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 […]

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Prewar Postcards of Lviv’s Union of Lublin Mound

Today probably few people know when they climb up the High Castle (Vysokyi Zamok) in Lviv, one of the city’s most popular tourist destinations, they are walking up a monument built in the late nineteenth century to commemorate the 300th anniversary of the Union of Lublin – the pact which […]

The ‘Galician Gaudi’: Teodor Talowski & His Fanciful Architecture

Teodor Talowski is one of the most important Polish architects of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. He has been described as the “Galician Gaudi” or the “Polish Gaudi” because he combined late Historicism with Secession (Art Nouveau) and Modernist influences. His works include apartment buildings, churches, chapels, and […]

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 […]

Volutes on the Gables of Lviv: From Renaissance to Art Deco

The Volute in Architecture The volute is the spiral, scroll-like ornament found in the capital of the Ionic column, and which was later used in Corinthian and Composite column capitals. Deriving from the Latin word voluta (“scroll”), the ornament has many possible origins including the curve of the ram’s horns, […]

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 […]

Made in Ukraine: Lviv Shopping Guide

An Alternative Shopping Guide to Lviv’s City Center A list of the best places to find all things made in Ukraine, local artwork and music, and antiques. Made in Ukraine:Clothing, Accessories & Home Decor Ukraine’s craft industry has really taken off in the last few years. As a result, hundreds […]

Holding Together Historical Buildings: The Anchor Plates of Lviv

Anchor plates (also called wall washers, pattress plates, masonry stars, etc.) are used to reinforce the structure of masonry buildings. Made from cast or wrought iron, these plates are connected to rods that penetrate the building. Sometimes the rod is exposed, which can be seen on balconies and porticos. The […]

Housing Developments in Interwar Lviv: The Officers’ Colony

Location: Chereshneva St., Samiylenka St. and Oleny Pchilky St.Built for: Polish military officersYears of construction: 1923-1931Architects: W. Jakimowski, R. Voelpel, T. Wróbel, W. LembergenConcept: Garden City (Ebenezer Howard’s vision as promoted by Ignacy Drexler)Style: Polish Manor Style (styl dworkowy), some elements of Art Deco After overcoming World War I and […]

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 […]