1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Galicia (Austria)

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GALICIA (Ger. Galizien; Pol. Halicz), a crownland of Austria, bounded E. and N. by Russia, S. by Bukovina and Hungary, and W. by Austrian and Prussian Silesia. It has an area of 30,299 sq. m., and is the largest Austrian province. It comprises the old kingdoms of Galicia and Lodomeria, the duchies of Auschwitz and Zator, and the grand duchy of Cracow.

Galicia lies on the northern slopes of the Carpathians, which with their offshoots cover about a third of the whole area of the country. The surface gradually sinks down by undulating terraces to the valleys of the Vistula and Dniester. To the N. and E. of these rivers Galicia forms a continuation of the great plains of Russia, intersected only by a few hills, which descend from the plateaus of Poland and Podolia, and which attain in some places an altitude of 1300 to 1500 ft. The Carpathians, which, extending in the form of an arc, form the boundary between Galicia and Hungary, are divided into the West and the East Beskides, which are separated by the northern ramifications of the massif of the Tatra. The highest peaks are the Babia Góra (5650 ft.), the Wolowiec (6773 ft.) and the Cserna Góra (6505 ft.). The principal passes are those of Zdjar over the Tatra, and of Dukla, Vereczke Körösmezö or Delatyn in the East Beskides. The river Vistula, which becomes navigable at Cracow, and forms afterwards the north-western frontier of Galicia, receives the Sola, the Skawa, the Raba, the Dunajec with its affluents the Poprad and the Biala, the Wisloka, the San and the Bug. The Dniester, which rises in the Carpathians, within the territory of Galicia, becomes navigable at Sambor, and receives on the right the Stryj, the Swica, the Lomnica and the Bystrzyca, and on the left the Lipa, the Strypa, the Sereth and the Zbrucz, the boundary river towards Russia. The Pruth, which also rises in the Carpathians, within the territory of Galicia, traverses its south-eastern corner and receives the Czeremosz, the boundary river towards Bukovina. There are few lakes in the country except mountain tarns; but considerable morasses exist about the Upper Dneister, the Vistula and the San, while the ponds or dams in the Podolian valleys are estimated to cover an area of over 200 sq. m. The most frequented mineral springs are the alkaline springs at Szczawnica and Krynica, the sulphur springs at Krzesowice, Szklo and Lubian, and the iodine springs at Iwonicz.

Exposed to the cold northern and north-eastern winds, and shut out by the Carpathians from the warm southerly winds, Galicia has the severest climate in Austria. It has long winters, with an abundant snowfall, short and wet springs, hot summers and long and steady autumns. The mean annual temperature at Lemberg is 46.2° F., and at Tarnopol only 43° F.

Of the total area 48.45% is occupied by arable land, 11.16% by meadows, 9.19% by pastures, 1.39% by gardens and 25.76% by forests. The soil is generally fertile, but agriculture is still backward. The principal products are barley, oats, rye, wheat, maize and leguminous plants. Galicia has the largest area under potatoes and legumes in the whole of Austria, and hemp, flax, tobacco and hops are of considerable importance. The principal mineral products are salt, coal and petroleum. Salt is extracted at Wieliczka, Bochnia, Bolechow, Dolina, Kalusz and Kosow. Coals are found in the Cracow district at Jaworzno, at Siersza near Trzebinia and at Dabrowa. Some of the richest petroleum fields in Europe are spread in the region of the Carpathians, and are worked at Boryslaw and Schodnica near Drohobycz, Bobrka and Potok near Krosno, Sloboda-Rungurska near Kolomea, &c. Great quantities of ozocerite are also extracted in the petroliferous region of the Carpathians. Other mineral products are zinc, extracted at Trzebionka and Wodna in the Cracow region, amounting to 40% of the total zinc production in Austria, iron ore, marble and various stones for construction. The sulphur mines of Swoszowice near Cracow, which had been worked since 1598, were abandoned in 1884.

The manufacturing industries of Galicia are not highly developed. The first place is occupied by the distilleries, whose output amounts to nearly 40% of the total production of spirits in Austria. Then follow the petroleum refineries and kindred industries, saw-mills and the fabrication of various wood articles, paper and milling. The sugar factory at Tlumacz and the tobacco factory at Winniki are amongst the largest establishments of their kind in Austria. Cloth manufacture is concentrated at Biala, while the weaving of linen and of woollens is pursued as a household industry, the former in the Carpathian region, the latter in eastern Galicia. The commerce, which is mainly in the hands of the Jews, is very active, and the transit trade to Russia and to the East is also of considerable importance.

Galicia had in 1900 a population of 7,295,538, which is equivalent to 241 inhabitants per sq. m. The two principal nationalities are the Poles (45%) and the Ruthenians (42%), the former predominating in the west and in the big towns, and the latter in the east. The Poles who inhabit the Carpathians are distinguished as Goralians (from góry, mountain), and those of the lower regions as Mazures and Cracoviaks. The Ruthenian highlanders bear the name of Huzulians. The Poles are mostly Roman Catholics, the Ruthenians are Greek Catholics, and there are over 770,000 Jews, and about 2500 Armenians, who are Catholics and stand under the jurisdiction of an Armenian archbishop at Lemberg.

The Roman Catholic Church has an archbishop, at Lemberg, and three bishops, at Cracow, at Przemysl and at Tarnow, and the Greek Catholic Church is represented by an archbishop, at Lemberg, and two bishops, at Przemysl and at Stanislau. At the head of the educational institutions stand the two universities of Lemberg and Cracow, and the Polish academy of science at Cracow.

The local Diet is composed of 151 members, including the 3 archbishops, the 5 bishops, and the 2 rectors of the universities, and Galicia sends 78 deputies to the Reichsrat at Vienna. For administrative purposes, the province is divided into 78 districts and 2 autonomous municipalities—Lemberg (pop. 159,618), the capital, and Cracow (91,310). Other principal towns are: Przemysl (46,439), Kolomea (34,188), Tarnów (31,548), Tarnopol (30,368), Stanislau (29,628), Stryj (23,673), Jaroslau (22,614), Drohobycz (19,146), Podgórze (18,142), Brody (17,360), Sambor (17,027), Neusandec (15,724), Rzeszów (14,714), Zloczow (12,209), Grodek (11,845), Horodenka (11,615), Buczacz (11,504), Sniatyn (11,498), Brzezany (11,244), Kuty (11,127), Boryslaw (10,671), Chrzanów (10,170), Jaworów (10,090), Bochnia (10,049) and Biala (8265).

Galicia (or Halicz) took its rise, along with the neighbouring principality of Lodomeria (or Vladimir), in the course of the 12th century—the seat of the ruling dynasty being Halicz or Halitch. Disputes between the Galician and Lodomerian houses led to the interference of the king of Hungary, Bela III., who in 1190 assumed the title of king, and appointed his son Andreas lieutenant of the kingdom. Polish assistance, however, enabled Vladimir, the former possessor, to expel Andreas, and in 1198 Roman, prince of Lodomeria, made himself master of Galicia also. On his death in 1205 the struggle between Poland and Hungary for supremacy in the country was resumed; but in 1215 it was arranged that Daniel (1205–1264), son of Roman, should be invested with Lodomeria, and Coloman, son of the Hungarian king, with Galicia. Coloman, however, was expelled by Mstislav of Novgorod; and in his turn Andreas, Mstislav’s nominee, was expelled by Daniel of Lodomeria, a powerful prince, who by a flexible policy succeeded in maintaining his position. Though in 1235 he had recognized the overlordship of Hungary, yet, when he found himself hard pressed by the Mongolian general Batu, he called in the assistance of Innocent IV., and accepted the crown of Galicia from the hands of a papal legate; and again, when Innocent disappointed his expectation, he returned to his former connexion with the Greek Church. On the extinction of his line in 1340 Casimir III. of Poland incorporated Galicia and Lemberg; on Casimir’s death in 1370 Louis the Great of Hungary, in accordance with previous treaties, became king of Poland, Galicia and Lodomeria; and in 1382, by the marriage of Louis’s daughter with Ladislaus II., Galicia, which he had regarded as part of his Hungarian rather than of his Polish possessions, became definitively assigned to Poland. On the first partition of Poland, in 1772, the kingdom of Galicia and Lodomeria came to Austria, and to this was added the district of New or West Galicia in 1795; but at the peace of Vienna in 1809 West Galicia and Cracow were surrendered to the grand-duchy of Warsaw, and in 1810 part of East Galicia, including Tarnopol, was made over to Russia. This latter portion was recovered by Austria at the peace of Paris (1814), and the former came back on the suppression of the independent republic of Cracow in 1846. After the introduction of the constitution of February 1861, Galicia gained a larger degree of autonomy than any other province in the Austrian empire.

See Die österreichisch-ungarische Monarchie in Wort und Bild, vol. 19 (Wien, 1885–1902, 24 vols.); Die Länder Österreich-Ungarns in Wort und Bild, vol. 10 (Wien, 1881–1886, 15 vols.). Remarkable sketches of Galician life are to be found in the works of the German novelist Sacher-Masoch (1835–1895).