Lwów, Львів, Lemberg, לעמבערג (actually pronounced as lemberik), Լվովի, Львов, Liov, Ľvov, Lvov, Лвов, Lavov, Leopolis, Léopol, Leopoli, Leópolis, Ilyvó. Only a few European cities – Venice, Rome, Paris, London – have their own names in so many languages and figure in a prominent place in the mental map of so many peoples. That is, figured. This city, which for six centuries was one of the main gates of Europe to the East – the Tatars, the Russian and Romanian principalities, the Crimea and the Caucasus, the Turks – and where ten nations and as many confessions lived together, in September 1939 was swallowed up by the Empire, and while the Jews, Germans, Poles, Armenians and others were disappearing from it, Europe forgot about its mere existence. Nowadays as the Ukraine is opening up, the city is already being reborn as a main gate of the East to Europe, which tries to explore and exploit its former many-colored Western culture, “the Galician heritage”.

I spent my childhood in an ugly industrial city. I was brought there when I was barely four months old, and then for many years afterward I was told about the extraordinarily beautiful city, Lwów, that my family had to leave. So it is not surprising that I looked upon real houses and streets with a semicontemptuous air of superiority and that I took from reality only the bare necessities.
Adam Zagajewski: Two cities

It is amazing that while I am straining my memory against the flow of time, I can still feel the innocence of such street names as Janow, Zmesienie, Piaski and Lackiego, which were imbued with such an evil meaning by the years of 1941 and 1942, when the city on a day became empty from Bernstein street to the theater, the Sloneczna and further, and a silent and dead neighborhood remained in its place, with windows wide open and curtains flapping in the wind. There was not a single soul on the yards and balconies. Only a few scattered buildings were left at the outskirts, and then the ruins were overgrown by the grass.
Stanisław Lem: The High Castle

Much has been written about the cafés of Lwów, and such places as the “Café Szkocka”, the “Atlas” or the “George” already have their loyal bards. The story of Lwów’s inns has long matured into a fable, a kind of a “text of Lwów”… The Poles, Ukrainians, Jews, Armenians, Germans all prayed in their own prayer houses, but they spent their time together in the pubs: at least there they tolerated each other.
Bogusław Bakuła: Stage, carnival, revolution

With this map we start the reconstruction of the one-time city: we try to assess through the photos of today’s visitors what remains from the former Lwów. We begin with the historical city center, but we will soon expand it with the maps of the suburbs as well, and the number of the photos will increase continuously. The gray dots indicate that a picture could not be exactly localized, and when a dot turns red, it means that it received its own post. The overview of the modern state will be complemented with further layers of old photos, postcards, drawings and memories. Check back soon.

Autumn in Lwów (1939)
Radio Lwów (1930-39)
Yiddish shop labels
Second-hand book market
The monograph of Lwów
Captain Truszkowski’s house and gravestone
The vanished Jewish past
Greetings from the General Government Janowska, death camp
Come with us to Lemberg!
Come with us to the Klezmer festival!
Traces of mezuzot
Spread-out sheets
Cortile della Madonna
Andreolli Passage
Arms of times past
Railway station
Russian Street 4.
Kopernika 1, former pharmacy

6 comentarios:

Anónimo dijo...

Studiolum, as you are a man of many tongues, I am surprised not to have found in your selection the beauty of this shop bit.ly/o9fbFD http://bit.ly/o6vAuB which I could behold in my visit to the city last year.

Studiolum dijo...

Thank you very much for the fascinating photos! The truth is that I do not remember the shop. Where is it exactly? as I’d like to include it in the map.

And thank you for the reference to your wonderful blog. I have just read its exhaustively informative posts on the Ukraine, and will go on with the rest.

Effe dijo...

So nice, Magritte in L’vov.
(listening to René and Georgette Magritte with their dog after the war, by Paul Simon)
We’re ready for Galicia, now.

Anónimo dijo...

Thanks for reading me. Paraphrasing Borges I am not specially proud of the blogs I wrote, but I am really proud of the ones I read and this one has a dear place among them.

The shop is in the corner between курбаса and тиктора, very close to Svobody avenue. You can indeed use my shot. I send you this link to Panoramio, so that you can see a better-quality picture and the exact position of the shop in the map. http://www.panoramio.com/photo/41626403

walter dijo...

It's depressing to see the swastika defacing the memorial to the Golden Rose Synagogue. Omer Bartov (Erased, 2007) writes "The site of the temple seems to be a popular nighttime hangout, as indicated by the empty beer bottles and other garbage strewn in the shallow pit next to the only remaining wall". The Wikipedia picture (2008) of the memorial is graffiti-free. Bartov also captures other traces, a doorway with mezuzah markings and the remains of a store sign in Yiddish, Polish and Hebrew. All to finally disappear at the next renovation.

Gio Ve dijo...

This is a greatest city. Events happened here in the last 100 years cannot happen everywhere else in a million years.
Lwów is the only town in Ukraine that in Italy is called with an Italian name: LEOPOLI.
All good wishes and congratulations indeed!