Come with us to Lemberg

We had the honor that the Hungarian Jewish Cultural Association, on discovering our posts on Lwów/Lemberg/Lviv, asked us to be their guide on their excursion to the city in May. We are pleased to comply the request, and during the four days travel we will try to show the most hidden faces of this historical city: the secret inner courtyards of the old town, the forgotten Jewish quarter, the cafés of the Armenian quarter – everything that the readers of Poemas del Río Wang have already read or will read about in the next future. At our discussion last night still there were six or seven free places in the bus, which we were permitted to advertise for the readers of Río Wang. The application deadline is next Tuesday, and the detailed conditions can be read on the facebook site of the Association. Here below we include the text of the advertisement of the Association, written by us.

At the sight of the great interest in this tour – almost forty seats in the bus were booked in the few days since the publication of the advertisement on Monday, and the Hungarian Jewish cultural weekly Szombat intends to dedicate a whole edition to the Jewish past of Lemberg/Lemberik at the time of the excursion – we also plan to offer our expertise of the sites and languages of the region in organizing further Jewish heritage tours for the Association in Eastern Europe, from Prague to Odessa. They will also be open to the readers of our blog, to whom we will announce them well in advance.

Multiculturalism anno 1900 – The eastern borderlands of the Monarchy
Cultural pilgrimage to Lwów/Lemberg/Lviv and Stanislawów/Ivano-Frankivsk

The Hungarian Jewish Cultural Association organizes from 17 to 20 May 2012 a four days / three nights long cultural pilgrimage to the once multicultural capital of Eastern Galicia, Lemberg. The bus starts on 17 May, Thursday early morning in Budapest and arrives back on 20 May, Sunday late night. Two nights in Lviv (Hotel Suputnik), one night in Ivano-Frankivsk (Hotel Nadia), in four star hotels, with breakfast.

Lemberg, Lwów, Lemberik, Lviv, and we could continue with a dozen more names in the languages of the dozen ethnic groups that once lived here, was always located between worlds: it was at the same time the mysterious East and the desired West, the easternmost frontier city and gateway of Europe, where French and Italian singers performed in the luxurious Opera House built on the model of that of Vienna, where Armenian, Tatar and Karaite merchants coming from the Crimea lived behind the Opera, and where the inhabitants of the Old Jewish Street sent their sons to be educated in Vienna.

The city built at the encounter of the trade roads leading from the Black Sea to the Baltic Sea and from Cracow through Kiev to Moscow, became under the reign of Casimir and Louis the Great Poland’s eastern gate, an uniquely multi-ethnic city, where the goods brought from the Crimea, Persia and Anatolia by the Armenian merchants living on the northern side of the main square were further distributed all over Europe by the Jewish merchants living on the southern side of the same square.

This eight centuries long golden age came to an end with the World War. Lwów’s Jewish population was deported by the German invaders, and the Polish population was expelled by the Soviet occupants. The city, however, which is only now waking from its seventy years of Sleeping Beauty sleep, has been conserved intact, and you can discover all the monuments of the past, from the main square built by Italian Renaissance masters and in 1998 declared a UNESCO World Heritage site, through the rich courtyards of the Armenian quarter and the Art Nouveau blocks of flats to the dozens of churches of the seven religions, which once gave the name of “the Rome of the East” to Lwów. On the walls of the Jewish quarter you can still read seventy year old Yiddish inscriptions, the doorposts show the traces of mezuzahs, and you can still visit the ruins of the Golden Rose Synagogue, built by the Jewish councilor of King Stephen Báthory in the 16th century and destroyed by the German army in 1943.

It is to this enchanted city, faithfully preserving the memory of the Middle Ages, the Monarchy and the Galician Jewish world, where we invite now our readers for a long weekend.

5 comentarios:

Effe dijo...

wonderful project, and highly desirable travel (in space and time).
And then, in the future, oh, Odessa! It'a a dream. Please don't wake me up, Studiolum :-)

Studiolum dijo...

You can also come sleeping in the bus! ;)
But seriously: we are planning with the Association that if things go well, we can also organize Jewish heritage tours in the region for foreigners. I as a former Italian tourist guide especially proposed to invite Italian groups interested in the region, either a whole bus or a small number of private cars. So why don’t you organize one with your friends to Odessa and surroundings for a week?

Effe dijo...

I don't know anyone else who desires, as I do, to go to Odessa (for literary suggestions) and L'vov (for a travel through the time).
But, who knows, le vie del futuro sono infinite.

Studiolum dijo...

One-man (or one-couple) groups are also welcome! especially if friendly ones :)

Recentemente ho trovato sul web russo un’intera biblioteca su “Odessa nella letteratura”, quasi una centinaia di opere, incluso molte mai tradotte. Nel prossimo futuro le leggerò tutte, e cercherò di scriverne in Río Wang.

Effe dijo...

Fantastico, quante cose! Rio Wang è la dimostrazione che una vita sola non basta.