Kastelivka: Houses and People

For many Lvivites Kastelivka is still an ‘uncharted area’. Territorially it spreads over the quarters located along the current Kotliarevskoho, Horbachevskoho, Kolberga Streets, and the northeastern part of General Chuprynky Street. Kastelivka was supposed to embody the garden-city idea. In the early 20th century, it was a prestigious residential area that matched the living standards and values of the middle class. The dramatic events and changes taking place throughout the 20th century made inevitable alterations to this image.

Interviews allow us to gain a real insight into the history of Lviv’s West End and learn more about changes in the urban landscape, landmark decisions in politics, and economic experiments through individual life stories of Kastelivka’s residents. They tell you about what used to be a quiet street and how it became busy with the construction of the tramline. They talk about buildings changing their functions, the Poltva River ‘buried underground’, and the changing urban space.

Based on the collected oral stories, we can conclude that Kastelivka is a district that totally changed its face, and its residents were witnesses to these transformations. The interviewees mention the previous inhabitants of different buildings and their tragic fates caused by the tumultuous 20th century. Their words give new life to family stories and names of specific architects. These interviews are an excellent illustration of how global events such as wars, resettlement, or political regime changes become an integral part of individual experiences and thus attribute a more personal meaning to remote historical notions and hard statistical data.

The oral history part of the research project was implemented by Halyna Bodnar.

This collection is still a work in progress.