Remnants of Coal Elevators

One of the remnants of Lviv’s coal infrastructure is the manually operated freight elevator. Coal would have been transported into the courtyards of buildings along tracks located in the entrance ways. Then from the courtyard the coal would have been hoisted up to each floor on an elevator. This would […]

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Conscription Numbers: Lviv

Under the Austrian Empire (Galicia was established in 1772), buildings were given conscription numbers, which served as addresses until 1871. (See also examples of conscription numbers in other parts of the Austrian Empire: Vienna, Klosterneuburg, and Przemyśl.) “House numbers, also called house conscription numbers, had their origins with the Austrian imperial […]

Benchmarks in Lviv: How Elevation Was Measured in the Past

A benchmark is geographic point whose elevation has been measured and recorded to a high level of accuracy. The height of a benchmark is calculated relative to the heights of nearby benchmarks in a network extending from a fundamental benchmark (a point which records a height to extreme accuracy.) Benchmarks are used […]

Bomb Shelter Steel Covers in Vienna

In Vienna one can still find the covers to WWII civilian bomb shelters. Originally I thought these metal grates were either storm drains or vaults lights with missing glass, but I discovered that in fact they were covers for ventilation shafts and emergency exits. Across the territory of Nazi Germany […]

German-Era Bomb Shelter Signs in Lviv

During the Nazi-occupation of Lviv from 1941 to 1944, the Germans established bomb shelters in basements around the city. To this day we can still see some of the signage, namely, the letters “NA” and an arrow pointing to the shelter. According to one source, “NA” (short for “Notausgang”) marked […]

Guard Stones in Lviv

Guard stones are exterior architectural elements made of metal, stone, or concrete located at the corners of entranceways, carriage driveways, or gateways to protect walls from carriage wheel damage. Once an important element of the horse-drawn transportion infrastructure, guard stones have become largely obsolete as cars do not pose the […]

Stiles in the Carpathians

Stiles, or perelazy in Ukrainian, are structures that provide people with a way to easily pass over a fence while at the same time preventing farm animals from passing through. Stiles are found in the countryside around the world and come in all kinds of forms. In the Carpathians, they […]

German-Language Benchmark in Lviv

I came across a curious German-language benchmark in one of Lviv’s courtyards. Unlike the other pre-WWI benchmarks that I have seen in Lviv, which are small simple plaques in Polish, this one is much larger, in German, and even includes a relief of a hand pointing to the leveling mark. The sign […]

Horse Stable in Lviv

As part of the horse-drawn transportation infrastucture in Lviv, stables were built alongside residential buildings around the city. Not many of these remain and the traces of these stables are hiding in quite corners and back alleys of Lviv. But I was fortunate to stumble across one such examples of […]

Carriage Curbs in Lviv

In many of Lviv’s old buildings there is a carriage entrance way, a driveway which led from the street to the courtyard for carriages to pass through. Along the sides of the entranceway there is an elevated platform, which acted as a sort of sidewalk for people to be able […]

Relics in Belgrade

Serbia’s capital changed hands dozens of times in the past few centuries: Ottoman/Austrian rule 16th–19th centuries Ottoman/Serbian rule 1804–1878 Serbian rule 1878–1914 Austro-Hungarian/Serbian rule 1914–18 Kingdom of Serbia 1918 Yugoslav Kingdom 1918–1941 Nazi/Croatian rule 1941–1944 Yugoslav Republic 1944–1991 I found some relics from Austrian rule, namely antique roller shutters made […]