Cross-border Cooperation Program Poland-Belarus-Ukraine 2014–2020 Logo - back to the main page of the website
    • english
    • polish
    • by
    • ua

Oil cradle of Europe: the forgotten history of Poland and Ukraine





Project type







1.1 Promotion of local culture and history




Boryslav City Council (Lviv Oblast, Ukraine)


Sanok Commune (Podkarpackie Voivodeship, Poland)

TOTAL BUDGET 65 249.29 € ENI CO-FUNDING 58 724.36 €
DURATION 23 months 01.11.2020 - 30.09.2022

Project description

When we talk about oil extraction today, the first thing that comes to mind is the East and Persian Gulf. However, when the exploration of Saudi oil reserves was just beginning, Galicia was called an oil Klondike. During the mid-19th and early 20th centuries, significant oil reserves were discovered and developed near Drohobych and Boryslav. At the turn of the century, Galicia was ranked third in the world as an oil producer. This attracted a flow of entrepreneurs and adventurers, dreamers and rascals. Oil money fueled the economic development of this area and drastically transformed what had once been a remote province of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Over time, oil extraction in the area lost its significance, and places that were once bustling with activity are now labeled as depressive. Fortunately, "the oil cradle of Europe" still has something valuable to offer – its incredible stories of adventure, extravagance, rivalry, hope and tragedy.

The OilCradle project brought the former oil extraction places (Boryslav and Sanok Commune) into the spotlight by creating a recognizable tourist brand and creating new tourist products based on their past. The project began with a research and exploration of archive materials and sites in both locations. The findings have been used for publications, such as album about the history of the oil industry in Boryslav and Sanok Commune, city maps with oil industry sites and for a common website with e-catalogue. Also, the monuments to the “fathers” of a kerosene lamp and pioneers of oil refining - Jan Zeh in Boryslaw and Ignacy Łukasiewicz in Strachocina have been erected. In order to increase the competencies of local cultural managers and tourist actors, training, seminars and a conference have been organized. Project activities helped unveil the small cities’ history and transform them into attractive tourist destinations.

Project results enhance the tourist inflow to Sanok Commune and Boryslav, creating greater business opportunities for these currently marginalized areas.

Was this page useful?

Very useful
Very useful
Maybe useful
Maybe useful