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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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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

Engineer Słowik and His Enduring Mark on Lviv

The Recovered Story of a Prewar Metalworks Owner Countless people contributed to the urban development of Lviv and left their enduring mark on the city. It is thanks to these architects, urban planners, engineers, entrepreneurs, craftsmen, construction workers, and factory workers that we have the beautiful architecture, cobblestone roads, infrastructure, […]

Historical Manhole Covers: Przemyśl

In the part of Galicia that is today Ukraine, dating certain remnants of the past can be relatively easy due to the language of the inscription — anything in Polish dates from before WWII. On the other hand, in a city like Przemyśl where Polish was and still is the […]

Historical Manhole Covers and Storm Drains in Ivano-Frankivsk

Ivano-Frankivsk, formerly known as Stanisławów, was one of the largest cities in Galicia, and so it is no wonder that many relics of its prewar past can still be found in the urban landscape. In particular, quite a few manhole covers and storm drains still serve the city’s infrastructure.  From […]

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 […]