The Masovian Voivodeship Conservator of Monuments, Jakub Lewicki, entered the tenement houses together with the property area, located at 25 Podwale and 5 Długa Streets, into the register. Proceedings in this matter were initiated ex officio.
The conservator explained that the complex of buildings at Podwale Street “is a testimony to the changing history, strongly related to the difficult history of the city.”
“It documents the architectural development of the city, its expansion and the process of transforming monastic buildings for residential purposes, as well as the concept and form of rebuilding the Old Town district after World War II,” he added.
Elements of the original development
He emphasized that the preserved elements of the original buildings, including: basements, ground floor and facades from the street. Podwale can still be a source of information for research on the buildings of the Pauline monastery in Warsaw, as well as subsequent reconstructions, among others. catering facilities and an example of the 19th-century reconstruction of older facilities.
He noted that the post-war reconstruction was the work of famous architects – Maria and Kazimierz Piechotka, one of their first implementations in Warsaw.
“It is an example of a successful combination of preserved, historical substance with newer interior forms and materials, including the architecture of the rooms referring to the historic monastery and high-class staircases. It should also be emphasized that especially the wing from Podwale Street is characterized by aesthetic values, thanks to the partially preserved architectural detail and original divisions of the façade,” explained the conservator.
They were part of the monastery
Tenement houses located at ul. Podwale 25 and ul. Długa 5 was built as part of the buildings of the Pauline monastery next to the Church of the Holy Spirit. In 1662, the church and the monastery were donated to the Pauline Fathers by the decision of the Bishop of Poznań, Ludwik Tolibowski. In place of the destroyed buildings, a brick complex, the Church of the Holy Spirit, began to be built.
It was built in 1707-1717 according to the design of Józef Piola. In the years 1724-1778, the monastery was built according to the design of Józef Fontana. Shortly after the completion of the works, some of the rooms were designated for rental apartments.
After Napoleon’s army entered Polish lands in 1806, the monastery was taken over and adapted into quarters for the French troops stationed in Warsaw. After the defeat of the Grand Army and the creation of the Kingdom of Poland by the Russian Empire, the tsarist government expelled the Pauline Order from Warsaw (1819).
The church and monastery were handed over to the Government Commission of Internal Affairs of the Kingdom of Poland to be used as factory plants, but ultimately the temple was handed over to the German Brotherhood of St. Benon. However, most of the monastery was rebuilt into rental apartments. In the part of the former complex, directly adjacent to the church, in the years 1825-1836 there was a theological seminary, and then in the 20th century it returned to the Pauline Order.
From the dissolution of the order until 1944, in the Podwale 25 property, in addition to private apartments, there were catering establishments, mainly tracteries (an old term for a second-rate restaurant), wineries and shops. In the 19th century, public auctions were also held here, abundant evidence of which can be found in the press of the time. There was, among others, one of the first wine warehouses in Warsaw – W. Wysocki’s First Christian Miodostynia. The building was rebuilt many times.
In the years 1823-1824, during the renovation carried out by the builder Mikołaj Pawłowski, the interior divisions of the building at ul. Podwale 25. The facades from the side of ul. Długa was rebuilt in classicist forms. Buildings from the side of the street. Długa underwent two major reconstructions – in 1850, the interior of the tenement house was completely changed, and at the end of the 19th century, the façade was given a classicist character and balconies were also added.
In the interwar period, the buildings were owned by Stanisław Patek, Minister of Foreign Affairs in the government of Leopold Skulski and ambassador of the Republic of Poland in Washington.
Damaged during the siege of Warsaw
During the siege of Warsaw in 1939, the buildings were slightly damaged. During World War II, in the basement of the building at ul. Podwale 25 was the location of the “Under the Crooked Lantern” winery, which existed until 1952. During the Warsaw Uprising in 1944, it housed the “Under the Crooked Lantern” hospital, where, after the capitulation of the Old Town, the Germans murdered patients and staff.
As a result of the war, the entire complex was significantly damaged. After the war, the outbuildings on the side of the street were demolished. Long. The entire reconstruction lasted in the years 1949-1954, according to the designs of Maria and Kazimierz Piechotka and Jan Grudziński. At the same time, the property was acquired by the United Music Industry Plants.
Podwale Street (formerly Na wale, Podwalska, Zawale, Przywale or Wał) was a route running along the city embankments, in the place of the former moat. In the 16th century, intensive development of this area began, and numerous magnate manors were built here. Then, in the 19th century, the character of the street changed, becoming an area of numerous restaurants, hotels and inns, and then pubs and summer garden theaters.
Main photo source: Tomasz Zieliński, tvnwarszawa.pl