Vul. Stryiska, 088 – former "Pogoń" stadium

ID: 2184

The stadium of Lviv Sports Society "Pogoń" was built in 1911–1913 on a site allocated by the magistrate from the Bodnarówka folwark near Stryiska street. It was a main sports arena of the club. In 1921, 1927 and 1930, the stadium was expanded. A major reconstruction of the facility was planned for 1938–1939. However, the project was not implemented. With the outbreak of the Second World War, it lost its function. Military barracks were built on its place. The works continued during the war. As a result, the stadium buildings were destroyed, only a football pitch was preserved. Presently, it is a marching ground for the military base located here. 

History

Lviv Sports Club "Pogoń" (LKS "Pogoń") was established in 1904 by the students of gymnasium No 4 as encouraged by their teacher Eugeniusz Piasecki (Księga, 1939, 6,9,27; Lwów i Wilno, 1997, 18; Pilka, 1996, 78). Initially, it was called a Gymnastics Sports Club of Gymnasium No 4 (Klub Gimnastyczno-sportowy 4 Gimnasjum). The name remained until 1907 when the club was named "Pogoń." The club did not have its own facility and used the cycling ground of the Lviv club of cyclists and motorists (Lwówski Klub Cyklistów i Motorowców – LKSiM). It adjoined the upper part of Stryiski park in the south. Since 1908, the club was renting the ground, and reformatted it to their home stadium (Księga, 1939, 18; Bryl, 1982, 32). However, the club wanted to get their own stadium. The management did their best to make it come true and eventually received a permit from the magistrate to manage a hilly site in the premises of Bodnarówka folwark on Stryiska street.

The construction works started in 1911 and lasted until 1913. On May, 1, 1913, the newly built stadium was blessed and commissioned into use (Księga, 1939, 54). The first football players to try it were the teams of  "Pogoń" and "Krakowia" (from Cracow). The Lviv team won in the game with the score 3:1. Soon after, the "Pogoń"  team hosted first international teams — two teams from Budapest (Budapesti Egyetelmi Athletikai Club – who were beaten twice (3:2 and 1:0) and Magna Athletikai Club they lost to, scoring 1:2); another guest team came from Vienna (Wiener Sport Club). They won from the Lviv club twice scoring 2:1 and 4:0 (Księga, 1939, 54).

In 1920–1921, the grounds for track-and-field athletics were fitted (Księga, 1939, 110). Major contribution came from the Polish Olympic Committee in terms of funding and workforce. At the same time, they expanded the stands and prolonged the pitch. In 1930, the "Pogoń"  stadium received a new fence (Księga, 1939, 216).

The sports arena had brought fame to "Pogoń" four years in a row — in 1922–1926. The football team gained the champions of Poland title (Lwów i Wilno, 1997, 21–29; Pilka, 1996, 80–85). The most fearsome players to the rivals were three forwards Mieczysław Batsch, Józef Garbien, and Wacław Kuchar. The most established European teams came to meet the club from Austria, Denmark, Belgium, Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia, Yugoslav, Hungary, and even Palestine. In 1934, a true European grand visited here, the Stryiska premises — an Italian "Milano." They went back with the defeat scoring 3:5. The grand national track and field competition that "Pogoń"  organized in 1936 was attended by such world renowned track athletes as Volmari Iso-Hollo from Finland, Janusz Kucharski from Lviv "Pogoń" (Księga, 1939,  287–288). During the celebration of the 15th anniversary of the club, the attendees could first see the game of rugby between the teams of "white" (Polish players) and "black" (French) (Sport, 1992, 1).

The club took a thorough care of the condition of their sporting facility. They were trying to maintain the stadium on the highest level possible. In 1932–1933, reconstruction works were conducted on the stadium. In first place, the football pitch was renovated, as the grass cover was introduced. The "Pogoń" team played their first game on it against a Belgian "Standard" from Liège in May 1933 (Księga, 1939, 247). Major rearrangement of the facility was planned for 1938–1939, to celebrate 35 years of the club. Instead, they only managed to start the construction of a new training football pitch (Bryl, 1982, 286). The outbreak of the Second World War disrupted the project.

In autumn 1939, when the Soviet rule settled down in Lviv, all acting sporting societies were dismissed. The "Pogoń” stadium was occupied by the militants intending to build the barracks there (Bryl, 1982, 310). The war interrupted the project for a short time, and in the 1940s, it was resumed. The motorized rifle regiment No 5 was transferred to the barracks from the Stryiski park, as well as the automobile brigade (Мельник, 2008, 191, 349). The football pitch, now covered in asphalt, functions as a marching ground for the soldiers to drill.

Architecture

The site of the Bodnarówka folwark where they started the construction of the stadium of the Polish sporting society "Pogoń" in 1911 was rather hilly and had to be cleared. Initially, a football pitch and wooden stands were arranged. The intention to build a track and a field ground failed due to the outbreak of war in 1914. The track was built in 1921; it met the state of European standards. It was 6 separate tracks wide, while the racecourse was 400 m long. The main 90 m long stand was wooden, with a double pitch roof. It could seat 2000 spectators. All in all, the stadium capacity was up to 10 thousand persons. To the north of the main football pitch, there was a training ground and a playground.

In the reconstruction of 1938–1939 many changes were planned. According to the design, the main football pitch was supposed to be shifted westward, closer to the nearby sports facility of the Society of Sports Games. The total area of the facility was to be expanded by 40 m. The size of the main football pitch was 105×66 m. The armored concrete stand had to seat 5000 spectators – 3500 persons in the roofed section, and 1500 more in the open stand. Underneath, various technical facilities were located. Opposite to the roofed stand, on the side of Stryiska street, there was an open stand for 6–8 thousand persons. 8 000 more were to be seated on the turns of the racecourses. The course 5.5 m long was divided into 6 sections. The long jump, the high jump, and the pole vaulting sectors were located on the grounds behind the football ground gates. Behind the main viewing stand, there was an archery ground. Communications arteries were 8 m wide. The entire area was planted around with trees, and fenced with the armored concrete blocks.

The renovations made the facility more spacious, while the football pitch was shifted 30 m away from Stryiska street. The park was supposed to look like this but the war disrupted the project.

Personalities

Spyrydon Albański — a football player, player of the Olympic team of Poland in Berlin 1936.
Mieczysław Batsch — a football player, four times champion of Poland as part of the "Pogoń" team, player of the national team of Poland.
Józef Garbien — a football player, four times champion of Poland as part of the "Pogoń"  team, player of the national team of Poland.
Wacław Kuchar — the most famous athlete of the "Pogoń"  –  a football player, trackman, ice-skater, hockey player, tennis player, archer, and swimmer.
Kazimierz Kucharski — a trackman, 4th place winner in the Berlin 1936 Olympics 800 m track running.
Michał Matyas — a football player, a player of the Olympic national team of Poland in Berlin 1936.
Eugeniusz Piasecki — initiated to establish a Lviv Sports Club "Pogoń", the first head of the club.
Jan Wasiewicz — a football player, player of the Olympic national team of Poland in Berlin 1936.

Sources

  1. Мельник Ігор, Львівські вулиці і кам’яниці, мури, закамарки, передмістя та інші особливості королівського столичного міста Галичини (Львів: Центр Європи, 2008), 384.
  2. Bryl Jacek, Waclaw Kuchar (Warszawa: Krajowa Agencja Wydawnicza, 1982), 350.
  3. Księga pamiątkowa poświęcona 35-leciu działalności Lwowskiego Klubu Sportowego "Pogoń" 1904–1939 (Lwów, 1939), 422.
  4. Lwów i Wilno w ekstraklasie. Dzieje polskiego futbolu kresowego (Katowice: GA, 1997), 192.
  5. Piłka nożna na ziemi Lwówskiej 1894–1939 (Warszawa, 1996), 75–78.
  6. Sport, 1992, 15, 7, 1.

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