The Forgotten Boot Scrapers of Lviv

Many years ago I started noticing strange-looking metal objects near certain doors in Lviv. I didn’t give them much thought until I saw one in Przemyśl, Poland, and my friend told me what it was: a boot scraper. Little did I know that this was the start of a new […]

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Boot Scrapers in Oxford

In addition to its abundance of beautiful architecture, famous colleges and courtyards, spires, museums, and canals, Oxford also has its fair share of lovely boot scrapers. In a quiet residential area, I stumbled across a long street filled with boot scrapers — almost every one with a unique shape. But they […]

Anti-Toilet in London

I first heard of anti-toilets from an article about urine deflectors in London. Since then I have come across them in Austria and Prague, and possibly a curious indoor one in Lviv. In my recent short visit to London, I came across this set of anti-toilets.

Anti-Toilet in Lviv

I feel pretty confident that this unassuming little bump inside a building in the Pidzamche neighborhood of Lviv is in fact a “pee bump” (urine deflector) to prevent people from peeing in the corner. It’s the first example I’ve seen of one located inside, but I can’t think of any […]

Anti-Toilets in Vienna and Klosterneuburg

Anti-toilets or urine deflectors were placed in a city’s building corners to prevent people from urinating on the street. Such a solution to urban hygiene has been used for centuries, as, for example, can be seen in ancient Venice. Here pissottas (“pee bumps”) were installed as can be seen here and here. […]

Boot Scraper and Anti-Toilet in Prague

Two types of forgotten methods of urban sanitation:

Antique Vacuum Valve in Lviv Stairwell

Last weekend I joined a couple of free tours that were organized as part of European Heritage Days of Lviv. On Sunday I went on one dedicated to Lviv Seccession (Art Noveau), where we learned about the Lviv “Montmartre” district and visited the former homes/studios and now museums of the […]