Lviv Polytechnic

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Lviv Polytechnic National University
Lviv Polytechnic coat of arms
Motto Litteris et artibus (Latin)
Established 1844 (as Technical Academy)
Type Public
Chancellor Yuriy Bobalo
Students ~31000
Location Lviv, Ukraine
Affiliations European University Association, Association of Ukrainian Universities
File:Polytechnic Lwow 20091.JPG
Lviv Polytechnic National University
File:Polytechnic Lwow 20092.JPG
The main building is crowned with allegorical statues and the Latin inscription Litteris et Artibus
File:Polytechnic Lwow 2009 P1.jpg
Interior main staircase of Lviv Polytechnic
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Marble bust of Julian Zachariewicz at the entrance of the main building

Lviv Polytechnic National University (Ukrainian: Національний університет "Львівська політехніка") is the largest scientific university in Lviv. Since its foundation in 1844, it was one of the most important centres of science and technological development in Central Europe. In the interbellum period, the Polytechnic was one of the most important technical colleges in Poland, together with the Warsaw Polytechnic. Today the University is also the National Defense University (Military Institution).


The history of the Lviv Polytechnic National University begins during the Austrian Empire, and extends through the Second Polish Republic, the Nazi Occupation, the Soviet Union, and into independent Ukraine.

Austrian Empire

In 1817, the Austrian Empire opened a secondary technical school in Lemberg,[1] divided into a technical school and a commercial school. However, the official change to a technical academy began in 1844, as noted in the following timeline:

  • November 4, 1844: The school was upgraded to the Technical Academy Lemberg. Its first director was Austrian Florian Schindler, former director of the Technical College in Brünn (Brno). The building was situated at the corner of Virmenska and Teatralna streets in the building of Darovsky. The school had two departments - technical and commercial. Education lasted three years.
  • November 1, 1848: During the Revolutions of 1848, the town's center was shelled by the Austrian artillery of General Wilhelm Hammerstein. The building of the Technical Academy was destroyed by fire. Lectures were held in Town Municipality building (3rd floor) and continued there till 1850.
  • December 4, 1850: Studies resume in the newly restored building.
  • 1851: The number of students at the Technical Academy was 220, out of which 98 were Polish, 50 Jewish, 48 German, 19 Ukrainian/Ruthenian, 4 Czech and 2 Hungarian. In the same year, professor Wawrzyniec Zmurko (graduate of the Vienna Polytechnic) became director of the Department of Mathematics, as the first Pole in the history of the school. Zmurko is considered as founder of the Lwów School of Mathematics.
  • 1852/1853: The beginning of the Academy reorganization, which was suggested by Josef Weiser. He wanted the Academy to be modelled after Paris Polytechnic, with two-level education.
  • 1857-1868: Rudolf Günsberg was the assistant of Chemistry and the assistant Professor of Technological Chemistry.
  • 1870: A Decree of Emperor Franz Joseph I of Austria established Polish as the official language of the school. Most professors who were not proficient in Polish left the Polytechnic.
  • 1872: The Ministry of Affairs of Religions and Education gave permission to teach chemical technologies. Rudolf Günsberg started as the full Professor of Applied Chemistry.
  • March 12, 1872: Professor of physics Feliks Strzelecki was elected as the first Rector.
  • April 1, 1874 - October 1877: Academy obtained permission to build new academic premises. Julian Zachariewicz was elected as the construction superintendent. He ordered that the facade of the building be modelled after the building of the Munich Polytechnic.
  • October 7, 1877: The first telephone conversation on the territory of the Austro-Hungarian Empire took place, followed by a lecture of Doctor Roman Gostkowski. The Telephone line connected the Assembly Hall of the Main Building with the premises of the Department of Technical Chemistry.
  • November 15, 1877: Inauguration of the new Rector - Professor of architecture Julian Zachariewicz. On the same day, consecration of newly constructed school's building took place, carried out by three Lvov's Archbishops - Roman Catholic, Greek-Catholic and Armenian-Catholic and witnessed by Governor of Galicia, Alfred Potocki.
  • 1877: Technical Academy was renamed to Polytechnical School (Technische Hochschule). However, the rector as well as other professors refrained from using a German-sounding name, and insisted on calling it in Polish Szkola Politechniczna.
  • September 13, 1880: Emperor Franz Joseph I visited the Polytechnical School. During that visit he ordered Jan Matejko to depict the technical progress of mankind in 11 pictures. Now these pictures decorate the Assembly Hall. The Emperor signed a guest book in Polish, the book is now kept in Wrocław.
Images of the Aula of the Polytechnic, with 11 paintings by Matejko.
  • 1893: Due to efforts of Stanislaw Madejski, Minister of Education of Galicia, diplomas of the Polytechnic are regarded equal to diplomas of other renowned European schools of this kind.
  • 1894: The 50th jubilee of the Polytechnical School. To commemorate that date, Professor Władysław Zajączkowski published the book "The Imperial Polytechnical School in Lviv. Historical essay on its foundation and development as well as its present state".
  • February 13, 1894: The Polytechnic School Statute was adopted.
  • 1905: Lviv Polytechnical School possessed the second place in the number of students after Vienna.
  • 1914: As there were no limits on foreign students, in that year, students from the Russian part of Poland were some 30% of all. In that year, the school owned 11 laboratories and an astronomical station, and its library had some 20000 books.
  • Russian occupation shut down the Polytechnic University for the 1914/15 academic year.

Second Polish Republic

  • November 1918: Students and professors of the Polytechnic take part in the Polish-Ukrainian war over Eastern Galicia. Among those fighting on Polish side, there are Kazimierz Bartel, Stefan Bryła and Antoni Wereszczynski, who later became the rector.
  • November 8, 1919: Polish Government Unifies the Agricultural Academy in Dublany and Higher School of Forestry (Lwow) with Politechnical School.
  • June 28, 1920: Adoption of the New Statute and renaming the Polytechnical School into Lviv Polytechnic (Polish: Politechnika Lwowska).
  • November 19, 1922: The Polytechnic is awarded by the Polish Government with Cross of Defenders of Lwów. Earlier in that year, Marshal of France Ferdinand Foch comes to Lwow and is awarded the title of doctor honoris causa of the school.
  • February 23, 1931: Council of the Faculty of Agriculture and Forestry of Polytechnic conferred academic rank of Honorary Doctor to professor Nils Handson (Stockholm, Sweden).
  • 1934: Construction of the building of the Library on Professor Street 1 was finished.
  • November 11, 1936: President Ignacy Mościcki awards the school with Order Polonia Restituta in appreciation of its achievements.

Nazi occupation

Soviet Union

  • 1945: The Geodetic Department was founded. Most professors of Polish ethnicity, leave Lviv for Poland. The Polish traditions developed at the Polytechnic were continued at the Silesian University of Technology in Gliwice and Wrocław University of Technology.
  • October 1946: The Lviv Polytechnical Institute began to publish the periodical newspaper "Lviv Polytechnic".
  • 1952: The Radio-engineering Department was founded.
  • 1962: The Automation, Electromechanical and Mechanical Technology Departments were founded.
  • 1966: The Economical Engineering Department was founded.
  • 1967: The Department of Technology of Organic Substances was founded.
  • 1970: The second building of the Library was erected.
  • 1971: The Heating Engineering Department was founded.
  • 1989: Democratic changes began at Polytechnical Institute
  • April 10, 1991: Inauguration of the first democratically elected Rector for the last 50 years - Yu. Rudavsky.


  • 1992: Computer Engineering Department and Information Technology Department were founded.
  • 1992: Institute of Humanities was founded on the basis of the following chairs:
    • History of Ukraine, its Science and Technology
    • Ukrainian Language
    • Politology
    • Philosophy
    • Foreign Languages (English, German, French, Spanish, Russian, Japanese)
  • 1993: The Department of Applied Mathematics was founded.
  • June 1993: The Lviv Polytechnical Institute got the status of university, becoming Lviv Polytechnic State University.
  • 1994: Lviv Polytechnic got the status of national university becoming Lviv Polytechnic National University.
  • July 8, 2009: The Lviv Polytechnic received the status of self-governing (autonomous) national research university.

Notable alumni

General Sikorski was an alumnus of the Lwów Polytechnic (1902–06)

Notable professors




External links

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