Zalizna Voda (Iron Water) Park
Zalizna Voda Park is located on a picturesque valley hillside, cut by a streambed on the edge of the old city. Its territory stretches between Stus, Mushaka, and Myshuhy Streets. The park’s popularity as a place to relax can be traced back to the 1830s. The public park was established in 1905, landscaping by the great Lviv horticulturist Arnold Röhring. Its name is taken from the high iron content of the local well water. The park woods are primarily beech.
Zalizna Voda Park is set in a part of Lviv that has served as a recreation area since the 19th century. Well water here, heavy in iron content, gives the park its name. A clean pond - Kaminskyi Pond – once lay nearby. The park’s popularity stems from Lviv’s Biedermeier Period, when Franz Kratter’s German theater troupe gave summer theater performances on the territory. Ivan Krypyakevych repeats an earlier story told by historianFranciszek Jaworski, writing: “by way of Zyblykevych (currently, Franko) and Dvernitskyi (currently, Sventsitskyi) Streets we make our way to Zalizna Voda, above the pond, which feeds Soroka Creek. Zalizna Voda was turned into a public park in the 1830s. Lvivites regularly wandered here very early in the day with kids and always carrying a lunch, set up camp in the fields and the woods, returning home late to the city” (Krypyakevych, 1991, p112; Jaworski, 1911, p346).
Zalizna Voda was reconfigured into a public park in 1905, the plans drawn up by “park inspector” Arnold Röhring in one of his final projects. Röhring himself lived nearby in a villa at what is currently 20 Stus Street (Lviv Architecture, 2008, p511).
Following the First World War, Zalizna Voda Park was renamed Narutowicz Park in honor of post-war Poland’s first President. For a time plans for the territory included the establishment of a so-called “Jordaniv Park” (a traditional Ukrainian athletic and temperance organization) and complex for athletic and patriotic training. This project was stopped with the construction of a series of single-family homes on the plot stretching between Ternopilska and Yaroslavenka (current designations) Streets.
In the 1930s a pool was installed at the Kaminskyi Pond. Currently the Dynamo Sports Club occupies the location. Sadly, following the Second World War the stream that flowed around the park’s lower edge was ruined and lost.
Zalizna Voda Park is a part of Lviv’s Garden Ring, which partially encircles the eastern edge of the Lviv Valley (Vysoky Zamok – Znessinya – Lychakivskyi Park – Tsetnerivka – Lychakivskyi Cemetery – Pohulyanka – Zalizna Voda – Sophiivka – Striyskyi Park). This green oasis sits on the south side of Lviv among the historic neighborhoods of Snopkiv, Sofiavka, and Novi Lviv which border it, respectively, on its eastern, northern, and southern sides.
The park’s perimeter is defined by the current streets of Stus, Mushaka, Myshuhy and Ternopilska. In the northeast quadrant of the park sits the Dynamo Sports Complex and pool, built on the former site of Kaminskyi Pond.
Zalizna Voda Park is set on the heights above the gulch where a small stream once ran, occupying rolling hills criss-crossed with paths and plateauing on an upper terrace. The natural terrain dictated the park’s layout and design. In addition to the beauty of its landscaping, particularities of the park which are worth noting are its hydrology (the high iron content of local wells), and its geological formation (calcite deposits in the park territory). The park woods are comprised primarily of stands of beech, though pine, larch, oak, and several varieties of shrubberies thrive in its undergrowth. An old apple orchard – perhaps remaining from the once-outlying settlement of Snopkiv – stands in the park as well.
As characterized by Tetyana Maksymiuk, the landscape design of Arnold Röhring, “reflected the decision to alternate the plantings along the winding park paths which unfold thematically as they move along and down, for example, starting off with a section of black pine near the entrance, followed by a stand of larch, then birch and finally an outstanding oak planting on the northern slopes” (Lviv Architecture, 2008, p511).
Zalizna Voda Public Park currently occupies 19.5 hectares.
– property owner
Franz Kratter – theater troupe leader
Ivan Krypiakevych – historian
Tetyana Maksymiuk – architecture historian
Gabriel Narutowicz – President of Poland
Arnold Röhring – landscape architect, park designer
Franciszek Jaworski – historian
- Architecture of Lviv: Times and Styles, 13th-21st centuries. Biriulyov, Yuryi, ed. Lviv: Center of Europe Publishing, 2008.
- Jaworski, F. Lwόw stary i wczorajszy (szkice i opowiadania): Z ilustracyami. Wydanie drugie poprawione. Lwów: 1911.
- Krypyakevych, Ivan. Historical Walks Around Lviv. Lviv: Kamenyar, 1991
- Orłowicz, M. Ilustrowany przewodnik po Lwowie: Ze 102 ilustracjami i planem miasta. Wydanie drugie rozszerzone. Lwów – Warszawa: Książnica-Atlas, 1925.
- 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