123rd anniversary of the Constitution of May 3 celebration

ID: 26


Constitution of May 3 was adopted by the Extraordinary Sejm of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth in 1791. This document is considered to be the first constitution in Europe and the second in the world (after the US Constitution). According to the Constitution of May 3, Poland was proclaimed a hereditary constitutional monarchy with a parliament elected every two years. A year later, as the result of division of the country's territory between Kingdom of Prussia, Russian and Austrian Empires, Poland lost its independence for more than two centuries. In Poland, May 3 was and still is celebrated as a national holiday.

It should be mentioned that the celebrations in early 20th century involved less participants than the celebrations held earlier, in the last third of the 19th century. The latter were held on the wave of euphoria resulting from gaining autonomy, also the participants of the January Uprising (1863/1864) took part in those.

Event description with localization

Celebration of the 123rd anniversary of the Constitution started in Lviv on May 2 with a ceremonial meeting in the City Hall assembly room. A meeting of the Polish Scouts was held in the "Zalizna Voda" park which gathered up to 500 people. In the evening there were barrels with tar burning on the High Castle, and orchestras were marching and playing along the streets of Lviv.

On May 3 many buildings in Lviv were decorated with white-and-red ribbons, flowers, greenery and stickers with the image of a white eagle. At 6 a.m. on the High Castle there was a meeting of youth who were singing patriotic songs, at 8 a.m. a traditional Polish hejnał could be heard from the City Hall. At 10:00 a.m. the participants of the celebration, mainly members of the sports paramilitary Polish society "Sokil" gathered at the stadium, occupying also the upper part of Lychakivska Str. At 10:30 a.m. here, at the field altar, the Mass was celebrated. For peasants from the surrounding villages the field kitchen was arranged in the Ivan Franko Park (former Jesuit Garden).

After that a festive procession was organized to the Adam Mickiewicz monument located in the city center. It was headed by the mounted units of "Sokil", followed by the representatives of village organizations from the Lviv suburbs, fire brigades, the City Council representatives, participants of the 1863 Uprising, scouts, schoolchildren, guild representatives, and the Society of Jewish Craftsmen and Industrial Workers (Towarzystwo żydowskich rękodzielników przemyslowców). At about 2 p.m. the tail of the column reached the monument. The citizens interested in the ceremony watched it from the windows, balconies and even roofs of buildings in Lychakivska Street. In particular, they welcomed the members of village organizations of "Sokil" with applause.

In the evening, ceremonial meetings were held in public organizations and societies which participated in the celebrations. And the "Sokil" Riflemen brigade held a training on the waste grounds near Lychakivska str. outside the city limits.


  1. "Gazeta Lwowska", 1914, №№ 100, 101.
  2. "Kurier Lwowski", 1914, №№ 178, 180, 181.
  3. Pochód Sokołów (Lwów: Nakladem choru "Sokoła"), 4.
  4. Skorowidz adresowy Krol. Stol. miasta Lwowa (Lwow, 1910).
  5. Історія Львова, Т. 2 (Львів: "Центр Європи", 2007).
  6. Мельник Б. В., Довідник перейменувань вулиць і площ Львова. ХІІІ–ХХ століття (Львів: "Світ", 2001).

By Nazar Kis

Related Places


Pl. Rynok, 01 – The City Hall building

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Pl. Mitskevycha – monument to Adam Mickiewicz

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Vul. Marka Cheremshyny, 17 – sports complex

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Zalizna Voda (Iron Water) Park

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Ivan Franko Park (formerly, Jesuit Gardens)

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