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 […]

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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 […]

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 […]

Bomb Shelter Steel Covers in Vienna

In Vienna one can still find the covers to WWII civilian bomb shelters. Originally I thought these metal grates were either storm drains or vaults lights with missing glass, but I discovered that in fact they were covers for ventilation shafts and emergency exits. Across the territory of Nazi Germany […]

Relics in Belgrade

Serbia’s capital changed hands dozens of times in the past few centuries: Ottoman/Austrian rule 16th–19th centuries Ottoman/Serbian rule 1804–1878 Serbian rule 1878–1914 Austro-Hungarian/Serbian rule 1914–18 Kingdom of Serbia 1918 Yugoslav Kingdom 1918–1941 Nazi/Croatian rule 1941–1944 Yugoslav Republic 1944–1991 I found some relics from Austrian rule, namely antique roller shutters made […]