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 […]

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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 […]

The Ukrainian Cooperative Movement in Galicia: Silskyi Hospodar

Name: Silskyi Hospodar (The Village Farmer)Type: Agricultural organizationGoal: To teach peasants modern farming methodsFounded by: the Revs. Toma and Julian DutkevychYears active: 1899-1944 The Ukrainian Cooperative Movement, which began in Galicia in 1883, addressed the economic plight of the Ukrainian people through the creation of financial, agricultural, and trade cooperatives that enabled Ukrainians to […]

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 […]

Austrian Military Barracks in Lviv – Part II

From the End of Nineteenth Century to WWI When Galicia came under the rule of the Habsburg Monarchy in 1772, no specially built barracks or barracks complexes existed in Lviv. At first, the Austrian military used the premises of Lviv’s monasteries for magazines (ammunition storehouses) and barracks (Ger: Kaserne/Caserne; Polish: koszary; Ukr: касарні, казарми, кошари). […]

Dom Inwalidów: Where Disabled Military Veterans Retired in Lviv

The Romantic historicist ensemble of the former Dom Inwalidów / K. K. Invalidenhaus (Invalids’ House) is a valuable monument of architecture and history. An initiative of the emperor of the Austrian Empire, the Dom Inwalidów was a retirement home for disabled military veterans in Lwów / Lemberg from 1863 to […]

Photographs of Prewar Lviv: Hand-Painted Signs

I’ve combed through hundreds of old photographs of Lviv (Lemberg / Lwów) in search of hand-painted signs that are visible today as “ghost signs.” While I’ve only been able to find one such example – a photograph of a milkhouse, the search was not in vain: I came out with […]

Antique Roller Shutters of Lviv

Antique steel roller shutters dating from before WWII can still be found around Lviv, covering the windows and doors of former storefronts. Some of these shutters are still used; many, however, look as if they haven’t been opened in decades. These remnants of the past are especially interesting because their […]

Austrian Military Barracks in Lviv – Part I

From the end of the 18th century to the middle of the 19th century After the Habsburg Monarchy began to rule Galicia, a large number of land holdings became property of the Austrian military. This is no wonder as the military required considerable resources such as fields, mills, magazines (ammunition […]

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 […]

The Pavilions of the Galician General Regional Exhibition of 1894

The largest fair in the history of Lviv / Lwów / Lemberg, the General Regional Exhibition (Powszechna Wystawa Krajowa) was held in 1894, on the 100th year anniversary of the Kosciuszko Uprising. The aim of the exhibition was to promote Lviv as a modern metropolis and demonstrate Galicia’s economical and […]