Vul. Serbska, 07 – former Castelli townhouse
The townhouse on Serbska street 7 (conscription no. 225) was built in the place of the previous one in the 17th century and was reconstructed and expanded in the 18th-19th centuries. Its owner’s name was Castelli so it was called the Castelli (Kashtelivska) house. It has preserved characteristic features of a Lviv Renaissance townhouse. According to the resolution of the Council of Ministers of the Ukrainian SSR number 442 dated 6 September 1979, the house was entered in the National register of monuments under protection number 1269. Now its cellars and ground floor are occupied by the Sacher-Masoch café.
16th c. – a two-storied
Gothic townhouse is built.
17th c. – a Renaissance-style townhouse is built on the foundations and cellars of the Gothic townhouse; the third tract (rear house) is added.
2nd half of the 18th c. – the fourth floor is added; the façade is designed in the strict Nutzbau-style forms; the ground floor is reinforced with buttresses and faced with hewn white stone blocks. At the same time the entryway is divided; a small separated room is arranged to the left, as well as a staircase.
1870s – the front part of the roof is covered with a fireproof material; a skylight is arranged.
Late 19th c. – the back part of the roof is covered with tin.
1900 – the four-storied closets are reconstructed.
1903 – the back wing is reconstructed.
1938 – a project of a portal entrance to the shop, located on the right, is designed (engineer Władysław Bleim).
2006 – the wings are dismantled.
2007 – the Sacher-Masoch café is arranged in the premises on the right and in the cellars.
The townhouse is situated on a parcel in the historic center of the city, on a street which begins at the south-eastern corner of the Rynok (Market) square and goes south.
The oldest name of Serbska street, Fori pecorum platea, for the first time mentioned in chronicles under the year 1491, literally meant “a place for cattle trade”. According to a 1523 document, this street was called Skotska (Cattle). At that time Lviv was one of the centers where oxen from Podolia and Moldova were sold. This name, however, applies only to the oldest part of Serbska street which stretches from the Rynok square to Staroyevreyska street. A part of the street, that between Brativ Rohatyntsiv street and the Soborna square, came into being after the town fortifications were dismantled in the early 19th century. Serbska street has been existing in its present-day boundaries since 1871. During the occupation of Lviv by the Nazi troops it was called Kroatenstrasse (Croatian street). After the war the previous name was restored.
The Renaissance style townhouse no. 7 was built in the 17th century on the foundations and cellars of the previous two-storied Gothic townhouse from the 16th century. It bore different names derived from the names of its owners; thus, it was called the Janowa Moskiewka’s house in 1630, the Moskiewicz’s house in 1640-1683, the Castelli (Kashtelivska or Kasztelowska) house from 1684. In the 17th century the townhouse was substantially reconstructed, the third tract (rear house) and the third floor were added. In the second half of the 18th century the fourth floor was added, the façade was designed in the strict Nutzbau-style forms, the ground floor was reinforced with buttresses and faced with hewn white stone blocks. At the same time the entryway was divided; a small separated room was arranged to the left, as well as a staircase. In the mid-19th century the house passed in the possession of Peretz Fischer and Efroim Bombach who were Jews. In the 1870s, according to a resolution of the Magistrate, the front part of the roof was covered with a fireproof material; the back part of the roof was covered with tin in the late 19th century after a long wrangle with the authorities. The ground floor premises were occupied by shops; in particular, flour was sold in the rear house. Later, Chaim Heschel, a co-owner of the house, leased it illegally to seasonal workers. In 1900 the four-storied closets were reconstructed, which were located in the corner between the north and east boundary walls and could be reached by corridors on the balconies. In 1903 a back wing where the doorkeeper lived was reconstructed too. In 1938 a project of a portal entrance to the shop, located on the right, was designed by Władysław Bleim. In the Soviet time the house’s ground floor premises were used as residential. The wings were dismantled in 2006, and a part of the parcel was merged with a neighbouring plot on Fedorova street where the construction of a hotel was planned. In 2007 the Sacher-Masoch café was arranged in the premises on the right and in the cellars.
The townhouse is built of brick on stone foundations and is plastered; it has four floors and is rectangular in plan. The building has preserved the typical medieval two-part and three-tract structure with the main and rear houses. The asymmetrical three-window main façade has is divided vertically by lesenes, with rectangular windows between them. The ground floor is emphasized by a bar between the tiers; it is faced with hewn stone blocks and plastered. The entrance door is rectangular and has a light with a grate; on the left, there is a rectangular window arranged in a door opening leading to the shop; on the right, there is a glass door to the Sacher-Masoch café in an opening topped with a three-centered arch. The façade is crowned with a cornice bound with tin. The cellars are bridged with brick barrel lunette vaults; the ground floor premises (the original main house and the gate divided into two parts) are bridged with cross vaults; there are flat ceilings on the upper floors. The three-flight wooden stairs have wheeling steps and are constructed on a wooden stringer; they have a wooden railing consisting of two rows of balusters between carved poles. A double-pitch skylight, supported by wooden constructions, is arranged over the staircase. The house has a double-pitch roof covered with asbestos cement sheets; it is supported by a wooden beam-and-rafter construction and has wooden carved projections in its rear part.
The house has preserved characteristic features of a Renaissance-style townhouse; some later stylistic developments typical of the 18th century can also be seen in it.
Władysław Bleim – an
architect who designed a project of a portal entrance to the shop located in
Efroim Bombach – an owner of the house in the mid-19th century.
Castelli – an owner of the house from 1684.
Moskiewicz (family) – owners of the house in 1640-1683.
Peretz Fischer – an owner of the house in the mid-19th century.
Chaim Heschel – a co-owner of the house in the mid-19th century.
Janowa Moskiewka – an owner of the house in 1630.
Wien. A 1777 map of Lviv by Joseph Daniel von Huber.
2. State Archive of Lviv Oblast (DALO). Item 2/2/4025.
3. Map of Lviv (1802)
4. Central State Historical Archive of Ukraine in Lviv (CDIAL). Item 186/8/829.
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6. Зубрицький Денис, Хроніка міста Львова (Львів: Центр Європи, 2006).
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10. Памятники градостроительства и архитектуры Украинской ССР, Т. 3 (Киев: Будівельник, 1985), 65.