Prewar Hydrant and Valve Marker Plates

Marker plates, which indicate the location of hydrants or valves, can be found all over Lviv. The plates were attached to the facades of buildings to display information about the utility as well as to ensure that the hydrant or valve could be found even if the road was covered […]

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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 […]

‘The Polish-Ukrainian Border Ran through the Marriage Bed’: Interethnic Marriages in Prewar Galicia

Interethnic marriages are common on territories where together with the indigenous population live representatives of other ethnic groups. Most often they are between ethnic groups that have close religious, linguistic, and cultural characteristics. “In interwar Galicia the largest number of such marriages was between Ukrainians and Poles, especially on the border of […]

Lychakiv Station: Lviv’s Forgotten Train Station

Tucked away in an old neighborhood on the east side of Lviv is the site of a former Austrian-era train station — the Lychakiv Station. Lychakiv Station, built in 1906, was Lviv’s third — after the Main Railway Station and the Pidzamche Station north of the city. The station was […]

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 […]

Austrian-Era Wooden Water Pipes in Lviv

In 2013 when one Lviv’s main thoroughfares, Horodotska Street, was being renovated, the construction workers found wooden water pipes that dated from the early years of the Austrian Empire, making them well over 150 years old. These pipes were made by taking wood logs, digging out the core, and placing inside […]

Lviv’s Ancient Wells and Fountains

Wells and fountains were both a practical and aesthetic part of Lviv’s landscape. Records and photographs reveal that there were indeed many of them all around the city, especially near churches and monasteries. In time, with the advent of new infrastructures, these once vital water access points became obsolete, and […]

Lost in a Sea of Cobblestones: Lviv’s Historical Manhole Covers & Storm Drains

To find traces of Lviv’s prewar past, one must not forget to look down from time to time. Indeed, below our feet are hiding hundreds of manhole and utility covers, which have been serving the city’s infrastructure since before the war. These Austrian- and Polish-era cast iron plates cover buried […]

Leopold Von Sacher-Masoch & His Galician Experience

By Chris Wilkinson On Serbska Street, just off Rynok Square in the heart of the Old Town, is a statue of Leopold von Sacher-Masoch, the man whose surname gave rise to the term masochism. Sacher-Masoch spent the first twelve years of his life in Lemberg (Lviv’s German name at the […]

Historical Maps of Galicia (1775-1918)

Borders and Districts of Galicia Galicia as a geopolitical entity was created in 1772 with the establishment of the Kingdom of Galicia and Lodomeria, the Austrian Empire’s easternmost crownland. The capital of the province was Lemberg (today Lviv). A century and a half later, in 1918, Galicia was wiped from […]

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 […]