Sunday, June 3, 2012

The Lost Kingdom of Galicia

The Kingdom of Galicia (Galizien)

The Kingdom of Galicia was part of the the large multinational empire of Austria-Hungary, from which it became a part after the partitioning of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth in 1776.

The Empire of Austria-Hungary
(Galicia in the upper right corner in light yellow)

West & East Galicia

The capital was Lemberg (present day Lviv). The western part was mainly inhabited by Poles, and the eastern part by Ukrainians. Proposals to split Galicia between these two populations were never carried out.

In 1918, after WWI, the empire fell apart and independent states like Austria, Tsechoslowakia, Yugoslavia and Hungary arose. Galicia experienced less luck. Western Galicia became a part of the restored Republic of Poland. In the east the local Ukrainian population declared independence as the 'Western Ukrainian People's Republic' but they were annexed by Poland after the Polish-Ukraine War in 1919.
The Western Ukrainian People's Republic (1918-1919)

After WWII this area became part of the USSR, and since 1991 it is part of the Ukraine. The historical difference between West and East Ukraine explains their lingering political troubles.

next episode: Lemberg


  1. Lviv (before 1991 L'vov, before 1940 Lwów and before 1918 Lemberg) is THE ONLY town/city in Ukraine having an Italian version in our atlases. It is Leopoli (literally "Town of Lion"). We call in this way because it was considered a greatest town of the past and because some important architects born in Italy had directed the general building after its foundation.
    "Galicia" is a magic name. It seems it may have a connection with ethymology of "Galicia" (Spanish region) and "Galatia" (Turkish region). They all are derived from the ancient Gauls, who in pre-Roman Europe lived in the line Northern Spain / Southern France /Northern Italy / Alps / Carpathian Mountains / Around-the-Black-Sea.

    1. When I visited Istanbul my hotel was located in a neighborhood called Galata, probably named after the Celtic tribe of Galatians. Wallonia (Southern Belgium) and Wales is another example.

  2. When Lviv had been a Polish town, it had the strongest football team of Poland. The club LKS Pogoń Lwów in the period 1922-1935 won 4 times the championship and arrived second 3 times


    After WWII Poland did loose all eastern part of the Country and conquered some territories from Germany at west. Lwów was lost, but its sports heritage continued in the new town of Stettin (renamed Szczecin), where many people expelled from Lwów found new houses. They founded the team MKS Pogoń Szczecin. It is not as strong as LKS Pogoń Lwów, but it plays in First Division.

  3. An interesting history I knew little about. Thanks!


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