Sunday, July 22, 2007

Lviv/Lwow/Lvov/Lemberg, Truskovitz, Ivano-F, Jerampshe/Yarempshe, & Zloczow

Lviv – (Lvivska Oblast) Time difference w/NYC is + 7 Hours)

Lviv International Airport (LWO is an international code for the Lviv airport.)
Services flights to and from Warsaw, Moscow and Frankfurt as well as daily flights from Kyiv and other major domestic locations. The Lviv airport is very accessible to the city center via Marshrutka 95, Trolleybus 9 or taxi (15-25 UAH to the Center).

Travel: The main forms of transportation in the city limits of Lviv are: mini-shuttle bus (or marshrutka), trolleybus, tram or taxi. Marshrutkas cost 80 kopecks to go any distance (except between cities, towns or villages). The trolleybus and tram are always 50 kopecks. Taxis vary but within city limits, no trip should cost more than 50 UAH.

Hotel George, 1 Mickiewicz Square; 72-59-52, (no A/C). Also in central Lviv, this 1901 Neo-Renaissance structure combines Viennese charm with amazingly affordable rates. Doubles range from 185 to 535 hryvnia, including breakfast.

D'nister Hotel, reasonable prices. Get room facing park. The distance from the airport - 6 km, from the railway station - 3 km. 6 Mateiko Street Lviv 79000, Ukraine Reservation: phone (380) 322 974317Reception desk: phone (380) 322 974305, 974306, 720783Travel agency: phone (380) 322 974323, 971017Fax: (380) 322 971021Phone/fax: (380) 322 971017Email:

NOTE: It is recommended to draw local currency from ATM’s (but watch out: ATM fees may apply).

Places to Eat: (We were restricted to coffee, tea & drinks but the nightlife was great to watch)

Evropa Cafe: A small, elegant higher end restaurant with a pleasant interior and outdoor seating in summer. English menu. Accepts Visa and Mastercard. Located on Prospect Shevchenko, 16. Open Monday to Friday 8:00 to 23:00, Saturday and Sunday 10:00 to 23:00. Phone 72 58 62.George: The George Hotel has two main dining rooms. English menu. The beautiful Oriental Room is open 7:00 to 19:00 (proclaimed best breakfast in Lviv by Lonely Planet) and the main dining room from 12:00 to 23:00 and features live music in the evening. Located at Mitskevychy Square, 1. Phone 78 34 52.Grand: The dining room is an elegant setting for excellent Ukrainian and European cuisine but is one of the most expensive restaurants in Lviv. English menu. Visa and Mastercard are accepted. Located on Prospect Svobody, 19. Open everyday 7:00 to 24:00. Phone 72 40 91.Vienna Cafe: This Viennese coffee house and restaurant has billiards, outdoor cafe and a comfortable dining room with live music in the evenings. English menu. Located on Prospect Svobody, 12. Phone 97 17 95.Veronika: This restaurant has a wonderful pastry shop and outdoor cafe upstairs. Downstairs in the cavernous dining room enjoy European cuisine. English menu. Located on Prospect Shevchenko. Zoloty Vepr: In Ploscha Rynok directly across from city hall with an Orange sign. Closes at 9 pm, open 7 days/week. Cuisine is Ukr-pean and Ukrainian. Prices are 10-20 UAH for a full meal.Some cafes are great locations for just drinking and relaxing. Some of them are:Dzyha: This cafe is also an art gallery and an antique shop. Great coffee, tea and snacks as well as an assortment of alcoholic beverages. Outdoor seating in summer amid original works of art. It is situated at the very end of Virmenska Street. Tsukarnia: This sweet shop is a jewel in Lviv. Delicious coffee and pastries in the European style. Located on Staroyevraiska Street, 3, "behind" Amadeus. Phone 74 09 49.

NOTE: “Sophia’s Spa,” near the Grand Hotel.

Tour Guides: Oleksandr Ruchko; e.mail:;
phone: (038)-(0322)-75-59-35 cell phone (mobile): +38 067 9243309
Lychakovska st. 48/7; Lviv 79010 Alex Dunai. He is the best guide and most knowledgeable about archives. (38) 032-233-1162. I never make recommendations about guides or travel agencies, but I had such an exceptional experience with a young Ukrainian guide in Lviv and in the countryside that in this case I will recommend him to you. His name is Vladyslav (Slav) Tsarynnyk. He has website - - and in particular, he has an interest in and special knowledge of the Carpathian region. Another
is Sasha Shchetinin, who works mostly w/Hassidim showing keverim. Mobile: 011380673825441; home: 011380322931109 email:

NOTE: A hotbutton issue among the Lviv college students is language. Here the divisions of the country are more apparent, and controversial. The national language in Ukraine is Ukrainian; but from Kiev eastward, the spoken language is Russian. With Ukraine's assimilation into the Soviet Union, an entire generation, I'm told, does not speak Ukrainian. "The Ukrainian government doesn't have the political courage to make Ukrainian the required language...the dominant language," a student tells me..

Tour of Jewish Lvov:
A good place to start the tour is the Lviv main train station. Many of the cattle cars filled with people destined for the gas chambers of Belzec extermination center passed through here. The next subsidiary station just a couple of kilometers to the north, Klepariv, was the point from which the Jews in Lvov's Janovska concentration camp were deported to Belzec.
The first stop on the tour is contemporary Lviv's only functioning synagogue, on Minovskyh St.. It's a 10-15 min. walk, or take any tram (.30 H) from the main station two stops out west of the city center, where some of them will turn right and continue down Vul. C. Gandery. You should walk forward down vul. Horodetska, crossing it and taking the first left turn (around a cathedral-like church) up vul. Minhovskyh. Just a few houses in on the right is the synagogue (#4). Chief Rabbi of Lviv & Region, Mordechai Schlomo Bald and his Rebbetzin Sara. The Brothers Mihnovskyh St. 4, Synagogue. Rabbi Bald is from Brooklyn, New York. +38 050 100 2222 +38 050 555555

Jewish Community: Approximately 10 of Lviv's 5,500 Jews actively daven each morning and evening; about 30 Jews come to synagogue for Friday Shabbat services. Of about 150,000 prewar Jews, perhaps 200 had been able to survive in hiding. It's not known how many survived incognito and/or in emigration, as my family had. Note: All Jews in Lviv are new arrivals as of the date of this writing. There is also the old non-functioning “Golden Rose Synagogue,” of which some ruins remain and Jewish Community Soup Kitchen next door.

Local Hillel ( is in a small basement apartment in downtown area. A guide associated w/it named Mischa Trupich. He has an a/c VW van +38-097-339-6540.

Shul: The building, built in 1925, was the only one of 45-50 Shuls and innumerable Shteiblach in the city to escape complete destruction by the Germans-they used it as a stable. Later the Soviets used it as a warehouse. In 1999, renovation was begun with funds from the Jewish Joint Distribution Committee and private donations. Inside, the square sanctuary with an upstairs gallery for women has beautiful paintings on all four walls and the ceiling, with stained glass windows over the Ahron Kodesh and in the central skylight.

From here to the next stop you can continue up Mihnovskyh St. about 15min. walking, through a small park (a rather run-down child-care-center) and then out to the right to vul. Shevchenka. Go left down this large street, which was formerly called Janovska (after the town to which it leads). On the right is one of Lviv's largest cemeteries, which used to be exclusively Jewish. Now the western side contains Jewish graves from after the war to the present, with a simple monument to the Jews murdered in 1941-43 near the entrance. Note: Jewish Funeral Home was at 9 Miodowa Ave.

If you want to visit it, go up vul. Ghroshenka and enter on the left near vul. Gholoia. The Jewish graves are on the left, with the oldest ones closest to the entrance. After a while, they mingle and then give way to Soviet-style non-Jewish graves. To continue the tour, it's best to exit the cemetery as you came in and go back to Shevchenka, then continuing out of the city towards the west. (If you are starting the tour from the city center, you can catch tram #7 from near the Ivan Fedorov monument, and take it up Shevchenka to the terminal station just beyond the cemetery. Note that the #7 doesn't stop between Fedorov and well beyond the Opera house.)
You will come to a fork in the road where Shevchenka veers off to the left (about ¼ mile past the left fork is the Klepariv station, where Jews from the camp were loaded onto death center-bound trains. The station has a commemorative plaque erected in 1992). On the right fork looms what looks like a menacing, disused brick factory complex surrounded by, high walls and rusting barbed wire.

134 Janowska Street (outskirts of Lviv) “there is, behind the high, barbed-wire topped walls, the dark and looming remains of a huge factory. A huge FF-controlled German Army Equipment Works (DAW) plant was there, with the concentration camp merely a small appendage on the far side. And, It was next to a main railway trunk line. Looming blackened smokestacks, high brick walls with large boxy metal fans and equipment-nothing appeared to be running or even operational, but ominous nonetheless. It reminds me of the "Oswiencim Chemical Works" in former Auschwitz-Monowitz, the former Buna works of I.G. Farben, still producing chemicals as a government-run Polish factory, with huge red brick structures pocketed among more modern ones.” This is the former factory of the Deutsche Ausruestungswerke, the SS armaments production branch, where many of the Jews in the Janovska camp worked. A ramp-like road off to the right leads up to the main entrance of the prison. Army fatigue wearing guards may saunter out to tell you to leave if you get too close. The Soviet-era steel gate that hangs from iron girders and opens with an electric motor closes the original concentration camp entrance, which was located between the concentration camp and the factory. Today that camp, built by Jews arrested from Lvov's streets in 1941, serves as a prison for Ukrainian criminals.

Then, the Janowska complex consisted of three sections. The first comprised the garages, workshops and offices, with a separate villa for the camp staff, SS, SD, and the Ukrainian guards. Look for the SS Werhmacht Barracks TODT engineers: Mansion or Castle near Janovska. About 500 metres down Janowska street “the Sands” are located (in actuality, they sit behind the camp). There is a memorial here. The Sands themselves have been overgrown with trees and almost completely disappeared. It might be possible to explore this area (which is partially wooded). On the right you will come to a monument just below the prison, marking the entrance to the Piaski sand-hills behind the camp. This is an area where mass executions of prisoners from the camp were conducted. In 1943 a special prisoner squad was forced to exhume the mass graves and burn the remains of some 200,000 people to destroy the evidence of Germany's hideous crimes before its armies retreated westward.

Note: You can still see the tram tracks (off to the right) which carried people from the Ghetto area through the centre of town up to the camp. It's disturbing to see how public this would have been (given the tram trucks in use were open and passers-by would have seen everything and that from the Ghetto they need to pass through the centre of the city to reach Janowska. One tourist wrote: “I visited the site in August 1999 with a woman who survived one such mass shooting, crawled from the corpses, fled into the woods, and managed to survive the war. Even she was not allowed to enter. The re-use of concentration camp sites as army training sites or prisons is not unique to the soviet bloc or the Ukraine-Dachau near Munich, Bergen-Belsen near Hannover, Neuengamme near Hamburg, Sachsenhausen and Ravensbrueck near Berlin, Buchenwald near Weimar all were used as prisons and army barracks after the war, many of them still serve that purpose today.”

Lisincki Forest – Site of mass executions (long hike) past Christian monument to victims.

From here you will walk back up the hill to the terminus of tram #7, or you can take the detour up the south fork of Shevchenka and visit the Klepariv station, which is worth seeing as an impressive train switching grounds in its own right.

Note: EMOTIONAL BREAK REQUIRED BEFORE CONTINUING! (The camp beyond the initial stone monument is a verry heart-wrending sight on many levels, so be prepared. Also: the entire site is Kadosh, a massive cemetery... so please tread cautiously on the existing trails wherever possible and beware of dogs.)

The next stop on our tour will be the Krakovsky market, a huge open air and enclosed market that used to be Lvov's huge old Jewish cemetery. There is nothing "Jewish" to see at the Krakovsky market, at least I could find absolutely no trace of its heritage as a Jewish cemetery Nothing, I repeat nothing, marks its former function. If you can manage it, get off the tram where Shevchenka merges into Horudetska (or at the last stop before the opera, and backtrack a long block on foot). The market lies two blocks north of Shevchenka/Horudetska, east of Kleparivska St. If you are backtracking from the opera, you can go north on the newly renamed Sholem Aleichem St., which ends at a corner of the Krakovsky market at Rapoport St. Sholem Aleichem, by the way, was a famous Zionist writer, born in Lvov.

On Rapoport St. is a large brick hospital. Six-pointed stars of David in the brickwork testify to its origin in the 19th century as a Jewish hospital. It was set up because Jewish physicians were not permitted to practice in non-Jewish hospitals. (Non-Jews, on the other hand, often went to the Jewish hospital for care by its specialists.)

The next stop on this tour would be the entrance to the ghetto set up under German administration in September 1941. You can take any side street from the Krakovsky market east to 700 Years Lvov (700 Richchya Lvova) St., which is the continuation of Prospekt Svobody northward beyond the Opera house. Just after you go under the railroad bridge you will see a large monument on the right hand side. This contorted bronze figure, with one open palm stretched upward in an imploring gesture, the other fist raised in angry defiance, was erected by Lviv's Jews in 1990’s, without financial assistance from foreigners. A few private plaques along the sides were purchased by survivors to commemorate their murdered families. The ghetto extended two long blocks northward and about 1.* km eastward from here. There were about * square meters of enclosed living space per person. Aside from this monument, and before it was established, there was nothing to remember the history of this site, either. Some people say that the second Holocaust was the forgetting of the first.

Going back on 700 Years Lvov street to the outlying end of the tree-shaded open square across the street from the Hotel Lviv (a prefab concrete Soviet-era building), you will find the yellow-stucco building of The Sholem Aleichem society just off the northeastern corner of the square (on your left if you are going towards the city center). This is the vibrant center of contemporary Jewish life in Lviv, with its own library, kindergarten with a couple dozen youngsters, and Jewish social services. If you strike up a conversation with one of the people standing around outside or in (just ask something about Lviv's Jewish heritage; if they don't speak your language, they'll find someone who does), you can probably get someone to show you some of the handful of monuments to the dozens of destroyed synagogues and smaller houses of worship (beit midrashim) nearby.

By the way, there is no discernible concern about security here, in contrast to the heavily guarded Jewish institutions in Germany, Italy, etc. I would guess that this is because the lack of knowledge about Jews in Lviv is so complete that aggressive antisemitism isn't a big problem.

Or you can go up vul. Syanska and across vul. Bohdana Khmelnytskoho, you will find a green square with a plaque-bearing boulder on the north side. It tells that a "temple"-a particularly lavish synagogue looked down upon by orthodox Jews-was destroyed here in July 1941. It does not tell that this happened immediately upon entry of the German army into the city, nor that it was destroyed during a service, killing most of the worshippers. This area was the core of Jewish Lvov, although synagogues dotted the city. Sharp eyes will find other such plaques at empty lots and on tree lined squares throughout this quarter.

A final station on the tour of Jewish Lvov would be the crumbling foundations of one of the older synagogues, not far from the Rynok. From the Rynok go east two blocks on vul. Ruska to the square with the Fedorov statue and turn right (southward), then right again. You will enter a small cobblestone street that bends around to the left along the inside of a preserved section of the medieval city wall (housing the museum of old arms, by the way).

Go down the street and take the first right. About one block down there is a vacant lot on the right. At the back you'll find a plaque commemorating the synagogue. You can descend and climb among the rubble.

Find: Gassova Street Family Apt. Nearby Kazimevzowska (pronounced, “Kajimarovska”) Street (intersecting Kolontije, pronounced “Kolontia”) the Kalish Fabric Store near the Mayorapteke (pronounced “Mayoraptek”) drug store:. Kalisch, M.Skarbkowska 6 Fabrics (Blawaty).

"The Black House" (marketplace number 4) probably most valuable and famous tenement house in Lviv. This tenement house was built at the end of XVI century for Italian tax-collector Tomas Alberti. Front elevation of the house is created from sandstone darken through the years. Since 1926 in "The Black House" is situated Historic Museum of city Lviv. The house is definitively one`s of the most beautiful example of renessaince architecture in Lviv. On the left side is situated Mikolasch pharmacy.

Lviv Opera House -- Located at the end of Prospect Svobody, this Lviv historical monument also has ballet and opera performances. See the front of the building for a schedule (information is printed in Ukrainian so you may need a translator). Tickets are approximately 20 UAH or more depending on the seats and the type of performance. Lviv

Philharmonic -- There are new concerts each week at very low prices (average ticket is about 5 UAH). The box office and theater are separate but both on Tchaikovsky Street right off Prospect Shevchenko.


Castles of Lviv -- Most tourist agencies offer a "Golden Horseshoe" tour of the three main castles of the region. It is a nice day trip to see the Lviv region and also the castles have some interesting history although are mostly in disrepair. See the restaurant located inside Olesky Castle.Artist market -- On Lecya Ukrainky St. beside the Opera House, a craft bazaar with paintings, Ukrainian painted eggs, embroidered clothing.

The Lviv Train Station is itself a famous landmark of the city with its beautiful silver domed building. The train station services domestic travel to all regions of Ukraine and international travel to most of Eastern Europe and other CIS (Commonwealth of Independent States or former Soviet) countries. The train station can be reached via Marshrutkas 18, 47, 68, 67, 66, 2, 98, 34, 47A, 78, Tram 1 or 9 or taxi. Public transport begins in Lviv at 6 a.m. so early arriving trains are better serviced by taxis but early arrival often means a guarantee of water which, depending where you stay, may be shut off at 9 a.m. Train tickets can be purchased at the station or in the city center at the Train Cashier or "Kasa" located on Hnatiuka Street off Prospect Svobody. The main train station in Lviv is adjacent to a popular commuter rail station called Prymsky. The Prymsky station can be reached via Marshrutkas 29 or 29A, Tram 1 and 9 from the center and taxi. Prymsky station is walkable to the main station if necessary. Buses are also a common form of transportation to and from Lviv however within the city limits, buses are not used due to narrow, cobblestone streets. Lviv has five bus terminals, each for different destinations. You can inquire about which terminal you need by calling the operator at 004 or by going to the Bus Cashier or "Kasa" located in the city center on Teatralna Street near the Opera House.

Stanislawow and region (Ivano Frankivsk)

A day journey to Ivano-Frankivsk (or to the Carpathians) is possible - the roads in this part of the country are generally good in comparison to further east (or Lviv itself). It would be a long day however. Staying overnight in Ivano-Frankivsk might be a better option. We stayed at the Nadia - and I would recommend it with certain caveats.

Travel: The main forms of transportation in the city limits of Ivano-Frankivsk are: mini-shuttle bus, electric trolleybus, or taxi. Marshrutkas cost 1 UAH to go any distance along their route. The electric trolleybus are always 50 kopecks. Taxis vary but within city limits, no trip should cost more than (15 UAH).

Hotel "Bayka" Location: In Kosiv, Ivano-Frankivsk Region. 3 km from the centre of the town.Hotel: the main building for 16 rooms, a two-storied wooden cottage for 4 rooms and two wooden family cottages. Prices: from 175 UAH also -a two-storied wooden cottage where there are 4 suites (2 uxuries and 2 semi-luxuries), -two wooden family cottages. A restaurant, a bar, a reception with a hall.

The airport[1] is very accessible to the city center via Marshrutka (1 UAH), or taxi (15 UAH to the Center). (Ivano-Frankivsk International airport: Location, 264a Konovaltzya str, Tel. 380-3422-22481 Ticketing agency, 76011 Ivano-Frankivsk, 46 Konovalzya str., tel. 3-00-37, fax 3-04-76.By railway: The Ivano-Frankivsk Train Station is itself a famous landmark of the city. Railway terminal: 76000 Ivano-Frankivsk, Pryvokzalna sq. Ivano-Frankivsk, Kolomya, Chernivzy have direct railway of international communication by trains: #75/76 Chernivzy-Peremyshl; #53/54 Sankt-Petersbure-Sophia; #59/60 Moscow-Kiev-Sophia. Inquiry: Ivano-Frankivsk - 03422 005, 21-22-23; Kolomya 03433 2-26-68; Chernivzy 03722 4-29-24; Yaremcha 03434 2-23-56.Bus stations: Ivano-Frankivsk, Pryvokzalna sq. tel. 2-38-30; Kolomya, Davidovicha St. 03433 2-02-51; Dolyna, Pryvokzalna St. 03477 2-23-64;Kalush, Pryvokzalna St. 03472 2-28-62; Yaremcha, Pryvokzalna St. 03434 2-23-17. Ivano-Frankivsk Oblast has regular bus connection with Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Czech Republic.Hotel: "Nadia" - 40 Nezalezhnosti St., tel. 53-70-77, 53-70-79, 53-70-42 you can see photo's @ or e-mail at It is the most prestige hotel in the city as is located in the center of it. Prices are not very high: a single room cost 120UAH or $24, a double room costs 220UAH or $44, deluxe 275UAH or $55, and suite 400UAH or $80. Prices include breakfast. There is a restaurant in the hotel with a bar/ café as well as fitness center, business center, swimming-pool, a sauna, a hair salon, and a travel agency. English spoken. Guide and interpreter services. Visa card accepted. There is a Drama Theatre next to the Hotel. SEE: Rabbi Moyshe-Leib Kolesnik.[2]

Getting to the Carpathians
Marshrutkas leave from the station every 30 minutes or so. Approximately $1 to $4 and approximately 1 to 2 hours you can see many different areas using Ivano-Frankivsk as your base. Visit the charming resorts of the Carpathians:, Kosiv, Rakhiv, Tayachiv, Vorokhta, Verkhovyna , Yasina and Yaremcha.

Frequent minivans from to Yaremcha leave from Ivano-Frankivsk train station and it takes only 1 or 2 hours to reach Yaremcha. Don't believe taxi drivers telling you there are no (marshrutkas) to Yaremche or they are long or very expensive (taxi is much more expensive anyway). But ask local passengers on the minivan to tell when you will be in Yaremcha - we almost missed our stop. You can go there also by few daily buses, but minivans are faster and you will have a seat for sure.

Another Point of view: It was a VERY very long ride out to Yaremche - it was 250km, or 4 1/2 hrs total.

Yaremche Ivano-Frankivs'ka Oblast' THE PRUT RIVER VALLEY

The resort town of Yaremche can also serve as a starting point for trips further south into the mountains. It was a tourist center during Soviet times but today it is surrounded by now mostly empty resorts. Many hikes are possible into the surrounding Gorgany and forests of the Carpathian National Park. The restaurant "Hustulschyna", the beautiful wooden structure by the waterfall, features live Hutsul folk music. Here are several places to stay there: Resort Karpaty (03434) 2-23-89, Sanatorium Yaremche (03434) 2-2043, Hotel Gorgany (03434) 2-20-43.

A place associated with the brigand chieftain Oleksa Dovbush, the Ukrainian Robin Hood, Yaremche is one of the major tourist centers of the Hutsul region. Climb the Dovbush Cliffs, cycling and Riding. There are dozens of caves in the region, but only some of them are famous and available for tourists without special outfit; the Prut River and Rafting. The country's forests are rich in berries, mushrooms, the fruits of wild plants and herbs. The fauna of Ukraine is rich and includes over 44 ths. kinds of animals. elk, deer, wild boars, hare, fox, wild geese, ducks, etc.

There are numerous places to stay in the mountains - people either rent out their houses, or part of their houses, and there are hotels ranging from the basic to the expensive. People are stern and initially unfriendly - but when you start to talk with them they are generally helpful and warm.

Other Stops on the Narrow Rail Train: Vorokhta is a pretty typical small Ukrainian village, graced by a train station (for a train which literally moves slower than a reasonably bike), Yaremche-Kolomya from Lviv – by train “Lviv – Rakhiv ” (departure – 3:25 p.m., arrival – 0:05). from Ivano-Frankivsk – by diesel train “Ivano-Frankivsk - Rakhiv”; train “Lviv - Rakhiv” that goes through Ivano-Frankivsk and departs from there at 7 p.m.; buses “Ivano-Frankivsk - Mukachevo” (9 a.m.) and “Ivano-Frankivsk - Tyachiv” (3:45 p.m.).

50 UAH per person
500 UAH per floor

150 UAH per room
350 UAH per 4 persons
500 UAH per 6 persons

Ivano-Frankivs region Yaremche Mykulychyn village Shevchenko St. 47 Tel.: +38 (03434) 39938 +38 (067) 9667697 Nadiya +38 (067) 2632421

How to get there:
By train: get to Ivano-Frankivsk, then by bus or by train Lviv–Rakhiv or by diesel vehicle go to Mykulychyn village. The hosts can pick you up both at the railway station and at the bus station. By train: get to Ivano-Frankivsk, then follow the road Р-03, in Mykulychyn village cross the bus station, after the bridge take a turn to the right.

Hotel "Pihy" Location: In Tatariv near Yaremche, 82 km from Ivano-Frankivsk, 2 km from the highway P-03. Prices: from 250 UAH

Cottage "Hoverla" Location: In Yaremche, 1 km from the center and railway station, 150 m from the P-03 highway. Cottage: New 3-storeyed hotel for 20 people. Prices: from 255 UAH Main office contact (see below)
When Ukraine came under Nazi occupation, Sheptytskyi he wrote letters to H. Himmler, one of the top Nazi leaders, protesting against the massive destruction of the Jewish population. He encouraged the local priests and abbots to hide Jews in churches and monasteries; a number of Jews were hiding even in the metropolitan’s residence. After his death in 1944, Metropolitan Sheptytskyi was buried in the Cathedral of St Yura (George) in Lviv. The Greek Catholic Church was banned by the soviets after the war and the name and deeds of Metropolitan Sheptytskyi became a taboo for many years.


Next to the town of Boryslav (Lvivska Oblast) and on the northern edge of the Carpathian Mountains this town has a specatular array of Sanatoriums that provide visitors with a range of comfort and affordablity. Its Spas gained popularity due to the healing water 'Naftusya' of the Truskavets deposit. This is weakly mineralized hydrocarbonate calcium-magnesium mineral water with a high content of organic petroleum substances. The organic substances which give 'Naftusya' medicinal qualities are quickly destroyed when exposed to the air. That`s why, it is advisable to drink 'Naftusya' in the Main Water Pump Room only.
Main office contact adventurecarpathians.comTel/fax: +380322728001Mobile: +380509885216Address AdventureCarpathians "INLVIV" Travel Agency Rybna St. 3/19 (near Staryj Rynok Square) Lviv-79019, Ukraine

A day in a Truskavets spa is unlike anything the typical American has encountered on the North American continent. At the Kashtan Sanitarium, for instance, breakfast begins with a grated beet salad in sour cream and a cabbage salad, followed by boiled buckwheat. You also get fresh honey and dark coarse bread along with a weak tea to wash it all down. On another day, you may get a boiled egg, along with the salads and then semolina porridge.

Depending on a person's needs and desires, he may first submit to a speleotherapy, aromatherapy, or colon-cleansing therapy. Or to laser circulation therapy, a treatment in which a laser light applied to a vein in the bend of the arm thins the blood to help circulation. After that he may go on to a turpentine bath, which is recommended to ease muscle pain and improve circulation, or a hydromassage performed by a skilled technician.

Before lunch all the visitors to the various spas descend on one of the two "beauvettes" in the town. These are the buildings in which the wells of the healing artesian waters of Truskavets are found. Four types of mineral waters are found here, the most popular being the naftusia.
To break up what quickly could become a very droll and regimented vacation, one-day excursions are offered on a daily basis to various points in western Ukraine, including Lviv, historic Kamianets-Podilskyi, Pochaiv, Chernivtsi and Yaremche, home of the Hutsuls. There is also a special trip to Moldova.

Truskavets has a large variety of accommodations in its 42 sanitariums and pensions, which are owned by various Ukrainian government agencies and labor unions. But even the best are cheaper than most U.S. hotels, and the price includes meals and treatments.
The newest hotel, the Geneva… Prices there range from $35 for a two-person standard room to $100 a night for a suite.

For somewhat cheaper, one can choose the Svityzianka villa, owned by the Railroad Workers' Union, a turn-of-the-century Austro-Hungarian architectural triumph, with extensive wooden ornamentation and two exquisite balconies. Inside, the $60 a night luxury suite includes a master bedroom, a sitting room and a large fully appointed kitchen, as well as a giant bathroom featuring a bidet and a jacuzzi. Sliding doors open onto a large balcony and a beautiful view of the Carpathians on the horizon and the city's main park below. The standard rooms at the other sanitariums resemble what a Westerner would expect to receive when visiting a monastery. Although austere, they are clean, bug free and, unlike other parts of Ukraine, have running hot and cold water daily. They are also cheap.


Central State Historical Archives and the Lviv City Archives

NOTE: Central State Historical Archives and the Lviv City Archives are subject to investigation commissions from Kiev (mainly centred on corruption). In the absence of a "broker" I would recommend you translate the primary identifying data or information you are seeking into Polish. Keep it brief as they work in the Soviet style and ignore extraneous detail. The whole process of accessing information is complicated. The Historical Archives have cameras installed to prevent people "handing over money" due to problems in the past. I have met the Directors of Jewish Research at the City and the Historical Archives. They were less than helpful. Documents (like the 1938 telephone book) seem to appear and disappear for no apparent reason.

Research in the Polish archives in Warsaw in better organised, although again you will progress faster if your requests are written in Polish. Note: Use “Anketas” (a form and/or a questionnaire to gain access to information possessed by RAHS). Researchers: Ihor (Igor) Smolskyy, an archive employee, is a professional archivist and works in the Jewish Records Section.

“In the Lviv archives you would want to look at homeowner lists and tabular registers, because ALL the Jewish vital records films have been microfilmed by the Mormons and you can order these to go to your local Family History Center, so why waste time there? These other records I've mentioned have other interesting info, but you need to check the card catalogues to see what they have and, again, without a translator that will prove difficult. If you request these records one day it could take several days...or even over a week for the materials to be brought to the reading room, so be prepared. There is also a "Scientific Archive" in Lviv that might hold more pre-Holocaust Jewish community records. As for Poland, since most of the AGAD records have been indexed for JRI Poland, you might want to see what other materials they have...or perhaps copy the entire set of records for your town..which might be useful to others since the ordering system is so difficult now. As for the Ternopil, Ukraine archives or other regional ones...they might hold some goodies, but the directors are not very coorperative.

Lviv -> Poland by rail

For a taste of Poland, cross the border to Premeshyl (pronounced P’shemish). [3] Take direct train or, for lower cost, marshrutka to the border. Marshrutkas leave from the main train station every 15 minutes or so. Take a marshrutka to Shahini, walk across the border and take short marshrutka to Premeshyl. Total cost, approximately $3. Time approximately 3 hours one way. NOTE: Polish time difference w/NYC is +6 hrs. From a fellow JGen. Galicianier:

“A Polish friend and I took a bus from Przemysl to L’viv and on the return leg I traveled alone by train from L’viv back to Przemysl. The entry to Ukraine from Poland was neither difficult nor particularly time-consuming. My friend returned by bus and car and it took him about ten hours to make the relatively short trip back to Przemysl. At the time I was there—October, 2006—there was construction along the rail line that meant that one took the train roughly to the Polish border, then got off the Ukrainian train, stepped over the tracks, and boarded a Polish train to complete the trip to Przemysl. From what I was told, the construction is probably still going on and may still hamper smooth train travel. I will also note in passing that it was difficult to get reliable information about the train situation; indeed my Polish friend was told by the staff at the L’viv train station that the train simply did not run between L’viv and Przemysl. Our Ukrainian guide, however, knew where to ask within the station to get sound information. As a second note in passing, I will mention that one must go upstairs to the second floor of the L’viv train station in order to purchase a ticket for the L’viv-Przemsyl train (and the tickets are done by hand with carbon paper and it is all very archaic and time-consuming).”

Train from Warsaw to Lviv. The train is cheap (if you buy the ticket at the railway station in Warsaw), exciting, easy and comfortable. Timetable:----------------------------------------------------Lviv-Warsaw:
-Fastest and most comfortable train connection:
D 51KJ (runs daily, has restaurant car from Przemysl):Dep. Lviv/Lvov: 06:38 Arr. KrakЧw gl: 14:40
Express 3506 (runs daily, has a restaurant car):Dep. KrakЧw gl: 14:55 Arr. Warsaw Central: 17:40
Total travel time: 11h57min-Direct train:
D 108OJ (runs on even-numbered dates, has restaurant car to Przemysl): Dep. Lviv/Lvov: 09:00Arr. Warsaw Central: 21:32 Total travel time: 13h32min.[4]Warsaw-Lviv:-Direct train:
D 107 (runs on even-numbered dates, has restaurant car from Przemysl):Dep. Warsaw Central: 08:14 Arr. Lviv/Lvov: 21:57
Total travel time: 12h31min--Fastest and most comfortable train connection (with train change in Przemysl)[5]: Express 5304 (runs daily, has restaurant car):Dep. Warsaw Central: 13:35 Arr. Przemysl gl: 19:13
D 51 (runs daily): Dep. Przemysl gl: 19:27 Arr. Lviv/Lvov: 00:25
Total travel time: 9h50min
Timetable for direct trains:
Lviv-Warsaw: Train 108Sh (has a restaurant car) departs on even-numbered dates from Lviv 09:13, and arrives in Warszawa Centralna (Warsaw) 20:25. Total travel time: 12h12min.

Lviv-KrakЧw: Train 51K (route Kiev-Wroclaw) departs *daily* from Lviv 07:00, and arrives in KrakЧw Gl. 14:46. Total travel time: 8h46min. There's also the slower train 108L, which departs on even-numbered dates from Lviv 09:13, and arrives in KrakЧw Gl. 18:55. Total travel time: 10h42min.

A Different Point of View: From Krakow to Lviv takes about 8 hours in total. The train will be arriving at 18:19. The train to Lviv takes 4 and a half hours from Przemsyl.Does anyones know if the bus is a better option from Przemsyl? From Cracow you take a train to Przemysl ($10) and from Przemysl you can go with a bus for $4 USD. The journey lasts about 7 hours depending on the situation at the border. Anyway, the view of the eatsern polish border can be an experince itself. There are few trains from Cracow to Przemysl and plenty of buses from Przemysl to Lviv.
Don't go with the train from Przemysl to Lviv!!! Take the train from Krakow to Przemysl. The bus station in Przemysl is situated at the back of the railway station. Every 20-30 minutes buses to Ukraine leave from there and 95% of them stops in Lvov. It is cheaper (last year 15 PLN = 4 USD) and faster. The width of the railway in the Ukraine is larger and the train stops at the border for few hours to change the wheels. The bus stops only for custom control (about for 1 hour). Remember, that crossing the polish-ukrainian border you cross the time zone - it is one hour later.

I would have to say that you are getting good advice, however, if you want the trip to Lviv to be as fast as possible you should take the train Przemsyl from Krakow, then once in Przemsyl take a taxi to the border crossing. Walking into the country is the fastest method of crossing. The lines are short when going by foot and it is always easy to get a taxi or private car to Lviv. Be sure that you speak Ukrainian or Polish before attempting this route. It only takes me about 4.5 hours to complete the trip from Krakow to Lviv. The problem with the trains is that they have to switch wheels and there is a time table to follow. The problem with buses is that people often try to avoid being searched by customs agents which delays the bus at the crossing.

Train Travel in Ukraine

This topic deserves a page of its own, since riding Ukrainian trains involves complex procedures that foreigners are not prepared for, even if they have traveled by train in other countries. After reading this page you will know exactly what to expect from your ride on a Ukrainian train. Riding electric trains, or "elektrichki". You get on any carriage you like and sit anywhere. Seats are usually padded, but wooden benches are sometimes still in use. There is usually a toilet at the end of every few cars, but I recommend avoiding them when possible. Also, people sometimes smoke at the end of the carriage, so sit a bit closer to the middle if you are very sensitive to cigarette smoke. Be careful! Electric trains often stop for as little as 30 seconds!
Riding long-distance trains in Ukraine Long-distance trains stop for at least two minutes, and usually longer in large cities (10-20 minutes). Before the train pulls in, a loudspeaker will announce whether the numbering will be from the front or the tail of the train. Passengers check their carriage number on their tickets and take up position at the approximate location their carriage will stop at. If you're getting on at the first stop, you will have half an hour to an hour to get on the train before it leaves.

Getting on the train To board the train, find your carriage (the number of your "вагон" is indicated on your ticket) and show your ticket to the officer at the door. Often they ask to see your passport or other picture I.D. to check your name against the name on the ticket. Usually they return the ticket to you immediately, but sometimes they take it and remind you of your seat number. Helpers (friends and families) are allowed to enter as well, but they must leave a few minutes before departure. Ticket collection Several minutes after the train departs, the officer comes around to each compartment and gathers tickets (if he didn't take them at the entrance). For overnight connections, he/she will ask who is taking bedding (7-10 UAH) and collect money. Storing luggage The securest place to store luggage is underneath the bottom bunks. People traveling on top bunks also have the right to some of that space, but you may need to ask if there is room. Items can also be put on the top shelf, but never put valuables there. Either put them in the trunk under the bottom bunk or sleep with them on you. There are hooks for hanging up clothes, and a net for books and other items. Safety tips Before you get on the train, make sure you know where all of your valuables are, and plan to stow all of them in the luggage trunk or, say, rolled up in your pants between your pillow and the compartment wall. Train theft is a common occurence. If you have expensive shoes or a nice coat or jacket, hide them out of view or put them in the trunk. This applies mostly to 3rd class carriages where everything is in view of people who walk by. Only 1st and 2nd class compartments have doors. There are both locks on the doors and latches to block doors from being opened from the outside even if they are unlocked. Preparing beds Except for first class carriages, passengers must make their own beds. After the officer passes out bedding in sealed packages, passengers pull mattresses off the top shelf and unroll them on their bunks. The top bunk often must be lowered to a horizontal position by unhooking the chain holding it in place. Bedding includes a top and a bottom sheet, a pillowcase, a towel, and sometimes a package of tissues. Wool blankets are available either on the top shelf or from the carriage officer. Drinking water Potable water is available from carriage officers' sink. Restroom use Each carriage has two restrooms that may be used between stops. Waste is disposed directly onto the train tracks, so the bathrooms are usually locked 10 minutes before and after each city. Bathrooms are equipped with toilets, sinks (press a floor pedal or press up on the faucet for water), mirrors, clothing hooks, soap, and toilet paper. However, because of the shaking of the train, it can be hard to use these things. Sometimes the floor is dirty and you may find the bathroom unpleasant. Smoking and drinking Drunkenness, unfortunately, seems to be allowed on Ukrainian trains, unless people start falling off their bunks and peeing their pants. Smoking is allowed at one end of each carriage outside the doors (so in the section connection two carriages). Changing clothes When women need to change clothes, they usually ask the other passengers to leave the compartment. In 3rd class, however, this is impossible, so people either sleep in their clothes, change under the covers, or change in the bathroom. Morning wake-up Train officers will make the rounds in the morning about 45 minutes before stops and remind passengers to wake up and get ready. You are expected in most cases to gather your bedding, take it to the officer, and roll up your mattress. Sleeping hints You may want to consider wearing ear plugs and a face mask to help you sleep better in 3rd class carriages, as these are lighter and noisier than elsewhere. Also, sometimes snorers, talkative passengers, or crying children make it hard to sleep.

Warsaw Home of the Polish Archives where the birth, marriage, and death records from Galicia reside today. For most years from 1877-1941 are still in existence but only those more than 100 years old are public. Most of them are in the form of microfilm but some were the actual books with the original scribe’s penmanship. These books were works of art which transformed me back to the time they were written.. Archives:


You probably will be disappointed in what you find (or don't find in Zolochiv). The cemetery is an open field near the center of town. Not one mitzava. At the cemetery is a Holocaust monument, recently dedicated. Don't plan on going to Zolochiv on a Monday. The castle (ref: Masscacre at Zolochev Castle July 1941) is closed on Monday. The WWII mass graves are on the grounds of the castle. You have to ask about them because they are not apparent. The old synagogue is now a parking lot for buses. No indication at all that a synagogue was there. Present town population is 5000-25000 with NO Jews. (Zolochiv was Judenrein as of July, 1943 and the few post-war Russians migrants are no longer there.)

Cemetaries: Zolochev I The cemetery is located at the NW part of the village at Lvovskaya St. 16. Alternative names: German: Zlotsche; Polish: Zloczow. It is located in Lvovskaya oblast at 49º40' and 42º35', 64 km from Lvov. The unlocked cemetery has no caretaker. The isolated urban plain has no sign or marker. Reached by turning directly off the road and crossing public properties (left from the road to Lvov factory area), access is open with permission. A continuous fence with non-locking gate surrounds site. There are no visible tombstones. More than 75% of stones are broken. Some removed stones are part of roads or structures. Local citizens stole stones as building material. There are no separate monuments. The cemetery does not contain mass graves.

Zolochev II Alternative names: German: Elihoviz and Polish: Elichowice. It is located in Lvovskaya Oblast, 13 km from Zolochev. The cemetery is located at east part of village, bordering v. Zozuli in the forest near shooting- ground. The mass burial site is located at the SE part of the village, castle of Zolochev, near the road to Ternopol. The Hasidic mass burial site dates from 3. 07.1941. It is not listed and protected as a landmark or monument. The isolated urban south wall of the castle has no sign or marker. Reached by turning directly off the road, access is open to all. No wall, fence, or gate surrounds the area. There are no visible tombstones or structures. Wooden columns mark the site that contains marked and unmarked mass graves. In summer near the site is high grass that prevents access. Through the South swell and a wall entry gate has been established. Now, the mass burial site can be crossed by transport. Moderate threat: safety, erosion, pollution, and vandalism. Present town population is less than 1000. No Jews. 5000 Orthodox (Hasidic) Jews from Zolochev were executed here on April 4, 1943. Jews of other towns were murdered here also. The unlandmarked isolated wooded plain has no sign or marker. Reached by turning directly off the road and walking about 400m into forest to the shooting-ground, access is open with permission. No wall, fence, or gate surrounds the cemetery. The site borders a rifle range.

Zolochiv castle XVI-XVII century. Situated on the southeastern part of the town, on the slope Kupynka, surrounded walls and bastions at the confluence of the Zolochivka and Mylynyvka rivers.

[1] International flight connections: Russia - Moscow, Turkey, Istanbul, Italy, New York. Inquiry: tel. 2-38-48, 3-10-68-, 5-23-31, 006.
[2] Jewish Community Rabbi of Stanislawow and region (Ivano Frankivsk) (Shalom .Pan moze zatelefonowac do mnie +380677479376, albo +380504631286.Moyshe Leyb Kolesnik.) 75/1 Chornovola street, Ivano-Frankivsk, Ukraine, 76018 (home) 7 Strachenyh street, Ivano-Frankivsk, Ukraine, 76018 (Synagogue & Office) +380 3422 23029 (fax) +380 342 775304

[3] Przemyśl (very beautiful city in Poland near Ukrainian border approx. 120 km from Lviv) by train… it takes about 6-7 hours. Trains from Lviv to Przemysl run three times daily. The first train is at 07:18 hr, the second at 13:56 hr, and the final at 19:56 hr. Tickets costs approximately 110 VAH for first class and 93 VAH for second class. It is questionable whether there is a first class as different sales representatives may provide different information.

[4] Fares: The return fare with the direct train Warsaw-Lviv is 120 Polish zloty or US$31(!!) if you buy the ticket at the station in Warsaw (much more at a travel agency).
The supplement for the express train is 60 Polish zloty or US $15 return.


pdenton said...

About the Lisincki Forest, can you tell me how to find it? I am going to Lviv in April and would like to find this site.

pdenton said...

I have been to Lviv and located the Janowska site, but could not find the Lisincki Forest site. Could you give me some directions? I am going back to Lviv with a group in April 2008.

Gebeleizis said...

Nice photo of Lviv, I wish you posted more.

Ian said...

I am an ansesstor of the Samueli(y) family that lived in Stanislavov Galicia (Ivano-frankovsk)1920 onwards. I am planning to visit later this year.I would like if possible to meet with you. Please contact me , thanking you in anticipation Dassi Saar-Kendal. e-mail