that helped people orient […]

Supporting the Beauty of Facades: Lviv’s Blind Balustrades

The blind balustrade, like the blind window, is an element of architecture that has an aesthetic rather than utilitarian function. Instead of forming the protective edge of a balcony or of a change of level, blind balustrades are applied to the wall surface to add ornamentation to the façade or […]

Old Hand Water Pumps in Lviv

Around Lviv one can find a few relatively intact old hand water pumps. In the place of many more, only the bottom mounting piece remains.