Showing posts from September, 2012

Lviv's Boot Scrapers, Part II

A few more boot scrapers from Lviv and a nearby village.

It was quite a challenge trying to snap a picture of this last one. First of all, I needed to figure out the code to the door. And second, I encountered an angry barking dog, who did not want to let me take the picture. The boot scraper is located next to a staircase behind two swing doors at the end of the main hallway, and every time I tried to open the doors and walk inside, the dog would start barking and running down the stairs toward me. (Though I must admit it was a pretty small dog - but it was still scary!) So basically I had to take the picture through the window in the door, specifically through a part were some glass was missing.

This one below is located near the front of an old wooden church in Zhurivka, a village very close to Lviv. A great-grandmother of mine was born in this village, so it is quite likely that my ancestors used to attend this church. Unfortunately, the the church has been covered by some ugly me…

Ghost Signs in Przemyśl and Sanok, Poland

Przemyśl (Peremyshl in Ukrainian transliteration) is a city in Poland situated very close to the border with Ukraine. Przemyśl has a long Ukrainian history, and still many Ukrainians live there. My grandmother was born there, so I have visited it a few times, and, of course, was always on the look out for ghost signs and other remnants of the past.

I found a few ghost signs, which likely date to the interwar period. They are mostly in Polish, but I did find one in Ukrainian.

 Not sure what the red and white stripes mean. I wonder if it also designated some type of stores, as stripes did in Lviv.
Sanok is a Polish city located in the Carpathian Mountains. It has a long Ukrainian and Lemko history. I found a few ghost signs there, but I think some could be from after WWII.

Ghost Signs in Sambir and Drohobych

Sambir and Drohobych are small cities in Galicia, western Ukraine. Like Lviv, they were cities in the Austrian Empire and interwar Poland. Sambir

Guard Stones in Poland

My two favorite guard stones are located in Poland.

This one is from Przemysl.  Now they protect the entrance of a bank.
This one is from Warsaw. In fact, I haven't seen it in person, but a friend of mine sent me the picture, and I just love it. Also, note that the driveway is paved with wood - a very old driveway indeed.

Guard Stones

Guard stones are metal, stone, or concrete constructions located on the sides of entrances and gateways to protect the walls from damage from the wheels of wagons or carriages.
A guard stone is another architectural element that has become largely obsolete since cars don’t pose much danger to the walls.
Many guard stones have survived in Lviv. I mostly collect pictures of the metal ones, but I have some pictures of stone ones as well.

This one below is unique because it is not located at the corner of an entrance way, but rather protects a curb in a driveway of an old palace.

These below are extra obsolete as this former entrance way has been bricked up. 

The metal ones come in several shapes, but the most common seem to be the ones found in the first three pictures below. Some have been partially buried (second picture); tips of others have been cemented in walls (third picture). Some are rather plain (first row), others more elaborate (second row). I was once told that the last on…

Conscription Numbers

Under the Austrian Empire (western Ukraine became part of the Austrian Empire in 1772), buildings were given conscription numbers, which served as addresses until 1871. In addition to the city center (Середмістя), Lviv was divided into four districts: 1 – Halytska, 2 – Krakivska, 3 – Zhovkivska, 4 – Lychakivska.
The first conscription numbers, especially in the city center, were given in sequential order to already existing buildings (beginning with the city hall). But as new buildings were built, they received the next available number. So, for the most part, the conscription numbering system was chronological. Each conscription number, however, also included a fraction showing in which district out of the 4 the building was located. The lower the conscription number, the older the building was in the district.
In 1871 sequential numbering and official street names were introduced, but conscription numbers were used by builders until the beginning of the 20th century.
Several of t…