Happiness is not a station you arrive at,
but a manner of travelling.
Margaret Lee Runbeck.
Сяду до трамваю,
Бувай си здорова,
Бо я від’їжджаю :)
The song belongs to an eccentric called "Buvay” who used to be very popular in Lviv during the interwar period. Lviv citizens adored him for his funny couplets. Dressed in rags, Buvay earned his living singing in trams but he never asked alms. The tram has always been an inseparable part of Lviv authentic life and culture.
Stage-coaches and other horse drawn vehicles were the first means of public transport in Lviv and the first horse drawn tram in Ukraine appeared in Lviv in 1879. It was drawn by 3 horses up the street of Shevchenko (former Yanivska) and by one horse down the same street. The stowaways caught by the police were forced to work off on Prus Square (Ivan Franko Square nowadays) cutting the bait. The horse tram ceased to exist in 1912, and about 70 horses were sold to farmers.
Austro-Hungarian Empire used to take good care of its Eastern regions and the first Lviv electric tram was introduced in 1894, much earlier than the one in Vienna. Lviv citizens are known to be conservative and their attitude towards the innovation was no exception. According to the respectable newspapers of those times, "Mrs. Skorobetska made the tram a proposition impossible to implement accompanying it with obscene gestures” which means she pulled her skirt up, bent and asked the tram to kiss her on the certain spot. One doesn’t have to be a rocket scientist to guess which. This way she voiced her protest against the competitor which deprived her husband (a cab driver from Pidvalna Street) of his job.
At first, there were no tickets at all. People used to put money into a special box under the observation of a consequential conductor. Was the tram expensive then...? It’s easy to compare. Children could buy two ice-creams for the price of a ticket (20 groshy), so they preferred to go on foot. A loaf of bread cost 12 groshy, 1kg of beef cost 35 groshy, 1kg of butter – 100 groshy (1 zloty). Tram conductors, as well as village school teachers, used to earn 120 zlotys a month, and a qualified worker earned 300 zlotys. One could rent a good two room flat for 15 zlotys a month. After the WW2 the ticket cost 15 kopecs, 3 kopecs after Khrushchov’s currency reform which was really cheap.
The seats were wooden. Until 1935 there were special small platforms on the roof of the cars, one could climb to have a free ride. In 1969 the first double cars produced in Czechoslovakia appeared on Lviv streets. They are still being used.
Less and less people are travelling by tram, as there are many alternative means. We will never see crowded cars and people on the roofs again, like it used to be in late sixties when Karpaty Lviv FC fans going to the stadium took the tram number 4 by storm. For the real citizens of Lviv the tram will always be a very nostalgic, romantic and close part of their life, something one cannot imagine the city without.
Nowadays, Number 2 and 7 seem to be the most popular with the tourists, as they run towards the outdoor Museum of Falk Architecture and Lychakivsky Cementary.
Pitures by maksche.photosight.ru and levkonoe.livejournal.com
Category: Lviv |
Views: 2524 |
Added by: matera
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