Showing posts from November, 2015

Ruins of Mikolasch Passage

Mikolasch Passage was a glass-covered shopping arcade, which housed two cinemas, restaurants, cafes, and shops. The passage was built between 1898 and 1900. One entrance was from Kopernyka Street, through the entrance of Piotr Mikolasch's famous pharmacy. (In 1853 in Piotr Mikolasch's pharmacy, Jogann Zeh and Ignacy Lukasiewicz invented the first kerosene lamp. In 1892 the building on Kopernyka 1 was built for the new pharmacy by Karol Mikolasch, the son of Piotr.)
The passage was destroyed by bombing in June 1941.
Entrance from Kopernyka Street

The ruins

Ghost sign - looks like the middle of the word "Mikolascha"

Maramaros: 'The Lost Jewish Music of Transylvania'

"If the real Jewish music of Transylvania is gone, this disc makes sure it will not be forgotten."  - See more here.

Boyko Music: 'At the Foot of the Carpathian Chain'

My paternal grandfather was born in the village of Lybokhora (Turka District), the "capital" of Boyko instrumental music. His parents, who were from the Sambir and Lviv regions, moved to this Carpathian village in the early 1900s to direct and teach at the local school.
This is a picture from Lybokhora (1930s) of my grandfather (white shirt in second row, with bird on his shoulder) with his parents, siblings, and some family friends. 
Many years ago I came across an album of authentic music recordings from his village. When I listen to it, I can image that during celebrations and rituals, my ancestors heard precisely this music.

Links with info and downloads:

EuroMaidan Anniversary: 'A Line from My Autobiography'

Today marks the second anniversary of the beginning of the Revolution of Dignity, or EuroMaidan, which ended the rule of Yanukovych in Ukraine.

I'd like to share a video for a song based on a text by contemporary Ukrainian writer Oksana Zabuzhko called "A Line from My Autobiography." The song is performed by the Telnyuk Sisters, and the video shows images from the revolution: Ukrainians fighting for their freedom, dignity, and land, including the violent battles.

The text is basically about how "my ancestors" have always been fighting for their land, which has always belonged to them. And ends with these words:

Oh and they were a strong breed —
*Solovky, Magadan, Kolyma...
My ancestors were a people —
A people,
which is no longer.

*names of Soviet prison camps

РЯДОК З АВТОБІОГРАФІЇ Мої предки були не вбогі На пісні та свячені ножі — З моїх предків, хвалити Бога, Заволокам ніхто не служив! Дарували від батька до сина Честь у спадок — як білу кість! Мої предки були …

NPR: Tigran Hamasyan – Exploration of Ancient Sacred Music from Armenia

From NPR: "'In Armenia, after the Soviet Union and almost a hundred years of atheism, a lot of things have been, I don't want to say forgotten, but haven't developed greatly,' he told his record label. 'The music was in the shadow.'"

"But the shadows are receding, at least a little. With Luys I Luso, Hamasyan is shining his own unique light on his homeland's ancient traditions."

Supposedly, a great grandmother of mine was Armenian. The story goes that a great grandfather of mine, Antin Levytskyi, was a Zaporizhian Kozak (probably early 18th century) and when he was wounded he was taken care of by an Armenian woman, Miriam, whom he later married. So I also feel some very distant connection to Armenia.

Orkiestra św. Mikołaja: 'From the High Field'

"Z wysokiego pola" (From the High Field) is one of my favorite songs by Orkiestra św. Mikołaja.  The melody of the song is Hungarian,  while the text is a Polish ballad from the region near Zamość—an ancestral land.  In the early nineteenth century my great 4x grandfather had an estate in Zalesie. His son, my great 3x grandfather was born in 1822 Łabunie, the nearby village. Even before I found the connection between the song and my ancestral land, I was always very moved by the song. Something about the melody and lyrics really struck me.

The lyrics in Polish and English are below.
I also like the image used in the video — women in folk costumes against the background of brick ruins.

Z wysokiego pola, z rajskiego podwórza Zakochał się Jasio w Maniusi jak róża.
Gdy się Mani matka o tym dowiedziała, Poszła do murarzy, murować kazała.
Murarze, murarze, prośbę do was wnoszę: Wymurujcie wy mi, o co ja was proszę.
Murarze, murarze prośbę wysłuchali, Nadobnej Maniusi więz…

Cyrillic Hand-Painted Sign in Pre-WWII Lviv

I haven't come across many Ukrainian or Russian store signs in photos of prewar Lviv. On Ruska Street there are some Cyrillic ghost signs, in particular one in Ukrainian, which can be found here. I've also found a Ukrainian ghost sign in Przemysl.
Below is a photograph of furniture shop. In addition to Polish, there is also Russian (though in contemporary Russian it should be "Магазин Мебели" not "Магазин Мебелей"). If it is indeed Russian, it likely dates from 1914-1915 when Lviv was briefly under Russian rule during WWI. Otherwise, as was pointed out to me in a comment, it could be Iazychie, a language used by Ukrainian Russophiles.
I like the couch in front of the store and the "ghost" near it.

Old Hat Shop Signs in Lviv

Here's a lovely old photo of a shopfront in Lviv. The shop sold various kinds of hats. "Czapek" means "hat" in Polish.
I've posted other old photos of Lviv with hand-painted advertisements, Part I and Part II

One of my favorite ghost signs visible in Lviv today is from another hat shop, pictured below. (I've posted these before, here and here.)

Antique Tiles in Drohobych

My friend sent me pictures of these lovely antique tiles in Drohobych, which were made by Joachim Sternbach's company, probably in the interwar period.

Lviv Tiles: Building Years

Usually I've found the dates of buildings carved into the facade, but occasionally the years were marked in other places, for example on the floor near the main entrance, such as can be seen in my posts about terrazzo or on tiles as seen below.

This one includes the old street name and building number