"Leopoltvis". In Search of Lviv's River


Trace of water resources on the Lviv Plan from 1917
Trace of water resources on the Lviv Plan from 1917
Author: lecturer in Town Planning Department of the Institute of Architecture at "Lviv Polytechnic" Maksymiuk Tatiana Maksymivna (1985)

"Water is a priceless asset of the city. Its decorative and hygenic aspects are as important as greenery... It is natural and good for the city to gravitate towards water. The use of water to decorate streets, boulevards, green areas, squares, parks in the form of ponds, pools and fountains deserves the highest support. But not many cities know to value water, usually running away from it, as if scared, sometimes polluting it with various urban waste...”

These words were spoken by Ignacy Drexler – enthusiastic supporter of creating pools and fountains in Lviv, great urbanist and author of the “Greater Lviv” project. Perhaps, by propagating water in the city, Drexler wanted to “compensate” for the river, which at that time was no longer visible in the urban landscape.

Today, most of the tributaries of Poltva are underground, used for the needs of channeling sewage drains.

The LeoPoltvis project was started in 2010 on the initiative of the Museum of Ideas. This project organizes various events, aimed at drawing the attention of the public to the city’s river. The idea of creating a video story about Poltva arose after the international conference on the “Conditions and Prospects of Poltva” (November 19–20, 2010), and was implemented as part of the “City of the Future” game, dedicated to revitalizing the River Poltva in Lviv.

The video presentation was first screened at the "Creating a Creative City Together" training, which took place in Lviv on February 8–10, 2010. The training was organized by British Council Ukraine, together with the Center for Urban History of East Central Europe.


The following visual materials were used in the preparation of the video:

  • A view of Lviv from the west. From a drawing by Aurelio Passarotti. Engraved by Franciszek Hohenberg. 1618.
  • "Blessed Jan of Dukla, Keeper of Lwów from the Cossack-Turkish Siege". Fragment. Author unknown.
  • "Siege of Lwow, 1648" A view of teh city from the west. By Kazimierz Andrzej Niedbalowicz.
  • Lviv in the late eighteenth century. An engraving by Francois Perner.
  • A view of the city from the Wronowski Hill. Color lithography. Circa 1812.
  • A view of the city from the Wronowski Hill. Lithography by Teofil Czyszkowski. Circa 1840.
  • A drawing of the city suburbs from the model of the Plastic Panorama of old Lwow by Janusz Witwicki.
  • "Topography of the City of Lwów with Environs. Circa 1770." A map by Jean Doetsch.
  • "A map of the City of Leopolis, Capital of Red Ruthenia, with surrounding towns." A map by Charles de Scheffer. Circa 1770.
  • Fragment of the Map of the Capital City of Lemberg by Joseph Daniele de Huber. 1777.
  • "Lemberg Leopol Lwow". A city map by F. von Mieg. 1779 – 1782.
  • "Map of the City with its Suburbs." Unknown author. Circa 1802.
  • Evening Illunination of Lviv. 1854. Watercolor by H. Madurowicz.
  • A Lithography of Wały Hetmańskie by Karl Auer. 1830s.
  • "Map of the Royal Capital City of Lemberg" Circa 1896. By Józef Chowaniec.
  • Photograph of Poltva being covered in Gołuchowskiego Sq. By Józef Eder.
  • Photograph of Ferdynanda Sq. after the covering of Poltva. Circa 1860 – 1870. By Józef Eder.
  • Ferdynanda Sq. A lithography by August Gatton. 1847.
  • "Cadaster Map of Lemberg. 1849." Fragment.
  • Photograph of the statue of St. Jan Nepomuk at the intersection of today’s Fredra, Hertsena, Saksahanskoho Streets, and Shevchnka Boulevards. 1860 – 1870. By Józef Eder.
  • Photograph of fountain in Akademicki Sq, circa 1890. By M. Goldberg.
  • Photograph of Akademicka St. Circa 1890. By Edward Trzemeski.
  • Photograph of Wały Hetmańskie, circa 1890. By Edward Trzemeski.
  • Photograph of the canalization of Nabielaka St. 1927.
  • Photograph of the sewage channel.
  • "Map of the Sewage Channels in Lemberg". 1904.
  • "Map of the Royal Capital City of Lemberg". By Józef Chowaniec. 1890.
  • "Situational Map of the Citadel". Circa 1853. 
  • Lithography of the Military Swimming Pool. 1837. By Karl Auer.
  • Photograph of the bath house. Circa 1863. By Józef Eder.

The following publications were used in preparing materials for the video presentation:

  • Dunikowski. Przewodnik naukowy. Ze Lwowa do Beskidu. 1892.
  • Cholodecki. Lwow w XIX stuleciu. 1928.
  • Słownik geograficzny Królestwa Polskiego i innych krajów słowiańskich. T. 5. 1884.
  • Karolina Grodziska. Miasto jak brylant. Księga cytatów o Lwowie. 2007.
  • Сzerner Olfierd. Lwów na dawnej rycinie i planie. 1997.
  • Panorama plastyczna dawnego Lwowa. 1938.
  • Hrankin. Statti (1996-2007). 2010.
  • Chyzhevskyi. Pro shcho zhaduye Neptun // Halytska Brama. Port dvokh moriv. 2009.
  • Hrankin, Kharchuk. Yevropeiskyi vododil // Halytska Brama. Port dvokh moriv. 2009.
  • Hrankin. Kanalizatsiya Lvova // Halytska Brama. Port dvokh moriv. 2009.
  • Kotlobulatova. Lviv na davnii fotohrafii. 2008.

The video presentation used fragments from "The Invisible River", a film by Kamila Chomicz, as well as works of the Second International Sudent Architectural Open Air "BernardenGarten – Territory of Free Plastic Ideas", and a painting by Pavlo Fediv.

Script by Serhii Tereshchenko.
Visualization by Ivan Nyshpor.
Read by Ostap Dverii.

We wish to thank everybody who assisted us in preparing the video presentation

Tranlated by: Pavlo Hrytsak