History

start_quote.pngOriginally, the site of the palace was the court of Tobias Morsztyna. His successor, John Andrew Morsztyn, built it in 1661 at the court of Sigismund and the Shaft-storey baroque castle with four towers. The palace was purchased in 1713 by King Augustus II, who initiated its reconstruction. It was later completed in 1748 during the reign of King Augustus III. The hotel opened on January 1, 1857. Designed by Enrico Marconi, it was one of the most luxurious hotels in the Russian Empire. In 1921, the hotel's owners took on partners to form the company Hotel Europejski Spółka Akcyjna (HESA). In 1923, in front of the building on the east side, remains the statue of Prince Jozef Poniatowski. Under the arches in the palace colonnade, you can see the decorated Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, commemorated in 1925. Between 1930-1937, the building of the Saxon Palace was the seat of the Cipher Bureau.

The hotel was almost completely destroyed during the Warsaw Uprising in 1944. After the fall of the Warsaw Uprising, its destruction was completed by the Germans in December 1944. In 1945, after the liberation of Warsaw, the original owners received permission from the government to rebuild the hotel and set up a cafe in the remaining portion of the building. However, before they could rebuild, the hotel was seized by the government in 1948. After a year had lapsed, the building was then rebuilt from 1949-1951 by Bohdan Pniewski with a recreation of the historic facade and a modern interior. The newly built glorious construction served as the Military Political Academy (Akademia Wojskowa Polityczna) from 1951-1954 and then as offices for the Ministry of Transport. The Hotel reopened on January 1st in 1957. After the devastation of the war, the pre-war owners launched a restaurant and began undertaking building renovations.

The building was transferred to the Orbis state tourist company in 1959 and converted back to a hotel, reopening to guests on July 2nd, 1962 as the Orbis Hotel Europejski. In 1965, The Golden Gate Quartet performed their only concert in Poland here. After the fall of communism, in 1993, the heirs of the hotel's original owners sued to regain ownership of the hotel from the state-run Orbis Hotels chain. The case took 12 years, as Orbis claimed they had constructed the current building and had invested a great deal of money in it. Consequently, it closed again on June 30th, in 2005, and it was handed over to the heirs of the owners and was again scheduled for  a renovation.end_quote.png


“BE A PART OF THE EUROPEJSKI HISTORY”

To commemorate the reopening of the Hotel Europejski, we have the pleasure to collaborate with Mr. Ksawery Wasowski to assemble a book tracing the history of this magnificent building.

If you have any photos, anecdotes or items that are a part of the history of the Hotel Europejski, feel free to contribute to the project by contacting Mr. Ksawery Wasowski.

As well don't forget to visit the Facebook page.

 

 

SEND US AN EMAIL

2013-2017

Reconstruction of the building

Reconstruction-of-the-building.jpg

2013

Official closing party of the hotel in spring

timeline1.jpg

2012

A two third majority of family shareholders decide to sell their shares to Vera Michalski-Hoffmann.

2005-2012

Preparatory work is done to obtain the necessary permissions for a general renovation of the building. Various rooms of the hotel are rented to tenants as office space. Ground floor commercial spaces are rented to various companies. One notable tenant, Adam Gessler opens the well- known restaurant 'U Kucharzy' and the widely popular corner bistro 'Przekązki Zakązki'

.

timeline2.jpg

2005

The family members of HESA are finally able to enter the Hotel Europejski as the rightful owner. The first celebratory New Year's Eve ball is held by HESA within the walls of the Hotel Europejski.

2005

Orbis' last year of operation in the Hotel Europejski.

2005

HESA wins the latest of many court battles after which Orbis relinquishes its claim to the hotel and is additionally ordered to pay a settlement to HESA's members.

1991

The descendants of the Przezdziecki and Czetwertyński families decide to pursue the court battle to regain ownership of the hotel. The first step in the process is to reactivate the family's hotel management company, HESA.

1962

The Hotel Europejski reopens its doors for guests under the aegis of the national travel and hotel chain, Orbis.

1962.jpg

1957-1962

Reconstruction of the building is headed by the architects Bohdan Pniewski and assisted by Bohdan Kijowicz. All aspects of the interior are adapted for its use as a modern luxury hotel. Some of the most prominent changes include new staircases, a basement garage and night-club, new room dividing walls, and bathrooms in all the bedrooms. There were then 260 one and two person rooms and thirteen stylishly designed two or three roomed apartments.

1957.jpg

1956-1957

The empty building is used as housing for Jewish emigrants from the Soviet

1956

A ministerial decision is taken to return the building to its original function as a hotel. The political military academy ceases to operate on the premises.

1949-1951

Reconstruction of the hotel into a political military officers’ academy by Bohdan Pniewski, who is in political favour at the time. On the exterior, a balustrade is noticeably added to the exterior edge of the roofline. Numerous changes in the interior adapt the building for its newly intended use. Dormitories, classrooms and even a gymnasium are put in. Many of the pre-war elements are dismantled including the grand staircase, vehicle passage through the building to the inner courtyard, artists’ loft and courtyard ballrooms.

1948

By order of the Bierut Decree, the Hotel Europejski is taken by the communist authorities away from the family-managed company HESA.

1945-1948

Stefan Czetwertyński manages the hotel restaurant and makes efforts to secure and rebuild the building.

1945

Stefan Czetwertyński returns from Oflag II C Woldenberg where he was held prisoner for the entire length of the war and begins securing the building from further decay and destruction. Hotel Europejski’s first New Year's Eve ball is held in the restaurant and ballroom. It is a welcome event for its guests who are starting to adjust to the new realities of post-war Poland.

1945.jpg

1939-1944

Hotel Europejski is taken over by the Wehrmacht and houses its officers as the 'Europaisches Hotel'. Many of the Polish staff retain their jobs and use the opportunity to procure extra food and favours for their families and members of the Polish Underground from under the Germans’ noses. The Polish staff also bravely hide Jews and runaway Soviet soldiers in various corners of the spacious hotel out of reach from the Germans.

1939-1944.jpg

1939

Poland is invaded. World War II begins. Bolesław Kosiński, the hotel director has the staff fill all the bathtubs with water. This seemingly innocuous act saves the hotel from certain destruction when incendiary bombs land on the roof and water is available to extinguish the flames despite the destroyed city waterworks.

1939.jpg

1924-1939

The inter-war years in the hotel are marked by frequent balls during carnivals and various other social gatherings throughout the year.

1924-1939.jpg

1927

Hotel Europejski’s cafe and bar are opened to the public facing Saxon Square [Piłsudski Square]. The former includes a popular outside patio frequented during the warmer months by an eclectic mix of patrons of military, diplomatic, journalistic, artistic, intellectual, and theatrical backgrounds.

1927.jpg

1924-1939

Under this new management, the hotel is listed as the only hotel in Poland with a luxury status. Patrons and guests are of the highest order including foreign heads of state. Several large hotel rooms are leased by the Belgian and Spanish diplomatic corps.

1924-1939_2.jpg

1924

The relatives of the Przezdziecki family establish Hotel Europejski Spółka Akcyjna, a holding company to run the hotel, choosing Seweryn Czetwertyński who married Zofia Przezdziecka, as its first president.

1920

The first of many Antoni Jawornicki designs are implemented in the hotel. The former entrance passageway from Krakowskie Przedmieście is replaced by the famous Trzaska, Evert Michalski publisher and bookshop.  The main entrance is moved to a newly constructed portico on the south side and a vehicular access passage way is made through the west wing facing Saxon Square [Piłsudski Square]. Many changes were also made to the interiors including a new staircase, reception area and lifts. The most important change to the hotel was the building of the Malinowa Hall and Ballroom in the interior courtyard. Central heating is installed.

1920.jpg

1914-1915

Lourse Confiserie is established in the newly reconstructed interiors in the northeast corner. The project is undertaken by Antoni Jawornicki and Marian Kwiatkowski. Lourse was an iconic gathering place amongst writers and poets where various topics were discussed over the sweet house specialties.

1914-1915.jpg

1914

The outbreak of World War I interrupts all existing reconstruction plans.

1913

Juliusz Nagórski works further on the general reconstruction project and contributes further ideas: an entrance via the Lourse Confiserie, an additional wing in the courtyard, an underground ballroom, a rotunda shaped room with a skylight, a driveway based on the Ritz in Paris beside the west wing and an additional three floors.

1913.jpg

1912

The architects Zdzisław Kalinowski and Czesław Przybylski are hired to make plans for a further complete renovation of the hotel to modernise it. Building an additional two floors is part of these plans.

1912.jpg

1907

50 year anniversary of the hotel and a general renovation and redecoration is made including electric lifts and telephone booths.

1901

Hotel Bristol opens its doors across the street.

1901.jpg

1881-1900

The artist gallery Salon Krywulta is housed in one of the large corner apartments. Works by many famous Polish artists were exhibited here: Jan Matejko, Józef Chełmoński, Henryk Siemiradzki, Wyczółkowski, Pankiewicz, and Boznańska.

1881-1900.jpg

1880s

The painter's studio on the top floor is active with the famous artists: Józef Chełmoński, Antoni Piotrowski, Adam Chmielowski and Stanisław Witkiewicz. The actress Helena Modrzejewska is a frequent guest in this small artist's 'colony'.

1877

The first elevator in Poland is installed in the establishment.

1873

The corner confiserie, originally run by Conti and then Czerner, is taken over by Lourse.

1873.jpg

January 1, 1857

Hotel Europejski’s grand opening for guests.

1857.jpg

Spring 1855

Construction begins on the Hotel Europejski.

1855

Władysław Pusłowski and Ksawery Pusłowski buy into the property.

1854

Aleksander Przezdziecki buys 75% of property shares on which the future Hotel Europejski would be established.