Showing posts from December, 2014

Rover: Bicycle Galician-Style

In the Ukrainian diaspora we call a bicycle a "rover" – the word which was commonly used in western Ukraine before the war. Now in Ukraine the word "velosyped" is most widely used, but people in western Ukraine, espеcially in villages, still often say "rover." 
The first bicycles that were sold in western Ukraine were made by the British company Starley & Sutton (later called Rover Company):
"In the early 1880s, the cycles available were the relatively dangerous penny-farthings and high-wheel tricycles. J.K. Starley made history in 1885 by producing the Rover Safety Bicycle—a rear-wheel-drive, chain-driven cycle with two similar-sized wheels... Starley's Rover is usually described by historians as the first recognisably modern bicycle.
"The Polish word now most commonly used for bicycle – rower originates from Rover bicycles which had both wheels of the same size (previous models usually had one bigger, one smaller – see Penny-farthing, a…

Vault Windows in Lviv

An intersting architectural/infrastructural element of the old buildings in Lviv is the vault window with a metal shutter. Even these seemingly unimportant, mundane covers were finished off with an artistic and decorative touch - a unique cutout, which I assume served the purpose of providing some light and ventilation into the basement vaults. 
The windows would open by key from the outside, and likely were also used as chutes to bring goods or coal directly into the basements from the streets. As these are generally found on the front facade of the buildings, many have been openings to the vaults of storefronts - and so storage of goods was very important. 
Now many of these shutters have been painted over and left unused for decades. The key holes have been painted shut and the keys long gone, while the vaults themselves may have been left abandoned, undisturbed...
Each one has a different design - and there are hundreds of these around Lviv.  My favorites by far are those with th…

Benchmark on Lviv's City Hall

Somehow I only found out about this benchmark last week, so it wasn't included in my original post about benchmarks in Lviv. And I had walked by it thousands of times as it is located right on the Lviv's City Hall.
On the benchmark is "znak wysokości (Polish for "height marker"), an eagle (Poland's coat of arms), and the letters "P. N." It's possible "P. N." stands for "Polska Norma" (Polish Standard) or "Poprawka Normalna" (Normal Adjustment).
As it features the Polish coat of arms, it dates from the interwar period when Lviv was part of the Second Polish Republic.

image from here

Sundial on Stable in Lviv

Hidden behind a tall fence at the end of a small street in Kastelivka stands a villa called "Julietka." It was built for private use in 1891-1893 by Julian Zachariewicz and his son Alfred, two famous Lviv architects. Next to the villa is an old stable with a sundial.