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Showing posts from October, 2012

Pre-Soviet Street and Number Signs in Lviv

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Until 1944 the majority of signage in Lviv, such as street names, was in Polish. At the onset of Soviet rule, most Polish signage was removed or covered up and streets were renamed, but fortunately some of the old street and number signs have survived in their original locations (though some of have been plastered or painted over). The remaining ones, however, are slowly disappearing as buildings are being renovated and because they are being stolen. Some have been relocated and now decorate the walls of a few cafes, in particular inside the cafe Sztuka and in the courtyard of the Polish restaurant Kupol. These old street names provide an interesting insight into the Austro-Hungarian Empire and Polish Commonwealth as the names highlight what people and events were important during those times.


Many buildings had plaques that included the street name and building number.
The ones still found today likely date to the first the 30 years of the 20th century. Since the rectangular ones rese…

Remnants of Medieval Advertising in Lviv

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Medieval ads and signs have survived in and around Lviv’s Rynok Square. Usually these were metal signs or stone carvings located above entrance ways. The emblems marked the locations of guilds, workshops, stores, taverns, etc. Signs during these times used symbols as the general populace was illiterate.

Entrances to taverns were marked with lion heads, often with a bunch of grapes in its mouth.

Grapes marked the entrances to restaurants.


Emblem of a tailor’s workshop on a building on Rynok Square
Relief of Like the Evangelist (Patron of painters) – emblem of painter's workshop – located on Krakivska St.
Workshops and stores were often marked with metal signs. An iron key marking a locksmith's workshop from the 19th century still survives on a 17th-century building.

Some other signs that were used but no longer are found in Lviv are: bundle of hay marking where beer was sold; lion with a lock marking a locksmith’s workshop; a horse marking a blacksmith’s workshop; a saber mar…