In this paper, we use the Life in Transition (LiTS) survey micro- data to estimate the gravity model of life satisfaction in seven post-transition countries. We use precise localization data and a very rich set of controls to estimate the effect of the duration of Ottoman rule on similarities in life satisfaction between pairs of primary sampling units. On average, being under the Ottoman rule for more than 100 years reduces the dissimilarity in life satisfaction between two primary sampling units. Further, we find that institutional heritage plays an important role in this interaction. Our results show that areas with a shared history of Ottoman rule are more similar in their institutional setting and life satisfaction. The results suggest that the analysis of life satisfaction in transition countries is often oversimplified by focusing on the transition process and ignoring potentially significant historical discontinuities.