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 […]

Old Building Numbers in Uzhhorod

I found a couple descriptive building number plaques that date from the interwar period when Uzhhorod was part of Czechoslovakia. The signs were written in three languages: Rusyn (Ukrainian), Czech, and Hungarian. Descriptive numbers would have been unique within the municipal part (a village, a quarter, mostly for one cadastral […]

Ghost Signs in Prague

On Lviv’s Ghost Signs: ‘The House with a Stained Glass Window’

On Lviv’s ghost signs from the book “The House with a Stained Glass Window” (by Żanna Słoniowska, 2015), which takes place in the early 1990s: I had always tried my best to read the city like a great book, but it turned out he was the one who knew its […]

French Ghost Sign in Lviv Theater

Inside of Les Kurbas Theater in Lviv is a ghost sign in French. The building was built in 1909 and originally functioned as a variety theater. The sign dates from the first era (1909-1918), or possibly from the interwar period since I see “Polonia” written there (though seems that during […]

Ghost Sign on Former Bookstore

A ghost sign on a former bookstore called Nowości, which existed in the interwar period. Today the space houses a small store selling art and office supplies, among other things. Here’s a listing of the bookstore in a directory from 1939:

In Memoriam: Soviet Fox Sign

Today I was very sad to discover that my favorite Soviet sign has vanished. This lovely fox sign, a remnant of a Soviet-era fur studio, used to protrude from my building, but as of recently, it’s been removed (and rather mysteriously I’d say because the storefront has been empty for […]

Ghost Signs: Vienna

I was a bit surprised to find almost no ghost signs in Vienna. Here’s what I did find…

Beer Houses Hand-Painted Signs

The trend of hand-painted signs continues on this newly renovated building on Lviv’s main square. This time, in addition to the usual Ukrainian, Polish, German, English translations, there is also French, Italian, Spanish, and Chinese. (Though there is a mistake in the Italian translation—should be “teatro” and not “theatre.”) A […]

Modern Hand-Painted Signs in Lviv, Part II

I’ve been seeing more and more establishments use their facades to list the products that they sell or services that they provide, the old-school way. I particularly like it when the items are listed in several languages, as used to be done in Lviv before WWII. Before the languages used […]