Lviv’s Ancient Wells and Fountains

Wells and fountains were both a practical and aesthetic part of Lviv’s landscape. Records and photographs reveal that there were indeed many of them all around the city, especially near churches and monasteries. In time, with the advent of new infrastructures, these once vital water access points became obsolete, and […]

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Lost in a Sea of Cobblestones: Lviv’s Historical Manhole Covers & Storm Drains

To find traces of Lviv’s prewar past, one must not forget to look down from time to time. Indeed, below our feet are hiding hundreds of manhole and utility covers, which have been serving the city’s infrastructure since before the war. These Austrian- and Polish-era cast iron plates cover buried […]

Leopold Von Sacher-Masoch & His Galician Experience

By Chris Wilkinson On Serbska Street, just off Rynok Square in the heart of the Old Town, is a statue of Leopold von Sacher-Masoch, the man whose surname gave rise to the term masochism. Sacher-Masoch spent the first twelve years of his life in Lemberg (Lviv’s German name at the […]

Historical Maps of Galicia (1775-1918)

Borders and Districts of Galicia Galicia as a geopolitical entity was created in 1772 with the establishment of the Kingdom of Galicia and Lodomeria, the Austrian Empire’s easternmost crownland. The capital of the province was Lemberg (today Lviv). A century and a half later, in 1918, Galicia was wiped from […]

Conscription Numbers: Lviv

Under the Austrian Empire (Galicia was established in 1772), buildings were given conscription numbers, which served as addresses until 1871. (See also examples of conscription numbers in other parts of the Austrian Empire: Vienna, Klosterneuburg, and Przemyśl.) “House numbers, also called house conscription numbers, had their origins with the Austrian imperial […]

Benchmarks in Lviv: How Elevation Was Measured in the Past

A benchmark is geographic point whose elevation has been measured and recorded to a high level of accuracy. The height of a benchmark is calculated relative to the heights of nearby benchmarks in a network extending from a fundamental benchmark (a point which records a height to extreme accuracy.) Benchmarks are used […]

Ghost Signs: Galician Towns

Sambir, Drohobych, Boryslav, Rohatyn, and Striy are small cities in Galicia, about 1-1.5 hours south-west or south of Lviv. Not many traces of their Austrian or Polish histories remain, but I did find a few ghost signs—one in German and the rest in Polish. Sambir Drohobych Boryslav Rohatyn   Stryi

The Fortunate Fate of Lviv’s Hungarian Roller Shutter

I’ve found only one example of a Hungarian-made antique roller shutter in Lviv. (However, I eventually I did find a roller shutter made by the same company in Mukachevo.) It was made by a company called Paschka és Társa (Paschka and Co.) in Budapest. It covers the storefront of an […]

Antique Metal Roller Shutters: Lviv

Lviv still has quite a few Austrian- and Polish-era metal roller shutters, which cover windows and doors of former storefronts. Some of the shutters are still used; many, however, look as if they haven’t been opened in decades. The plates with locks are stamped with а manufacturer’s mark—typically the name […]

Prewar Lviv in Photographs: Roller Shutter Signage

In prewar Lviv, ads and signs were placed on all sorts of surfaces, as can be seen in my post about hand-painted signs. Here is a small collection of old photographs of Lviv showing signage that was painted on the roller shutters that protected storefronts (and so only visible when […]

Lederer & Popper Montage Postcards of Galicia and Beyond

Over 100 years ago the Prague-based company Lederer & Popper created a series of colored photomontage postcards featuring various cities, in particular in the Austrian and German Empires. I first came across a few photomontages from Lviv and was particularly struck by the one depicting a woman who had fallen […]