Lviv’s wooded Pohulianka Park is a favorite relaxation spot for city residents. It is located in southeast Lviv between Pasichna, Washington and Zelena Streets, and the Lychakiv Cemetery. In the 17th and 18th centuries farms were located on the territory which lay just outside the city limits; by the beginning of the 19th century it had come under the ownership of the attorney Franciszek Węgliński, and was later owned by restaurateur Johann Diestl and brewer Johann Klein. The area was designated as a forested public park in 1940, its woods are predominantly beech and hornbeam.
Lviv’s wooded Pohulianka Park has a long and rich history. In the 17th century the territory the park currently occupies was owned by Lviv burgomaster (mayor) Jan Attelmajer. For the insignificant sum of 6 zloty per year, he leased out the land which reached nearly to Snopkova and Vynnykiv, settling tenant farm workers on the land and establishing the “Attelmajer Apiary”. Allelmajer’s son-in-law - Maciej Kuczankowicz – inherited the land from the mayor. In 1672 the territory was razed by Turkish forces. In the mid-18th century a subsequent owner - Jan Złotorowicz – managed to acquire the neighboring property as well. Following his death, the land and its attachments were divided between the Atanasiewicz and Dobrucki families. In 1789, appellate court counselor Krzysztof Deyma bought the lower section of the property from the Dobruckis; this section comprises the current Pohulianka Park. In 1799, Alojzy Gintowt Dziewiątkowski purchased the land from the Deyma family for 18,000 zloty, (Jaworski, 1911, pp 289-290).
20,000 zloty was the cost when well-known Lviv attorney Franciszek Węgliński later purchased the land. In the words of Ivan Krypiakevych, “Węgliński was a talented man, jovial, friendly, as well as rich, and gathered a sizeable entourage around himself of writers and artists, and spent many a good occasion with them on his Pohulianka property”, (Krypiakevych, 1991, p111). Indeed, it was during this “Węgliński Period” that the territory received the “Pohulianka” designation, or alternatively, “Węgliński’s Woods”. In 1821, restaurateur Johann Diestl bought the land from the Węgliński heirs for the sum of 5,060 Dutch Ducats and proceeded to establish his beer garden here. Adam Krajewski reports of this phenomenon that “the custom of the garden restaurant came here from the west with the German village constables…hardly half-a-century had passed and this custom, and so many other German practices, fit in so well here, like mushrooms after a rain, turning this place more or less distant from the city center into a very sociable location…” (Krajewski, 1909, p52).
Ivan Krypiakevych tells a story taken from the accounts of historian Franciszek Jaworski which paints a vivid picture of Pohulianka during the time of Johann Diestl: “in 1825, a traveler described his time at Pohulianka by telling that ‘there was such a ruckus in the restaurant, a big company of beer drinkers. Elegant locals, dressed up in their finery, the real “high and mighty”; in hats and tails and fringed pants, they looked like harlequins from the circus.’ Our traveler strolled about with the company along steep grove paths, observed a bubbling spring and went on: ‘we forced our way through the thick growth to the top of the hill and the admirable trees which stand there to rule over Pohulianka. Such divine scenery was revealed before our eyes. All around us high hills with valleys in between, covered with trees with the barely-visible steeple of a little chapel poking through. Pristine silence commanded the space, interrupted only by the croak of a toad to break the hush. In this place at the top of the hill, carpeted in forest moss, the capital was forgotten, as were our obligations, and with bursting hearts, yet silently, for there were no words to describe it, we looked now to each other, now to the tree branches over us trembling as if unwillingly in the gentle breeze. We took for ourselves some of the fair flower that grows in that pleasing spot, and grieving, turned to depart from that place where nature’s charm smiles on us from every leaf, abides in every blossom, there where our minds are as untroubled by all that is base and are as calm as the untroubled waters of the nearby pond…” (Krypiakevych, 1991, p111-112).
In 1848, the territory passed again into new ownership, the Diestl heirs selling the parcel to JohannKlein for 15,500 guilders. Klein, a brewer, tore down the old construction there, partly drained the pond and built his brewery there in its place. The main means of attraction of the townfolk to the ‘new’ Pohulianka became Klein Beer, which was considered to be Lviv’s best. The beer went down well with the featured dish at Klein’s park restaurant – pasties and roast chicken – hailed throughout the town. In the park one could also sample ice cream made fresh at the Maison sweetshop summer pavilion.
With the appearance later of small industry and real estate development in the area, Pohulianka began to lose some of its charm as a recreation area. During the First World War much of its beech forest was harvested for firewood, park paths were overgrown, and the area went to seed. Nonetheless, with time the area would begin to enjoy a new era of popularity.
Pohulianka Public Park was created in 1940. When the work began to clear the territory to be used as a park, a small pond was revealed near the central park lane. During the World War II German occupation work on the park was halted, only to resume after the war. In 1962 the design for the Pohulianka forested park was drawn up and subsequently carried out.
The park is located in southeast Lviv, along the Pasika Creek gulch and the on the heights which ring it east of the city center. The underground confluence of Pasika Creek with Soroka Creek (below the far end of Shevchenko Prospect), form the headwaters of the Poltva River. The Pohulianka hills are part of the Lviv Heights.
A contemporary map of Lviv shows that Pohulianka Park occupies a triangular territory between Pasichna Street on the northeast, Zelena and Washington Streets on the south, and Banakha Street on the northwest. Pohulianka Street leads to the park’s central lane, which is otherwise accessible by taking city tram #7 and exiting at the last stop across from the park’s main entrance.
The park’s northern section borders the former territory of the Tsetnerivka – the Lviv University Botanical Garden. Near the northwestern edge of the park stands the Galician Child and Youth Arts Center at 29 Vakhnianyna Street. Unfortunately, with the establishment of the Center in 1984 the landscaping of the park’s western section was altered significantly. Farther on, at the place of the former Klein Brewery stand the dilapidated structures of an old winery (26 Pohulianka Street).
A former Armenian Benedictine monastery chapel is located on the park grounds, now the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Our Lady of Perpetual Help Church. A new residential structure is under construction on Shafaryk Street on the park’s southeastern ridge.
The park’s central lane, with artificial ponds running along it, serves as the territory’s functional axis. The lane moves through a small valley which divides the park in two – northeast and southwest. The lane is an extension of Pohulianka Street and continues to Pasichna and Washington Streets. Hiking paths are cut into the terrain of the surrounding park slopes. It’s possible to walk the perimeter of the park on paths with access to scenic viewpoints from a number of different places in Pohulianka.
The park was created around a natural stand of beech and hornbeam forest. The park woods are largely beech, the growth of which marks the northeastern limit of that species’ range in Europe. According to information available at the plaque at the park entrance, birch, maple, and sycamore also grow on the property.
Pohulianka Park occupies 100.33 hectares.
Atanasiewicz – property owner
Jan Attelmajer – merchant-businessman, property owner
Franciszek Węgliński – attorney, property owner
Krzysztof Deyma – city councilor, property owner
Alojzy Gintowt Dziewiątkowski – property owner
Johann Diestl – restaurateur
Dobrucki – property owner
Jan Złotorowicz – property owner
Johann Klein – brewery owner
Adam Krajewski – historian
Ivan Krypiakevych – historian
Maciej Kuczankowicz – property owner
Maison – sweet-shop owner
Franciszek Jaworski – historian
- Ivanochko, U., et al. “The Architecture of the late-18th – early-19th centuries”, Architecture of Lviv: Times and Styles, 13th-21st centuries. Biriulyov, Yuryi, ed. Lviv: Center of Europe Publishing, 2008. pp. 170-237.
- Jaworski, F. Lwόw stary i wczorajszy (szkice i opowiadania): Z ilustracyami. Wydanie drugie poprawione. Lwów: 1911.
- Krajewski, A. Lwowskie przedmieścia: Obrazki i szkice z przed pόł wieku. Z 16 rycinami w tekście.Lwów: 1909.
- Krypyakevych, Ivan. Historical Walks Around Lviv. Lviv: Kamenyar, 1991.
- Stankiewicz, Z. „Ogrody i plantacje miejskie”. Lwów dawny i dzisiejszy: Praca zbiorowa pod redakcja B. Janusza. Lwów: 1928, p. 62–71.
- Stepaniv, Olena. Contemporary Lviv: A Guidebook. Lviv: Phoenix, 1992.
Material compiled by Ihor Zhuk, december 2012
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