Vault Lights in Lviv

Many years ago in Lviv I came across what looked like a metal door matt. I had no idea what it was until I saw similar panels in Edinburgh and Tallinn and turned to the Internet for help. Turns out it is a vault light to illuminate the basement. It […]

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Galicia’s Sokolnie: The Architectural Heritage of the Polish Sokół Society

The former buildings of the Sokół Polish Gymnastic Society stand today in the center of almost every Galician town on both sides of the Polish-Ukrainian border. Serving as sports and cultural centers, these were once significant buildings in the town space and often outstanding architectural masterpieces. Although today few of […]

Bracia Mund: How Three Brothers Brought Beauty to Lviv’s Vestibules

One of the most successful businesses in Galicia was Bracia Mund, which was founded in 1898 in Lwów (Lviv). It was co-owned by three brothers Maurycy Mund (1869-~1943), Jakób Mund (1872-~1943), and Ignacy Mund (?-~1943). The company started off with a storefront at 23 Sykstuska Street (now Doroshenka), selling architectural […]

The Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Lviv: Architecture, Art, Innovation

From Lokalna Istoriya – written by Tetiana Kazantseva with photographs by Yuliya Korytska-Holub, original in Ukrainian Today Shevchenko Avenue in Lviv is very impressive with its luxurious residential and public buildings and cobblestone road along which runs a green promenade. Back in the eighteenth century, this is where the Poltva […]

Billboard-Style Ghost Signs in Lviv

Most of Lviv’s ghost signs are found on the front of buildings, advertising products sold in a particular store. But there are a handful of larger ones as well, located on exposed sides of buildings, sometimes above the rooftops or on the entire side of a building. Often they were […]

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 […]

Ghost Signs of Lviv: A Look into the City’s Faded Past

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 […]

Housing Developments in Interwar Lviv: Własna Strzecha

Location: 1-39 Panasa Myrnoho St. (formerly ul. Własna Strzecha)Built for: City officials and civil servantsYears of construction: 1928-1932Architects: Władysław Klimczak, Maksymilian Koczur, and M. KolbuszewskiStyle: Villas in Polish Manor style (styl dworkowy) After overcoming World War I and the financial crisis, housing developments (often called “colonies”) started to be built […]

The Coats of Arms of the Kingdom of Galicia and Lodomeria

Today the jackdaw is the most recognizable symbol of the Kingdom of Galicia and Lodomeria; yet, this crow was not even found on the crownland’s first coat of arms, which featured three crowns for Galicia along with separate symbols for Lodomeria and Auschwitz (Oświęcim). Why was the first coat of […]

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 […]