Prewar Lviv in Photographs: Hand-Painted Signs

I’ve searched through old photographs of Lviv for ones with hand-painted signs, in particular for signs that are still visible today. I’ve only found one—an old photograph of a milkhouse, which I posted about earlier. But in any case, I found plenty of great photographs that show how storefronts and […]

Ghost Signs of Lviv

I love ghost signs. These messages from the past are one of my favorite parts of the urban landscape. I get overly excited every time I discover a new one. Ghost signs (aka fading ads or brick ads) are old hand-painted signs that have been preserved on a building for […]

Prague’s House Signs

Before Empress Maria Theresa introduced identifying numbers to Prague in 1770, houses were known and located by allegorical symbols. Many of them originally had alchemical significance. The Two Suns The Golden Key Castle goldsmiths lived in this house in the 17th century They paid fees to the city and thus […]

Chimney Sweep Sign in Lviv

Lviv, like most cities in the nineteenth century, needed chimney sweeps to keep chimneys clean from the soot that accumulated from burning coal. The bas-relief of a chimney sweep on Anhelovycha Street is one of the only reminders of the era of chimney sweeps. At the beginning of the twentieth […]

Medieval Advertising in Lviv

Medieval ads and signs have survived in and around Lviv’s Rynok Square. Usually these were metal signs or stone carvings located above entrance ways. The emblems marked the locations of guilds, workshops, stores, taverns, etc. Signs during these times used symbols as the general populace was illiterate. Entrances to taverns […]