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The Cywiński townhouse, Chełmno
Narodowy Instytut Dziedzictwa pl

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The best-preserved example of a Renaissance patrician townhouse in the city of Chełmno.


The townhouse is positioned at the corner of the market square, alongside the Rycerska street exit. The building was erected towards the end of the 13th century. In the 14th century, back buildings were added on the eastern side of the structure. In 1570, the townhouse was redesigned in the Renaissance style. The interiors were partially remodelled in 1889, with another redesign of the ground-floor level interiors taking place in 1958.


The townhouse is positioned at the corner of the market square, its gable facing the market square itself while its roof ridge runs in parallel with the Rycerska street. It is a three-storey structure with a basement. The cellars beneath the townhouse originate from the Gothic era, although their vaulted ceilings (of the barrel type) are a 16th-century addition. The interiors follow a three-bay layout. At the ground-floor level, between the second and the third suite of rooms, there is a vestibule dating back to 1889, connected to a staircase illuminated by a skylight. Remnants of ceiling beams from ca. 1570 can still be seen on the first and second floor. The side façade, facing the Rycerska street, features an irregular arrangement of windows; notable architectural features of this façade is the tall wall base as well as the cornice added between the storeys in the 19th century. The front façade, overlooking the market square, follows a three-axial layout, its first-floor windows adorned with decorative surrounds. Fragments of Renaissance sculptural decorations grace the front façade, having most likely been moved to their present location from two different portals. The first of the two decorative items is the triangular pediment with lintel, positioned between the first and second storey and adorned with the foundational inscription of Melchior Cywiński, dating back to the year 1570. Above the inscription there is a small pediment incorporating the scene of the Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary in bas-relief, flanked by a pair of heraldic cartouches. The other decorative flourish which must be mentioned at this stage is the large, semi-circular tympanum adorned with the scene of the Adoration of the Magi, positioned above the middle window at the first-floor level. In addition, there is also a pair of sculpted gargoyles flanking the entrance in the middle. The entire building is topped with a hip roof featuring a wide, segment-headed eyebrow dormer in the front section.

Limited access to the building. The structure can be viewed from the outside.

compiled by Adam Paczuski, Regional Branch of the National Heritage Board of Poland in Toruń, 19-11-2014.


  • Katalog Zabytków Sztuki w Polsce. Vol. XI. Dawne województwo bydgoskie. Issue 4. Dawny powiat chełmiński. Prepared by Teresa Mroczko, published by the Institute of Art of the Polish Academy of Sciences (IS PAN), Warsaw 1976
  • Adam Paczuski, Wojciech Romaniak, Dokumentacja historyczno-konserwatorska zespołu staromiejskiego Chełmna, Regional Centre for Research and Documentation of Historical Monuments in Toruń, Toruń 2004 r.

General information

  • Type: tenement house
  • Chronology: kon. XIII w.
  • Form of protection: register of monuments
  • Address: Rycerska 2, Chełmno
  • Location: Voivodeship kujawsko-pomorskie, district chełmiński, commune Chełmno (gm. miejska)
  • Source: National Heritage Board of Poland


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