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Showing posts from October, 2016

Abandoned Kościółs in the Galician Countryside

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The makeup of the population of Galicia changed drastically after WWII, one reason being the Soviet-Polish population exchanges in the years right after war, during which most of the Poles that lived in Eastern Galicia moved or were deported to the territory of current day Poland.

The traces of these Polish communities can be found in the countryside, where abandoned Roman Catholic churches (kościół in Polish or kostel in Ukrainian) can be found in many villages.

Under the Soviets, churches and synagogues were re-purposed, used often as warehouses, stables, museums, etc. While some of the Greek Catholic churches were renovated and today are used by the communities for worship, very few kościółs were resurrected as there are few practicing Roman Catholics in the villages.

A kościół in a village near Zolochiv
St. Maria Magdalena Kościół (built in 1924) in Vovkiv During Soviet times the church served as a mineral fertilizer warehouse. In 1993 the first Ukrainian detective series "Zloc…

Searching for Traces of the Lipińskis in Oleskiy Region

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My great (x5) grandparents Feliks and Tekla Lipiński moved to the village of Koltiv (Kołtów) from Lviv in 1811. Feliks was invited by Count Józef Baworowski to his estate in the countryside to conduct his court orchestra. The former landlords, the Starzeńskis, built a beautiful garden house on a high hill where the court orchestra would often play. Feliks and Tekla's son, the famous violinist and composer Karol Lipiński, often visited them in the village.

Nothing of the garden house, the palace, the graves of the noblemen or my relatives, or any other traces of these times remain. Much was destroyed during WWI, and in WWII Koltiv found itself on the front. While Brody is remembered for the "Brody Cauldron" when in 1944 the Red Army encircled Brody and destroyed the German forces, the neighboring region was called the "Koltiv Corridor," due to the fact that the German front in the Koltiv area was shattered by the Soviet army, which broke through a narrow gap in …

Horse Stable in Lviv

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A former horse stable found in a courtyard, in one of Lviv's central neighborhoods.

Mysterious Umbrella Holder

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My best guess is that this mysterious cement bowl-like contraption found in the corridor of one of Lviv's old buildings is an umbrella holder...