Showing posts from October, 2013

Large Ghost Signs in Lviv

Most of Lviv's ghost signs are found on the front of buildings, advertsing 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. It seems that they were also advertising something nearby.

On Doroshenka Street is a ghost sign for I. Jaeger's printing shop  From the Telephone Directory Galicia 1939:  "Jaeger I. Printing shop owner, Lvov, Sykstuska street 33" (Sykstuska was the old name for Doroshenka Street)

On Zelena Street there is a ghost sign for the Imperial Garage, dating from the interwar period (1918-1939). It’s difficult to see, but above the lettering was an image of a car. Nowocześnie urządzone garaże. IMPERJAL Modernly furnished garages. IMPERIAL
On Nizhynska Street (formerly Paulinów Street) is a ghost sign for a women's clothing atelier.   Atelier art. ubiorów damskich S.J.K. Blicharska Lwów Paulinów 

Large Ghost Sign in Przemysl

An ad for PKO (Poland’s largest bank) bankbooks, likely from the 1970s.

Ghost Sign on Lesia Ukrayinka Theater

I like to look for hand-painted signs in old photos of Lviv, especially for signs that are visible today. Recently I found an old picture of the theater on Horodotska Street with two signs flanking the front door.

The building was built in 1911. At first it was a “Catholic House,” affiliated with St. Anna’s Church which is located near it. In the interwar period it housed the Small City Theater. After the war, it was a theater of musical comedy. In 1946 the building was given to the Carpathian Military District. It is currently the Lesia Ukrayinka Lviv Drama Theater.

This ghost sign is on the right side of the door. As the signs in the old photo are barely visible, I can't be totally sure that it is the same sign that is peaking out from the plaster as seen below, but it is quite likely the same.

Boot Scraper on Sholom Aleykhem Street

Located inside, near the front door of a building on Sholom Aleykhem Street in Lviv.

Chain for Quarrelsome Women

In Passage Andreolli, which leads from 28 Rynok Square (built 1760s-1770s) to Teatralna Street, is a chain (handcuff or fetter) that once was in front of the City Hall. Women were chained to it by the arm or leg so that they would think about their behavior.

Neck Ring in Tallinn

This neck ring is attached to a pillar of the Town Hall in Tallinn. It was used to punish people for small crimes.

Defense Rings in Tallinn

At first I thought these were hitching rings, but my friend in Tallinn explained that they were in fact used as part of the defense system of the Old Town. Some sort of rope or chain would have been tied from one ring to another one attached to the building across the road to stop invaders from passing, especially effective when invaders were on horseback.

Hitching Rings in Tallinn

I think these are hitching rings near a medieval door in Tallinn's old town.

Anchor Plates in Tallinn

A sampling of anchor plates in Tallinn.

Anchor Plates in Riga

A sampling of anchor plates from Riga. I especially like the ones shaped like anchors.

Reusing Old Cannon in Riga: My Attempt to Solve a Mystery

At first I thought these were guard stones, but then I realized their placement is not very typical for guard stones, which were placed at the corners of entranceways to protect the corners of the buildings from the wheels of carriages. Later I was told they are actually old cannon, but their purpose is still not clear.
According to Wikipedia, in the 17th and 18th centuries “old cannon were often used as bollards on quaysides: they would be buried in the ground muzzle-first to approximately half or two-thirds of their length, leaving the breech (rear end) projecting above the ground for the attachment of ropes.”
These obviously are not located on a quayside, but reading this made me come back to another idea I had: that the cannons with the knobs were used as hitching posts. (Of course boat ropes and horse reins differ greatly, but whereas the boat ropes would have been tied around the whole cannon, my guess is that the horse reins could have been tied to the small knob on top. Whethe…

Guard Stones in Riga