Kingdom of Galicia and Lodomeria

Last updated
Kingdom of Galicia and Lodomeria,
with the
Grand Duchy of Kraków
and the
Duchies of Auschwitz and Zator
Name in different languages ↓
Flag of Galicia-Lodomeria (1890-1918).svg
Galitzia (1914).svg
Galicia and Lodomeria within Austria-Hungary 1914.png
Galicia and Lodomeria (red) within Austria-Hungary in 1914
Capital Lemberg (Lviv)
Common languages
 1772–1780 (first)
Maria Theresa
 1916–1918 (last)
Charles I
 1772–1774 (first)
J. A. von Pergen
 1917–1918 (last)
Karl Georg Huyn
Legislature Diet
August 5, 1772
October 19, 1918
November 14, 1918
September 10, 1919
78,497 km2 (30,308 sq mi)
Preceded by
Succeeded by
Royal Banner of Stanislaw II of Poland.svg Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth
Flag of Moldavia.svg Moldavia
Standard of the Army of the Duchy of Warsaw.png Duchy of Warsaw
Flag of Krakow.svg Free City of Cracow
Second Polish Republic Flag of Poland.svg
West Ukrainian People's Republic Flag of Ukraine.svg
Republic of Tarnobrzeg Blank.png
Duchy of Bukovina Flag of Bukowina.svg
General Government of Galicia and Bukovina Flag of Russia.svg
Today part of

The Kingdom of Galicia and Lodomeria, [lower-alpha 1] also known as Austrian Galicia or colloquially Austrian Poland, was a constituent possession of the Habsburg monarchy in the historical region of Galicia in Eastern Europe. The crownland was established in 1772. The lands were annexed from the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth as part of the First Partition of Poland. In 1804 it became a crownland of the newly proclaimed Austrian Empire. From 1867 it was a crownland within the Cisleithanian or Austrian half of the dual monarchy of Austria-Hungary. It maintained a degree of provincial autonomy. Its status remained unchanged until the dissolution of the monarchy in 1918. [3] [4]


The domain was initially carved in 1772 from the south-western part of the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth. During the following period, several territorial changes occurred. In 1795 the Habsburg monarchy participated in the Third Partition of Poland and annexed additional Polish-held territory, that was renamed as West Galicia . That region was lost in 1809. Some other changes also occurred, by territorial expansion or contraction (1786, 1803, 1809, 1815, 1846, 1849). After 1849, borders of the crownland remained stable until 1918. [5] [6]

The name "Galicia" is a Latinized form of Halych, one of several regional principalities of the medieval Kievan Rus'. The name "Lodomeria" is also a Latinized form of the original Slavic name of Vladimir, that was founded in the 10th century by Vladimir the Great. The title "King of Galicia and Lodomeria" was a late medieval royal title created by Andrew II of Hungary during his conquest of the region in the 13th century. Since that time, the title "King of Galicia and Lodomeria" was included among many ceremonial titles used by the kings of Hungary, thus creating the basis for later (1772) Habsburg claims. [7] In the aftermath of the Galicia–Volhynia Wars, the region was annexed by the Kingdom of Poland in the 14th century and remained in Poland until the 18th-century partitions.

After World War I, Galicia became part of the Second Polish Republic. Then, as a result of border changes following World War II, the region of Galicia became divided between the Polish People's Republic (Republic of Poland until 1952) and the Ukrainian SSR of the Soviet Union, now Poland and Ukraine. The nucleus of historic Galicia broadly corresponds to the modern Lviv, Ternopil, and Ivano-Frankivsk regions of western Ukraine while the western part makes up the bulk of the Polish Lesser Poland and Subcarpathian Voivodeships and a large part of the Silesian Voivodeship.

Ceremonial name

The name of the Kingdom in its ceremonial form, in English: Kingdom of Galicia and Lodomeria with the Grand Duchy of Kraków and the Duchies of Auschwitz and Zator, existed in all languages spoken there including German : Königreich Galizien und Lodomerien mit dem Großherzogtum Krakau und den Herzogtümern Auschwitz und Zator; Polish : Królestwo Galicji i Lodomerii wraz z Wielkim Księstwem Krakowskim i Księstwem Oświęcimia i Zatoru; Ukrainian : Королівство Галичини та Володимирії з великим князіством Краківським і князівствами Освенцима і Затору, romanized: Korolivstvo Halychyny ta Volodymyrii z velykym kniazivstvom Krakivskym i kniazivstvamy Osventsyma i Zatoru, and Hungarian : Galícia és Lodoméria királysága Krakkó nagyhercegségével és Auschwitz és Zator hercegséggel.


Galician borders overlaid with modern state borders Galicia english.svg
Galician borders overlaid with modern state borders

Galicia was the largest part of the area annexed by the Habsburg monarchy in the First Partition of Poland in 1772. As such, the newly annexed territory was named the Kingdom of Galicia and Lodomeria to underline the Hungarian claims to the country. In the Third Partition of Poland, a large portion of the ethnically Polish lands to the northwest was also annexed by the Habsburgs; this, along with some of the westernmost ethnically Polish parts of the first partition territory, became West Galicia (or New Galicia), which changed the geographical reference of the term Galicia. Lviv (Lemberg in German) served as the capital of Austrian Galicia, which was dominated by the Polish aristocracy, despite the fact that the population of the eastern half of the province was mostly Ukrainians. In addition to the Polish aristocracy and gentry who inhabited almost all parts of Galicia, and the Ukrainians in the east, there existed a large Jewish population, also more heavily concentrated in the eastern parts of the province.

During the first decades of Austrian rule, Galicia was firmly governed from Vienna, and many significant reforms were carried out by a bureaucracy staffed largely by Germans and Czechs. The aristocracy was guaranteed its rights, but these rights were considerably circumscribed. The former serfs were no longer mere chattels, but became subjects of law and were granted certain personal freedoms, such as the right to marry without the lord's permission. Their labour obligations were defined and limited, and they could bypass the lords and appeal to the imperial courts for justice. The eastern-rite Uniate Church, which primarily served the Ruthenians, was renamed the Greek Catholic Church to bring it on a par with the Roman Catholic Church; it was given seminaries, and eventually, a Metropolitan. Although unpopular with the aristocracy, among the common folk, Polish and Ukrainian/Ruthenian alike, these reforms created a reservoir of good will toward the emperor which lasted almost to the end of Austrian rule. At the same time, however, the Austrian Empire extracted from Galicia considerable wealth[ citation needed ] and conscripted large numbers of the peasant population into its armed services.

Chronology of political history (1772–1914)

From 1809 to 1860

In 1809, during the Napoleonic wars, Austria was forced in the Treaty of Schönbrunn to cede all of its third partition gains, plus Zamość and some other areas, to the Napoleonic Duchy of Warsaw, and some eastern areas around Ternopil to the Russian Empire. (For details, see § Administrative divisions.) In 1815, after the Napoleonic wars, the Congress of Vienna returned Ternopil and a few other territories to Austria, but assigned the bulk of the formerly-Austrian territory of the Duchy of Warsaw to Congress Poland (Kingdom of Poland), which was ruled by the Tsar. The city of Kraków and surrounding territory, also formerly also part of New or West Galicia, became the semi-autonomous Free City of Kraków under the supervision of the three powers that severally ruled Poland (i.e. Austria, Russia, and Prussia).

Physical map of the Kingdom of Galicia and Lodomeria, 1861-1918 Map of the Kingdom of Galicia, 1914.jpg
Physical map of the Kingdom of Galicia and Lodomeria, 1861–1918

The 1820s and 1830s were periods of bureaucratic rule that was overseen by Vienna. Most administrative positions were filled by German speakers, including German-speaking Czechs. After the failure of the November insurrection in Russian Poland in 1830–31, in which a few thousand Galician volunteers participated, many Polish refugees arrived in Galicia. The late 1830s period was rife with Polish conspiratorial organizations whose work culminated in the unsuccessful Galician insurrection of 1846. This uprising was easily put down by the Austrians with the help of a Galician peasantry that remained loyal to the emperor. The uprising occurred in the Polish-populated part of Galicia. Polish manorial gentry supported or were sympathetic to plans for an uprising to establish an independent Polish state, but peasants on the manorial estates of western Galicia, reduced to misery by poor harvests, saw little advantage for themselves in a free Poland. Instead, they seized the opportunity to rise against the institution of serfdom by killing many of the estate owners. With the collapse of the uprising for a free Poland, the city of Kraków lost its semi-autonomy and was integrated into the Austrian Empire under the title of a Grand Duchy. In practice, it was administered by the Austrian authorities as if it was part of Galicia. [9]

In the same period, a sense of national awakening began to develop among the Ruthenians in the eastern part of Galicia. A circle of activists, primarily Greek Catholic seminarians, affected by the romantic movement in Europe and the example of fellow Slavs elsewhere, especially in eastern Ukraine under the Russians, began to turn their attention to the common folk and their language. In 1837, the so-called Ruthenian Triad led by Markiian Shashkevych, published Rusalka Dnistrovaia (The Nymph of the Dniester), a collection of folksongs and other materials in vernacular Ukrainian (then called rusynska, Ruthenian). Alarmed by such democratism, the Austrian authorities and the Greek Catholic Metropolitan banned the book.

In 1848, revolutionary actions broke out in Vienna and other parts of the Austrian Empire. In Lviv, a Polish National Council, and then later, a Ukrainian, or Ruthenian Supreme Council were formed. Even before Vienna had acted, the remnants of serfdom were abolished by the Governor, Franz Stadion, in an attempt to thwart the revolutionaries. Moreover, Polish demands for Galician autonomy were countered by Ruthenian demands for national equality and for a partition of the province into an Eastern, Ruthenian part, and a Western, Polish part. Eventually, Lviv was bombarded by imperial troops and the revolution put down completely.

A decade of renewed absolutism followed, but to placate the Poles, Count Agenor Goluchowski, a conservative representative of the eastern Galician aristocracy, the so-called Podolians, was appointed Viceroy. He began to Polonize the local administration and managed to have Ruthenian ideas of partitioning the province shelved. He was unsuccessful, however, in forcing the Greek Catholic Church to shift to the use of the western or Gregorian calendar, or among Ruthenians generally, to replace the Cyrillic alphabet with the Latin alphabet.

Constitutional experiments

Galician slaughter (Polish "Rzez galicyjska") by Jan Lewicki (1795-1871) Galician slaughter in 1846.PNG
Galician slaughter (Polish "Rzeź galicyjska") by Jan Lewicki (1795–1871)

In 1859, following the Austro-Hungarian military defeat in Italy, the Empire entered a period of constitutional experiments. In 1860, the Vienna Government, influenced by Agenor Goluchowski, issued its October Diploma, which envisioned a conservative federalization of the empire, but a negative reaction in the German-speaking lands led to changes in government and the issuing of the February Patent which watered down this de-centralization. Nevertheless, by 1861, Galicia was granted a legislative assembly, the Diet of Galicia and Lodomeria (Sejm in Polish). Although at first pro-Habsburg Ukrainian and Polish peasant representation was considerable in this body (about half the assembly), and the pressing social and Ukrainian questions were discussed, administrative pressures limited the effectiveness of both peasant and Ukrainian representatives and the diet became dominated by the Polish aristocracy and gentry, who favoured further autonomy. This same year, disturbances broke out in Russian Poland and to some extent spilled over into Galicia. The diet ceased to sit.

By 1863, an open revolt broke out in Russian Poland and from 1864 to 1865 the Austro-Hungarian government declared a state of siege in Galicia, temporarily suspending civil liberties.

The year 1865 brought a return to federal ideas along the lines suggested by Goluchowski and negotiations on autonomy between the Polish aristocracy and Vienna began once again.

Meanwhile, the Ruthenians felt more and more abandoned by Vienna and among the Old Ruthenians grouped around the Greek Catholic Cathedral of Saint George, there occurred a turn towards Russia. The more extreme supporters of this orientation came to be known as Russophiles. At the same time, influenced by the Ukrainian language poetry of the central Ukrainian writer, Taras Shevchenko, an opposing Ukrainophile movement arose which published literature in the Ukrainian/Ruthenian language and eventually established a network of reading halls. Supporters of this orientation came to be known as Populists [ citation needed ], and later, as Ukrainians. Almost all Ruthenians, however, still hoped for national equality and for an administrative division of Galicia along ethnic lines.

Galician autonomy

The Galician Sejm (parliament) in Lviv Sejm Galicyjski.jpg
The Galician Sejm (parliament) in Lviv

In 1866, following the Battle of Sadova and the Austrian defeat in the Austro-Prussian War, the Austro-Hungarian empire began to experience increased internal problems. In an effort to shore up support for the monarchy, Emperor Franz Joseph began negotiations for a compromise with the Magyar nobility to ensure their support. Some members of the government, such as the Austro-Hungarian prime minister Count Belcredi, advised the Emperor to make a more comprehensive constitutional deal with all of the nationalities that would have created a federal structure. Belcredi worried that an accommodation with the Magyar interests would alienate the other nationalities. However, Franz Joseph was unable to ignore the power of the Magyar nobility, and they would not accept anything less than dualism between themselves and the traditional Austrian élites.

Finally, after the so-called Ausgleich of February 1867, the Austrian Empire was reformed into a dualist Austria-Hungary. Although the Polish and Czech plans for their parts of the monarchy to be included in the federal structure failed, a slow yet steady process of liberalisation of Austrian rule in Galicia started. Representatives of the Polish aristocracy and intelligentsia addressed the Emperor asking for greater autonomy for Galicia. Their demands were not accepted outright, but over the course of the next several years, a number of significant concessions were made toward the establishment of Galician autonomy.

From 1873, Galicia was de facto an autonomous province of Austria-Hungary with Polish and, to a lesser degree, Ukrainian or Ruthenian, as official languages. The Germanisation had been halted and the censorship lifted as well. Galicia was subject to the Ciseleithanian jurisdiction of the Dual Monarchy, but the Galician Sejm and provincial administration had extensive privileges and prerogatives, especially in education, culture, and local affairs.

These changes were supported by many Polish intellectuals. In 1869 a group of young conservative publicists in Kraków, including Józef Szujski, Stanisław Tarnowski, Stanisław Koźmian and Ludwik Wodzicki, published a series of satirical pamphlets entitled Teka Stańczyka ( Stańczyk's Portfolio). Only five years after the tragic end of the January Uprising, the pamphlets ridiculed the idea of armed national uprisings and suggested compromise with Poland's enemies, especially the Austrian Empire, concentration on economic growth, and acceptance of the political concessions offered by Vienna. This political grouping came to be known as the Stanczyks or Kraków Conservatives. Together with the eastern Galician conservative Polish landowners and aristocracy called the "Podolians", they gained a political ascendency in Galicia which lasted to 1914. This shift in power from Vienna to the Polish landowning class was not welcomed by the Ruthenians, who became more sharply divided between Ukrainophiles, who looked to Kyiv and the common people for historic connection, and Russophiles who stressed their connections to Russia. [10]

Both Vienna and the Poles saw treason among the Russophiles and a series of political trials eventually discredited them. Meanwhile, by 1890, an agreement was worked out between the Poles and the "Populist" Ruthenians or Ukrainians which saw the partial Ukrainianization of the school system in eastern Galicia and other concessions to Ukrainian culture. Possibly as a result of this agreement, Ukrainian language students rose sharply in number. [11] Thereafter, the Ukrainian national movement spread rapidly among the Ruthenian peasantry and, despite repeated setbacks, by the early years of the twentieth century this movement had almost completely replaced other Ruthenian groups as the main rival for power with the Poles. Throughout this period, the Ukrainians never gave up the traditional Ruthenian demands for national equality and for partition of the province into a western, Polish half, and an eastern, Ukrainian half. Starting with the election of September 1895, Galicia became known for its "bloody elections" as the Austrian prime minister Count Kasimir Felix Badeni proceeded to rig the election results while having policemen beat those voters were not voting for the government at the poll stations. [12]

The Great Economic Emigration

Beginning in the 1880s, a mass emigration of the Galician peasantry occurred. The emigration started as a seasonal one to Germany (newly unified and economically dynamic) and then later became a Trans-Atlantic one with large-scale emigration to the United States, Brazil, and Canada.

Caused by the backward economic condition of Galicia where rural poverty was widespread, the emigration began in the western, Polish populated part of Galicia and quickly shifted east to the Ukrainian inhabited parts. Poles, Ukrainians, Jews, and Germans all participated in this mass movement of countryfolk and villagers. Poles migrated principally to New England and the midwestern states of the United States, but also to Brazil and elsewhere; Ruthenians/Ukrainians migrated to Brazil, Canada, and the United States, with a very intense emigration from Western Podolia around Ternopil to Western Canada; and Jews emigrated both directly to the New World and also indirectly via other parts of Austria-Hungary. The vast majority of the Ukrainians and Poles who went to Canada prior to 1914 came from either Galicia or the neighboring Bukovina province of the Austrian empire. [13] In 1847, 1849, 1855, 1865, 1876 and 1889, there were famines in Galicia that led to thousands starving to death, which increased the sense that life in Galicia was hopeless and inspired people to leave in search of a better life in the New World. [13] Adding to the exodus were the inheritance laws in Galicia adopted in 1868 which stated that the land should be equally divided amongst the sons of a peasant, which—owing to the tendency of Galician peasants to have large families—led to the land being divided into so many small holdings as to make farming uneconomical. [14]

A total of several hundred thousand people were involved in this Great Economic Emigration which grew steadily more intense until the outbreak of the First World War in 1914. The war put a temporary halt to emigration which never again reached the same proportions. The Great Economic Emigration, especially the emigration to Brazil, the "Brazilian Fever" as it was called at the time, was described in contemporary literary works by the Polish poet Maria Konopnicka, the Ukrainian writer Ivan Franko, and many others. Some states in south of Brazil have a large percentage of their population formed by direct descendants of these Ruthenian/Ukrainian immigrants.

When it comes to social relations, most especially between peasants and landlords, the area was the most undeveloped in the former Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth. The Galician peasantry was always living at the verge of starvation. This led the Polish peasants to call the area "Krolestwo Goloty i Glodomerji" i.e. "The Kingdom of Bareness and Starvation". Tsar Alexander II had officially banned serfdom and liberated the serfs in the Russian Empire in the 1870s and enacted legislation to protect the serfs. But in Galicia the serfs could be coerced or forced through predatory practices back into serfdom by the affluent Polish merchant class and local nobility, a condition which lasted until the start of World War I.

At the time of these emigrations in the 1890s, many Polish and Ukrainian liberals saw Galicia as a Polish Piedmont or a Ukrainian Piedmont. Because Italians had started their liberation from Austrian rule in the Italian Piedmont these Ukrainian and Polish nationalists felt that the liberation of their two countries would begin in Galicia.

In spite of almost 750,000 persons emigrating across the Atlantic from 1880 to 1914 Galicia's population increased by 45% between 1869 and 1910. [15]

First World War and Polish-Ukrainian conflict

During the First World War Galicia saw heavy fighting between the forces of Russia and the Central Powers. The Imperial Russian Army overran most of the region in 1914 after defeating the Austro-Hungarian Army in a chaotic frontier battle in the opening months of the war. They were in turn pushed out in the spring and summer of 1915 by a combined German and Austro-Hungarian offensive.

The Siege of Przemysl in 1915 Szturm Twierdzy Przemysl A. Ritter von Meissl.jpg
The Siege of Przemyśl in 1915

In late 1918 Eastern Galicia became a part of the restored Republic of Poland, which absorbed the Lemko-Rusyn Republic. The local Ukrainian population briefly declared the independence of Eastern Galicia as the West Ukrainian People's Republic. During the Polish-Soviet War the Soviets tried to establish the puppet-state of the Galician SSR in East Galicia, the government of which after a couple of months was liquidated.

The fate of Galicia was settled by the Peace of Riga on March 18, 1921, giving all of Galicia to the Second Polish Republic. Although never accepted as legitimate by some Ukrainians, it was internationally recognized with significant French support on May 15, 1923. [16] The French support for Polish rule of ethnically Ukrainian eastern Galicia and its oil resources in the Borysław-Drohobycz basin were rewarded by Warsaw allowing significant French investment to pour into the Galician oil industry. [15] The Poles had convinced the French that since less than 25% of the ethnic Ukrainians were literate before the Great War and Ukrainians were novices in governing themselves, only the Poles, not the Ukrainians, would be able to administer eastern Galicia and its precious oil assets. [15]

The Ukrainians of the former eastern Galicia and the neighbouring province of Volhynia made up about 12% of the population of the Second Polish Republic, and were its largest minority. As Polish government policies were unfriendly towards minorities, tensions between the Polish government and the Ukrainian population grew, eventually giving the rise to the militant underground Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists.

Administrative divisions

The six Kreise
and 19 Kreisdistrikte
of Galicia and Lodomeria 1777-1782. CarteNouvelledesRoyaumesdeGalizieetLodomerie large.jpg
The six Kreise and 19 Kreisdistrikte of Galicia and Lodomeria 1777–1782.

Prior to the First Partition of Poland which established the kingdom, the region had been divided into Voivodeships (historically also 'palatinates'). Specifically, the area that became Galicia and Lodomeria comprised most of the Ruthenian (with the Land of Halicz), Bełz and Kraków Voivodeships and smaller parts of the Podolian, Lublin and Sandomierz Voivodeships.

Soon after the partition the newly acquired Polish territories were organised into six Kreise (lit.' circles '). They were subdivided in November 1773 into 59 Kreisdistrikte ('circle districts'); this was reduced to 19 in 1777.

Standard Kreise (1782–1850; 1854–1867)

The 18 Kreise
of Galicia and Lodomeria c. 1782. Galizien und Lodomerien.jpg
The 18 Kreise of Galicia and Lodomeria c.1782.

In 1782 the two-level system was abolished and the Kingdom was divided into 18 standard Kreise (sg.Kreis; Polish: cyrkuły, sg.cyrkuł; Ukrainian: округиokruhy, sg.округа okruha ), much like the other (non-Hungarian) Habsburg realms. This system remained in place (except 1850–53) until they were finally abolished in 1867.

In 1786 Bukovina – the former northwestern part of Moldavia which had been occupied by Russia in 1769 (during the Russo-Turkish War) and ceded to the Habsburg monarchy in 1774 as a "token of appreciation" – became part of Galicia as the Bukowiner Kreis . (Prior to that it had been administered as a military district.)

After the Third Partition of Poland in 1795 the three western-most Kreise Mislenicer , Sandecer and Bochnier – were transferred to West Galicia (see below). The Dukl(a)er Kreis became the Jasłoer Kreis. West Galicia was merged with Galicia-proper in 1803.

In the 1809 Treaty of Schönbrunn which ended the War of the Fifth Coalition, Austria was forced to cede the Zamośćer Kreis  [ de; pl ] (Zamość), along with all of its third partition gains, to the Duchy of Warsaw; these became part of the Russian-controlled Congress Poland in 1815, apart from Kraków (part of West Galicia) which became the Free City of Cracow. Austria was also forced to cede the Tarnopoler Kreis and most of the Zalestschyker Kreis to Russia, which collectively became the Tarnopolsky Krai  [ de; pl; ru; uk ]; the rump of Zalestschyker Kreis was merged with part of the Stanislauer Kreis to form the Kolomeaer Kreis. When the Tarnopolsky Krai was returned to Austria in 1815 the two parts were re-separated; the former Zalestschyker Kreis became the Czortkower Kreis.

By 1815 the Kreise had mostly taken on stable forms. In 1819 the Myslenicer Kreis became the Wadowicer Kreis.

In 1846 Austria annexed the Free City of Cracow and it became the Grand Duchy of Kraków. Administratively this was treated as the Galician Krakauer Kreis.

In 1850 the Kreise were briefly replaced with Regierungsbezirke and Bezirkshauptmannschaften (see below), [17] but these reforms were reversed in 1853, with the exact administrative structure to be determined. [18] In 1854 the Kreise were formally re-established, sub-divided into Amtsbezirke  [ de ] and grouped into two Verwaltungsgebiete ('administrative regions/territories') – Lemberg (Lviv/Lwów) and Krakau (Krawów). Lemberg and Krakau were themselves statutory cities subordinate directly to the Kingdom. [19]

Below is a list of the Kreise as of 1854 and their Verwaltungsgebiete. [20] Aside from the Verwaltungsgebiete and the addition of Krakau these had essentially remained consistent since shortly after the end of the Napoleonic wars.

  • Verwaltungsgebiet Lemberg, containing the 12 eastern Kreise:
    • Lemberg
    • Zołkiew
    • Przemyśl
    • Sanok
    • Złoczow
    • Brzezan
    • Stryi
    • Sambor
    • Tarnopol
    • Czortkow
    • Kolomea
    • Stanislau
  • Verwaltungsgebiet Krakau, containing the 7 western Kreise:
    • Krakau
    • Wadowice
    • Sandec
    • Jasło
    • Rzeszow
    • Tarnow
    • Bochnia

(A listing which includes the Bezirke for each Kreis can be found at Subdivisions of the Kingdom of Galicia and Lodomeria § List of Kreise and Bezirke from 1854.)

In 1860 Verwaltungsgebiet Krakau and Bukovina were dissolved and re-subordinated to Lemberg; the Jasłoer Kreis was split between the Sandecer, Tarnower, Rzeszower and Sanoker Kreise; and the Wadowicer and Bochniaer Kreise were merged into the Krakauer Kreis. [21]

Regierungsbezirke and political districts (1850–53)

In 1850 Galicia and Lodomeria was divided into three Regierungsbezirke ('government districts'), named after their capitals: Lemberg (Lviv/Lwów), Krakau (Krawów) and Stanislau (Stanislaviv/Stanisławów; today called Ivano-Frankivsk). The Kreise were abolished and replaced with political districts ( Bezirkshauptmannschaften ), of which they had 19, 26 and 18 respectively (giving a total of 63). [17]

The Regierungsbezirke and political districts abolished in 1853 [18] and the Kreise formally reinstated in 1854 (see above). [19]

Political Districts (1867–1918)

Administrative divisions of the Kingdom of Galicia, 1914 Galicia administrative1914.jpg
Administrative divisions of the Kingdom of Galicia, 1914

In 1867 the Kingdom was once again split into numerous political districts (German: Bezirkshauptmannschaften ), called powiaty (counties) in Polish, of which there were originally 74. [22] In 1914 they numbered 82. [23] Besides Lviv (Lwów in Polish) being the capital of the Kingdom, Kraków was considered as the unofficial capital of the western part of Galicia and the second most important city in the region.

Other administrative entities

West Galicia

West Galicia was part of the Kingdom from 1795 to 1809, until 1803 as a separate administrative unit. As with the rest of Galicia it was divided into Kreise:

Bukovina District

Bukovina was part of the Kingdom from 1775 to 1849 (after 1849: Duchy of Bukovina).

Free City of Cracow

The Free City of Cracow was a co-protectorate with Prussia and Russia from 1815 to 1846. It was annexed by Austria in 1846 as the Grand Duchy of Kraków and became de facto part of the Kingdom.


After the partition of Poland the region was governed by an appointed governor, later a vice-regent. During the war time the office of vice-regent was supplemented by a military-governor. In 1861 a regional assembly was established, the Sejm of the Land, which initially due to lack of adequate administrative building was located in the building of the Skarbek Theatre until 1890.


The Vice-regency Office in Lviv Government House in Lviv.jpg
The Vice-regency Office in Lviv

List of vice-regents since 1900:

Political parties and public organizations


  • Chief Ruthenian Council (May 2, 1848 – 1851), headed by Gregory Yakhimovich and later by Mykhailo Kuzemsky. It consisted of 30 members.
  • Ruthenian Council (Lviv) (1870–1814)
  • Ruthenian Congress (May 23, 1848) was an oppositional political formation to the Chief Ruthenian Council to which belong such personalities as Ivan Vahylevych, Julian Lawriwskyj, Leon Sapieha, and others.
  • Ukrainian National Democratic Party (1899–1919) was created in place of the People's Council (1885–1899), eventually becoming part of the Ukrainian National Democratic Alliance (UNDO)
  • Ukrainian Radical Party (1890–1939)
  • Christian-Social Party (1896–1930), until 1911 was called as Catholic-Ruthenian People's Union, in 1930 it split when some members joined UNDO, while others created Ukrainian Catholic People's Party.
  • Ukrainian Social Democratic Party (1899–1939), was created by some members of the Ukrainian Radical Party and in 1924 partially merged with Communist Party of Western Ukraine (1919–1938)
  • Ukrainian General Council (1914–1916), initially as the Chief Ukrainian Council, was a national political bloc of most of the Ukrainian parties. It laid foundation for creating the Ukrainian state in the West Ukraine.


  • Ukrainian Forum (Besida) (until 1928 Ruthenian Forum) (1861–1939), a forum-type association created by Julian Lawriwskyj based on the Lviv intelligentsia circle, "Young Rus". The organization established its own Ukrainian-based professional theater (1864–1924).
  • Prosvita (1868–present)
  • Shevchenko Scientific Society (1873–present)
  • Ruthenian Triad (1833–1843), literary organization discontinued after the death of Markiyan Shashkevych
  • Academic Society (Hromada) (1882–1921), until 1896 as Brotherhood
  • Academical Circle (1874–1877)
  • Polish Sokół movement and Ukrainian Sokil movement, sport organizations created in light of the European gymnastics movement
  • Sich and Plast
  • Luh, a fireman society
  • Riflemen's Association


In 1773, Galicia had about 2.6 million inhabitants in 280 cities and markets and approx. 5,500 villages. There were nearly 19,000 noble families with 95,000 members (about 3% of the population). The "non-free" accounted for 1.86 million, more than 70% of the population. A small number were full farmers, but by far the overwhelming number (84%) had only smallholdings or no possessions.

People of East Galicia Pokuttia 1.jpg
People of East Galicia
Map of a region where Ruthenians (considered "Russians" by the Russian Empire) lived in the Austrian Empire - Galicia and "Hungarian Russia" (Carpathian Ruthenia) - by Dmitry Vergun Zarubezhnaia Rus.jpg
Map of a region where Ruthenians (considered "Russians" by the Russian Empire) lived in the Austrian Empire – Galicia and "Hungarian Russia" (Carpathian Ruthenia) – by Dmitry Vergun
Until 1918, Choral Synagogue of Drohobych had been the central synagogue of Galicia and Lodomeria Drohobych Synagogue2018.jpg
Until 1918, Choral Synagogue of Drohobych had been the central synagogue of Galicia and Lodomeria

No country of the Austrian monarchy had such a varied ethnic mix as Galicia: Poles, Ruthenians, Germans (Galician Germans), Armenians, Jews, Hungarians, Romani people, Lipowaner, etc. The Poles were mainly in the west, with the Ruthenians (Ukrainians) predominant in the eastern region (Ruthenia).

The Jews of Galicia had immigrated in the Middle Ages from Germany and mostly spoke Yiddish as their first language. German-speaking people were more commonly referred to as "Saxons" or "Swabians", even though most of them did not come from Saxony or Swabia (cf. Transylvanian Saxons and Danube Swabians). There were also some Mennonites who mostly came originally from Switzerland, but spoke a dialect of Palatine German which is close to Pennsylvania German. With inhabitants who had a clear difference in language such as with the Saxons or the Roma identification was less problematic, but widespread multilingualness blurred the borders again.

It is however possible to make a clear distinction in religious denominations: the majority of the Poles were Latin Catholics, while the Ruthenians were mostly Greek Catholics (formerly part of the Metropolis of Kiev, Galicia and all Ruthenia in the Ruthenian Uniate Church. The Jews, who represented the third largest religious group, were mostly traditional in their religious observance which later developed into Orthodox Judaism. The Jewish community had a strong sense of Galician identity and called themselves Galitzianer to distinguish themselves from the other Ashkenazi communities of Eastern Europe. [24] The Jewish community of Galicia was largely Orthodox or Hasidic in 1772 and many regarded the reforms introduced by the Emperor Joseph II such as the introduction of conscription as a form of oppression, leading the Galitzianer to split between the Orthodox and Hasidic communities committed to the traditional values vs. the "modernizers" who wanted to change. [24]

The average life expectancy was 27 years for men and 28.5 years for women, as compared to 33 and 37 in Bohemia, 39 and 41 in France and 40 and 42 in England. Also the quality of life was much lower as Galicia was the poorest province in the Austrian empire. [24] The yearly consumption of meat did not exceed 10 kg (22 lb) per capita, as compared to 24 kg (53 lb) in Hungary and 33 in Germany. This was mostly due to much lower average income. In 2014, The Economist reported: "Poverty in Galicia in the 19th century was so extreme that it had become proverbial—the region was called Golicja and Glodomeria, a play on the official name (Galicja i Lodomeria) and goly (naked) and glodny (hungry)." [24]

In 1888 Galicia extended over 78,550 square kilometres (30,328 sq mi) and had a population of about 6.4 million people, including 4.8 million peasants (75% of the whole population). The population density, at 81 people per square kilometre, was higher than that of France (71 inhabitants/km2) or Germany. The population rose to 7.3 million in 1900 and to 8 million in 1910. [25]

Religions demographics
(per the December 1910 census)
Roman Catholic3,731,56946.5%
Greek Catholic3,379,61342.1%

Linguistic and religious structure in 1910

Linguistic and religious structure of Galicia according to the 1910 Austrian census [26]
Today part ofCountyPop.PolishRuthenian (Ukrainian)Other SlavicGermanOther languageRoman CatholicProtestant Uniate OrthodoxJewishOther religion
Flag of Poland.svg Kraków City15188694.4%0.4%1.8%3.4%0.0%76.8%0.7%1.1%0.0%21.3%0.0%
Flag of Poland.svg Biała 8617483.0%0.0%0.3%16.7%0.0%93.9%2.8%0.1%0.0%3.1%0.0%
Flag of Poland.svg Bochnia 11440199.8%0.0%0.0%0.2%0.0%93.9%0.2%0.1%0.0%5.8%0.0%
Flag of Poland.svg Brzesko 104498100.0%0.0%0.0%0.0%0.0%94.3%0.0%0.0%0.0%5.6%0.0%
Flag of Poland.svg Chrzanów 11083899.6%0.0%0.1%0.3%0.0%89.5%0.1%0.1%0.0%10.3%0.0%
Flag of Poland.svg Dąbrowa 69119100.0%0.0%0.0%0.0%0.0%91.8%0.0%0.1%0.0%8.1%0.0%
Flag of Poland.svg Gorlice 8220375.6%24.2%0.1%0.1%0.0%68.5%0.0%23.9%0.0%7.5%0.0%
Flag of Poland.svg Grybów 5324082.2%17.7%0.0%0.0%0.0%77.1%0.0%17.4%0.0%5.5%0.0%
Flag of Poland.svg Jasło 8787891.6%8.4%0.0%0.0%0.0%84.9%0.0%8.6%0.0%6.5%0.0%
Flag of Poland.svg Kolbuszowa 7391299.7%0.0%0.0%0.3%0.0%91.3%0.2%0.0%0.0%8.5%0.0%
Flag of Poland.svg Kraków County6882999.2%0.2%0.2%0.4%0.0%97.8%0.1%0.3%0.0%1.8%0.0%
Flag of Poland.svg Krosno 8311584.6%15.4%0.0%0.1%0.0%77.2%0.0%15.2%0.0%7.5%0.0%
Flag of Poland.svg Łańcut 9353296.8%3.0%0.0%0.1%0.0%87.2%0.3%5.0%0.0%7.5%0.0%
Flag of Poland.svg Limanowa 8116399.9%0.0%0.0%0.0%0.0%96.2%0.0%0.0%0.0%3.8%0.0%
Flag of Poland.svg Mielec 7721898.5%0.0%0.0%1.4%0.0%88.8%1.1%0.1%0.0%10.0%0.0%
Flag of Poland.svg Myślenice 9324199.9%0.0%0.0%0.1%0.0%98.0%0.0%0.0%0.0%2.0%0.0%
Flag of Poland.svg Nisko 6919499.8%0.0%0.0%0.2%0.0%90.3%0.2%1.3%0.0%8.2%0.0%
Flag of Poland.svg Nowy Sącz 13136686.5%12.8%0.0%0.7%0.0%76.6%1.2%13.0%0.0%9.3%0.0%
Flag of Poland.svg Nowy Targ 8076799.5%0.5%0.0%0.0%0.0%93.1%0.1%2.7%0.0%4.1%0.0%
Flag of Poland.svg Oświęcim 4999699.1%0.1%0.3%0.6%0.0%86.4%0.2%0.3%0.0%13.1%0.0%
Flag of Poland.svg Pilzno 48673100.0%0.0%0.0%0.0%0.0%93.8%0.0%0.1%0.0%6.1%0.0%
Flag of Poland.svg Podgórze 6438398.2%0.1%1.0%0.8%0.0%88.4%0.2%0.4%0.0%11.0%0.0%
Flag of Poland.svg Przeworsk 5704498.4%1.5%0.0%0.0%0.0%87.4%0.0%5.6%0.0%6.9%0.0%
Flag of Poland.svg Ropczyce 8017099.6%0.2%0.0%0.1%0.0%91.1%0.0%0.3%0.0%8.5%0.0%
Flag of Poland.svg Rzeszów 14427199.1%0.5%0.1%0.3%0.0%88.4%0.1%1.8%0.0%9.7%0.0%
Flag of Poland.svg Strzyżów 5854995.5%4.5%0.0%0.0%0.0%87.9%0.0%4.9%0.0%7.2%0.0%
Flag of Poland.svg Tarnobrzeg 7736099.9%0.1%0.0%0.0%0.0%89.0%0.0%0.2%0.0%10.7%0.0%
Flag of Poland.svg Tarnów 11411899.3%0.1%0.2%0.5%0.0%84.4%0.1%0.2%0.0%15.4%0.0%
Flag of Poland.svg Wadowice 9533999.7%0.0%0.1%0.2%0.0%96.7%0.1%0.1%0.0%3.1%0.0%
Flag of Poland.svg Wieliczka 6772499.9%0.0%0.0%0.1%0.0%95.5%0.2%0.1%0.0%4.2%0.0%
Flag of Poland.svg Żywiec 11965399.5%0.0%0.0%0.5%0.0%98.1%0.2%0.0%0.0%1.6%0.0%
Flag of Ukraine.svg Lviv City20612985.8%10.8%0.4%2.9%0.1%51.2%1.5%19.2%0.3%27.8%0.1%
Flag of Ukraine.svg Bibrka 8852730.1%69.1%0.0%0.8%0.0%18.8%0.2%69.5%0.0%11.5%0.0%
Flag of Ukraine.svg Bohorodchany 6946313.7%84.9%0.1%1.3%0.0%5.1%0.6%83.6%0.0%10.8%0.0%
Flag of Ukraine.svg Borshchiv 10932031.0%68.6%0.0%0.4%0.0%19.4%0.0%68.9%0.0%11.7%0.0%
Flag of Ukraine.svg Brody 14621637.8%59.6%0.0%2.5%0.2%21.7%0.2%62.4%0.3%15.5%0.0%
Flag of Ukraine.svg Berezhany 10481040.9%58.9%0.0%0.1%0.0%27.8%0.0%62.0%0.0%10.3%0.0%
Flag of Poland.svg Brzozów 8140987.9%12.1%0.0%0.0%0.0%78.2%0.0%15.2%0.0%6.5%0.0%
Flag of Ukraine.svg Buchach 13829746.6%53.0%0.0%0.4%0.0%31.4%0.0%55.9%0.0%12.6%0.0%
Flag of Poland.svg Cieszanów 8654948.1%51.4%0.0%0.5%0.0%34.9%0.2%52.4%0.0%12.5%0.0%
Flag of Ukraine.svg Chortkiv 7644739.1%59.7%0.2%1.0%0.0%28.0%0.2%61.3%0.0%10.4%0.0%
Flag of Ukraine.svg Dobromyl 7210339.2%59.7%0.0%1.1%0.0%24.9%0.7%64.0%0.0%10.5%0.0%
Flag of Ukraine.svg Dolyna 11383121.4%74.9%0.0%3.7%0.0%10.8%2.1%75.8%0.0%11.3%0.0%
Flag of Ukraine.svg Drohobych 17168741.3%56.7%0.0%2.0%0.0%21.9%1.3%59.6%0.0%17.2%0.0%
Flag of Ukraine.svg Horodok 7961235.0%62.7%0.0%2.3%0.0%23.7%1.4%66.3%0.0%8.6%0.0%
Flag of Ukraine.svg Horodenka 9203326.9%72.9%0.1%0.1%0.0%12.8%0.0%76.2%0.1%11.0%0.0%
Flag of Ukraine.svg Husiatyn 9689144.2%55.7%0.0%0.1%0.0%27.6%0.0%60.7%0.0%11.6%0.0%
Flag of Poland.svg Jarosław 15030166.7%32.0%0.6%0.6%0.0%50.3%0.1%39.6%0.0%10.0%0.0%
Flag of Ukraine.svg Yavoriv 8672020.6%78.3%0.0%1.1%0.0%13.1%0.5%79.0%0.1%7.3%0.0%
Flag of Ukraine.svg Kalush 9742117.1%81.2%0.0%1.6%0.0%10.1%0.8%80.7%0.0%8.4%0.0%
Flag of Ukraine.svg Kamianka-Buzka 11531639.7%58.4%0.0%1.7%0.2%24.6%1.6%60.7%0.3%12.7%0.0%
Flag of Ukraine.svg Kolomyia 12485038.1%59.2%0.2%2.4%0.0%17.8%0.9%62.0%0.2%19.1%0.0%
Flag of Ukraine.svg Kosiv 8580515.1%84.1%0.0%0.8%0.0%4.8%0.0%83.8%0.0%11.3%0.0%
Flag of Poland.svg Lesko 9849230.2%68.9%0.0%0.9%0.0%15.0%0.6%70.3%0.0%14.1%0.0%
Flag of Ukraine.svg Lviv County16158061.6%36.6%0.0%1.8%0.0%43.4%2.1%45.8%0.0%8.7%0.0%
Flag of Ukraine.svg Mostyska 8784143.8%56.1%0.0%0.1%0.0%31.8%0.1%59.9%0.0%8.2%0.0%
Flag of Ukraine.svg Nadvírna 9066325.4%73.4%0.0%1.1%0.0%12.8%0.6%74.0%0.0%12.6%0.0%
Flag of Ukraine.svg Pechenizhyn 4679412.1%87.8%0.0%0.1%0.0%3.6%0.0%87.4%0.0%9.0%0.0%
Flag of Ukraine.svg Pidhaitsi 9354633.4%65.9%0.0%0.7%0.0%26.7%0.0%65.5%0.0%7.8%0.0%
Flag of Poland.svg Przemyśl 15999152.4%44.9%0.4%2.2%0.0%35.4%0.4%49.9%0.1%14.1%0.1%
Flag of Ukraine.svg Peremyshliany 8656839.5%59.5%0.0%1.0%0.0%26.0%0.7%62.3%0.0%11.0%0.0%
Flag of Ukraine.svg Rava-Ruska 11533332.0%67.0%0.0%1.0%0.0%15.0%0.4%70.1%0.0%14.5%0.1%
Flag of Ukraine.svg Rohatyn 12496629.2%70.6%0.0%0.2%0.0%17.4%0.1%71.7%0.0%10.8%0.0%
Flag of Ukraine.svg Rudky 7726939.1%60.5%0.0%0.4%0.0%27.8%0.4%63.5%0.0%8.3%0.0%
Flag of Ukraine.svg Sambir 10744541.7%57.1%0.0%1.2%0.0%30.5%0.3%60.9%0.0%8.2%0.0%
Flag of Poland.svg Sanok 10867854.4%45.4%0.0%0.2%0.0%39.3%0.0%50.3%0.0%10.4%0.0%
Flag of Ukraine.svg Skalat 9600652.0%47.7%0.0%0.3%0.0%36.5%0.0%50.3%0.0%13.1%0.0%
Flag of Ukraine.svg Skole 5535318.1%77.8%0.0%4.1%0.0%10.9%1.0%77.4%0.0%10.7%0.0%
Flag of Ukraine.svg Sniatyn 8870617.3%80.5%0.0%2.1%0.0%8.1%0.5%79.7%0.1%11.5%0.0%
Flag of Ukraine.svg Sokal 10925039.7%60.2%0.0%0.1%0.0%19.3%0.2%65.5%0.0%14.9%0.0%
Flag of Ukraine.svg Stanyslaviv 15806639.6%57.5%0.3%2.5%0.1%22.3%0.9%57.6%0.2%18.8%0.1%
Flag of Ukraine.svg Staryi Sambir 6081027.4%72.4%0.0%0.1%0.0%14.9%0.0%74.4%0.0%10.7%0.0%
Flag of Ukraine.svg Stryi 8021137.6%58.3%0.1%4.0%0.0%19.0%4.0%61.0%0.0%15.9%0.0%
Flag of Ukraine.svg Ternopil 14213851.4%48.0%0.1%0.4%0.0%32.5%0.1%53.5%0.0%13.9%0.0%
Flag of Ukraine.svg Tlumach 11606627.4%71.8%0.0%0.8%0.0%17.9%0.7%73.2%0.0%8.3%0.0%
Flag of Ukraine.svg Terebovlia 8104851.7%48.0%0.2%0.1%0.0%39.4%0.1%51.5%0.0%9.0%0.0%
Flag of Ukraine.svg Turka 8582319.9%79.8%0.1%0.3%0.0%6.1%0.1%80.2%0.0%13.6%0.0%
Flag of Ukraine.svg Zalishchyky 7695730.3%69.2%0.1%0.4%0.0%16.6%0.0%71.3%0.1%12.0%0.0%
Flag of Ukraine.svg Zbarazh 7149843.0%57.0%0.0%0.0%0.0%31.6%0.0%60.9%0.0%7.5%0.0%
Flag of Ukraine.svg Zboriv 6066532.0%67.9%0.0%0.1%0.0%19.3%0.0%70.5%0.0%10.2%0.0%
Flag of Ukraine.svg Zolochiv 11737240.3%59.1%0.1%0.6%0.0%25.6%0.3%62.6%0.0%11.6%0.0%
Flag of Ukraine.svg Zhovkva 9965825.9%72.3%0.0%1.7%0.0%16.9%0.5%73.0%0.0%9.6%0.0%
Flag of Ukraine.svg Zhydachiv 8333922.4%74.7%0.0%2.9%0.0%15.9%0.2%75.7%0.0%8.2%0.0%


Galicia was economically the least developed part of Austria and received considerable transfer payments from the Vienna government. Its level of development was comparable to or higher than that of Russia and the Balkans, but well behind Western Europe.

The first detailed description of the economic situation of the region was prepared by Stanislaw Szczepanowski (1846–1900), a Polish lawyer, economist and chemist who in 1873 published the first version of his report titled Nędza galicyjska w cyfrach (The Galician Poverty in Numbers). Based on his own experience as a worker in the India Office, as well as his work on development of the oil industry in the region of Boryslav and the official census data published by the Austro-Hungarian government, he described Galicia as one of the poorest regions in Europe.

Statistics indicate the Galicia and Lodomeria was poorer than areas west of it. The average income per capita did not exceed 53 Rhine guilders (RG), as compared to 91 RG in the Kingdom of Poland, 100 in Hungary and more than 450 RG in England at that time. Also the taxes were relatively high and equalled to 9 Rhine guilders a year (c. 17% of yearly income), as compared to 5% in Prussia and 10% in England. Also the percentage of people with higher income was much lower than in other parts of the Monarchy and Europe: the luxury tax, paid by people whose yearly income exceeded 600 RG, was paid by 8 people in every 1,000 inhabitants, as compared to 28 in Bohemia and 99 in Lower Austria. Despite high taxation, the national debt of the Galician government exceeded 300 million RG at all times, that is approximately 60 RG per capita.

All in all, the region was used by the Austro-Hungarian government mostly as a reservoir of cheap workforce and recruits for the army,[ citation needed ] as well as a buffer zone against Russia. It was not until early in the 20th century that heavy industry started to be developed, which would be comparable to much of Russia and the Balkans. Even then it was mostly connected to war production. The biggest state investments in the region were the railways and the fortresses in Przemyśl, Kraków and other cities. Industrial development was mostly connected to the private oil industry started by Robert Doms and to the Wieliczka salt mines, operational since at least the Middle Ages.


In 1880, industry in Galicia was at a low level. In 1857 Galicia had 102,189 persons or 2.2% of the population worked in industry. By 1870 that number had risen to 179,626, or 3.3% of the population.

Oil and natural gas industry

Rail lines of Galicia before 1897 Galicia 1897 1.jpg
Rail lines of Galicia before 1897

Near Drohobych and Boryslav in Galicia, significant oil reserves were discovered and developed during the mid 19th and early 20th centuries. [27] [28] The first European attempt to drill for oil was in Bóbrka in western Galicia in 1854. [27] [28] By 1867, a well at Kleczany, in Western Galicia, was drilled using steam to about 200 meters. [27] [28] On December 31, 1872, a railway line linking Borysław (now Boryslav) with the nearby city of Drohobycz (now Drohobych) was opened. American John Simon Bergheim and Canadian William Henry McGarvey came to Galicia in 1882. [29] [lower-alpha 2] In 1883, their company, MacGarvey and Bergheim, bored holes of 700 to 1,000 meters and found large oil deposits. [27] In 1885, they renamed their oil developing enterprise the Galician-Karpathian Petroleum Company (German : Galizisch-Karpathische Petroleum Aktien-Gesellschaft), headquartered in Vienna, with McGarvey as the chief administrator and Bergheim as field engineer, [lower-alpha 3] and built a huge refinery at Maryampole near Gorlice, in the southeast corner of Galicia. [29] Considered the biggest, most efficient enterprise in Austro-Hungary, Maryampole was built in six months and employed 1000 men. [29] [lower-alpha 4] Subsequently, investors from Britain, Belgium, and Germany established companies to develop the oil and natural gas industries in Galicia. [27] This influx of capital caused the number of petroleum enterprises to shrink from 900 to 484 by 1884, and to 285 companies manned by 3,700 workers by 1890. [27] However, the number of oil refineries increased from thirty-one in 1880 to fifty-four in 1904. [27] By 1904, there were thirty boreholes in Borysław of over 1,000 meters. [27] Production increased by 50% between 1905 and 1906 and then trebled between 1906 and 1909 because of unexpected discoveries of vast oil reserves of which many were gushers. [15] By 1909, production reached its peak at 2,076,000 tons or 4% of worldwide production. [27] [28] Often called the "Polish Baku", the oil fields of Borysław and nearby Tustanowice accounted for over 90% of the national oil output of the Austria-Hungary Empire. [15] [27] [30] From 500 residents in the 1860s, Borysław had swollen to 12,000 by 1898. [15] In 1909, Polmin with headquarters in Lviv was established for the extraction and distribution of natural gas. At the turn of the century, Galicia was ranked fourth in the world as an oil producer. [27] [lower-alpha 5] This significant increase in oil production also caused a slump in oil prices. [15] A very rapid decrease in oil production in Galicia occurred just before the Balkans conflicts.

Galicia was the Central Powers' only major domestic source of oil during the Great War. [15]



Until 1849, Galicia and Lodomeria was a single province with Bukovina and used the blue-red flag (consisting of two horizontal stripes: the upper one was blue, the lower one was red).

In 1849, Bukovina was given an independent status from that of Galicia-Lodomeria and kept the blue-red flag. Galicia was given a new flag consisting of three horizontal stripes being blue, red and yellow.

That flag remained in use until 1890, when Galicia-Lodomeria received a new flag consisting of two horizontal stripes being red and white. It remained in use until the dissolution of the Kingdom of Galicia-Lodomeria in 1918 and is displayed in Ströhl's Oesterreichisch-ungarische Wappenrolle (1898).



The Kingdom was divided into three major military districts centered in Kraków, Lviv, and Przemyśl. Local military used a specialized language for communication known as Army Slav. One of the major army units was the 1st Army consisting of 1st (Kraków), 5th (Pressburg), and 10th (Przemyśl) Corps.

Selected units (1914); command language German

Eight out of 11 Imperial and Royal Uhlan regiments were located in Galicia (see Uhlan)

The 13th Galicia Lancer Regiment at the Battle of Custoza Ulanen 13.jpg
The 13th Galicia Lancer Regiment at the Battle of Custoza
Regiment% of Poles% of UkrainiansRegimental language(s)
1st Galician Uhlans (Ritter von Brudermann's) 85Polish
2nd Galician Uhlans (Prince of Schwarzenberg's) 84Polish
3rd Galician Uhlans (Archduke Carl's) 6926Polish
4th Galician Uhlans (Emperor's) 2965Polish and Ukrainian
6th Galician Uhlans (Emperor Joseph II's) 5240Polish and Ukrainian
7th Galician Uhlans (Archduke Franz Ferdinand's) 2272Ukrainian
8th Galician Uhlans (Count Auersperg's) 80Polish
13th Galician Uhlans (von Böhm-Ermolli's) 4255Polish and Ukrainian

One Imperial and Royal Dragoon regiment

RegimentEthnic compositionRegimental language(s)
9th Galician and Bukovina Dragoons (Archduke Albert's Own) 50% Romanians, 29% UkrainiansRomanian and Ukrainian
Shako of the Polish National Guard in Lviv in 1848 Shako of Polish National Guard in Lviv in 1848.PNG
Shako of the Polish National Guard in Lviv in 1848

10 Imperial and Royal Infantry regiments

Infantry Regiment% of Poles% of UkrainiansGarrison
9th73 Stryi
10th4347 Przemyśl
13th82 Krakau
24th2170 Kolomea
30th3159 Lemberg
40th97 Rzeszów
57th91 Tarnów
58th80 Stanislau
80th2568 Zolochiv
90th75 Jarosław

Two Artillery divisions

Rudolf Barracks in Krakow Krakau Rudolf Kas.jpg
Rudolf Barracks in Kraków

Five Feldjäger battalions (Military Police)


The memory of Galicia

Modern Polish Voivodeships (Silesian, Lesser Poland and Subcarpathian) and Ukrainian Oblasts (Lviv, Ternopil and Ivano-Frankivsk) which contain parts of the former kingdom. Galicia Esri map.png
Modern Polish Voivodeships (Silesian, Lesser Poland and Subcarpathian) and Ukrainian Oblasts (Lviv, Ternopil and Ivano-Frankivsk) which contain parts of the former kingdom.

In 2014, the Polish historian Jacek Purchla stated that there were two ways of remembering Galicia, namely as an idyllically innocent multi-cultural land, of a simpler and better time compared to the present vs. the Austrian view of Galicia as a Halb-Asien ("half-Asia") as Austrian officials always regarded Galicia as "a barbaric place inhabited by strange people of questionable personal hygiene". [24] Galicia was always considered in Vienna to be a colony in need of being "civilized", and as a result, the Austrians never considered Galicia to be a part of Austria proper. [24] Both the Polish and Ukrainian communities of Galicia saw the province as their "Piedmont" where plans for an independent Polish or Ukrainian state were broached, making the memory of Galicia under Austrian rule a central part of Polish and Ukrainian national memories. [24] In 2014, Purchla stated: "The latest proof of the political significance of the Galician heritage has been the contribution of its Ukrainian parts to the success of the Maidan [revolution] this year and last year". [24] Starting in the late 19th century, about 2 million Galician Jews immigrated to the United States, and amongst the descendants of the Galitzianer in the United States that the memory of Galicia as either a lost paradise or as a backward province to escape from is kept alive. [24] The Economist reported: "In Europe, Galicia is a central element of Poles' national identity and of Ukrainians' search for a European identity." [24]

See also


  1. William McGarvey helped develop a rig in the 1860s or 1870s which made his Canadian drilling technology and Canadian drillers famous around the world. John Simon Bergheim and William Henry McGarvey had unsuccessfully searched for oil in Germany under the Continental Oil Company of which McGarvey was the director. They left Germany and began their first drilling in Galicia during 1882 under the company name of MacGarvey and Bergheim. [29]
  2. Just after the turn of the century, Bergheim was killed in a taxicab accident in London, England, leaving McGarvey to carry on alone. [29]
  3. Later, Bergheim and McGarvey bought a number of small oil-producing and refining operations and acquired the Apollo Oil Company of Budapest. [29]
  4. In 1909, first in the world for oil production was the United States with 183,171,000 barrels, the Russian Empire was second with 65,970,000 barrels, and the Austria-Hungary Empire was third with 14,933,000 barrels per year due to its significant oil reserves discoveries between 1905 and 1909. [15] [31]

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Further reading

Sociocultural Development, 1866–1914, Routledge (Poland-Transnational Histories), 2023 ISBN 9781032549057 (print); ISBN 9781003428022 (ebook)

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