THE TRANSGRESSIVE "EUROPEIZATION" OF CARPATHIAN WILDERNESS: RESORT DEVELOPMENT IN THE HUTSUL REGIN BEFORE WORLD WAR I
The development of resorts and spas in the Hutsul region before World War I has been a blank
spot in Polish and Ukrainian historiography. This chapter presents the state of current research.
Development in the region began for good after 1894, the year the Stanisławów-Körösmezö
railway was opened. Built by the Austrian authorities with military and strategic aims in mind,
the railway nonetheless made this beautiful but wild borderland region accessible to masses of guests from the cities of Eastern Galicia who sought to breathe the fresh highland air, take baths of various kinds as well as relax and vacation. This chapter focuses on the activities of a series of entrepreneurial individuals who revolutionized the region by building villas and hotels, establishing restaurants and stores as well as supplying the high-altitude resorts with the necessary infrastructure — whatever was needed to create resorts on a “European” level. This rapid “europeanization” of the Carpathian wilderness was transgressive in that it violated the status quo and turned local norms upside down. This had implications for ethnic relations in the region, with Ukrainians and Hutsuls as well as Poles, Jews and Germans involved.