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The Lemberg Garden: Political Representation in Public Greenery Under the Habsburg Rule

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image of East Central Europe

This article considers the politicization of urban green areas as an under-researched aspect of urban spatial politics in the Habsburg Monarchy and in the specific case of Lemberg. Municipal concern with the maintenance of old private parks and the establishment of new green areas was continuous throughout Habsburg Lemberg's history. Lemberg's parks possessed a kind of privacy that permitted much more flexible use than that of the streets for various informal, non-official and, often, nationalist celebrations. As clusters of true "public spheres" and, at the same time, commemorative sites of diverse and conflicting codings, they became a kind of testing ground for subsequent mass street politics. Although at the fin de siècle the municipality grew increasingly Polish nationalist in its rhetoric, in practice it espoused a conglomerate of imperial and local values, as seen in its erecting a monument to Agenor Goluchowski, rather than to Tadeusz KoŚciuszko.


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