German-Era Bomb Shelter Signs in Kraków

One of the obsolete remnants of the past has again become relevant in Lviv is the WWII-era bomb shelter signs. Across the city traces of such signs from the times of the Nazi occupation can still be found. Soon after I arrived in Kraków (in late February 2022) I found […]

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Architectural Styles of Galician Railway Station Buildings (1856-1914)

A look at some of the different architectural styles used for passenger railway station buildings across Galicia, from the time of the first railway line (1856-1861) to World War I (1914). 1856-1861: The First Galician Railway | Gothic Revival Lviv’s very first railway station was constructed in 1861 for the […]

Lviv’s Prewar Electrical Substation Booths

Lviv’s first municipal electric station of direct current (DC) was built to power the electric tram, which was introduced ahead of the General Regional Exhibition of 1894 to bring visitors from the main train station to the site of the exhibition. The competition for the construction of the tram network was won […]

Old Hand Water Pumps in Lviv

Around Lviv one can find a few relatively intact old hand water pumps. In the place of many more, only the bottom mounting piece remains.

horse stable

Remnants of Horse Stables in Lviv

As part of the horse-drawn transportation infrastructure in Lviv, stables were built alongside residential buildings around the city. The stables were one-level structures with haylofts. Sometimes carved horses heads adorned the facades. Not many of these stables remain and those that do are hiding in quiet corners and back alleys […]

Bassenas: Antique Sinks in Lviv

Many of Lviv’s old buildings had communal sinks located in courtyards, hallways, or on galleries. No longer a water source for the residents of these buildings, most of the sinks have been removed and today are popular antiques. Only a handful remain in their original locations, especially the decorative ones […]

Urine Deflectors of Lviv

An anti-toilet or anti-urination device is a form of hostile architecture, an element of the built environment that prevents people from urinating on the street. There are two kinds of such devices: urine deflectors, especially cones built into the nooks of buildings, which cause the culprit to be showered with […]

Lviv’s First Tram Depot

The first electric tramline in Lviv was built ahead of the General Regional Exhibition of 1894 to bring visitors from the main railway station to the site of the exhibition. To power the line, the first municipal electric station of direct current (DC) was also built, and to house the […]

Remnants of Coal Elevators in Lviv

Remnants of old manually operated coal elevators remain tucked away in a some of Lviv’s courtyards. These artifacts date from the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries — a time when coal was widely used for domestic heating. At that time, coal would have been delivered to the courtyards of […]

Combating Dust 100 Years Ago: Traces of Lviv’s Antique Central Vacuum Cleaners

A rather unique and rare remnant of the past found in Lviv is the antique central vacuum inlet — one small part of a central vacuum cleaner system that was installed in buildings still before WWI. Central Vacuum Cleaners A central vacuum cleaner works by sucking dirt particles through tubes […]

Electricity Comes to Lviv’s Residential Buildings: Antique Electrical Panels

Dozens of prewar electrical panels can be found inside the entryways of many of Lviv’s old buildings. Although more than one hundred years have passed since they were installed, these devices continue to supply power. Here’s a look at how electricity first came to Lviv’s residential buildings and the role […]