Галичина.Інфо

У The New York Times опублікували репортаж про Львів

У The New York Times опублікували репортаж про Львів
У міжнародній версії американського видання The New York Times опублікували репортаж про Львів під заголовком «Львівські і сімейні історії та архітектура». Автор тексту, Алекс Юлам, у репортажі розповів, що приїхав до Львова, шукаючи інформацію про своїх предків і свою родину. Репортаж запланований до виходу у друкованому вигляді у виданні за 20 жовтня.


The New York Times
October 17, 2013


Lviv’s, and a Family’s, Stories in Architecture
By ALEX ULAM


“Here we have architecture, and what was inside perished,” Ihor Zhuk said. “Only a skeleton of this creature remains, like shells of sea creatures that lived many, many years ago.”

The Lviv-based architectural historian and I were sitting in this Ukrainian city at a cafe grafted onto a pink neo-Renaissance building with elaborate white trim and statues of nudes. Most of this architectural confection, which dates from 1901, is still occupied by the George Hotel, where luminaries like Jean-Paul Sartre and Maurice Ravel once stayed. During much of its 750-year history, Lviv had been one of Central Europe’s most cosmopolitan centers, Mr. Zhuk said. But in the middle of the 20th century the polyglot culture that built this city was all but wiped out by war, mass murder and postwar ethnic cleansing.

Given that history, the survival of Lviv’s architecture is remarkable. Nazis destroyed almost all the city’s synagogues, and decades of neglect have left many of the remaining buildings with crumbling cornices and missing plaster. But otherwise much of the historic cityscape is now as it was in August 1939, on the eve of World War II, when my father, Adam Ulam, left to embark on one of the last boats out of Poland, never to return.

I had come to Lviv seeking family touchstones, but I was starting with a largely blank map because my father, a professor of Russian history, was silent about his own past. I was equipped with a family tree that I found after he died in 2000, and I had introductions to several local guides who specialize in helping descendants find traces of their families.

Today, Lviv is about 45 miles from the Polish border. But during my visit this June, I wandered streets that recalled the days when it straddled the fault line between Eastern and Western Europe. A short walk through the city’s historic center would take me past buildings that reflect contributions of its Polish, Jewish, Ukrainian, Armenian and German communities, all of which had roots going back to the late Middle Ages. I saw churches from the many different denominations that shaped this city’s skyline: a squat Armenian cathedral from the 14th century with a jumble of intersecting roofs; a huge 17th-century Baroque church built by the Jesuits and modeled on the Church of the Gesù in Rome; Ukrainian Orthodox three-dome churches.

Beyond the once walled medieval center, I encountered a different legacy, dating from the period when Lviv was Lemberg, one of the largest cities in the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Here there were long avenues of Art Nouveau buildings, suburban neighborhoods with Arts and Crafts villas and even examples of early Modernist-style architecture.

World War II put an end to Lviv’s exuberant architectural traditions, and today, grim Lego-like Soviet-style towers surround the city’s large historic core. An estimated 90 percent of the city’s pre-World War II population, which included one of the largest Jewish communities in Europe, was killed or expelled by Nazi and Soviet armies. In a little more than a decade, the city was transformed from a cosmopolitan center into a relative backwater with a new population consisting primarily of postwar Ukrainian immigrants resettled there by the Soviets.

At the lively outdoor cafes and beer gardens around Rynok Square, Lviv’s historic center, where there was often a live band and swing dancers twirling around at sunset, I encountered various tourists on their own heritage tours: Ukrainians who view this city as a birthplace of Ukrainian nationalism and Poles nostalgic for the interwar period when Lviv was Lwow, one of the most populous cities in Poland.

The architecture on Rynok Square defies attempts by any one group to lay claim to the city’s past. An imperial neo-Classical city hall built by the Habsburgs anchors a vast cobblestone plaza surrounded by a hodgepodge of Renaissance and Baroque-era palaces and town houses built for Polish noblemen and merchants from Armenia and Italy. With facades ranging from green stucco to blackened limestone, they seem to be vying for attention. Everywhere, though, there are sculptures and images of the lion, Lviv’s medieval symbol.

Outside the medieval city center, on Shevchenko Avenue, I often stopped for a cappuccino and homemade chocolates at the Veronika Confectionary-Restaurant and tried to imagine my father’s family of assimilated Jews walking down the landscaped mall at the center of the thoroughfare.

From the cafe I could see at one end of the avenue a fanciful turreted building with Scottish Baronial Revival elements that once housed the storied Scottish Café. There, in the 1930s, a group of mathematicians, many of whom became world famous, worked on theorems for prizes they awarded one another, including, in one case, a live goose.

Among them was my uncle Stanislaw Ulam, who went on to become an inventor of the hydrogen bomb and the author of the Monte Carlo method, a mathematical tool for computing randomness that is still used in a wide range of fields, including physics, computer graphics and financial derivatives trading.

At the other end of the avenue was Segal House, a large late-Art-Nouveau-style apartment building designed with intricate decorations in bas-relief and windows shaped like musical notes, built by my great-uncle Michal Ulam, the city’s most prolific Jewish architect and developer at the turn of the 20th century. (Michal liked to gamble in Monte Carlo, which led to the choice of the name for Stanislaw’s mathematical method.)

A young Polish tourist sitting at an adjacent table interrupted my daydreams. “Poles built this city — this is a Polish city,” waving his hand toward the buildings in front of us and making me uncomfortable with his critical remarks about Ukrainians. Later, I was relieved when my new acquaintance was able to drop his prejudices at a Soviet-style bar where he joined in with a group of older Ukrainian men who threw their arms around us and began singing boisterous songs from the Communist era.

Over the course of my visit, I returned several times to the tranquil tree-lined Akademika Bohomoltsia Street, a 10-minute walk from Rynok Square, where I found one of Lviv’s best-preserved clusters of Art Nouveau architecture. The Ukrainian architect Ivan Levynskyi developed this array of golden and orange-hued apartment buildings for the city’s budding middle class in the early 1900s. Each is adorned with its own floral motifs, which are repeated in ceramic tiles, stained-glass windows and decorative ironwork.

Several of Lviv’s most intriguing architectural statements embody the hardening nationalist and ethnic agendas at the turn of the 20th century. Various ethnic and religious groups “lived together in the same apartment houses and they communicated in the same places,” Mr. Zhuk said, “but it was like they were riding different trains.”

The Dnister insurance company building is one of the city’s most striking examples of Ukrainian Secessionist architecture, evoking a Ukrainian village with stucco molding representing wooden timbers running along the building’s facade, along with bas-relief and ceramic tiles in geometric patterns that look like those in Hopi Indian rugs. “They were in a minority, and they were eager to show that they were present,” Mr. Zhuk said.

In the early 1900s, Jews also were incorporating their iconography into established architectural styles. One example is a massive gray building built by my great-uncle Michal in 1910. With its large columns and hard-edged bay windows, the building exemplifies the monumental “fortress-style” architecture popular in the years just before World War I. It is crowned by a small, open-air pitched-roof structure representing a Sukkah, the traditional Jewish hut commemorating the festival of Sukkot; sculptured into its facade are exotic figures that include a man with an Egyptian-style haircut dressed in a loincloth with a harp — possibly a reference to King David.

Among the few Jewish institutions to survive the Holocaust relatively intact is the former Beth Chulim Jewish Hospital, a building with bands of red and yellow brick capped with Moorish domes. Stars of David have been painted on some of its lintels to replace the ceramic ones destroyed by the Nazis.

In the back of the hospital, resting in a bed of weeds, was a pile of gravestone fragments engraved with Hebrew inscriptions. My guide told me that it was an improvised memorial to a nearby Jewish cemetery that was destroyed by the Nazis and today serves as an outdoor marketplace. I recalled my Uncle Stanislaw’s description of learning of the Nazi invasion of Poland early one morning in a New York City hotel room: “At that moment, I suddenly felt as if a curtain had fallen on my past life, cutting it off from my future,” he wrote in his autobiography. “There has been a different color and meaning to everything ever since.”

Рекомендовано до перегляду:

» » » У The New York Times опублікували репортаж про Львів

Цей день в історії.
20 листопада:

1917 — своїм 3-м Універсалом Українська Центральна Рада проголосила самостійність УНР.

1943 — під охороною УПА на Волині почалася Перша конференція поневолених Москвою народів, на якій оформлено політичну організацію — Антибільшовицький Блок Народів (АБН).
  • dle шаблоны бесплатно
  • ,
  • Игры для Андройд
  • Усі права застережено.
    Передруки без зворотнього посилання заборонено.
    galychyna.info © 2010-2014