Photographs of Prewar Lviv: Ukrainian Signage

In Lviv, according to the Austrian census of 1910, 51% of the city’s population was Polish Roman Catholic, 28% Jewish, and 19% Ukrainian Greek Catholic. Linguistically, 86% of the city’s population used the Polish language while 11% used Ukrainian (Lviv). Looking at these statistics, it’s no surprise that the Ukrainian language was […]

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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 […]

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 […]

Galicia’s Adventurous and Free-Spirited Sofia Jablonska

From Lviv Today – a bilingual lifestyle magazine Here is the astounding story of the Galician girl who managed to conquer thousands of fans with her poetic travel essays and become Ukraine’s first internationally renowned travel writer, documentalist, and journalist. Early beginnings Sofia Jablonska was born in 1907 in the […]

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 […]

Remnants of Coal Elevators in Lviv

Remnants of old manually operated coal elevators remain tucked away in 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 residential […]

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 […]

The Ukrainian Cooperative Movement in Galicia: Narodna Torhovlia

Name: Narodna Torhovlia (People’s Trade)Type: Consumer cooperativeFounded by: Vasyl Nahirnyi and Appolon NychaiYears active: 1883-1944 The Ukrainian Cooperative Movement in Galicia addressed the economic plight of the Ukrainian people through the creation of financial, agricultural, and trade cooperatives that enabled Ukrainians to pool their resources, obtain less expensive loans and insurance, and pay less […]