10 Places You Will Never Visit in Lviv

Lviv’s historical urban structures survived WWII largely unscathed, thus much of Lviv’s prewar cityscape is intact. Nonetheless, if we look through old photographs of the city, we still come across unfamiliar places. This is not surprising as Lviv, like any city, underwent physical transformations throughout the centuries. In addition to […]

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Prewar Street Signage in Lviv

Considering how many times street names and the official language were changed in Lviv, it’s quite miraculous that we can still find street signage from previous eras around the city.  But in fact, quite a few prewar Polish-language street signs remain hidden (sometimes quite literally under paint or plaster) in […]

Greatness that Cannot Be Ignored – The Potocki Palace: Lviv’s Grandest Residence

By Chris Wilkinson A jarring spectacle awaits those unsuspecting pedestrians strolling along Kopernyka Street in Lviv. Past the first floor shops and multi-storied apartment buildings piled one atop another there suddenly appears a fence of forged iron. Behind this stands the Potocki Palace. Here, set back rather incongruously, looks to […]

Jewish Traces in Lviv: Mezuzah Scars

In Lviv’s medieval old town, the Jewish community was most concentrated on the street which today is called Staroyevreyska, or Old Jewish Street. This Jewish quarter once had two synagogues and a house of learning. During WWII, these synagogues along with other traces of Jewish life were all but erased […]

Vanished World: Galicia’s Lost Synagogues

Galicia was once home to a large Jewish population. Before the war, Jews were the third most numerous ethnic group in the region, after Poles and Ukrainians, and all Galician cities and towns had vibrant Jewish communities. Much of this heritage was destroyed during the war and most of what […]

Boot Scrapers: Przemyśl

It was in Przemyśl, a small Galician city situated today in Poland near the Ukrainian border, that I first discovered what a boot scraper was and where my love for these remnants of the past began. I had seen them in Lviv but didn’t give them much thought until I noticed them […]

The Fortunate Fate of Lviv’s Hungarian Roller Shutter

I’ve found only one example of a Hungarian-made antique roller shutter in Lviv. (However, I eventually I did find a roller shutter made by the same company in Mukachevo.) It was made by a company called Paschka és Társa (Paschka and Co.) in Budapest. It covers the storefront of an […]

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 […]

Vault Windows in Lviv

An interesting architectural and infrastructural element of the old buildings in Lviv is the vault window with a metal shutter. Even these seemingly unimportant, mundane covers were finished off with an artistic and decorative touch—a unique cutout, which I assume served the purpose of providing some light and ventilation into […]

‘Ghost Statues’: Lviv’s Empty Niches

An interesting phenomenon in Lviv is its many “ghost statues.” This is what I call the empty niches found on the facades of buildings where once stood statues, especially religious figures such as the Virgin Mary or saints. Under the Soviet Union, traces of religion were removed from the urban […]

Anchor Plates in Lviv

Anchor plates are ubiquitous in Lviv as they are on most of the eighteenth- and nineteenth-century buildings in the city. Anchor plates (also called wall washers, pattress plates, masonry stars, etc.) are used to reinforce the structure of masonry buildings. Made from cast or wrought iron, these plates are connected to […]