Antique Metal Roller Shutters: Lviv

Lviv still has quite a few Austrian- and Polish-era metal roller shutters, which cover windows and doors of former storefronts. Some of the shutters are still used; many, however, look as if they haven’t been opened in decades. The plates with locks are stamped with а manufacturer’s mark—typically the name and location of the company, which manufactured the shutters. Some even include a street address, such as the company N. Bielicki Lwów, which was located on ul. Gródecka 43 (Horodotska St.). Several of the companies were based in Vienna, and thus when I visited Vienna I also found antique shutters made by these same companies.

N. Bielicki Lwów
ul. Gródecka 43

Es. Rosenthal Erben

In this last photo we can see how one of the key plates has been removed. In fact, this is becoming a very common sight these days—many of the manufacturer’s marks have disappeared over the last few years (to be sold at antique stores or flea markets), leaving such holes on shutters around the city.

Fortunately, others have been preserved. For example, in 2016 the restaurant Delicateka restored original Es. Rosenthal roller shutters and kept the original door’s handle, lock, and manufacturer’s mark. Read about it here.

Joh. Anderle


Found in Cafe Sztuka

Joh. Schuberth

I’ve seen this lion on antique metal shutters in Vienna, Prague, and Berehovo.


This panel is upside down—I think because several old shutters were used to patch up this door as seen in picture below it:

Made in Prague


8 thoughts on “Prewar Painted Stripes in Lviv

  1. Thank you Areta for another important and timely blog post on the challenges and issues of Jewish heritage and recovery of memory. We are hopeful that soon the headstones used as basement steps in a courtyard in Lviv (Hałycka Płoszcza 15 / Galitskaya 15) will be recovered. The Lviv Volunteer Center is working behind the scenes to make this happen, with the support of the Lviv Jewish community and others.

  2. This is the part that blows my mind: “During periods of transition, the records occasionally show the use or mix of two languages—Church Slavonic and Latin, or Latin and Ukrainian…”
    SO COOL!
    Thanks, Areta!

  3. > The largest and best-preserved fragment of Lviv’s medieval defense structures is the Hlyniany Gate (1618)

    Areta, Hlyniany Gate and wall around it have been renovated.

    There used to be some residential building in its place (behind the now-demolished fire station in the foreground)

    Building, close-up

    The wall looked like this

  4. Any idea what the Yiddish is on the hat sign on the right? I can make out most of the letters, but my Yiddish isn’t good enough to fill in the blanks. I used to pass by that wall frequently on my way to a friends house, but he has moved since then. It’s still my favorite ghost sign, though 🙂

  5. Kudos to you, Aretha. I came across your blog from a repost from one of your diaspora Ukrainian language from Pre-war Galicia words versus accepted and widely used Post-war words for a long list of foods. I too grew up in the diaspora in Cleveland. I was in Lviv in November of this soon to be last year. Although Lviv is my Dad’s ancestral city, I had family from Central Ukraine and grew up hearing both dialects. I think the blog was from 2014 or 2015. I wanted to leave a comment on your new blog and commend you for the interesting sociolinguistic and cultural discussions you have initiated. Nice to see that you are now in the field doing your research first-hand.

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